Survival Guide: How to Life


I know I have not written anything for a noticeable amount of time but I had my reasons and I hope you did not judge me too much for it. I have been thinking about an issue for a while and since I feel like I found a solution for it I thought I would share. This is basically a story about me finding a power to rationalize and prioritize some of the things that I was doing in my life that were causing me anxiety and bunch of other issues. Without further adieu, let’s begin. 

Us, students, a12002925_10204902203614728_2848630196565968695_nre pretty magnificent. We are expected to be adults, but at the same time we are not allowed to do many things because we are financially or physically depended on our par
ents or just people who have higher authority. And our strive for this power can be immense sometimes, at a point when we do so many things together to make ourselves feel important that we just end up damaging ourselves greatly. At the end of the day we are just sitting somewhere in the corner, like an empty shell filled with anxiety and hatred. And trust me I know this because this was me last semester.

I started of second year of my university career very motivated. I wanted to grow as a person, fight my weaknesses and get over some of the insecurities by stepping into some of the things that made me feel uncomfortable. Because that was the best way I knew how to do it. I wanted to impress people, feel important. So I just ended up doing probably 5 or 6 things at once that were equally time-consuming and required a lot of physical and mental energy from me. In the beginning  it was all great, running from one meeting to another, attending 5 events a week, leaving some of them halfway through to get to another one, basically having no weekends because they always ended up being booked…sounds chaotic, right? Well, it was. And I thought I was happy. All the people around me seemed impressed, I got compliments over my achievements. But then I started wondering, is this what I truly wanted? Because man I was exhausted! I constantly felt sick, I got dark circles under my eyes, my body felt like it was shutting down and overall feeling was not as satisfying as I thought it would be. Moreover, it is physically impossible to do so many equally important things and be equally productive in all of them. We are only humans.

I started to look at things differently after a time management meeting we had about a couple of months ago. There a speaker talked about her own example of struggling with time management in her life before and what kind  of struggles she was going through at that time. And it was like a slap in the face for me. I needed to hear this from another person, definitely. Doing exhausting amount of things to make yourself important does not make you important! It makes you look like a person who is not efficient in anything, because your supervisor of that one thing does not care that you are tired because you did 10 things before getting to that meeting.

I used winter break to kind of think through everything and decide what I wanted to do with my life. It is a great idea to write down all the tasks you are dealing with, list them with the level of importance to you and cross out couple of them. This will help you get rid of some of the stress in your life and also concentrate on things that matter to you better. Yes, it is hard, but it is for the greater good. I ended up leaving 3 out of 6 tasks in my life and it did feel irresponsible to give up some of them, although it was not irresponsible at all, but it gave me a lot of mental and physical freedom. Now I’m just left with some things that I love doing and I am efficient enough in them to truly feel important.

What I was trying to say is, don’t exhaust yourself with tasks that you can not withheld. We are students, we deal with things that we simply didn’t have to face before and many things add up to one huge ball of stress that occasionally hits us in the face. Therefore better keep healthy, concentrate on things that you enjoy and try to impress yourself before you impress others.

You’ve got this, bae!

Veko.

Salutations Republic!

12248738_498855123625703_1970742166_nIt’s been a while since we last spoke, and I left you on a somewhat apocalyptic note. The situation really wasn’t worth the drama, because of course we all survived and the grades were fine and much pizza was had afterwards. There was much learned from that experience, and this knowledge will lay at the foundation of this post. Not so much a survival guide, just observations, myths and suggestions specific to the life in our glorious republic.

