Tuesday, June 26, 2007

50 Things To Do Before You Leave University

Following along with the theme of my last post (39 Ways To Live Your Life in An Airy-Fairy World), I'd like to respond to another such article, this one from New Scientist: 50 Things To Do Before You Leave University. This one bugged me less than the rest, so it's more of a personal checklist, along with my own rambling thoughts.
  1. Spend At Least One Week Researching Your Career (kinda done). I've certainly looked into various prospects over the years, though haven't ever given the concerted effort they suggest.
  2. Send Off A Job Application (done). Thanks to co-op, I have done this many, many times.
  3. Work On Your CV (done). Again, have done this a lot, and I actually feel I'm quite adept at it now.
  4. Hand In Assignment A Week Early (done). I've done this, but it didn't feel great; the only reason I handed in an assignment very early was because there were like 10 more waiting to be done.
  5. Visit Every Library On Campus (kinda done). I've been to the three main libraries here at Manchester. I never use hard-copy journal articles though-everything's online now.
  6. Star In A Play (not done). My acting ability falls somewhere in-between "shrub" and "dead shrub". There has never been a play desperate enough to cast me as the lead. Although, when I was 5, I do believe I played some role in the kindergarden production of Little Red Riding Hood, because every kid in class has to do so.
  7. Attend A Career Fair (done). In my experience, these are good for free stuff, bad for actual career-hunting. I was told at a career fair (sponsored in part by the University of Guelph) "we didn't know Guelph hab engineering" and "we only hire engineers from Waterloo".
  8. Attend A History Lecture (done). I'll do you one better, I took a 3rd-year history course (Celtic Ireland and Britain to 1066), loved it and got an 81%. I only wish I'd had more time in undergrad to do things unrelated to my field.
  9. Do Something Stupid For Charity. (done). I know I sat on a giant teeter-totter (made out of a telephone pole) for awhile, and I'm fairly certain I ran across campus in my underwear at least once.
  10. Fall Madly In Love (done). It is both a learning experience and a character-building one. Heartbreak is no fun, but whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, right?
  11. Pull Pints (done). Only briefly, this past Christmas, thanks to Jon and his amazingly kind and generous family.
  12. Take A Course Or Alternative Module (done). I took the History course mentioned above, an English course (which sucked) and two economics courses (which were boring, but I got a 90% and 100% so yay for me). I considered minoring in economics, but it was just too boring to dedicate the time to.
  13. Try Out For The University Challenge Team (not done). I had a pretty good knowledge of obscure trivia, but a sadly-lacking knowledge of British-oriented trivia. Cricket? Football? Old prime ministers? BBC sitcoms? No thanks.
  14. Argue With An Arts Student (done A LOT). This is always fun. I debate, so dig arguing. And arts students have some plain old wacky ideas. It's also a challenge to debate with someone lacking basic logic (I kid, I kid).
  15. Join A Society (done). Debating, Jiu-Jitsu, SafeWalk, Fencing, etc.
  16. Consider Never Leaving (done). I've been in some form of school for 22 years, almost uninterrupted.
  17. Vote (done). I think student politics is usually just a big circle-jerk, but I've voted once or twice (generally to vote against candidates, but that's neither here nor there). I've also voted in provincial and federal elections, because they actually matter.
  18. Attend A Protest (not done). Here's the weird thing: the more activist people around me are, the less inclined am I to want to get involved. I actually get pissed off, and they tend to push me the other way. And I've attended two very activist universities, so I've become pretty apathetic.
  19. Hug A Professor (done). Done because they say getting to know one counts. And there have been a few who have really inspired me-notably Jack Wiener and Shawki Areibi.
  20. Discover A Local Band (not done). In fairness, a majority of local bands suck.
