2016 Resolutions Update - September 30

Posted: September 30, 2016

One month done, and boy, am I glad to be back. I've tried my best to jump right into things, and because of that, September has been a very busy month for me. During September, I spent the first week volunteering during O-Week as a member of Laurier's Emergency Response Team (ERT), I joined Laurier's Students Offering Support (SOS) Club as an Economics Tutor, and I've already submitted about 30 job applications as part of my search for a co-op placement for the Winter term. Oh, and I've had classes!

Let's jump into the September update for my 2016 resolutions.

1. Start learning Italian - (300 day streak on DuoLingo)
At this point, I'm starting to realize the differences between German and Italian. Specifically, I think the main reason I've been having trouble retaining the words in Italian is due to its lack of similarity with English. While I have still been doing my DuoLingo daily - I reached a 200 day streak about halfway through the month - I've also started to spend more time using Anki, a flashcard app I have on my phone, to help with the vocabulary retention.

Looking ahead, there are 3 months left in 2016. There is absolutely no way that I will be able to get my Italian to the point I had hoped it would be at when 2016 draws to a close. That being said, I will still have been able to make valuable progress and will be much better than where I was at the start of the year.

2. Keep at least a 10.5 GPA across all courses
One of the biggest things that I wanted to achieve this month was starting off strong, and I think that I've been able to do that. I have been able to work a few weeks ahead in a few of my courses, and I'm incredibly glad that I was able to do this. I completely underestimated the amount of time I would need to spend applying for co-op jobs - every free moment I've had over these past two weeks has been spent writing individualized cover letters. There haven't really been any midterms or assignments this month, so I'll need to wait until next month to see if things are going as anticipated.

3. Write an ebook
I think it's about time I be realistic here. Back in January I had this idea to expand my horizons and gain experience writing. My plan was to pick a topic, learn all about it, and then write a short book. Unlike my other three goals, I've made essentially zero progress on this one. I don't know why exactly I haven't been motivated to work on this, but if I had to guess, I would say it's because I don't have a clear vision of what I would actually gain by completing this. One of the main reasons that I think I've been so motivated to learn both German and Italian is because I'm able to picture myself in, say, 10 years from now, and I'm enamored by the thought of being able to communicate with people in multiple different languages. Unfortunately, I don't have any sort of underlying reason to complete this goal, other than it being something I thought of back in January. Because of that, I'm going to officially abandon this goal. I still like the premise, but I just don't see myself completing this any time soon.

4. Spend semesters 2 & 3 at university getting more involved with everything Laurier offers

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I've really grabbed the bull by the horns this semester. It was a great experience to volunteer during Orientation Week, both to help all of the new Laurier students but also to get to know some of the members on ERT. In addition to ERT, I also applied for and was offered a position as a tutor for first-year economics with Students Offering Support. As a tutor, I co-teach sessions before midterms and exams, essentially covering all of the material that the students will be tested on.

I'm excited for both of these volunteer opportunities, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the semester brings with it. Although both the Emergency Response Team and Students Offering Support have completely different focuses, I think I'm going to have a great time with both of them.

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