Starting University | A Journal

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by 607, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Hi, it's me again!

    Tomorrow I am starting university. I will likely encounter a lot of new problems, and have a lot of new experiences. I thought it would be fun and helpful to post about what's going on.
    I might write in my diary in Evernote, but I'm not always too motivated to do that, and it's also fun to put stuff online. I usually journal on another forum, but I always have periods where I am burnt out from that forum, and am currently in one of them. At that forum I can write anything, while here I have to stay EMC-appropriate, but that should be fine, if I'm writing about my experiences at university.

    So yeah, there I go. :) I'm well prepared, and tomorrow is the main introduction.
    Oh, and for those who don't know: I study Artificial Intelligence at Utrecht University, and live on myself, in Amersfoort (a city near Utrecht).

    PS: I'm not going with a poll... in my first years here I'd always try to make up one, for fun, but if I can't think of something particularly interesting it seems like a waste of screen space, now. :p
  2. you have fun with college i hope you do well
  3. Alright, I think I'm ready to write the first report. ;)

    Our introduction today started at 11 o'clock. I woke up at 7:15, though, and arrived at Utrecht Central at 9:24. :p I played piano for an extended half-hour, and then went on my way. I made sure I had the route shown on my iPad, but when I had started walking I realised that I had walked this a few times already, and it was actually really easy.
    Our introduction was in a cinema as we've got too many students this year to fit in the normal rooms, and I didn't know where that was exactly, but it wasn't too hard to find it. It was still before 10:30, and only two other people were there yet. While using the lavatory, though, someone else arrived, and we had some conversations with the four of us. :) Two of these guys I kept meeting later on in the day, and the girl that had been there before me has got the same name as my sister, and there's also someone in my mentor group with the same name as my sister... so I'm assuming they are the same person, but I didn't really recognise her when I saw her again. :p

    Getting closer to the hour, more people started flowing in, and eventually the room was opened, and we went in. Me and Guy 1 (I haven't confirmed if I can use his real name here, so let's go with that :p) took a seat next to each other.
    The presentations were fun! Many different people had (digital) slides projected and told us about useful things. The first presentation, by the coordinator behind the study, was a bit dull, but the rest were all nice to listen to!
    After 50 minutes, we had a 10 minute break, and then we were supposed to have another 45 minutes of presentation, but I felt like the second half was shorter. :p (I don't quite recall what time it was, although I did check my watch) After this first part of the introduction, we were to go to [a place] and have lunch. I thought I'd remember the place, but apparently not. xD Because I went to use the lavatory again, first. When I came back, I saw Guy 1 was still in the cinema room (because he didn't know what mentor group he was in), but I thought I'd go ahead to the lunch place.
    But first I went way too far, and then I went to a place I had been at before, because I recalled (wrongly) that we were to go to a field, and that was the only place with a field. However, I doubted that hundreds of people were going to fit on that tiny bit of field, and I didn't see any other people in their first year. :rolleyes: A girl from the 'administration' (this might be the wrong word) of our study association (this is probably the right word), whom I know because I'd done a student-for-a-day with her last year, walked past and greeted me, and I greeted back, but I didn't have the courage to ask her where I should be. I decided I'd just eat my sandwiches (I don't like this word, but there isn't a more proper word in English, as far as I know :p) there, as it was a nice quiet place.
    But then administration girl came back (again, I know her name, but am careful around personal details), and I asked her. She pointed me into the right direction and walked a bit of the way, and I found it. :) It did take me some time to find Guy 1, but when I had found him, Guy 2 also found us. There was also another guy, and a Guy 3 came, who I had seen in the cinema as well. There were hundreds of people on the square, as two studies' first-years were having lunch there. It turned out lunch was provided, but I'd got my own. The sandwiches (these were actually quite like sandwiches) looked healthy though, so I wanted those, but I couldn't get them without also getting the apple and bottle of water, which I had already got myself. :p But I guess I can eat the apple tomorrow. ;)

    The third... planned thing (writing these more practical writings about real life really confronts me with a lot of terms I don't know an English equivalent of :p) was an acquaintance with our tutor group/mentor group. They call them tutor groups, but I'm calling them mentor groups, as I am in group 3, and group 2 has actually got the same tutor. We were in the same room as well. I took a seat next to the mentors, not knowing that they were the mentors until I asked my mentor-to-be what group she was in. :rolleyes: Then it turned out that they didn't really know what to do, or even if they were mentors of group 2 or 3.
    But it all turned out fine! Most things were improvised, but I did get to know some people in our mentor group, and some general questions were answered (by ourselves, to be confirmed by the mentors :P).

    After this we were to get a tour around Utrecht. Honestly, I didn't see much. :p There were nice conversations during the walk, though. We went to a cafe or something (I don't even know [another word I don't know :rolleyes:] terminology in Dutch, let alone in English :rolleyes:), and I was afraid it would be too busy for me, but we went to a place where nobody else was, and the music also wasn't too loud. I even ordered a drink. :D We had a good time. :) Although, being with about 14 people (I should have mentioned this earlier, but I don't even know the exact number, so I didn't think of it), I could only talk with 4 people for most of it - my other mentor tried to talk with me at some point (each mentor group has got two, both of ours are girls in their third year of the study, and they're very nice ^.^) because her parents live in Amersfoort, but it was a bit inconvenient, across the long tables. :p
    At some point, while I was using the toilet (which was underground and a bit freaky, like it should be for such a place :D), two of us got up to leave, at which point it seemed like it was going to end. However, mentor J had a game she had made up she wanted to play, and even though mentor A thought it was a bit unfortunate to do it now that those two had just left, we thought we should still do it. We needed a bigger space, though, and walked to a field of grass somewhere.
    Prior to the game we again said our names, accompanied by a fun fact (which turned into saying whether you have a pet, or have had a pet, or would want a pet), and it turned out the first part of that was quite crucial: we were not allowed to communicate anymore and had to stand in a row ordered by first name. We started out a bit slow, but we did get it right! Then there were some variations of the game: age, shoesize, phone addictedness... it was a fun little game. :)
    At the end we did the original game once more, to help memorise the names - I still hardly know any, I feel like. :p