  21. Get Some Work Experience (done). Again, thanks to co-op, I've worked a number of contract positions. Not in the area I hoep to go into eventually, but so be it.
  22. Speak At A Debate (done). Let's see... I was secretary then president of the debate society back home, and have been communications officer for two years running here. I've debated for over ten years counting high school debating, and have made it to the quarter-finals of the European Championship. I think I can safely check this one off the list.
  23. Teach Science To Kids (not done). I almost worked for the Guelph engineering school's summer science camp once, but was too late in applying. Besides, kids are scary.
  24. Take Your Parents To The Pub (done). Did this last year when they came to visit.
  25. Write A Blog (done). You're reading it right now. Actually, I suspect nobody is reading it, but if you are seeing these words, I'm wrong.
  26. Try A Job-Shadow (not done). Probably would've been a good idea, though.
  27. Wear You Pyjamas To A Lecture (not done). This was common-place at Guelph (even for people who took the bus into campus), and it always bugged me. I don't think it's asking too much to ask you to put on some freaking pants before you turn up. This isn't black-tie, but throw on a pair of trousers, dammit!
  28. Flip Burgers (done). Dairy Queen, the summer after first year. It sucked.
  29. Buy A Suit (done). A nice charcoal-grey pinstripe number. The jacket shrunk in the rain once, but then I lost weight, so it fits nicely again. Pants had to be altered, though.
  30. Visit The Careers Office (done). In my experience, the careers office is singularly unhelpful. Your mileage may vary, but my guess is that some of the most useless people you'll ever meet work there. Needless to say, one visit was all I did.
  31. Become Excessively Pretentious (done). See #22 (debating) for details.
  32. Organise Something (kinda done). I helped organise World On A Plate for my hall in undergrad, and have helped organise various debates and other events. Never spearheaded anything, though.
  33. Throw A Dinner Party (kinda done). Do barbecues count?
  34. Volunteer (done). Only a little bit, for things like the engineering Speed River Cleanup.
  35. Be A Culture Volunteer (done). I've been to a few museums and art galleries, though I really should see some more.
  36. Join A Sports Team (kinda done). I played one game of volleyball for the Watson Hall team.
  37. Start A Business (not done). Lots of ideas, no real follow-through.
  38. Live Out (done). Halls are great at first, but I am so glad to be in my own place instead.
  39. Make 100 Friends (done). I might have to stretch the definition slightly, but I think I can do it. Certainly my facebook list is well over 100 if that counts.
  40. Buy A Piece Of University Clothing (done). I have a U of Guelph polo shirt and hoodie. Nothing from Manchester, yet, though I do have T-Shirts from Harvard and Oxford (where I have never studied).
  41. Go To The Zoo (not done). Haven't been since I was a kid.
  42. Subscribe To A Magazine (done). Maxim, in my first year. Not exactly erudite social commentary and news, but entertaining. And with a much higher boobs-to-depressing-war-story ratio.
  43. Collect £50 In Loose Change (not done). I hate change. A lot. I try to keep as little of it as possible.
  44. Take A Sandwich Year (kinda done). With co-op, I had work terms in-between study terms. But none of the work terms were a full year long-8 months was the longest.
  45. Go To A Fancy-Dress Ball (kinda done). I've been to a fancy-dress party, but not a ball. Note for non-Brits: fancy-dress=costume party.
  46. Brighten Up Your Department (done). I threw some plastic flowers that were going to be discarded into a wine bottle. I'm counting it.
  47. Find Religion (not done). I have some interesting view on spirituality and divinity, but nothing that could be called a religion.
  48. Find A Job (done). Again, co-op.
  49. Give Up Drinking (not done). Beer: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.
  50. Open Your Mind (done). I think I'm open to a wide range of ideas and concepts.
So what's my total? Counting "kinda done" as one-half, that puts me at 34.5 out of 50 (or a pathetic 69%). Anyone else want to weigh in with their ranking?


