Do Kidz Need Too Learn How Two Spel?

I am cringing at my title there. I am sorry for any distress it may have caused you.

Do you guys think spelling and grammar is valued these days? I mean, most of the writing I do aside from sticky notes to myself is done online. On both my personal laptop and my work computer, I have the free version of Grammarly downloaded, and I definitely make use of spellcheck when I can. That’s not to say things are perfect. I’m sure you can find small mistakes in my blog and I know there are a few small errors in my novel. But I genuinely try and I care about grammar. I was also taught it in school.

I’m 22 which means when I was growing up, computers existed, but they weren’t used that much. Like, there was always a bulky computer or two in my classrooms, but they were just for games, and when I went home, I almost never used Dad’s desktop except for cereal box games once in a while. All homework was done via pencil and paper, and only on big projects in later grades did I type things out. By then, I had had many years of spelling classes.

I only somewhat remember spelling tests in elementary school. Each week, my teacher would give us a list of words to study, and then a day or two later they’d be recited out loud for us to write out. I always did well. They were never fun and no one liked them, but spelling was a thing we learned just like math or social studies.

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Do kids today still have spelling tests? And if they do, do they not care about them considering they’ve grown up with spellcheck available for everything? Kids today may never need to write something of importance out on paper for anyone else but themselves, so who cares how things are spelled?

And I’m not saying that my generation is better than the younger one because we knew dictionaries before red squiggly lines—goodness knows social media proves that there are adults who genuinely don’t know the difference between your and you’re. I just think it’s interesting to consider how technology’s prevalence could dramatically change the way kids learn and use correct spelling/grammar. If you ask me, proper spelling and grammar is a skill (one I fear is dying).

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But maybe it’s not a bad thing. It’s like cursive writing. I learned that in school too, but I never use it. It’s nonsense. I don’t mind that it’s not as enforced in schools these days. Things change, and society doesn’t have a need for cursive. And while I do wish kids and people online used better spelling and grammar, I understand that society isn’t calling for it. Life be like that, I guess. As I said, I use and am grateful for spellcheck. I use it a lot because there are some words I misspell all the time (like appreciate). So yeah, I rely on it sometimes. I’ll admit to that.

I’d love to know everyone’s thoughts on this topic, but especially if you have young kids. Are you satisfied with what they learn in school or do you feel like they’ll rely on spellcheck too much? And how much do you guys rely on spellcheck?

That’s all for now!


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I Am In A Rut

Well, to be more specific, several ruts. I am very rutted.

I am in a social rut. As always, there have been changes in my social circles, and it just gets me down because these changes never include getting more friends. Or, more close friends. Sitting next to a friend for two hours in class doesn’t really count as hanging out.

I am in an educational rut. Two of them, actually. First of all, it’s approaching that time of the semester where I have SO MUCH work to do. I know I’ll get through it eventually but I just don’t want to do it. Being stressed all the time and feeling guilty for watching TV sucks. And the other rut has to do with the fact that I’m really getting worried about how prepared I am for the world. I chose to attend university, but I constantly wonder if college would have been better. I’m brutally unprepared. Employers don’t care if I know what panopticon is or how it works. They want to know if I know how to use Photoshop. The good news is everyone I’ve talked to at school feels the same, so I guess we can all suffer together.

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I am in a blogging rut. I love my blog and I love how it looks. But sometimes I struggle with topics. My daily stats are down, and I don’t know how to get them up. It just takes time and luck, I guess. I’ve also considered buying a domain. It seems like a natural course of events. Wordpress has the really basic plan for like $3 a month, and I can totally afford that, but do I need it? No. Will my blog be better? Maybe. I could even afford the advanced plan, but I don’t need it. I don’t know code and it’s too much of a hassle to deal with transfers and redirecting and whatnot. And then there’s self-hosting. That’s another whole thing I don’t think I want to deal with.

I am in a creative rut. Some days I just want to make. I want to create. I get urges to try my hand at really weird things like write a musical, or write a novel, or become a vlogger. I can’t really do any, so I know it’s unrealistic and who has time for that? The thing is, I get these urges to be creative, but no ideas. I get urges to blog but no post ideas.