  1. Time Management – is not a thing. People with schedules scare me, because in my world schedules are lies we tell ourselves. We feel confident and inspired at first, but those naïve illusions about our ability to make adult decisions inevitably get run over and crushed by the procrastination train. True time management is knowing when you are most productive. For me it’s no earlier than 10pm, which isn’t at all convenient, but I make it work by finding ways to catch up on sleep during the day. Speaking of which…
  1. Sleep – DO IT! All-nighters will happen, and that’s fine. You know what isn’t fine? Every-nighters! You will soldier through for a while, but remember that you’re only human, which means you will not rise past the third day. Remember my last post? Yeah, didn’t sleep well at all that week. It’s hard not to REM through an 8:30 class as it is, and you want to do it on two hours of sleep? Forget it. Of course, there are people who think that they can cancel the effects of sleep deprivation with…
  1. Coffee – is not your friend. During my freshman year I regarded coffee as fuel. It isn’t. It’s an anaesthetic that delays the consequences of your imprudence. Listen, I know how it goes. The scenario is all too familiar to me: You sit all day watching the procrastination train bulldozing through town, followed by the decimation of hurricane Panic, which can only be mitigated through all-nighter protocol coming into effect for the 17th time this semester. And you think to yourself “Oh! You know what will make it all go away? A cup of coffee! I’ll be fine!” Haha. Hahaha. No. You’ll feel like a soggy cheeseburger that has the ill-fortune of being awake.
  1. Textbooks – are read only by the chosen ones, the ones who are skilled in the art of textbook reading. Personally, unless I’m reading something I actually like, a textbook is wasting my time. Granted, some authors really do make it their job to include only the essential information, however, I feel those are a dying breed. So many textbook authors like to add a vapid introduction, a story, some dad jokes, maybe a poorly drawn cartoon, and only then after thoroughly insulting your intelligence do they finally arrive at the point. The author might be delusional, but you and I know it’s a not a novel, so look for italics, bolded text, headings, definitions. But for the love of chicken enchiladas don’t read the whole thing! If the author is a total noob and didn’t bother to make their work readable, then don’t bother. It isn’t anything some Googling can’t fix.
  1. And finally and most importantly ATTEND!!! I cannot. Stress this. Enough. In LCC coming to class is essential. You can afford to not do homework every once in a while, but you cannot afford to skip class. The thought “I should skip class because I’m tired” is the spawn of Satan! A lot of people revise the day before the exam, and do well, but they revise what they were taught in class, not learn everything from scratch! In addition, some exams questions are specifically designed to test how attentive you were in class. It doesn’t matter how much material the teacher makes available online, every class will always have “exclusive content”. Even if you’re a mess wearing crocs, a panda onesie and your signature “don’t talk to me” face
    – be there.

Heed these words of caution and you shall emerge victorious on the other side of the academic year. This is not a comprehensive list and I’ll be sure to add anything else I may come up in the future. May Goliath the LCC printer never fail you!

Nik

First Impression Experience

Talking about LCC experience I can say that even from the first semester I feel myself inspired by all things that happened to me. Have patience I’m going to talk you about beautiful things that might happen with you if one day I’ll choose LCC University to study or maybe it has already happened with you so you are lucky person.

During the road to Lit12204682_795683310542314_695519146_nhuania I felt that I come to the new step to my life. I knew that university life is that thing that is complicated to get used to, but I was prepared for this cause I know that when it is hard for you, only than you are accepted to get knowledge and understand all aspects of life, only by getting out of your comfort zone.
Arriving to the LCC I was really impressed by beautiful nature: by sea, forest with adorable pine trees, cycle paths in the forest and people that are always involved in sport: cycling, roller skating and running. When school life started, I was plunged in studying and books. I felt that studying in the university gives me not only knowledge but also great experience of the daily life. I met a lot of new friends that later were my support. As I was far away from home I felt remoteness from my parents, but I tried my best to adapt to independent living. For me, as for every other person is important to find right friends, that fit to your soul and that will give you support not worse that your parents give you whenever you need it. The more you devote your life to friends the more they thank when your difficult moments come. During the first semester I got used to cooking along and to living with four person in the common room. It is hard, but these things make you part of the community: when you ask for help or propose your help to somebody, when first you arguing and then you recognize you love to your roommates. And this life become your second home, where you want to return every time. Also I realized that I shouldn’t forget about studying as it is more interesting to get know more and more and discuss it with your friends in comparison to stay on the same stage and go with the flow as the dead fish. So as the university studying is not anymore as easy as high school study, it is difficult to keep place with important events. I understood that to do important things in time it is important manage it. This knowledge prompted my friends that have already gone thought it. So one more lesson that I carried out during the first semester studying is that you should never hesitate to ask people question or advice.  Also there is always time for things in your life that you have decided to be important, as today is the best time to do our best so in the future our knowledge will work for us. Today is the best day to develop ourselves as we are young, we have a lot of energy and time in comparison with that we will have in future lives. So our future depends only on us and our treatment to all things that happen. But it go without saying that LCC University gives us a lot knowledge, experience, and the way we may perceive information that is given for us, so that in future we can treat all things that happen in the right way.

