101 Introduction to Student Life

Here you are, a teenager freshly out of school, standing in the middle of a fairly big and modern campus, totally lost in your thoughts and having no idea what it’s going to be like. Excitement and anxiety become your best friends and make a perfect blend because the first days15134292_1844374555849313_617695100_n are so intense that your mood swings from homesickness and depression to euphoria in the blink of an eye. New names mix up in your head, in fact, you end up introducing yourself to the same person over and over since both of you are not sure which name is right. But overall, you will never forget those first days stepping into the new chapter of your life — college experience. Looking back on the last three months, I realize how fast everything is changing, from the little things to a general perception. But having summed it up, I decided to write a little guide on the introduction to the student life at LCC.

1. Diversity – LCC seems to be a tiny place but it fits so many cultures, languages and mentalities! If you think you will become proficient in English,I’m sorry to disappoint you, but instead, you will learn some Ukrainian,Russian, Georgian, Lithuanian and might even get a glimpse of Korean. Also spending time at the dorm kitchen becomes like attending culture fair because most of the students are making whatever they are used to eating at home, so don’t loose the chance to try new cuisines;)

2. Cooking – The first thing you will probably start missing the most is your mom’s food. No matter how great you are at cooking, after a few weeks of doing it, the enthusiasm will start fading away. But if you are not a fan of the long meal-preparing process, make sure to check out the cafeteria;) The hardest part starts when classes get harder and your day seems to have less than 24 hours, not leaving enough time for eating or sleeping. Try to eat normally, though. You might have heard about “Freshmen 15” (gaining 15 pounds during the first year), and trust me, this is not what you want. So, enjoy homemade food until you can and take some notes while your mom is making your favorite meal.

3. Grocery shopping – Probably, my biggest challenge was going to the store and buying what I actually need, not what I think I need. All the shops around LCC have a good choice of products, so it’s hard to resist a temptation to try something new and tasty. #sweettoothprobs What really prevents me from drifting away and buying unnecessary stuff is approximate planning of what I want to eat during a few days or a week and making a list of products.

4. Sharing your room – I know, lots of people share their bedroom with the siblings or family members, but here you are living with a completely new person. Not only you have to get to know each other’s interests and hobbies, but also adjust your behavior and habits to avoid conflicts. Some might be early birds, ready to conquer the world at 7 am, while others are still up at 3 am with the music on. It might seem okay now, but you cannot even imagine how much you will hate it by the end of the first semester. So, get to know each other’s schedules and find the common ground on some rules to live peacefully.

5. “Sunny” Klaipeda –  One of the most important things to be aware of is the weather in Klaipeda. If you live in a warm sunny place, say hi from me. Even though, we were lucky this summer to get some really nice days, the fall is not that generous with them. At least, there is not a lot of temptation to go out and neglect homework :D. I hope these points will help you get a taste of what studying at LCC is:)

-xoxo Yulia Rusyanovska

Endless Opportunities

Before coming to university, a lot of freshmen are already anticipating the classes and tough work without any chance to feel THAT smell of freedom. I cannot say about other universities, but here in LCC, I feel so overwhelmed with different options where to spend my free time. (And thanks to wise organization, you will have it 🙂
You can explore the city: go shopping or organize food-related tour, you can find numerous Instagram friendly places here in Klaipeda 🙂
LCC itself offers a lot of different activities that vary from the English club and to the basketball games!
Education here is not only in class, the main part of it waits for you outside of the classroom. Go, explore!

– Albina Golik

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.

“Fine”

Salutations, Republic!unnamed I was going to talk about the innovative method of contacting intelligent extra-terrestrial life by launching buckets of fried chicken into deep space, but frankly I’m not in the mood for serious scientific discussions.

This mood thing has been something of an issue, naturally for the end-of-semester season.