    We separated, then, but most of us were going to the train station, so I figured I'd just follow the rest. Most of the rest wanted to use the bus, however, while I'd rather walk, and so did two other girls, so I decided to walk with them. At least, I thought I was walking with them, but now I'm not so sure, as they didn't say anything to me and once made me lose them. :p I also figured out that the one girl was looking for a phone charger, and so we were looking around stores - while I would rather just get my train, but at this point I didn't really know where the station was anymore. :p When I heard her being given directions to yet another store, I decided I'd say I was going to go to the station. I hinted at not knowing where it was (by saying "But I don't know where it is anymore"), and they said I should follow the signs. ... Huh, that was actually quite easy. :p (But I guess I hadn't thought of it yet because I wasn't wearing my glasses, making it considerably more difficult to read the signs.)

    And so I went home. :)
    This was a very long post, but this was a relatively long day, with lots of entirely new experiences, so I don't expect all of these to become so long. ;)

    Tomorrow I've got a day off! ... my last one for a short while. ;)
  4. well this sounds fun much mre fun then a USA college
    607 likes this.
  5. Haha, yeah, our universities try to make the most of these introduction periods! :)
    Just wait until I tell you about the camp from the student association we'll have over the weekend. ;) I won't have internet or time to write there, though, I guess, so I'll write a summary later. But I think it's going to be fun!
    MoreMoople and belac555 like this.
  6. hope so as our colleges are SUPER boring
  7. In North England they're called butties (a butty), if you want to use that? :p
    TomvanWijnen, 607 and ArkonXT like this.
  8. They're usually so much simpler here, though, when I look up butty or sandwich I only find fancy stuff. :p Here's what I found for boterham, and this is quite a good example:
  9. Today, I was planning to wash my laundry and got groceries. Both tasks I completed succesfully. ;)
    I also managed to get WhatsApp. Once again, I was asked for my number to be put into a WhatsApp group, yesterday, but I don't have WhatsApp. Or, I should say, I did not have WhatsApp. But using Android emulator BlueStacks, I could get it. So now I can check groups every now and then. :)
    I also read my book on Cognitive Science for an hour. I read 25 pages, which seems decent? I attempted reading more quickly a couple of times, but my brain seemed to stop creating links, then, and I didn't grasp the implications of what I read.
    There are 400 pages left to read for this subject/course, so it seems okay. Not entirely sure. :p
  10. They usually look like that here too. After all we're the same country who puts toasts between two slices of bread with some salt on it and calls it a delicacy.
    TomvanWijnen and 607 like this.
  11. It's really interesting to read your side of the introduction as I'm a mentor at my university this semester.
    Our semester starts October 1st, I have my mentortraining this week.

    It's nice, that you got the courage on asking the administration girl for directions. It's a new experience for all of you (here start ~580 computer science students per semester) and we are here too help you and gladly will do so :)

    The tutor/mentor concept: At my university, in the first week we are called tutors. We have a concept where I'm helping a group of ~20 students in weekly meetings etc. in which I'll be called their mentor. But on the other hand we have exercise courses where students of higher semester present sample solutions. They are called tutors.

    I can indeed see, that there is a lot of improvising as we often get our information in the last seconds or not at all. It's a lot to organize!

    Do you have any tips what you would like your mentor to do? Or what they could improve so I don't make the same "mistakes"? Did you like the getting-to-know-games you played?
    TomvanWijnen, MoreMoople and 607 like this.
  12. That's cool to know! Thanks for the post!

    It's a lot of fun getting discussions, haha, when I write in the anonymous journal that usually doesn't happen, and when I write in my diary that obviously never happens. :p
    The tutors are teachers, here. I guess the most important thing to do in the first week, as a mentor, is just having conversation with the students assigned to you. Of course answer questions and give useful information using your experience, but engaging in general conversation (ask people where they live, tell about something cool you do yourself...) can really help people feeling comfortable and start conversation themselves. :) There will always be people who strike up conversation right away, but I think most people are fairly hesitant until they get to know some people, and if most people are hesitant to start conversation, you can be the one to do that. ;)

    And the game was pretty fun, but not mostly because of the concept itself (it really isn't that innovative :p), but rather because of feeling like you belonged to some people. If there are hundreds of students in the year, playing a game on a field with just a dozen (or even 20, I guess) is very helpful, because you'll know some people right away.

    Wednesday (tomorrow!) we've got a lecture at 9 AM... I can take the bus there, it's actually rather close, but as I can be rather slow at having breakfast and such and would rather not be late on my first lecture, I'm getting up at 6:20. :p If I don't change my mind about that, that is... :rolleyes: I did just realise I don't need to make lunch, as the lecture's already over at 10:45 and we haven't got anything else planned... I'm expecting that later in the year I would still make lunch, just in case someone offers to do something together, or I'd like to do some work at school, but right now I think the chance is very slim of something turning up that will make me want to stay for an hour longer than planned.

