adulting

Living With a Roommate

If you’re off to university or have ventured off on your own for the first time, chances are, you have a roommate.

Lucky for you, I’ve been there, so here are my top tricks for dealing with roommates.

  1. Talk to them before you meet. That way you can figure out some things about them and they won’t be a total stranger.
  2. Respect their personal space. Ask if you’re borrowing things, or if it’s okay to invite over other people, etc. Especially in a small living space, both of you will probably need your own bubble to retreat to.
  3. Know who’s going to take care of what essential household stuff. Whether it’s cleaning or paying rent, be responsible for taking care of your share of household tasks.
  4. If there are any issues, make sure to try and talk to them first before involving anyone else. Communication is key to solving anything, and in a worst-cast scenario, you can move or transfer residences.
  5. Try to find someone who shares your interests. That way, you have enough common ground to get along most of the time. Keep in mind, living with friends can still end badly, and strangers can become your best friends.
  6. Get their number just in case. If there’s an emergency, you lock yourself out, or you need to tell them something important, you can always reach them.
  7. Know whose stuff is whose, and which items are communal. It also goes for areas of the place you’re living in. Trust me, people who hog the bathroom or steal your food are annoying, so it’s best to have some ground rules.

I hope some of this point help you guys with dealing with future roommates (or current ones)! Remember, so long as you have basic trust and respect for the person you’re living with, things should turn out well.

If you have any questions or other roommate advice, please leave them below!

-Mel.

Day 23-What Area of Life I’d Like To Improve

To be honest, I’d like to improve in all the areas of my life.

In relationships, I want to be a better friend, one who is more up to date and connected to them. I’m bad at messaging someone constantly for a while then not doing so again for months, so I’d definitely like to improve on that. Plus, if it gets me a date or something, bonus points!

In general, I’d like to become better at managing being an adult, from being able to manage my money better, to doing my taxes and stuff like that. Plus, I’m hoping the adulting skills I learn now will help me prepare for after graduating school. However, I know those will come in time, since I can’t learn everything adult at once.

At school, I’d like to keep getting good marks, and become more involved on campus next year with societies and clubs. I’m thinking as well that I’d like to go on exchange, which might require a bit of extra work and maybe getting a few scholarships.

What do you guys want to improve in your life? Tell me down below!

-Mel.

Day 19-How I’ve Changed In The Last 2 Years

Almost two years ago, I was writing my last diploma exams for high school, so I feel like it’s a good time to be writing this.

I don’t think I can say only part of me has changed, but me as a whole. If you had met the Melissa graduating high school, I think you wouldn’t recognize the woman I am today.

In terms of relationships, I was in a long-term relationship two years ago. Now, I’ve been single for almost a year, and I’ve honestly been loving it, especially the freedom to do whatever I want. I’ve learnt over the last two years that I need to rely on myself before anyone else, and that I am the source of my happiness, not the guy I date. In terms of both relationships, and in particular friendships, I’ve learnt more about what being a good friend means, and when I need to leave some friendships. My friends now are some of the best I’ve ever had, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

In terms of work, in the last two years I’ve changed jobs once, and I decided to come back to a job I thought I would never have. When I moved out to Banff last year for my job, I took a huge leap of faith in my abilities and the job in general. I survived that summer, and this summer I’m working at the same place. It’s definitely a change from working in food service to sales, but I’ve become more outgoing because of it.

In terms of school, I’ve learned so much. I learnt how to study, how to write better, how to manage my time, etc. I loved my first year, and I can’t wait to get back to X, even if that means having to do midterms and exams again. However, two years ago I don’t think I would have decided moving to a small university across the country would be perfection, but it is now.

In terms of everything else, I think I’ve gained a lot of independence and have become a lot more of a responsible adult. After dealing with taxes, doctor’s appointments, and living on my own basically in Banff and Nova Scotia, I’ve learnt a lot of small life lessons. Whether it’s cooking a new meal or figuring out where to get a letter for a scholarship on campus, I’ve become better at managing my own things. I also appreciate my parents and all they do, because I struggle sometimes with getting everything done on time.

In any case, I’m thankful for the lessons life has taught me over the last two years, and I’m optimistic for the next few. Hopefully, I can read this post then and be proud of where I’ve gotten. Until then, ┬áI’ll keep going in this journey called life.

-Mel.

 

How To Survive a Gap Year: Learning a New Language

So these are my ways I’ve tried/used to learn or improve my language skills the last year, as the kickoff to the series of posts of How To Survive a Gap Year.

1) Take a class or course.

Find a local place or company that teaches classes for the language you want to learn. You can also look for tutors, or take a university course, but compared to local places those two options tend to be more expensive. In order to learn a language well through a course or class, you need to be willing to put in the effort to getting to the class and (most likely) doing assignments or tests. However, an upside to doing a class from a business or university is it’s more likely to get recognized by future employers or for future credit at a university.

2) Immersion

To use this method, it usually involves travelling or living in a place where the language you want to learn is spoken. You have to learn by interacting with people and learning the language as you go. It can be really hard at first to get the hang of not only new vocabulary, but also strange localized accents. However, once you catch on to language in the immersion method, you’ll have rather smooth sailing. Benefits to this method include being able to see new places, learn about new cultures and traditions, and getting very good at using more than verbal communication. The downside is, to travel or go through an organization that offers immersion is usually on the pricier side because you might be travelling halfway across the world.

3) Friends

Learning a language with a friend that a) already know it or b) wants to learn with you it always a great experience. Not only will it solidify your relationship from many hours learning verbs or rolling R’s, but will also allow you to pool time and knowledge to learn faster. However, that being said, learning with a friend can be dangerous because it’s not hard to end up distracted or doing silly things instead of learning.

4) Websites/Online Learning/Software

There are definitely many programs and websites (FREE and paid) that are excellent for learning a new language. The upsides to learning online are that you can learn whenever you conveniently have time, and in a technologically advancing world, be able to access it anywhere. Personally, I have a harder time learning online because of all the other distractions on my laptop, but if you have the motivation or learning online is easier than this could be the method for you.

Some sites/programs I recommend to help learn a language:

  • Duolingo: Free, has lots of languages, multiple platforms, lots of different types of exercises
  • Rosetta Stone: The classic, lots of different exercises, kinda pricey, you’ll need to install software
  • Google Translate: It’s not the best, but gets the job done (useful for chatting with foreign friends)
  • Reverso: Like google translate, but also has a dictionary. And if you need spellcheck/grammar check for english or french texts (they’re very thorough)

5) Advice, in General

Remember, learning a language is like learning anything else. You have to have the motivation and dedication to learn a whole new set of sounds for naming the exact same object (and sometimes even another alphabet!). Practice is really the key to cement vocabulary and verbs in your mind. Also, NEVER be afraid to test out language skills with somebody, even a stranger, who knows the language better than you. I’ve learnt way more by talking to people who know more about a language than sitting in a classroom.

In any case, I hope these methods (and some advice) help you out on your next language learning adventure. Good luck, bonne chance, and buena suerte in your learning.

-Melissa