One of the questions you hear a lot from family members and non-university friends is “How was your week?” The usual reply is something to the effect of “fine”. What that means is that either you have no memory of the last seven days, or that you’d rather be talking to someone else. But this week, “fine” just won’t do…

Because this week has been the most depressing arrangement of misery I have experienced in my academic career. I’m not simply stressed, no… I can no longer afford such frivolous pleasures. I am done. The mere recollection of the last seven days gives me heartburn. This week has been so perfectly dreadful, that not even suicide seems like a sufficient solution. If tomorrow the press tells the world that there is an asteroid the size of Pluto inexorably headed for this cursed hapless ball of cosmic garbage, it would not only be a solemn testament to the existence of God, but also to that He is, in fact, of the merciful variety. For this would not be judgement, but an act of love; not murder, but euthanasia. We are not a victim but a patient, with an illness beyond cure and suffering beyond mitigation. And heaven on earth will reign only when the dead ground is silently precipitated with the ashes of the freshly incinerated living…

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<takes a deep breath> So erm… yeah… that mood.

But this abysmal emotional state has come about almost exclusively by virtue of my own choices. I’ve left everything till the last possible moment, and signed up for my presentations in a way that they all converge on the same week. And that’s because when it comes to college work I’m motivated only by the most powerful force in the universe – panic. I’m not one of the people who can sit over a book for 3-4 consecutive hours and actually study, three days before the test. I can’t do it. Well, I mean, I can, but I’ll have twelve nervous breakdowns along the way.

Unless I feel the impending apocalypse breathing down my neck, I will hopelessly procrastinate. And if I attempt a task in advance, I just end up wasting time daydreaming about doing all of the things I could be doing instead. Like for instance, examining the imperfections on the wall, or taking a five hour bath – far more exciting and important than 10-20% of my semester grade.

Unfortunately, these 3-4 hour study sessions are unavoidable, since that’s what’s needed to do well on the tests. And no amount of dividing it up into sections will change the fact that for the duration of the experience my face hole will be gushing expletives at everything I don’t immediately understand.

So those of you who feel the same way – congratulations on the ability to feel anything at this stage. That is an achievement in itself. And for those who are on the outside of the experience – you know how my week has been by my bloodshot eyes with bags under them, so don’t ask out of politeness. You know what would be more polite? Pizza. Speaking of which, donations in the form of coffee, green tea, dark chocolate  ̶c̶o̶c̶a̶i̶n̶e̶ and, of course, pizza are appreciated like never before.

Stay strong, Republic, this too shall pass and so will you!
Nik

Atostogos

Hello guys. I am Ivan from Bila Tserkva, Ukraine. I’m 17.4a

Now I am a freshman who lives in Klaipėda and this is the blog about it. Here we go.


Friday


I was done with my midterms. Fall break was almost here. Most of folks went home but I stayed here, on campus. Why? Well, for me it’s expensive to reach my home city, Bila Tserkva – about 80 EUR. And the roundtrip there lasts 1.5 days out of overall nine days of break I had. I decided to stay on campus this time and travel to home on winter break which lasts three weeks.  So, my lovely roommates cleaned up our crib (which looked quite good even before cleaning). It was a time for farewell, German guy Lukas said: “You can use a whole room”, Tadas just said “Davaj” before leaving; Jake told that he goes to Russia together with other study abroad students from United States (here at LCC we have plenty of those); finally, cool dude Jokūbas suggested me to make a party with mergos in the room. Wise words though.


The Break Itself


Finally, the room became empty. This is so exciting – I have plenty of time to relax from everything I have experienced during those insane two months. Since I’m an introvert, silence and emptiness made such a good mood for me.

Most of the time I was sleeping. I was also cooking masterpiece meals, walking, and just enjoying my life. I was listening to music on my loud headphones.

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Fun

Moreover, I attended some really cool events at Neumann dorm.

On Saturday, the very first day, I once walkedthrough empty windy streets of Klaipėda. Suddenly, one Ukrainian girl Alisiia from W202 pm’d me asking: “Are you free today at 8:30?”. “Sure”, I said. She answered: “Cool, we gonna play Mafia at lobby. Do you know anybody to invite?

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…and Alisiia’s sneakers!

Until 8:30 we managed to tear out to our event about 10 people. I really enjoyed awesome tea with cookies and sweets, the game was exciting as well! Our little Ukrainian community together with two girls who come from Moldova and Kyrgyzstan had really great fun, lots of laughs, and delicious coffee with cream supplied by Alisiia.

On Monday here was a movie night, I watched first ten minutes and went sleep to my room.

Tuesday

Yet another day I slept enough. At 16:00 there was a game night at our Community Life Director Alisha’s apartment in town but I didn’t want to go there that much.