    Edit: I miscalculated, I changed my alarm to 6:45. :)
  13. Today I used a bus on my own, for the first time!
    I had looked up where the bus stop was, but I hadn't checked it out yet. I arrived quite on time though, this morning, and had decided I would just take whatever bus came first (provided it went into the right direction). I couldn't find a bicycle storage, but I did see quite some bikes chained to a fence on the other side of the road, so I did so as well. Then, having crossed the road again, I realised that on the other side of the road there was another bus stop with a lot of people waiting, while mine was empty. This is when I first realised that there is a bus stop on either side of the road, both going in the opposite direction. :p
    So I crossed the road yet again. Having done so, I also noticed the bicycle storage. Oops. :p I considered unchaining my bike from the fence and rechaining it there, but I decided I would leave it, so I wouldn't miss the bus, and as it was probably fine, considering there were so many already there.
    I did notice when I came back that I hadn't locked my bike, which I should remember to do, as otherwise someone could take the key.

    On the bus I had plenty of time to figure out how the system worked. At some point I noticed that it wouldn't necessarily stop at a stop, then I noticed there was a 'STOP' button at each pair of seats you could press, and yet later I noticed there was a 'STOP' sign attached to the ceiling that lighted up if someone had pressed the button. But I suppose most of you know how buses work. :p I also tried to figure out how the bus driver's display worked, but I didn't get to understand most of it.
    I got out at the right station, and had loaded the map of the area ahead of time. My location wouldn't update as I walked, however. But that wasn't a big deal, as I could at least see in which direction I should go, using the iPad's gyroscope, it was rather close to the bus stop, and there were a lot of other people as well, going to other places near to mine.

    I found the right building and room and immediately saw someone I knew: André. I asked my mentor group on WhatsApp this afternoon, to learn if I could use their real name, or perhaps some alias. Most replied that they didn't mind (the rest hasn't replied at all (yet)), so you'll be hearing some names. :) Although I don't know that many myself, yet. :p
    Anyway, I seated myself next to André, and we talked a bit. Then, Guy 1 entered! And from now on I'll be calling Guy 1 Sloth, as that's his preferred alias. Sloth is in group 4, but he still seated next to André, because he knew me. Later, some other people from group 3 took a seat behind us.
    The lecture was good! The first 15 minutes were a general introduction on the entire course, and then the next 25 minutes were a general introduction on the subject of the course, Cognitive Science, but after the break we finally got some actual matter. :p Matter I had all read about already, of course. ;) But it was nice recognising things, and now writing them down in my brand new notebook! (Karen, a girl from group 3 who was seated behind me, reused her Chemistry notebook from high school :D)

    After the lecture, at once the entire program was over, as it is the only thing scheduled for Thursdays. But Sloth and I decided to check out some of the other buildings in the area, in particular we looked for the place where we are to drop off our luggage on Friday, and we found our alternate student association headquarters (we've got two). It was unfortunately closed, however.

    When considering how I would get back, I once again didn't consider that buses drove both ways, and got confused at almost all buses going to the same place, including the one I thought would go to Amersfoort (I guess most converge at the final stop). But then I looked at the direction of traffic, and realised that I should be at the other side of the road if I wanted to go home.
    It was raining while I was waiting on the bus, but I did not mind. During the drive, I tried studying some Kanji, as I had took the book with me (unrelated to university, I bought it during my vacation) for if I had nothing to do, but I realised that I would rather let my mind wander, perhaps to process the lecture.

    Then I had a bit of morning left, and the entire afternoon... I contacted Sloth and now we can talk on Discord, I asked my mentor group about the names, as mentioned before, I got my dry clothes (on second or fourth inspection, some turned out to be not really dry, but hm), I read another chapter of Introduction to Cognitive Sciences, and I wrote this post.
    This evening, I'm going to have dinner with my houselords, in company of some (or perhaps all) of my housemates, and two people who are currently staying here as well.

    For tomorrow there's a tutorial and a lecture on the timetable, but in the e-mail we got last week it was stated that we wouldn't have tutorials until next week, and when I asked about it in the first-years Facebook group everyone shared the belief that it was a mistake.
    So there's only a lecture tomorrow, and it starts at 17:15. Such a lot of time!... And I'll have to have 'dinner' at lunch, because I'll be at university during my usual dinnertime.

    Edit: I just noticed that this post uses a lot less smilies than the overview of Monday. :p I hope it was fun to read regardless of that. ;)
  14. I'm a little bit stressed and I haven't got that much time before I should start walking toward the bus stop, but let me try to write a post! :$

    Yesterday I learnt that the fast bus right to where I need to be stops driving after 15:00. So I had to take another one, that departed from Amersfoort Central Station. While on the bus, I considered that I would really have liked to have 10-15 minutes extra time, so I would have enough time to go to the toilet and still be early. Then, I realised that I had forgot my lecture started at 17:15, not 5 flat. :p You see, when letting the route planner look for possible routes, I entered I wanted to arrive at 17:00, so I would have some extra time. Then I took the bus that arrived at 10-15 minutes before 17:00, so I wouldn't be late. So I had double extra time. :p Which was very nice!