I am in a networking rut. I’ve been trying to participate in Twitter chats. They’re fun, but I feel really out of place. A lot of bloggers I interact with there are either British beauty bloggers (all they write about is makeup or fashion, two things I do not have an interest in at all) or book bloggers (I don’t read that much and when I do, it’s almost always fantasy). And on Facebook, all the bloggers are my mom’s age and run blogs for business. Where are the young bloggers who write about TV and memes? Am I already following them all? Because I’m a bit of an outsider and introverted, I struggle to gain followers on social media.

Anyways, I’ve realized how whiney this post sounds. Here I am, a middle class white girl, complaining about her problems. Woe is me, right? So to combat this and prove to you guys and myself that I’m not completely helpless, here are a few things I am going to do to deal with my ruts.

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  1. I am going to invite friends to hang out. I can’t be mad at them for not inviting me to hang if I don’t do the same. Especially newer friends, where ice needs to still be broken.
  2. I am going to keep blogging and keep sharing my words because this is what I love to do. If I need inspiration, I will browse the internet and read other blogs and find some. Worst comes to worst, I can always talk about TV!
  3. I am going to continue to participate in Twitter chats and Facebook blog threads. I will do my best to interact. I will also keep livetweeting and hopefully at least find some new people on Twitter who have the same interests; it doesn’t matter if they’re bloggers too.
  4. I am going to stay positive. Me being all sad and thinking about the negative things is not helping and not the way to deal with things.
  5. I am going to do my best to learn things outside of school. Keep reading and learning and trying. Blogging was all self-taught, after all.

If you’re in ruts like me, I encourage you to tackle problems headfirst like I am trying to. The sense of power and control is nice, even for a little bit!

I do like being able to vent a little on my blog. I do my best to keep things casual and chill, but once in a while, I just need to shout frustrations into the void. My void. Behind the screen I am a real person and posts like this act as a reminder to myself and to readers that I am allowed to have real issues and share them too.

That’s all for now!

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20 Tips To Survive Your First Year Of University

As of yesterday morning, I am done my exams and therefore, done my first year of university! Time flew by. University was quite an experience. As the oldest child in my family, I had no one close to me to give me advice or tips going in. I learned a lot this past school year, some of which didn’t come from classes. So I thought I’d compile a nice list of really useful tips for anyone starting their first year of university or college (the terms are interchangeable for the most part in Canada). Even if you aren’t in such a position, maybe send this to someone you know who is?

Just a note that some of these tips are specifically for people living on residence and/or away from home for the first time, and are based on my fairly typical university experience.

1. Get sleep. The freedom of being able to stay up as late as you want may be new to some people, but if you have class the next morning, 7 hours of sleep as a minimum is a must. I’m all for staying up super late and then sleeping in on weekends, but not when you have to go sit through the boring lecture by some monotone professor (yes, they exist). Also, power naps do work.

2. Don’t pick early courses. I had two classes at 9, which meant I had to get up at 7:30. If you look at point number one, that meant I had to be in bed by 12:30 at the latest. So instead, try to pick later courses. I swear you won’t hate them as much. Also, if you can, try to have a day off. Those feel great.

3. Sticky notes! They’re fun and handy and can be stuck anywhere around you. Make sure to have a few stacks because they’re great! I would write down smaller homework assignments on sticky notes and put them in front of me on a shelf edge at my desk so I’d always see them. I would also have great pleasure in forcefully ripping one down, crumpling it up and throwing it out when I completed the task.

4. Eat healthy. I sound like my mom, but it’s true. Try and get the food groups and try not to eat junk. I don’t know if the Freshman 15 is a real thing, but you definitely do gain a few pounds at least.

5. Have candy around. To contradict my last point, having candy is the best. It’s great motivation to study or read a few more pages and it tastes good.

6. Use the TV. At my school, you had to pay extra for cable so instead, I opted to livestream my many shows. Livestreaming is great until it gets glitchy or you can’t find a good one. Nothing beats a real TV. In my common room, there was a perfectly good TV with plenty of channels but no one watched it! Some people used it for gaming or would hook up their laptops and stream a movie, but I swear, I was the only person who actively watched the TV. I’d watch while doing laundry or on Friday nights if I had no plans or if I simply didn’t want to livestream something.

7. Keep your desk neat. As I write this, my desk is not as neat as it could be, so I am a bit hypocritical, but for real though. A messy desk is hard to work at, especially when you need something and have to look for it through stacks of textbooks and binders and papers and junk.