This is how we cook

This is how we cook

At 15:45 I was cooking my next beautiful meal when my Albanian pal Elvisi came to the kitchen noticing awesome smell he felt. He told that there is a meeting regarding volunteering on Open Doors Day at 16:00 at the first floor. I thought “Yes, I should go there!” At the meeting we divided our duties, and I was expected to meet and guide our guests (prospective students from Lithuania and Latvia) next day.

I will tell more about this in my next most, so let me move on.

On Wednesday we played live Mafia and it was good but there were too many people (40!)

Next day at about 21:00 cool Latvian RA Jānis came to my room to bring cards for one more Live Mafia. He also noticed my Dynamo Kyiv fan scarf, and remembered Latvian ex-player of this team, Māris Verpakovskis. Such a pleasure.

The game with only twelve people was much better, walking with friends through empty dorm with this horrifying music expecting not to be ‘killed’ was great fun.

Friday: Halloween; horror movie night. Delicious pop-corn, great film as well – I loved it!

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Counter Strike is back as well

Sunday

Ukrainian friends Yurii and Maksym decided to play last time this break. Seven people were here. The game is simple: you write a word on sticky paper and put it on the forehead of somebody, someone does the same, and everybody is trying to guess what is written on their own paper. Chilling.

Finally, my roommates are back. Love them.

Extra

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Shevchenko in my room

Wish you peace and love,

Ivan from Bila Tserkva.

Time Management

 It is not an ordinary race when I come after my time-when I run the race to catch up with time, to submit my assignments, do my homework, and still find adequate time to hit the hay. As a freshmen, time management has proven to be quite a BIG DEAL! 

Like a ship struggling through fog I fought to open my eyes one cold and dreary unnamedmorning. My alarm turned out to be a foe this day. I was frustrated so I hit him pretty hard and left him almost knocking at death’s door. I was feeling tired before I even started the day. This happened frequently for what seemed to be three weeks or so. All this fatigue originated from the four letter-word “T-I-M-E.” I have found the adage that says time is money to be veritable. If today is Thursday 23 November 2014, that is the only Thursday 23 November 2014 that has and will ever exist. There will never exist another day like this. There will never be a Thursday 23 October 2014 again in all the centuries that lie ahead. There may be a Thursday 23 October 2015, 2016, 2017…, but never 2014 again. Therefore how we spend time is important.

Sometimes I feel so tired as if I had been working so hard all day, but it is rather shocking to come to think of it that I had just three classes in that particular day. I often complain that I just have a lot of work to do and that I am ever busy. I finish all my classes at 2:15 p.m. and I have the rest of the afternoon at loose ends. But what makes me feel tired, what keeps me busy? Certainly it is not that I have so much to do or that I am working really hard each and every day, but that it is time spent in vain. I am not very organized, that is the answer I gave myself. I am honest with myself. I am somehow a busybody. I seem to be busy all the time yet I do not benefit much from my busyness because my daily achievements sometimes do not match with the pain that I feel even in my sweet dreams. This was a battle that needed me to fight so hard in order to keep on floating above the studies. If I give up then it becomes obvious that I will drown and lose track of my time and fail to catch up with my lectures and homework. I was more focused on my studies to an extent of having no time for even the social life that comes together with college life. After my first class I felt like I had been in another class before my first class. In all this I ended up depriving myself adequate sleep. In my first three weeks I thought college was not a conducive milieu for normal living. I thought my four years at LCC will be like some sort of custody. During this struggle to keep up with time, I learned that there was a class that exists just to make sure that students do not regret coming to university. Looking at all the departments at LCC I came to a realization that staff members know that feeling fatigued easily especially in the first year is a common possibility so they fashioned a class and a department to take care of just that. Yay! I am so glad that we have such a class as First Year Seminar and the Students Success Center department. First year seminar and the Students Success Center gave me some hints to the right trail that I might consider following. This included how I study, how I take notes, how and when I revise my notes, who I hang out with, and most of all, how I spend my time. During my first three weeks, I wasted a lot of time thinking that I was actually wisely spending my time. One tip from the Students Success Center that I will never forget is to know beforehand how much free time I have and how I would spend that time. In other words this means as a freshmen it is critically important that I do not do things spontaneously but rather that I have every day of the week in some sort of schedule. Goal CardThis is a really effective way of reducing time wasters and helps cultivate a culture of productivity. If any is in doubt of this this way of spending time, he or she should try this for a minimum time of a week and circumspectly note the similarities and differences in the achievements and how much tired one feels at the end of each day. “Time is money.” This is a trustworthy statement that deserves full acceptance. How we spend our time brings either fatigue or joy at the end of each day. It was not until I visited the Student’s Success Center that I was put wise on how to spend time wisely. Of course I wasn’t taught how to spend every minute, but at least I was given some advice on what is most important and what is trivial and it was all for me to arrange my daily routines. I calculated all the free hours that I have each day and noted that I had a big deal of free time.amagoalcard How I was using that free time is still not clear but for certain I know it was time being wasted because no profit sprouted from all those drifting hours. Since then, I became conscious that it matters how I use my time. It is vitally important for me to understand how I spend my time. I cannot determine what got me tired if I do not know what has been swallowing my time. In advising one who is still struggling with time management I would say: “It also helps to have a goal card that contains all your classes and daily activities. All you need is to follow-it-through.
Time flies when we are having fun, so do not put for later what you can do now. Procrastination is the thief of time. Before you even realize it will be the end of the day and you still need to sleep. Do not count each day but rather make each day count by how you spend each hour. Time is money and should therefore be spent with due regard.”