Anatomy of an ALLNIGHTER

Hello you beautiful people! 
At least in my university the mid-terms are approaching, therefore I will be egocentric enough to assume that the same is happening in any other facility. And you guys know what mid-t11005543_10203731216380779_1270526896_nerms mean: basically this is time when you try to convince yourself that you will get enough on a test to end up getting an A in class. And we also know that this is clear bull…crap. But as far as we believe in this hypothesis, we will do anything to do well on tests (at least try).

But don’t forget that we are slightly irresponsible college students, who will delay work until the last minute and then actually get it done under extremely stressful circumstances. One of those circumstances is the ALLNIGHTER, that scary, filthy motherlover. So as far as I’m one of the most experienced people in that field, I would like to break it down into stages. Ehem, here we go loves.

1. The denial stage.

This is when it is about 11:00 pm and you’re still not even considering to start writing a 7 page essay that is due until next morning. And of course you think it’s a piece of cake and you can do it in like an hour or so, go to sleep and then go to 8:30 am class (for which you’re actually writing a paper). Then you finally get yourself to open up your laptop or computer or I don’t know…manuscript. Then you read the assignment and this leads us to the next stage.

2. The PANIC stage.

You realize that the assignment is faaaar from a piece of cake. It’s more like one of those vitamin jellys we were forced to eat when we were kids. It is yellow, gross, smells weird and tastes even worse than expected. So now you’re panicking, because it is already 12:00 am and you know for sure that this essay will take at least 3 hours to write. AT LEAST 3. You start analising the requirements for the assignment and start thinking about the outline. But then 9gag or YouTube happens and we get to then next stage.

3. The agreement stage.10719462_10203731216180774_835525598_n

So now it is 2:00 am and you are mentally okay with the idea that you will definitely need to pull an allnighter. You get yourself some coffee and snickers or whatever you like and get ready to write your essay. At this point you already realize how much you effed up and how bad of an idea this was. And what the heck are you doing with your life anyways? ===> next stage yo!

4. The meltdown/confidence boost stage.

At this point you are half-way through your assignment or your studies and you are extremely tired. You basically start to hate everything and consider dropping out of university to become a stripper. But then you realize you don’t have a body good enough for that so you lay on the floor sobbing until your roommate wakes up and tells you to get your sh..irts together. Then you make yourself one more cup of coffee and get back to work.

5. The false promise stage. 

This is when you get done with your assignment at around 6:30 in the morning and sit there with a blank face with your brain shut off. You start making promises to yourself that you will never do this again. But we all know this is far from truth. Then you start thinking that you still have 1,5 hours till your class so you could take a nap or do something. In this case, you either end up sleeping through every other class including the one you stayed up writing a paper for, or you just stay up watching The Hunger Games and go straight to classes. I have done both, to be honest, and none of them are the best decisions I’ve made in my glorious life.

And the fact that it is 11:00 pm and I have not done anything other than writing this post determines that one allnighter might happen tonight, you never know. Hope you enjoyed reading this and found it somehow relatable.

Have a great day! (or an allnighter)

XX,

Veriko.

Can I have a pencil?

Hello fellow students and basically everyone! (I am not discriminating). I have not blogged in a while because of reasons, but now I am back healthy and motivated. I had an honor to attend the Lit Expo in Vilnius for three days. It is an education fair with a lot of international and local universities trying to inform prosper students about the academics and opportunities. And this was my job from LCC perspective also, which of course I did. But from my point of view I was studying the people I saw there, and let me tell ya, I met some interesting individuals there. I will try to break down the education fair in three days Okay lets start. 

We left LCC campus at 6 o’clock in the m10897924_873242772697608_9043427062356671446_norning on 5th of February, which meant that we would get to the Lit Expo just around the right time. The fair opened at 10 am and although it was Thursday, still a lot of people showed up. Out stand looked like the lobby of LCC, which was very comforting and welcoming not only for us, but also for people coming over. (I mean, who would not want to hang out on comfortable couches?). We had all the brochures spread out on the tables in case people were interested in details and also some pencils or pens hanging around to fill in the contact information. So basically we were all ready to go. 11007708_10203654143414003_1725578105_n

I have been going to educational fairs almost my whole entire life, because I found them interesting. But I never really appreciated how much work people put in them and how exhausting they are. But one of the challenging part is the weirdness of some people that come up to the stand. There are some of them here:

