A First Day of School on The Other Side of The World (I tested the effectiveness of WikiHow's Advice)

August 31, 2017

 

Hellooo, it has been a while since I updated. For those of you who did not read my last post (Wish Bones, Rabbit Feet & Four Leaf Clovers) I have moved from Singapore, my home of 17 years, to LA for college.

I have finished my orientation week and I am in the middle of my first week of classes.

 

SoI was originally planning to just write a regular post, updating you guys on the events and happenings that I had since I last wrote.

 

But then I thought, why would any of you be interested in what happened in the life of me, a girl you literally don't know. 

 

So this blog update has taken a turn,

Rather than a "Day in my Life" I will be transforming it into a "I took out WikiHow's advice on how to start off my school semester. Does it work?"

 

WikiHow's How to Survive The First Day of School consisted of 3 Categories, each being made up of 3-5 parts. (Disclaimer, I ruled out some categories and points that did not apply to a college student.)

 
Category 1: Preparation
  1. Plan ahead. 

    • Get your schedule before the first day of school, this saves you from getting lost. Look over it a few times before the first day of school, or visit the school and take a look around.

  2. Get new clothes or borrow clothes. It'll probably make you feel more confident if you're not wearing the same clothes as last year.

  3. Get ready the night before. Plan out what you're going to wear and what you will need for class. Also, put out any makeup, accessories, or any hair products you'll be using.

  4. Make sure to have money in your wallet. Have sufficient change for last-minute needs, snacks, a cab home in an emergency.

  5. Get a nice, long sleep. There's nothing worse than looking terrible on the first day of school. If you tend to oversleep, set an alarm on your phone, iPod, or alarm clock to wake you up on time.

Sooo... you know how sometimes you wake up 15 minutes before your alarm rings making you want to give up on life?

 

That happened to me, times 20. 

 

I had the privilege of experiencing extreme jet lag along with excitement fuelled anticipation for the events coming the following morning. This combination had me out of bed 5 hours before my alarm was scheduled to wake me up. 

 

This judges me FAILED for pointer number 5. (Get a nice, long sleep. There's nothing worse than looking terrible on the first day of school. If you tend to oversleep, set an alarm on your phone, iPod, or alarm clock to wake you up on time.)

 

With so much time on my hands and a family fast asleep, I had to occupy myself. Being the obedient trouper that I am I decided to use this time to its fullest by applying point 3, for the next 5 hours. Do not underestimate the number of outfit changes a girl will take to feel completely comfortable in her clothing of choice. You can say by time 5 hours was up I was thoroughly done with the way I looked and completely uncomfortable with the way I looked. This prompts me to add a disclaimer to point 3, give yourself enough time to prepare but not enough to hesitate. Also, I looked up the WikiHow article a bit to late to follow through point 2. Heh. I borrowed my sisters clothes? Does that count?

 

You could say that it is a bit of a stretch to call it my "First Day of School" its more of my first day IN school. It was my first day of orientation.

 

So the day begin with me moving into the dorm room. As a global student, I was given a week's worth of grace period to adapt before move in date of the regular local students.

Here is a picture of my sister customising our room's decor without the regular "roommate restrictions". 

 

Yes, she is older. By 3 years.

 

Having her around ruled me to not really need point 1 (Plan ahead), plan ahead, since I had a live tour guide but I do believe that it is a wise step to follow. Heh.

 

Of course, as a freshman, I had to decorate my first dorm room with the whole fairy lights, aesthetic white bedsheet look. Let's see if I'll have the motivation to have it up next semester. 

 

I did not have a chance to see if point 4 was useful since I was occupied with orientation activities within campus for the whole week.

 

Category 2: Back at school
1. Pretend that it is just another day of school.
2. Come with some good jokes to break the ice with a friend you haven't seen in a while.
3. Smile and be friendly! You want to seem approachable. 
4. Meet up with your friends and see if you have any classes together or the same lunch period. 
5. Do everything one class at a time. Don't be worrying about your upcoming class, or thinking about how your friends said Mrs. Smith is terrible and evil when she's four classes away. You need to focus on meeting your new teacher, taking notes, listening to rules.
Category 3: During The Day
  1. Try to make some friends if this is a new school. However, don't be needy and begging for friends, just be yourself. New schools are also a great opportunity to change your style without people making fun of you or thinking you're phoney.

  2. Do not complain around others. "It's hot." "She's mean" "This is boring" "My lunch was nasty". Be positive. Nobody likes to hang around a moper.

  3. Don't judge your new teachers too harshly. They are nervous as well. Some people are just horrible at good first impressions.

  4. Have fun. School doesn't always have to be boring. Make jokes, talk to people, sing. Do something crazy! Remember not to be disruptive when you should be paying attention, though. If you want time to fly by, enjoying yourself is a great way.

As I mentioned earlier, the setting of this blog is my first day IN school which is orientation. In order to help us adapt more easily, my college scheduled the global student orientation a week earlier than regular freshman orientation for us to find our bearings. This helped me a lot, being in a different country, surrounded by a new culture and a living in a new school environment. I couldn't exactly find the ability to apply point 1.(Pretend that it is just another day of school.) Instead I tried to brush it off as a regular social gathering where everyone wanted to get to know each other. Point 1 of category 3 (Try to make some friends if this is a new school.) was more of a must rather than a "you can if you want to."
 
I am very subjective with the way I break Ice and it is NOT telling jokes. First impressions are important and my style of joking is Dad jokes, I do not want people's first impression of me to be "That one girl who Dad jokes." So point 2 was just... No. (Come with some good jokes to break the ice with a friend you haven't seen in a while.) Even if it is with you friend that you haven't seen in a while, how do I slip a joke into a conversation??? Going "Hey dude I have the funniest joke, Knock Knock." ... No. Rather than going forth and being sociable I decided to lay low and watch and learn instead. I could not "copy" a lot of the socialising techniques that the people around me used since it was very unique and subjective to each person. In contrast to this, knowledge of what NOT to do was vastly available through observations. Small tip, Category 3 pointer 2 (Do not complain around others.) is LEGIT. 

 

 

Point 3 is the best advice there is apart from the stereotypical "Be Confident!" (Smile and be friendly! You want to seem approachable.) I confirm thiiissss. Being a global student, most of the people in the group wanted to befriend each other so smiling created the stage for that. I start by smiling, my target smiles back, mutual feelings confirmed. 

 

Point 4 (Meet up with your friends and see if you have any classes together or the same lunch period.) was extremely helpful after orientation. It was a form of follow up to the new friends I had made at orientation. I was able to make 3 good friends at orientation and we kinda congregated together whenever we did not have class. Out of the 3, 2 of my friends shared classes with me.


Point 5 (Do everything one class at a time.)honestly saved my life, in college, rumours about professors fly fast and far leaving me worrying about the work I had yet to be assigned. I am an over-thinker, once an idea has been planted in my mind I will dwell on it far longer than I can justify. Although I definitely failed to apply point 5, it served as a great pre-warning. Category 3 point 3 (Don't judge your new teachers too harshly.) was also very critical, a lot of the professors who I feared ended up being far kinder than described. I actually ended up feeling bad for the professors, we judge them so harshly.

 

To conclude, no matter where, when, how and who with you are starting school this semester let's all keep one thing in mind. Category 3 Pointer 4. ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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