    At some point I noticed that the two guys in front of me on the bus were also AI students (one of them looked on his timetable, and the name of one of the courses caught my eye). When we got out, I considered whether to approach them, but then they went another way. I decided I'd still go the way I went Wednesday, to get to know which was quicker. It was a bit annoying having to consciously walk slowly, because they were walking rather slowly (presumably because of being in conversation with each other), and I didn't want to ruin the experiment. :p
    It turned out they were there quite a bit earlier, as I didn't even see them enter the building! They were still outside, talking to some other people, so I approached them and said they had been faster, inquiring what way they had took. Most of them didn't even notice me and just went outside, but one of the two guys stayed, and asked me to repeat what I said, being clearly surprised that he was approached by someone he didn't know. :p But he did answer ("through the back exit"), and was quite polite. ;)

    In the room I saw that once again André was early, together with another girl from our group, whose name I haven't been able to pick up yet, and didn't dare ask. A bit later, someone else from our group arrived, and I didn't recall his name either - but when Sloth joined us, he asked for it, so I know now: Remy.
    Our Logic teacher is quite nice: he's German, and I love the German accent in English. He's also fun to listen to.
    The first half of the lecture was all introduction about the administration part of the course. During the break, Sloth and the first girl I met joined me. At this point I still wasn't sure if the first girl I met and the girl in my group were the same person or not, but I asked Sloth right after, and nope, they are two different people indeed. :p Let's call this one Girl E0 (I don't know her group number yet :p), and the one in my group Girl E3. We had some fun conversation, and it turned out she had actually considered doing what I did last year! Her father considered it too expensive, though, and then she found this study. So she asked me a bit about how I had enjoyed the year.

    Right after the break, we got 5 minutes to join in an experiment that some person was doing. I wanted to join, but I had left my iPad at home, so I didn't have a device to do it on. My phone can connect to the internet, but it can't play videos, and we had to watch some videos. But then I noticed Remy wasn't going to do the experiment, so I asked if I could use his phone for it. It cost me some effort, as I needed to get out of my row (we're at the front row, so I can 'simply' step over the row in its entirety, and don't need to ask people to stand up to make room for me), get earphones from a box with earphones for that purpose, get back into my row, and figure out how to untangle the earphones. :p Starting the experiment, I had to give all sorts of personal information like age, sex, mother tongue... and then I got the question "Did Mary call John?" (the names are made up, I don't recall them, and the question was in Dutch). So apparently I was supposed to have watched some video, but the video hadn't played. We tried some things, but his phone wouldn't display any video. So all was for nothing, except a funny part of this post. :rolleyes: I had to get the earphones back into their little box, exit my row, walk to the box, walk back, enter my row... Fortunately I'm rather nimble. ;)

    ... Okay. So next time, I need to write this in Notepad. When I had written all of this, I noticed I hadn't taken a back-up in a while, and did so. However, I didn't make any after, and then when I was almost done writing my post everything disappeared. I wrote this text, and then it disappeared again.
    I'm sorry, but I don't want to rewrite everything now, especially because I have to leave soon.

    In short: the rest of the Logic lecture was fun; I didn't know how to get back and when I borrowed Robin's phone saw the buses weren't driving back anymore; I travelled with Guy 3 to Utrecht CS, and took the train from there.

    It's a shame quite some text was lost. I will try to remember to write the post in Notepad entirely, next time, so this won't happen again. I prefer writing here, though, as I like the look of EMC.

    But I want to leave now, as I need to walk to the bus station, as I don't want to leave my bicycle outside for the whole weekend, and I don't want to cycle with 3 bags.
    I hope the introduction camp will be fun!
    Unfortunately, Karen is ill, and can't come.
  15. I'll write about the introduction camp later; that should take some time. ;) And I don't have too much time at the moment, as I've got quite a bit to do, and am still a bit tired - and perhaps ill - from the weekend. I don't want to get behind, though, as it is fun to write about each day as it has passed, so I'll write about today, this evening! :)

    I had set an alarm to make sure I would wake up in time, but I didn't need it. (I just paused for some time, as I didn't want to write on the site anymore, being afraid it might disappear on me again, but I didn't write in Notepad as it was too bright for the evening, so I installed Notepad++, changed the theme, and disabled the auto-complete, which took some time. :p I'm a bit slow in general, as I was tired already, and showered, which quite wears on me. Bear with me, if you don't mind :p (I mean, you don't have to read this... ;))) I had plenty of time in the morning to get ready for school at a comfortable pace.
    Just before I was going to leave, I got a call on my phone. It turned out to be my coach-to-be. Studying in Utrecht now, I can also get coaching in Utrecht, and my mother and I thought that might be useful. Some discussion of this might be outside the scope of this journal, but it is university-related, so I figured I would mention that I've got a introductory meeting Friday in a week. Although... wait. I forgot to reply to his e-mail, be right back. :p
    I could take the bus straight to the right place, which was nice. This time I did chain my bike to the bicycle storage, not to the fence, but it was actually a bit tricky, as the chain seems a bit on the short side. I also noticed that only about a quarter of the bikes present were chained, so I bet that it might not be necessary, in this place. I know in Utrecht bicycles get stolen easily, but in Amersfoort they might not often be.

    I was at location 40 minutes before I had to be, so I decided to look for the alternate student association headquarters again. There was a nice activity at the main headquarters, but that's at a different location from where we have lectures and tutorials, unfortunately. I found the building, but I didn't find the room, at first. So I checked the floor up, and then another floor up, before deciding to look it up. I thought I'd have to find a place where I could get my laptop out and try to connect to the network, but then I realised I could simply Google it on my phone.
    I found the room number, but I also found that this headquarters only opens at 10:45, which was 10 minutes later than it was now, and only 15 minutes before my tutorial started, so I decided I'd have to go there another time.
    At this point, however, I was at floor 4 of this very hospital-like building, and there were more stairs to go up. So I wanted to see how far it could go. I went up to floor 5, but decided to skip out on checking the halls, as they were almost identical on every floor, and it really felt a bit strange to walk them (plus, it was rather unnecessary; but so was seeing how far up the building went :p). There were more stairs, leading up to floor 6! I was impressed. I thought I saw the top, but there were more stairs to go up. But having reached floor 7, there was one last set of stairs! Floor 8 isn't a full floor, though; there weren't any halls, but only locked doors, and a way unto the roof of the building.
    I was sweating, which made me feel quite accomplished! :D On the way back down, I did check the alternate headquarters, and it was in the place I thought it was, but slightly farther onward - I thought the hall ended already, when previously looking for it - at the very corner of the floor.