frescasaurus said...

because i'm PRETTY sure you love comments as much as i do, and i'm taking a break before finishing a paper (doesn't sound as bad a "procrastinating")...

hm. why won't your list numbers come through in the copy/paste?

Spend At Least One Week Researching Your Career (done). acting as a debate coach for nationals, which is ten days long, before i graduated has GOT to count as "research"...although coaching probably isn't my career anymore...
Send Off A Job Application (done). and at least one of them didn't want me. *tear*
Work On Your CV (done). upon learning what "CV" stood for sometime last year, i got one. hooray!
Hand In Assignment A Week Early (dear lord no). i can't remember/conceive of doing this.
Visit Every Library On Campus (only done at one of the three colleges i attended). but that one doesn't count because it only had one library. stanford has more libraries than i can recall offhand, and i THINK pepperdin---wait, wait, no, i've actually been to the main library at pepperdine, the graduate one, AND the law one. just haven't really studied at the grad one. okay, 2 out of 3 ain't bad, as meatloaf tells us.
Star In A Play (done). depending on your definition of "star", i suppose.
Attend A Career Fair (done). hooray for free frisbees!
Attend A History Lecture (done). twas required back when i was an undergrad...
Do Something Stupid For Charity (not possible). i don't do stupid things.
Fall Madly In Love (done). at least once. hooray!
Pull Pints (not done). i'm not even sure what this means, but i think it involves alcohol.
Take A Course Or Alternative Module (done, i think). alternative module sounds bizarre...does this mean take a non-major class? i'm pretty cheap with my units, so i RARELY did this, and i certainly won't in grad school, but did a couple times as an undergrad.
Try Out For The University Challenge Team (not applicable). pretty sure we don't have these here.
Argue With An Arts Student (done). considering the speech department shared a building with theatre and dance...and considering that i argue with most people...
Join A Society (done). i'm a cool kid! debate and honors society, woo!
Consider Never Leaving (depends on the context). i did consider a job as a coach, which would mean staying in academia...
Vote (done). know i voted for school politics, though i don't really remember it, definitely voted for real ones.
Attend A Protest (not done). on the off-chance i ever have a career in politics, i'd rather not pull a kerry.
Hug A Professor (done). i like hugs. i won't discriminate against those with a degree.
Discover A Local Band (done). not that hard, really. they play a lot at stanford.
Get Some Work Experience (done). hooray debate/teaching dance.
Speak At A Debate (done). uh...yeah.
Teach Science To Kids (not done). like, little kids? aren't they contagious?
Take Your Parents To The Pub (sorta done). we don't really have "pubs", and i don't really go to bars very much, but i've taken my mom to a nice restaurant's bar area.
Write A Blog (done). yep. hooray!
Try A Job-Shadow (done). dance teacher assistanting and coach assistanting ftw.
Wear You Pyjamas To A Lecture (done depending on definition). since i often wear clothes or sweatpants to bed, i have worn the same things i have slept in to class. usually not within the same day, though.
Flip Burgers (not done). because i am a princess.
Buy A Suit (done). several lovely ones for debate. i wear them on every possible occasion.
Visit The Careers Office (done). very nice lady told me that my resume was silly. she told me nicely, though!
Become Excessively Pretentious (done). although i hesitate to count this one because i already WAS excessively pretentious.
Organise Something (done). VP of special events for the honors society...organized lots of stuff.
Throw A Dinner Party (done). but everyone else always ends up cooking.
Volunteer (done). i am a good person. hooray!
Be A Culture Volunteer (not done). not actually sure what this means.
Join A Sports Team (likely never). i signed up for the dodgeball league, actually, but never attended, so i won't count it.
Start A Business (done). yep. was founding member/executive director of a nonprofit. still am, actually.
Live Out (done). yeah, not for very long, though. gotta work on that.
Make 100 Friends (this question is silly). I might have to stretch the definition slightly, but I think I can do it. Certainly my facebook list is well over 100 if that counts.
Buy A Piece Of University Clothing (done). many, many, many. i have school spirit! and also spirit for harvard and yale, where i never went!
Go To The Zoo (done). convenient, since my first college had a zoo. otherwise, though, no...
Subscribe To A Magazine (done, sort of). a couple of journals, which aren't actually magazines...
Collect £50 In Loose Change (done). not sure if i got all of it since college, but certainly took the time to count it since then...i think i'm up to like $100 in coins and more in bills.
Take A Sandwich Year (no clue). haven't a clue what that means
Go To A Fancy-Dress Ball (done). didn't dress up, though, because i was working it.
Brighten Up Your Department (sorta done). i spent lots of time there... ;D and i think i used to help clean up the speech department and print helpful/pretty lists and stuff...?
Find Religion (done, then discarded it). i go to a christian school, i find religion in the oddest places all the time. keep trying to get it off me, though...
Find A Job (done). i'm so responsible!
Give Up Drinking (done, if it counts that i never started). *angelic*
Open Your Mind (done). as sarcastic/offensive as i am, i'm pretty darned liberal and pretty darned open.

and that was so long i am now too lazy to count. hooray! this is a boring post, i shouldn't publish it. but i will, so you have a comment and are happy!

Prometheus said...

"Be A Culture Volunteer" was actually supposed to be "Be A Culture Vulture" and it just meant that you should go around to libraries, plays, museums etc. while it's easy and cheap to do so (in the UK, all museums are now free).

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, at least one person read this :D And I loved how you talked about universities I know vecause I live in Ontario too

Anonymous said...

well that makes at least two people who have read your blog:D