  1. The pencil collector – this person does not really care about what you’re saying. They just want you for your pencils! They will listen to you, love you, take you out on a date only if you give them that darn pencil. You are standing there, explaining all the smallest details about your university for half an hour non-stop and in the end they are like “Umm, can I have a pencil?”. I have no words to describe my emotions now.
  2. The brochure lover – basically you are standing there, waiting for someone to appear and they do. You smile at them, say “Laba diena!” and ask them if they are interested very politely. Then they just grab a brochure and tell you they are not interested. This does not make sense friend. Are you lost?
  3. The competitor university – these ones are the funniest. These people just come up to you, trying to hide traces of their identity and ask you questions secretly. Like, I still see your logo on your collar. Why would you hide it? It is not a shame to get known to other universities. Staph that.
  4. The Mimes – they just…annoy you. No words on this. 10979338_10203654143494005_638287286_n
  5. The couch surfers – these guys just love hanging out with you. And you should be happy about this. Although you have like 10 people to talk to and are stressing out. And this all happens while some random dude comes and sits on your couch. You would assume that he is interested and start talking to him and then he’s like “No, I’m just tired”. Well, does LCC stand look like a resort? Because it’s not. Go get your darn couch, that’s rude.

Well yeah, these are the types of people I had opportunity to interact with. On the third day my mouth was not pronouncing words such as “International”, “business administration” or “toefl”, and most likely I talked about our campus in my sleep too. But it was a lot of fun. We recruited more people than last year, which is amazing! (Heads up yo!). I made new friends from LCC had a chance to get to know them.

I am thankful for this opportunity and I think everyone should try this experience at least once. Mostly to realize how much of a hard work it is and stop stealing the pencils without any purpose.

Love you guys!

Yours,

Veronica.

“Americans… Can’t leave with them, can’t leave without them”

I happen to have this crazy American roommate named Shayna this semester.

10942736_400257143475404_3653629398316316039_nIt all started the night I came back on campus. I knew we were going to be good friends since the moment I saw her willingness to help me out with the lock problem. She was trying just as hard as Dorisa (my best friend) to open up the lock (If you have read my previous blog, you know what I am talking about); she was watching tutorials on Youtube and even called her friend, Drew, to aid us with the bobby pins’ procedure. Next morning, I wake up and find a package of gummies, chocolate and a note saying “I hope you are feeling more relaxed and that this day turns out better.”

10896915_400243196810132_3849083988378324409_nAnd then she promised to cook something American for me, so another day she made, along with Drew and Kaitlyn, guakemoli and tortillas for dinner- two of the best dishes I’ve tried so far. Later, we went bowling at IKI and laughed so much looking at each other’s lame shots and commenting on them.

Shayna is generous and funny, and kind; well, that’s an arguable point considering how much she picks on me. Sometimes I feel as if I am Lilo from “Lilo and Stich” and she is the big sister. “Get this book out of your hands”, “Stop reading you crazy Albanian”, “I think I’m allergic to you, I can smell Arilda from the kitchen”, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to put up with you for an entire semester” — and then she turns of the light when I am studying, throws her socks at me, messes with my hair, bullies me on social networks, pushes and scares me at unexpected moments: when I’m coming to my room after class or when I am cooking in the kitchen, but I get to revenge on her sometimes too.

“Americans… Can’t leave with them, can’t leave without them”- says she. Would not have said it better myself.

But when the lights are turned off, we spend the last minutes before falling to sleep on having conversations about life, future and faith and Shayna switches roles from a mean bully to a wise mentor. I especially appreciated that during the first week when homesickness is felt more.

Overall, she brings the right dose of energy and keeps the joyfulness at a steady level in a room where one of the two is going through an ‘up to the neck’ semester with reading and studying.

If you are reading this, I know you are reading this.. Please stay in Poland forever! The room is so much quieter and I got to have a study retreat this weekend.

I am kidding; get back to where you belong. The place looks empty.

XOXO

Arilda

Your Albanian Acquaintance in LCC

Sacrifices you have to go through to come to LCC

Now, you might expect me to talk about my first week of spring semester and I will share some episodes from it too (because it relates to my point), but today I thought it was about time to introduce you a guy that has recently entered my life.

Have you heard about the guy who lives in Neumann, 5-th west? Yes, I am talking about Bad Luck. We have been good friend since I can’t remember — even before I came to LCC — but we became especially close this trip as I was coming from Albania. Although that is supposed to be private, I wanted to share it with you only.