    On the way back, I went the right way - perhaps it helped that an unknown girl just in front of me had to go much of the same way - until almost getting to the exit. Then, however, I got lost for a bit, until eventually finding the exit again. Having gone outside though, and having realised I was walking the wrong way, it occurred to me that I hadn't found the exit, but I had rather found an exit. At any rate, I was outside, and knew where to go.
    I had already found the building I needed to be at on the way to, and I found the stairs by looking at the signs. But then to find the right classroom... the halls in this building are very narrow, and the lay-out is quite disorienting. It didn't take me too long to find the right room, but when I went to the lavatory to refill my water bottle, I couldn't find it anymore... I'm pretty sure it took me a couple of minutes. :p I did see Sloth and Guy 3 along the way, but they were to go to other rooms (earlier, I had also seen someone from my mentor group, but you don't know him yet). But I was still early, so it was no problem.
    Having found the classroom again, it had mostly filled up, and I only knew one person: the girl I had met first! However, just a bit later she found out she was in the wrong room, so then I didn't know anyone anymore. But that was no big deal. There was a nice girl next to me, and she asked me some questions about things she didn't know, some probably due to not going to the introduction camp.
    The class itself was fine, it was a good introduction. We got two assignments right away, though: before Wednesday, each of us needs to write a summary of two scientific articles describing opposite viewpoints, and before Monday, each group of 3-4 needs to present an inquiry into a neural myth. Both are quite a lot of work for the short timespan! We formed a nice group, though, and it seems like at least two of us, myself excluded, are quite motivated. There's a third guy who I'm not so sure about, but we'll see. As to myself, I'm probably motivated enough, but I wanted to write the summaries first, as they are due earlier.

    I don't think I need to describe the bus trip back, as there wasn't anything out of the ordinary - it's interesting that something I hadn't ever done a week ago has already become so normal! - but I do remember now that on the way to the bus was filled with students (and one older man), and I had to stand. That wasn't a big deal, as the trip isn't very long, but I would have rather had a seat.
    Something else slightly remarkable is that when I was waiting on the bus back I saw Sloth again. I wondered why he would be going to Amersfoort, but I asked him if he had a nice group, first. He thought he did, but asked me where he should take the bus. So I asked him where he wanted to go, and pointed him to the other side of the road.
    Apparently I'm not the only one who has to get used to bus stops being on both sides on the road. :p

    When I had got home I did my first homework for Introduction to Logic, which we had got assigned on Thursday evening, but I hadn't had time to do because of the introduction camp. After that I got groceries, and read and summarised the second article. Yes, the second... perhaps I should have done the first first, but I only realised it was the second when I started the first and noticed "Hey, these statements are what the writers of the other article referred to".
    I hoped I would have time to write this, and look at that, I did! It's now past 10 o'clock, though, I was planning to have gone to bed by now. :p It was interesting to write in Notepad++ instead of on XenForo; I went back sometimes to alter the format of paragraphs and sections, to get closer to how I've done it in the rest of the thread.
    I am also going to share a link in the WhatsApp group for our group now, as Elise (she's the girl from my group who's got the same name as the first girl I met, so now you know her name too... oops? :p) asked me to Sunday, and said she was sure people would really like it. I wonder if I'll get any comments from them. ;) (privately, of course, I doubt any of them play or have played Minecraft and would bother to create an account. :p)
  16. This morning I woke up rather early (thanks to a leave-blower), but that was nice, as it made me able to comfortably plan my routes. Today I had to be at the international campus for the first time, for a tutorial. It turned out I could take the same bus I usually do and exit two stops later, but then I also needed to walk for 11 minutes. The public transit information site I use proposed a route that looked easy to remember, though.
    The bus driver today was the least talkative I've met so far (he did help someone later, though). Contrariwise, the girl I took a seat next to after some time said out loud that she was rather early (so was I). The lady opposite to her replied, and they talked a bit. After not too long, the lady told that she was going to the hospital because her daughter hadn't been able to breathe properly for the past 4 weeks. At first I thought I might be attentive, but she had so much to say that I thought I had rather get my Cognitive Science book, and let the girl next to me do the replying (I'm sorry, but she started it :p).
    Eventually, the lady had said enough, and the girl started paying attention to what I was reading. I acknowledged that I noticed this by looking away from the book towards her, and she started conversation. I would arguably waste my and your time if I described the entire conversation in this detail, although I probably could manage to. :p But in short: we had a very agreeable conversation, until she got out. We didn't talk non-stop, either, one of us started now and then.
    It didn't take long until I got to my own stop, and my first strategy was following the other people that exited the bus. As I got out my iPad though, to check on Maps in which direction I was going, I noticed that this probably wasn't a good idea. I should note that I didn't actually want to use Google Maps to tell me the route, as it suggested a more complicated route. I had however taken a screenshot of the map given to me by the public transit website, and I didn't have any trouble finding the bridge I was looking for.
    The route I took was quite pretty! It was a path along the water: there were some ducks around, and the grass was freshly mown. When I had finished my walk along the water and was about to get my iPad again to figure out the last bit of the route, I saw quite some people come up from another bridge - including André! Apparently their phones (or his, at least) had suggested a different route, which might have been faster. But my scenic route is a lot more fun to walk, I bet. ;)

