12 Things I Learned in 2012

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Well, the semester’s almost over and for some reason I’m not panicking. For the first time in well, ever, I’m being motivated to do well on my exams and projects by excitement instead of anxiety. In two weeks, I’ll be at the beach, and in two months, I’ll be getting fat in Austria. Thinking about what lies ahead is much more motivating and comforting than worrying about a number on top of a piece of paper or on a computer screen.
I’m in a somewhat cheesy mood since I’m almost done with school. You know, reminiscent, reflective, calm. Kind of like the end of an episode of a TV show or a book. So I thought I’d verbalize (or, um, type) the important things I’ve learned this year because hey, I’ve learned a lot both in and out of school. The things I learned really helped me, and I hope they can help somebody else too.

  1. Make time for what keeps you sane. It’s important. (This is why I’m writing a lot more even though my finals start Monday.)
  2. The people who want to hire you don’t necessarily care about your grades. Now if only my father could learn this….
  3. The AP style likes to make certain words and sentences less appealing.
  4. Talking to people you don’t know isn’t as scary as you think.
  5. Don’t be afraid to take on experiences you normally wouldn’t or talk to people you’d avoid otherwise. This is especially important if you want to be a journalist.
  6. Just because something was written hundreds of years ago doesn’t mean you won’t be able to understand and appreciate it. (Case in point? Milton is a genius.)
  7. Although I hate to say this, there really is a thing as too much sleep. If it’s severely interfering with your life, try to eliminate or reduce whatever may be responsible.
  8. Pills may suck, but anxiety attacks that are so bad I can’t leave the house or drive are much, much worse. Take the damn pill.
  9. Remember that 3-subject notebook you bought at the beginning of fall semester? Well, it will take four classes and one news writing lab to fill that notebook up.
  10. Have at least one guilty pleasure and try to incorporate it into your routine. When you’re down, go to it. (This works especially well if your guilty pleasure is Degrassi. It really just puts things into perspective.)
  11. Pay attention to your body. If you keep having nightmares, you’re probably really stressed out. Analyze your dreams and try to find out what’s bothering you. If you’re shaky, eat more, take some iron pills, and get your blood tested. Even if you don’t have anemia, you’ll be relieved that you got checked out. Also keep cold and allergy medicine nearby, because you will get sick at least four times a year in a university setting.
  12. People are kind of like tennis matches (or whatever game you wish to insert here): you win some, you lose some. Don’t let it bother you so much, because that’s just the nature of the game.
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Sprichst Du Deutsch?

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Once upon a time, there was a lazy little fuck who bought some German-English dictionaries because she signed up for a study abroad program in Austria. Being a post-Fall human, she had a tragic flaw – she took forever to get around to accomplishing things she wasn’t getting graded for. Perhaps she procrastinated on learning German because English is a Germanic language – this girl was an English major, you see, and a damn good one at that. The truth is that this girl was either too lazy to get off the couch and watch Regular Show and Degrassi some other time, too busy stressing over her assignments for her journalism classes, or actually reading Paradise Lost and exercising for once. She was mostly on tumblr, though.

Obviously this girl is me. Is learning German hard? I don’t know if I’ll be very good at enunciating certain syllables harshly. I had a huge issue with that during my first few semesters of Persian class. I kind of sucked at rolling my tongue, which apparently occurs in the Middle East.
Enough about Farsi, though. I’ll be done with my language classes forever in four or five weeks unless I decide to take Old English since I’m a nut for roots. And do you know what will be a deciding factor in whether I take Old English? How my experience with learning and speaking German goes.
Now that I’m finally back on track, I can continue to worry about learning a little German, and whether my abilities will be any good in Austria and Germany if I get to go for a weekend.
Is German a hard language to learn? From my experience, I have a much easier time learning languages that share English’s alphabet. Spanish in elementary and high school was obviously a lot easier than Farsi in college. Plus there’s that whole “learning languages when you’re older is harder since your brain isn’t a sponge anymore” dynamic. But I’m smart, right? I’m pretty smart for a lazy person. I’m like a year ahead in English. Maybe I’ll actually crack one of these books open tonight even though the last time I did, I had a nightmare about being able to read Old English even though I knew more about it than anyone else in my AP English class, because my dream took place two years ago.
I’ll do it. The letters look funny in the Say It Right in GERMAN book, so at least that’ll amuse me.
And what a good call! I opened the book to the dessert section!