‘Let’s bring more Albanians to LCC’ mission

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Greeting from Frankfurt airport, gate F02 my friends. On this beautiful Sunday, I officially declare Fall Break closed. Fall Break, in case you are not familiar with the term, is a one week relaxing time after the midterms or at least is supposed to be. For me, it turned out quite different. I travelled to Albania as part of the recruitment team and spent the week in a tour around Albania to represent the university to high school students. LCC offered me this opportunity even though I’ve been here only for two months. Below a brief summary of my days there:

Day 1 was a success. Students find LCC extremely attracting. As I was describing student life today for some students, I realized I had grown to love LCC in a very short time. I have had a good two days since I came in terms of food. I had missed eating something other than scrambled eggs. These are the drawbacks of going to university without having stepped to the kitchen before for reasons other than eating. A friendly note: Take precautions!

Day 2 was dedicated to Lezha, my home city. Three presentations took place in three different schools, including the Public High School of Lezha. Later, we had lunch with the principals of the schools we were invited by and talked about the possibility of future collaboration and the Albanian educational system (Like a boss!). I met with friends on the afternoon and they wanted to know how was I doing. The reply does not take long. “It is simply AMAZING”- I say. Once I received this comment: “If you are satisfied, it should be a good place for real.” Peers in my city take my word for it. With time, we’ll build the same relationship. 😉

Day 3 was another marvelous day. We had to administer a three-hour TOEFL test, but the feeling of triumph that we had gathered 25 students in two days of presentation exceeded our fatigue. We even made it to the local TV, where we talked about LCC and its mission on the Eastern World. Gytis says: “It never stops here in Albania.” Another highlight of the day was the “byrek” my aunt cooked for me. If you happen to come to LCC next year, find me, I’ll make you try it (I will probably know how to cook by then).

Day 4 found us in the capital city. Regardless of my attempts to make the departing time 7:30, the final decision was 6:50 because of the traffic. Don’t worry however, you will get much more sleep during your regular classes week. After having finished three presentations, Gytis suggested to have a traditional lunch, so our driver sent us to this restaurant that serves “jufka with chicken birds”. (Don’t count on me for this recipe) The afternoon was reserved to coffee chats with some good friends of mine. It feels so well to be back in the city around people I know. LCC won though!

Day 5 came without noticing it and we were in Shkodra. Today, a senior class of at least 50 people heard about LCC. The topics Gytis and I focus the most are Student Life and financial aid, both alien concepts for the Albanian youth and Eastern culture in general. On the topic financial aid, we often say that “There exist some good people in this world, mainly coming from North America, who care about the future of Eastern Europe youth and education in general and give money for that purpose”. Student Life is something I am usually talking about and I like to put it this way: “I believe that LCC is truly special in terms of student life and I consider myself lucky for being able to live with my classmates. By the end of four years you will have not only made friends for life, but also shaped a mind free of prejudice and a multicultural empathetic personality.”

As I give you something to ponder about, I wish a very successful and productive week for all of you.

Waiting forward to next time.
XOXO
Your Albanian Acquaintance in LCC
Arilda