    It was quite nice that I could catch up to André, as now I could leave figuring out where we needed to go to him. :rolleyes: It wasn't too hard to find, though. I was a bit confused with the location of the individual classrooms at first, but I get it now.
    A few minutes before the class was to start, I wrote in my notebook "I wonder what's the plan? :p". A few minutes later, I could answer "There is no plan. xD". Yeah... we learnt that in the tutorials on Tuesday, we will discuss the problem sets (homework) from the past week, but this time we actually didn't have a problem set to hand in, but a digital test. We could ask questions, but as we didn't seem to have access to the questions or correct answers, there wasn't that much to be answered.
    I was about to take the bus to our headquarters when one of the guys from our workgroup suggested if we wouldn't work on our assignment for a bit. Did I mention already what the assignment is about? We need to tackle a neuromyth, gathering scientific articles with evidence supporting or rejecting the myth, and then conclude whether it is true or not. Come Monday we'll present our findings.
    I thought this was a rather good idea, so we got started. We were actually able to do quite a bit! I've found working on such assignments to be a hard task, but the other guy was quite motivated. I expressed my gratitude about this, and he confessed that he was one of those unmotivated people last year, and had failed his study. That's why he was actually trying, now. Well, I'm very glad about that. :p
    He sent a message in our WhatsApp group, but remarkably, the class the other two were in hadded ended quite yet. When it did end after a considerable amount of time, the girl decided to join us, and the guy said he would work on it later, as he had arranged something with a friend.
    I think we did quite a bit! I heard of one group that they haven't even established what neuromyth they want to tackle, and we have already got enough sources, some information got out of them, and an idea of the set-up of the presentation. :)

    After some time I did leave, to hopefully finally find our headquarters open. And I did! Besides the guy keeping it open, there were three others there already, who were working on the assignment I was going to work on too: summarising the articles. More people joined later.
    I had a fun time there, but it certainly didn't seem like too effective of a working place. :p There was of course music playing, and at some point people started gaming, being fed up with trying to understand the article. However, I did participate in some discussion and answering of questions about the two articles, which was helpful for getting things straight. And I did finish summarising the second article just before my laptop had run out of battery! (I managed to e-mail my assignment in time, too)

    There was some time left still until the lecture, and I considered staying at our headquarters because it was 'gezellig' (that word should be added to the English language). I decided to not do so, though, as I'd rather get some rest before the lecture, and I'd probably more easily do that at the location where I needed to be. When I had got there, I saw a bosom friend of mine! I hadn't seen her since the birthday of another friend from last year, so I was quite unprepared to see her. But we did talk for a bit. :) (the conversation led almost exclusively by her)
    After this I joined Guy 3 and his group, which Sloth later did as well (they're in the same group). When we got into the lecture room, they went up quite a bit higher than I was used to sit at, but I followed them. For once, I was seated with Sloth's group instead of Sloth being seated with mine.
    The lecture was fun, although quite intensive! Contributed to by the fact that it was a little late already, I wasn't always able to follow every definition and proof. I took notes of the things I didn't understand right away, though, and I should study the slides in question later. :)
    As the matter we were going to look at today was quite a lot, our professor decided before breaktime that he would save the last two bullet points for Thursday's lecture.

    I don't recall any particulars about the way back, so I think this will be the end of this journal entry. :) I write quite elaborately, don't you think? :rolleyes: (in multiple senses of the word, probably...)
  17. It's Wednesday again! This is the first time we get a day for the second time. This time it was different, though, as the tutorials were excluded from last week's timetable.
    The lecture was quite a relief after yesterday's. I had already read the chapter it was about last week, and the lecture went at a fairly slow place. We had a teacher I hadn't seen before, and he said quite a lot, but most only seemed relevant as illustrations, and not as subject matter to thoroughly learn.
    I had my seat at the old place again, with André, Kim, and, this time, Remy. Sloth again took a seat near his groupmates. I wonder if he'll sometimes go with my group again in the future, or if I'll only be able to have a seat near him if I go with his group. Both are fine, to be honest, as his group is cool too. :p
    There are some people (in particular, Ilse, but I haven't talked about her yet, as I haven't written about the introduction camp yet) I haven't seen since Sunday, which is a bit strange. I've heard that other studies have the tutorial groups consist of two mentor groups, but here they're all completely separate. On one hand that's nice, as I get to know more people, but on the other hand, it's unfortunate, as after the introduction camp I was quite looking forward to getting to know my mentor groupmates better.

    After the lecture there was quite a long break until the tutorial (not so long for me though, as for some others). I was planning to look at the neuromyth assignment for a bit and then read in my Cognitive Science studybook. I wasn't sure where, however, and everyone I knew quickly left.
    I decided to start by doing a bit of exploration, and I found the university library. That seemed like a good place to work! While exploring it, I also considered I might meet my friend again, whom I met yesterday. And I actually did! I wasn't unprepared, this time, so I said hi and asked if I could take a seat next to her (I could), but I would do some more exploration first.
    It's quite large! There are of course many different subjects studies at Utrecht University, and for each subject there are multiple bookshelves. There are six floors in total! Not all of them are very large, though. But it's a very cool place!
    It's also a very quiet place... this actually made me feel uncomfortable while using the lavatory, as I knew anyone else in there would be able to hear my every move. :rolleyes:

