Hi, I’m Nancy! I’m going to be one of your Life @ U of T bloggers for the year. I’m a fourth-year student studying Neuroscience and Immunology. I really like hummus. I spend an unhealthy amount of time scrolling through Beyonce’s Instagram account.
Like in the movie (500) Days of Summer, this summer for me is having its fair share of both good days and bad days. The difference is that my version does not cast Joseph Gordon Levitt as a love interest, much to the deep regret of all my grade 10 fantasies.
Summer is finally here! I survived finals, my grades were pretty decent, and I am now rewarded with a chance to relax, sip sangria, and fully immerse myself in my favourite summertime shows (Game of Thrones, am I right?). Not a care in the world!
I realize the unusual nature of this summer – that period of time between “Wow I’m graduating next year and moving on to a new chapter!” and “Oh wait I still have no idea what I’m doing with my life.” Minor panic attack ensues. I then engage in a 3-hour procrasti-nap as a passive-aggressive way of avoiding my problems.
A heavier sense of worry creeps in when I catch up with friends and listen as they discuss their ambitious summer goals. Seriously, is everyone just super self-aware except me? Which psychic did you see that saw into your future? How much do they charge? Will they accept well-crafted playlists as payment? Because my wallet is apparently only capable of carrying 55 cents at a time.
MCAT review books arrive in the mail. A reality check was also delivered, free of charge. I begrudgingly start studying, divvying up my time between that, two part-time jobs, prepping for a volunteer trip to South America in August, and hunting for researchers who could supervise a potential thesis project.
Scrambling to get my life together is both daunting and motivating in equal measure. But in my experience, being busy doesn’t necessarily mean you miss out on the fun stuff, especially if you are kept busy by things you want to be doing. If anything, being busy forces you to manage your time and use it more effectively. But still, I’m trying not to get too caught up and also focus on the present, channeling less Cameron Frye and more Ferris Bueller. Right down to that 80s sweater vest.
(Can you tell I’m a big fan of grand choreographed dances in movies?)
So that’s where I’m at. I’d love to hear how you guys are doing! What’s a typical summer day been like for you? Leave me a comment or send us a shout-out on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!
3 comments on “(120) Days of Summer”
Hi Nancy, firstly i would like to say that I really enjoyed reading your blog on 120 days of summer. I am a high school student and will be IA going to U of T st. George Campus for life science this year and I was really debating about what major I would choose, though I know its early, I really cant decide which would be best for me since I do want to pursue med school. Also just wanted to know how and why you chose your neuroscience major and just how your experience at U of t for life science has been or any tips on how to survive first year.
First off, congrats on getting accepted! Welcome to the U of T family 🙂
I won’t lie, the life sciences stream is going to be overwhelming, especially in first year. I think it’s probably a mix of the transition from high school, the difference in work load and testing methods, and just adjusting to such a huge student population. Overall, my life sci experience has gotten better and more comfortable with every year. I started to adapt and figure out what works best for me. Upper year courses are also a lot more specific and you get to choose ones you really want to learn about.
Some good tips to start off would be:
1. Research your options early. You don’t need to be making decisions right away but it’s always good to know what the requirements for certain programs are. Even research med school requirements asap, if you’re planning on applying. Just so you’re not caught off-guard in your third year and scrambling to catch up (me).
2. Due to the chaos of first year, most students find that their GPA is lowest during this time. To avoid major impact, really consider using the CR/NCR option for courses that you don’t think you would do as well in. You can read more here: http://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/current/forms-services/crncr
I chose Neuro because I like studying brain processes. It’s just a cool field for me. Make sure to choose a program that actually interests you, not just because you think it’s “better.” It’ll make learning and studying a lot more enjoyable.
There’s a whole process in applying to programs. Your college usually holds presentations on how to apply and will send you emails for upcoming events. If you’re stuck, you can email or swing by your college registrar and just ask!
I will be writing a full blog post about my first year experience in Life Sci, so stay tuned for that! Good luck and hope to see you on campus 🙂
OOH thank you So MUCH! This was so helpful, and thank you again thank you for your honest opinion and very helpful tips. I will most definitely be looking forward to your next blog.