8. Studying in groups is nice. You’ve probably heard this one before but it’s true. You can quiz each other. And it’s more fun….just make sure y’all stay on topic and do a good job!

9. Set a weekly time to hang with people. Be it Friday night or Saturday night or Tuesday at dinner, have a thing. I had a small group of friends and for a while we’d all meet on Sunday nights and watch a movie. It was chill. And it gave me something to look forward to.

10. Obey the ‘unwritten’ 10 minute rule on shared washing machines. I can’t stress this enough. If your stuff is in the wash, get it within ten minutes of it ending. People may need it and no one wants to touch your things, so set a timer or wait in the room or something. Likewise, if you need the machine and someone else’s stuff is in there (but the wash is done), wait ten minutes for someone to come get it. Only after ten minutes can you take their stuff out (if you want. Sometimes it can be gross, even if it’s clean).

11. If you have a difficult TA, go to the Professor. Chances are, your profs don’t interact one-on-one with students too often, so they’re always willing to help you. I had an awkward TA who couldn’t explain something to me, and he knew he was doing a lousy job, so he told me to go see the prof. I did, she was lovely, she helped me tons and it all worked out great.

12. Even if you have access to past tests for a course, still do the work and go to class. I had five years of past Psychology tests and an upper year Psych student once told me that he only reviewed past tests and didn’t do any work and got a 90 because the professor used the same questions on new tests. Maybe the guy was a genius or something. I did review the past tests thoroughly before I wrote a test, and while I did see some of the same questions, I did find a lot of new ones, so I was glad I also did the readings and went to lectures. Don’t take the ‘easy road’ because things could change.

13. Use a calendar or agenda. In high school, I never used an agenda, even though I was issued one every year. I easily kept track of all my assignments and work, and never forgot anything. But in University, there are more classes and the profs may not remind you of things (most do, but still). I had a huge four month dry erase calendar poster that I wrote all my stuff on (from birthdays to test/assignment dates to TV show premiers to meetings I had to attend).

14. If your Don/RA/REC/PAL/whatever your leaders are called hold meetings or activities, go to them. They are a good way to see/be with people in your residence and have some fun, and because your said leader is upper year, they could have some important advice or news to share with you.

15. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This one seems obvious, but there are plenty of people who are there to help you. The library is a great place for examples on this. One time my printer broke so I had to print an essay in the library, but I had no idea how their odd system worked, so I asked this girl at a desk called ‘Tech Help’ and she walked me through what to do. Also, there’s a desk called ‘Writing Support’ where I sat down with a lady who helped me go through my citations on an essay and put them in correct APA formatting.

16. Don’t do work the night before. I know the cliché University thing to do is to write an essay the night before while guzzling energy drinks then submit it with twenty minutes to spare, but that shouldn’t happen. Most tests and essays and big assignments are listed in the course syllabus so you know when they’re due on the first day. Plan accordingly. And maybe it’ll get hardcore in 2nd or 3rd or 4th year, but for first year, you should be okay.

17. When packing for university, really think about how often you use something. My mom gave me this little container with like 100 paper clips in it. I think I used around seven. Give or take a few. She also gave me ten nice folders to hand assignments in neatly….I used one…for myself. And I brought almost every necklace I own thinking I’d totally wear one everyday…nah. Maybe once a week.

18. Check your email. If you don’t do this at least once a day then get into the habit. Email is one of the main ways Universities contact you, so checking it often is necessary. I have three emails and I set it up so when I refresh the mail app on my phone, all three accounts refresh at the same time, so it’s easy for me to stay up-to-date on everything.

19. Be safe with alcohol. In Canada, freshman are only one year away from being legal and though it’s more in America, I’ve seen enough episodes of Campus PD to know that underage drinking is happening there too. If you are going to drink at school where it is plentiful, be safe, and if it’s your first time, do it in a safe environment with people you trust, not at a crazy party with strangers. (And don’t do drugs, ever).

20. Work at your own pace. University will piss you off because you’ll meet people who barely study and get great marks (and are lucky with their guesses) as well as people who study all the time and do too. Don’t study the way others study. Study the way that’s best for you. Maybe other people have some tips, but ultimately, do what you gotta do.

So those are the tips I have. Moving away and attending university is a big deal and I wish I had some of these tips going in. If anyone has more, leave them in a comment! And if anyone has questions about going into a first year of uni, I’d be happy to answer.

That’s all for now!