10407360_397359433765175_3384030875323665160_nI arrived at Tirana’s airport around 7 o clock. 5 minutes after I had checked in, airport ‘Siri’ announces “The passenger with last name Lleshi is asked to come to our offices.” What in the world have I done? I am a model citizen. This has never happened before. Did somebody intentionally put guns or drugs or God knows what, in my luggage? I go there and a woman starts opening my luggage. With heart in my hand, she finishes the procedure and says it’s only a routine check that happens to two luggages from the whole pile. Oh great! Thank you for the heart attack.

And then the moment of “do I wanna leave, do I have to go”. But… my mom cooks so well and I will miss her terribly and she is the person I love the most in the entire world. Never mind, I’m gonna survive. LCC waits for me!

15 minutes later I was in the plane to Turkey; no tears, if that’s what you were thinking, ‘Cause Big Girls Don’t Cry. As we were landing, the airplane started dancing salca or samba (not sure), something I had never experienced before (that I know). Shaking heavily up and down, I started fearing for my own life. I suspect the pilot must have had some kind of hangover. But yes, you figured it out correctly: I survived! — and no, I am not connecting through heaven wi-fi.

10419034_397359377098514_1875257751429078898_nTolou, had to go through a 12 hours torture in the airport of Turkey. Nobody tells you that for transfer waiting of more than 10 hours, you should be very politely accompanied and then picked up from a hotel by the company. That was something that I found out later — to my fortune– because doctors recommend a spinal cord pain and a sleepless night once in a while. P.S: I hope I am saving an innocent soul at least for future travels.

Morning came, and the screen finally showed our gate. We go there (was travelling with a bunch of friends), but the TV there said in large capitals “TOULOUSE”. I check with the screen again; the gate had not changed. Later, we saw that our flight was delayed by 30 minutes, so I thought there’s no rush. We got somehow lost in a conversation and when I go to check again, our gate had changed and a remark GO TO THE GATE was strong enough of an impetus to run for our flight. 304 was considerably far from the initial 501; precisely, on the other side of the airport. Once we were middle way, the remark changed to a red “LAST CALL”. Two words: RUN FASTER!

10917870_397359410431844_3428808299302296712_nWe made it to the right plane after all. To Vilnius we go! Welcome to Lithuaniaa, welcome to Lithuaniaaaa! That’s when I realized I didn’t have my scarf with me. It was not only a beautiful and “the right” scarf for cold climates, but also a precious gift. And it’s like every time I lose something, I turn so sad, because I realize how forgetful and careless I am and there’s nothing I can do to change it. That is something that will die with me. I had to add this feeling to my already messy mind. Moving on…

Our luggages take a lifetime to come, only to go then through another check that finds out that we have brought food products that cannot be transported from non-EU countries. My heart was crying as all that food was thrown to trash. Think about the kids in Africa, think about people who don’t like Lithuanian foods, or cannot even find similar cheese to the one in their home countries. But I just observed meanwhile.

Okay, so what now?

I had to wait about two more hours for a bus that goes to Klaipeda and then experience another exhausting four hour drive to come to LCC and find my wardrobe locked by a key that I had left home. I gained access to my drawer only two days later, when the maintenance guy came to saw it.

1907933_397359500431835_7587963206454591438_nMy alarm is either not working this week or I am so tired and sleepless that I can’t hear it. I woke up at 8:40 when I had an 8:30 class. I had four classes the other day, so I decided to follow a sweet pattern. Class, sleep, class, sleep, class, sleep, class! I had to break through the wind and rain for the last class, when on my way I realize that I don’t know the room number of that class. I go in finally, and find only five people in the room. As we sit there, watching the walls (new faces in the class), someone jumps “Oh my God, I forgot to tell you that the teacher said she won’t be able to come today, so class is cancelled!” Oooo that’s so sweet of you, to remember that small insignificant fact only minutes later.😛 But awesome, sleep was calling me.

Difficult to find the moral this week, because I’m still looking for the cause of all this misfortune. Was it because I started the trip with a sad mood or just Bad Luck, the cute guy from Neumann, is getting more into me?

I only hope I don’t have such experiences anymore and I am glad I’m back at LCC after all.

Missed you my friends

XOXO

Arilda

Your Albanian Acquaintance in LCC