    It was nice doing some work in company of my bosom friend. We hardly talked, but that's perhaps mostly because that wouldn't be appreciated: there are silent zones in the library, but in reality it's silent everywhere. After doing some work on my own, I also got onto WhatsApp to discuss with my groupmates. We're really making quite good progress. :) We should be able to get this finished by Monday without any issues, I reckon! I volunteered to present, together with the fourth person in my group.
    The others weren't able to do any actual work at that time, though, and I figured I'd quit myself too, to save something for them, and for later. I did some reading then, but I wasn't able to finish the chapter. You see, I was able to confirm yesterday that I am indeed ill. Not very much, just a common cold. But it does make me tired more easily. Besides, I had slept rather poorly tonight, mainly due to a mosquito coming out of hiding once per hour. The silence in the library made me feel extra drowsy too. So I decided to take leave of my friend, and go outside to look for the building my tutorial was in (I was way too early, though).
    Having gone outside, I saw Marnix, one of my groupmates, whom I got to know last weekend. He was talking to a friend, and introduced me to him ("He keeps a diary - it's cool by the way, and rather lenghty - and he's got an old Nokia for a phone"). The friend left shortly after, and we stayed outside to talk for a bit. It turned out that he also was working on the neural myth assignment, though, and his groupmates were available. So he went back inside to join them, and asked me to join him, which I wouldn't mind (it was a bit cold outside, anyway).
    To my surprise, I even did something useful for our own assignment. :p (being idle, I tried to read a bit of article on my iPad, and actually found something quite interesting)

    When I finally left it was still a bit early, and in fact, having found the room and taken a seat, the teacher asked me if it would be okay if I went outside again, because he'd like to go outside for a few minutes before the tutorial started. Which was fine, of course.
    During the class itself, not too much worth sharing here happened, I think. But the third person in our workgroup did come up with quite a nice idea for an experiment for our next assignments, which involves comparing results of unexpected tasks performed by people with ADD, and people without any attention-related disorder. We had some further discussion of this idea (he and the others actually hadn't read everything in the articles we had summarised, while I assumed they had, which made us talk past each other for some time :p), and even though I was rather tired, I got through it fine.
    The way home went fine as well, and to be honest, at this point I've taken so many bus rides in a short timespan, that I don't remember for sure what happened on this trip, and what happened on other recent trips. :p

    At home, I relaxed for a bit, and then decided to play and transcribe piano. It had been a while since I had taken the time for piano, and I enjoyed it! :)
    There are three things I still want to do, but I can do those tomorrow, as I've got my first class at 15:15.
    So that's my day. :) I hope it was a fun read, and not too dry. ;)
  18. Woah, I was really, really on the point of starting a blog too about starting university, almost 3 weeks ago now!
    The reason that I didn't is because, with my 3 to 5 hours of sleep in the kick-in, I simply did not have time to write about all the amazing experiences... and then I kinda didn't want to just start at a point that wasn't actually the beginning of my university experience, so I gave up on it I guess... I might still share some stories, but not as a blog but just at some random places probably.

    Anyways, Amazing :D. I don't have time to read it now, (actually because of university, I got quite some meetings to prepare for and things to read and practise), but I'll read at least some in a bit when I have a bit of spare time! I like this :)
    TomvanWijnen and 607 like this.
  19. Thanks!
    I hope you will read some, and enjoy. :)

    Today I had quite some stress, but on Thursdays I get home too late, and don't have time to recover from university before I'm too tired to write. I'm planning to write about today tomorrow morning, even though I could also be doing university work, then. This journal actually helps me putting things into perspective, which is important when so many new experiences and issues come up.
    Harp4Christ, Eviltoade and haastregt like this.
  20. So! Now let me explain why yesterday was rather stressful.
    The biggest part of the day was fine. My first lecture was at 15:15, so I thought I didn't need to make lunch, as I could have lunch at home. After breakfast I first relaxed for a bit, but was then quite motivated to work, and did a lot. I also took time to get my dry laundry into the wardrobe.
    I did some more work before lunch, but as I was about to have lunch, I realised something. I wasn't supposed to have lunch, I should have dinner. After all, I would be at university in the evening, and I could eat bread then, but no dinner. I had known this before, and planned a dish for the afternoon meal, but I had forgot about it.
    But no big deal, I made it. I'd also have to make lunch still, however. And besides that, I should look up how to get back from university to home, as I only looked up how to get to my tutorial (the tutorials and lectures are in different parts of the city). I found that if the lecture ended on time and I was quick, I could take the bus to Bilthoven (a town near Utrecht), and from there take the train to Amersfoort. If I was late, I would have to go via Utrecht Central Station, which would substantially increase my traveltime. But I would probably be able to make that.
    Then, however, I realised that whether I would be able to go via Bilthoven or not, I'd certainly end up at Amersfoort's train station, and I wouldn't have my bike there if I left it at my usual bus stop. So I decided to look up how I could go from the train station to my tutorial location, and it turned out that then too it was fastest to go via Bilthoven. At this point I realised though that I was unexpectedly in a hurry, as it wouldn't be too long until the train would go, and it takes around 10 minutes to get to the train station. I considered that having food on me would be much more important to me than being on time for a class, even if it would have been mandatory (it was a voluntary class), so I quickly got some supplies.
    Just before setting off, however, I got uncertain about being able to catch the train, so I decided I'd take the bus anyway. I would simply have to walk a bit in the evening to get to my bicycle, or perhaps I'd be able to take a bus. So I went to the bus stop, and waited, and waited some more. When I decided to check when the next bus was going to arrive, I gathered that there are 4 buses driving from Amersfoort to the right place, three of them go in the same 10 minutes, and one of them goes 20 minutes later. Then, you'll have to wait half an hour. What's that about? :confused:
    I thought that if I'd have to wait for 15 minutes, I'd be late anyway, so I decided I'd take the train, so at least I wouldn't have to walk in the evening. I set off from the bus stop, and got lost. Well... not really. I had an idea of where I was all the time, but I think my route toward the train station might have been a bit suboptimal... not that it mattered much, because I did get there without really getting lost, and after waiting on the bus, I was certainly late (probably before that as well), so I'd have to wait until the next train anyway (the train stopping at Bilthoven departs every 30 minutes). I tried calling my mother during the wait to vent my frustration, but the phone wasn't picked up. Not having anything to do, I decided to simply listen to the sounds around me, and imagine recording them to put it on YouTube. I couldn't do that, however, because I didn't have a stereo audio recorder with me. :rolleyes:
    While waiting on the train, a classic steam engine arrived, which was an interesting sight. I looked up the name that was on the carriages while in the train, and it turns out it's from a museum in Rotterdam that's got three working steam engines, one of which is even allowed to ride in Germany as well (there are different requirements for trains in Germany). I was in quite an old train myself, the only type that still drives in the Netherlands that has got a locomotive separate from the carriages.

