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.

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Fashion..ish

Hello, Republic! Nik here. Today I’m going to teach you how to cook with napalm! (Absolutely not!)unnamed

One of my co-bloggers, Veriko, has recently revealed to me that there is such a thing as campus fashion. I feel compelled to weigh in on the subject of fashion, since I have absolutely no competence to be talking about it. Logic. Yay.

Few things about me when it comes to clothes:

I’m a man of simple taste. I like black, with pockets, spacious, abrasion-and-weather-resistant. In other words: work wear. I have no desire to baby a pair of white trousers, fretting about them staining. Let Kanye do that.

I hate shopping. Its a chore for me, to go into a store and browse the hideously overpriced selection of things that are not black. Trying to convince myself that I want or need them. I don’t. I’d much rather purchase everything I need on the Internet.

I wouldn’t know a fashionable item if it hit me in the face with a Versace spanner.

Marketing people would have us believe that clothes are a medium of self-expression. Perhaps… The way I see it, fashion is a visual language, and some are quite eloquent and use it to skilfully convey a mood, an attitude towards life, an allegiance to a sub-culture. But not everyone speaks that language. I envy people who can purposefully communicate that way. The only thing I can purposefully communicate through clothing is that I own pants.

And what I’ve noticed is that there is a great degree of difference in the way people shop, depending on whether they speak fashion.

When I do go shopping, my process is painfully simple: I think of what I need to buy, in what quantity and for what purpose. Then identify a place that sells it. On location, browse the aisles and pick something that looks fairly decent. Begin analysis: Does it fit me? Does it fit my budget? Does it have pockets? Is it black? (If I’m feeling particularly festive that morning – dark grey). If all of the above are a “yes”, splash some money at the cashier and expeditiously exit the premises.

That pretty much settles the matter.
Fashionable people can seldom follow this method and this goes especially for women. Because men go into a store to buy a thing; women go into a store to buy the thing. Men in general just buy stuff to wear; women make strategic additions to their wardrobe. A woman’s wardrobe is a carefully selected collection of rare exhibits that co-exist in perfect harmony, the fragile balance of which must be maintained with mathematical precision. Wizardry is what that is.

But lets get back to campus. Winter is coming and with it – exams. Many people are polishing up their final projects, trying to raise their GPA and contemplating important questions like “Why God, why? Why me?” and “I wonder if I can still eat this?” So set your priorities straight and realize that the only person that really cares is you. Take care of yourself, invest in comfort (wear UGGs if you wish to summon the wrath of Veriko), and think of other people’s opinions only if you really have the time for it. High heels don’t help balance the accounts.

Stay safe, Republic. May the pizza be with you.
Nik

Campus Life

Hello, Republic! I’m Nik, your local demolitions expert (not really). I hope life is 10439579_10203055394685659_17d39955057_nglorious upon the hallowed grounds of our proud campus!

I know all of that sounds quite grandiose and pretentious, but it does pertain to the point I want to make about campus life.

I live off campus, about a 20 minute bus ride away. Initially, I was glad to not have to live on campus. Not because I thought that campus life would be terrible, but because home life is just so comfortable. I live with my grandmother, so I’m totally cared for and catered to, spoiled to the bone. Why would I want to complicate my life with laundry and cooking and washing the dishes and talking to people in the morning? I’m not a morning person. In fact, I’m not a person in the morning, I’m a walking explosive device waiting for someone to detonate me by asking a question, which is a really dumb way to die. So, at first, I considered myself lucky to be on the outside of all of that nonsense.

However, I’m slowly beginning to realize that I might be missing out on something. That its these little challenges of life that actually help bring people together. When visiting the resident’s halls, I picked up on the sense of comradery that permeates the place. While its naive to assume that everyone gets along perfectly with everyone else, all residents seem to understand that they’re all in the same boat. Its quite apt to call people here “the student body”, because it feels to me like a singular organism; a self-regulating ecosystem limited to a singular area and bound by a singular purpose. I got the sense that people here live by their own unwritten code.

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Outside definitions of success and status completely lose relevance once the card-key is swiped at the entrance.

Money is not really the currency here. Because money is something students only hear about in stories they’re told about life after graduation. An elusive substance that is made by magical bank pixies and guarded by white-collar dragons. Students who claim to have seen cash are considered crazy.

There are certain other commodities that are highly valued aboard HMS Republic, such as food, coffee, cigarettes and quality lecture notes. The first three will allow you to cement friendships, the last one will let you divide and conquer.

Status here does not depend on the possession of material things (bar the aforementioned commodities). People walk around wearing bath robes, seeking caffeination the way zombies seek the living. No-one gives a f…fluffy duckling about what you own. You will be judged on the basis of how easy you are to live with and what you bring to the table. Flash the latest iPhone and no one will blink an eye. Make a decent omelette, and your name will be the stuff of legends.

All in all, I’ve come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t mind being part of this ecosystem. That it would somehow be more fun than the blissful comfort I enjoy at present, provided people keep a safe distance away from me until at least 8am. I might serve my next academic term among the crew of HMS Republic. Or perhaps I should get a car?

Stay safe, Republic! Talk to you Later.
Nik