    Anyway, I got to Bilthoven fine, took the bus fine, and got to the tutorial fine (but 25 minutes late). I asked my groupmate (from the neural myth assignment and others for the same course) if they were workin gon their homework, which he confirmed, and I decided I'd try to do so as well. Except... I didn't have any paper to do it on. Well, I had my notebooks, but I would rather keep my notebooks organised neatly, and not tear pages out of them (because the homework needs to be handed in on paper). I chatted a bit with my mom on Hangouts, but that didn't really get me anywhere either. :p (it was a good way to spend time, though) After some time, I decided I'd leave for the lecture early, as I wasn't going to do anything now anyway, and I would buy paper later. At that moment, my workgroupmate asked me how my work was going, and as I didn't really feel like answering I hadn't started, I stuck with "I'm going to go to [the building we need to go to]". That actually sounded like a good plan, to him, and he went with me. He asked another guy, but that guy was more motivated, and wanted to make the most of the tutorial.
    Having gone outside, my workgroupmate apparently saw a friend, and was invited to play 30 Seconds. He asked if I'd play, but I really did want to go to the right location now now, so I left him.
    At the bus stop, the bus arrived in less than 2 minutes. And then it took off again. Without me. :confused: I waited for the next bus, and walked with it, to show that yes, I wanted to enter it. The back doors opened, but the front door did not. I was afraid it was going to take off without me again, and posited myself right in front of the closed door. To my relief, it opened!

    I was still early for the lecture, so I could use the lavatory at leisure. When the room had opened for us to take place, I saw Robin and 'Mole' (he hasn't confirmed that I can use his real name, but it seems fitting to call him by this name, because of something I'll tell you about later) from my group, and followed them to take a seat.
    This was another Logic lecture, and again it was quite intensive. We had to finish Tuesday's lecture first, and could then proceed to the subject matter intended for Thursday. There were multiple things I couldn't follow and will have to check back on later, to complete it in my notebook. It seems like that might often be the case: there are things that are useful writing down, but in lecture it goes too quickly to write them down, so I'll have to leave space to do it later.
    During this lecture, our Logic teacher implemented a cool rule: if you spot a mistake in the slides before he does, you get a candy bar. Two candy bars were acquired, this lecture. I won't try scanning for mistakes myself, I'll probably get a candy bar sooner or later, when there's a mistake that's a bit harder to find. :p
    But there's something much more memorable that happened during this lecture. And it concerns Guy 2. While approaching this subject, a big smile forms on my face. :D About 10 minutes before time, Guy 2 walked down towards the door; I guess he needed to be somewhere and catch an early bus. But something amazing happened. He couldn't figure out how to open the door. He kept at it, though, throwing a couple of glances up (probably to his groupmates, but they couldn't help him from such a distance), and finally figuring it out. During the process, I had looked around me and noticed that other people were following his endeavours as well. When Guy 2 had at last managed to open the door, a roaring applause started. Evidently, the entire room had their eyes on him. :D Guy 2 exited with a bow, and it took half a minute before the room was silent again, and we could pay attention to our teacher (who had surely also noticed what was going on).
    On the way back home, I estimated how long it took Guy 2 to figure out the mechanism to the door. It must've been about 15 seconds..! If you don't feel like that's too long, please imagine trying to exit a room while hundreds of people are looking at you. Then, while imagining this, count out 15 seconds. It is very long. This totally could've happened to me, though! :D

    As you might recall, I would be able to catch the bus to Bilthoven if the lecture ended on time and I was quick. But the lecture ended 2 minutes late. Robin suggested I'd run, and I did, but not the entire time, as it's a bit physically awkward to run with a backpack on your back. While running, I realised that I was running to the wrong stop. Well, I was running to the closer stop, but I was running to the earlier stop. At this point, though, it was too late to change it, as I wouldn't be able to keep up running for so long. I was just a bit too late, I probably could've made it if I had managed to run the entire way. I certainly would have made it if I had run to the other stop. But oh well, I can remember that for next time. ;)
    I had to take the bus to Utrecht Central Station now, which was quite full. It was interesting, though, because I was with a group of people practising American Sign Language (as far as I could tell). I'd never seen that used in real life before, so that was cool! But when they left it was cool as well, because I could take a seat. :p

    That was it, I think! This took a long time to write, but it was nice to do it! I should be glad that the first time I'm late is on something so missable. ;) I made sure to check early what bus I need to take today, now, and I will also pack my backpack after posting this. Then, I'll see if I can do some of the Logic homework I wasn't able to do yesterday.
    Because I forgot to say: one of my housemates gave me a notebook with removable sheets of paper! That's rather useful indeed, and now I don't need to go out to buy anything anymore. :) I was planning to also buy chicken sausage for tonight's meal while I was at it, but I can do without meat. :p (I'll still have rice, green beans, and applesauce)