Time. People are always saying we have enough, like “you’re young, you’ve got time.” So why does it feel otherwise? Coming into ULIP, life has been an incessant chase for more time; that extra day to finish your assignments, that extra hour of much needed rest, that extra minute to run and catch the metro you’re close to missing. It would be a lie to say I haven’t struggled, and I’m sure some of you have felt the same at one time or another. University is not the only place where these precious seconds slip between the spaces of your fingers, I often find myself thinking about the future. I turned twenty not too long ago, in five more years I am 25, in 10, the big three-oh. It feels somehow as if I need to hurry, to act in haste. In two years, I finish my degree and we are all well aware of the job struggle post-uni, so of course we look to prepare: internships, connections, work experience, whatever. All of that, combined with deadlines, can be very pressuring, it feels as though there isn’t any time. “Organise, discipline, organise” is what my Mother tells me, yet, I do that. I have a diary, I write plans every week, and my MacBook desktop is neatly cluttered with files that correspond to different aspects of my livelihood. So why do I feel as if nothing has changed?
My Mother also stresses this one word to me: focus. I must admit, I am incapable of thinking in a straight line, and that is normal (to a degree), the human mind is constantly in a train of thought, a train that runs from sunset to sunrise… so it’s understandable- I guess. However, ‘normal’ doesn’t always mean ‘okay’. I have found that when I focus on one thing, I am able to complete it to my fullest capabilities. Multi-tasking is great, yes, but is it always necessary? I think as students, we feel obligated to juggle many things at once, and if we find it difficult we get the usual “how will you cope with REAL life” or “wait till you enter REAL adult life”. Frankly, I am tired of hearing this because:
Bref. Focus. Focus is good, linear focus is good. It is possible to centralise your efforts on one thing without neglecting others. I find that when you focus on something, naturally, your body loosens because you don’t have a million-and-one things whizzing in your brain: it can relax and do what it needs to do comfortably. As for the future, yes, it’s inescapable but why do we always refer to it as being to impersonal and far away? Tomorrow is the future, an hour from now is the future. If you look to the near future and focus on that, perhaps things may be easier to manage, and by things, I mostly mean time. Right now, our degree is important, without it, everything we are aspiring to become may not be possible (do take this statement with a pinch of salt however, do not misunderstand, University is not the alpha and omega). Couldn’t the internship attaining/connection making wait till Christmas perhaps, where the constraints of University are less… constraining? You might see that time becomes a lot more malleable when you prioritise and focus on the most important things now.
Oh- and enjoy yourself a lot more too. Handling time isn’t exclusive to meeting deadlines comfortably, but additionally for you to have those essential, destressing moments. University students get a lot of flak for playing hard (though admittedly a little too hard sometiems), but you know… it’s not always a bad thing?
[This may be a personal struggle but I believe it to be very relatable to many of you. I am not a psychologist, nor a life-coach, but I do speak and advise through my own experiences. Try focusing on the ‘now’ and not the distant ‘future’, maybe you will see a slight difference, mayhap a large one. Time is malleable, time can be moulded to you; I am telling you it is possible and I am telling you that things will be okay.]
By Chelsea Bondzanga
The wait has been retarded my friends (for that I deeply apologise) but the day is finally upon us: the last instalment of the trilogy, because I have indeed moved in. I officially moved in on the 12th of November with a dear companion of mine, and though it has been but a few days the trials and tribulations have no end. I’ve already spent too much money settling in, so here I am telling you how to go about “living” the right way. This here is sadly the last yet most comfortable phase in apartment accumulation, though frankly I’ve already accumulated the apartment since I’m living in it, haven’t I?... Regardless, I’m not changing the title, I don’t intend to rupture my literary (pfft) fluidity- so onwards and upwards!
The contract will always be sent to you beforehand so you can give it a good read, what differs in fact is whether you can simply sign and scan the contract, or whether you are required to meet up with the landlord in person to sign it. This is not in your control at all, the landlord holds this decision, much like everything in this process really. In my case, I met up with Mr M. (which I was 40 minutes late to mind you- don’t ask) where I was able to read over the contract with him and ask him the relevant questions. Bearing in mind that the contract was long, complex, and in French, one would assume that I had a slight difficulty grasping it; and “one” would be absolutely correct! Having someone that understands French, and is a little more experienced in signing Francophonie contracts, or someone you simply trust nearby to help you understand the content and conditions better. You are signing a contract, a bunch of words as legally-binding and serious as that should be enough to keep you alert: you need to understand what you are signing! Don’t accidentally sell your soul to the Devil! Stay alert.
Once the signing had gone underway, an indescribable liberation overtook me. Unburdened, my reading week went almost swimmingly- by almost I mean I had two breakdowns, stormed out of the ULIP library and had a boiling 7-day frustration. The formalities however do not end after the contract is signed, there are other documents that are just as important. Mr M came up with an état des lieux the day we moved in. It is basically a document that lists the state of the house and all its contents on the day of entry; so, when it is time to move out the landlord can verify that everything is the way he/she has left it. Any slight discrepancies, and you can kiss goodbye to a fully refunded security deposit and hello to a partial refund, it really depends on whatever you may have “damaged”. If the landlord does not issue one in your presence, initiate it yourself, you don’t want to be accused of something you didn’t do and have to pay the price. Once all that is done the apartment is officially accumulated, the place, yours.
Exciting as it maybe you have yet to settle in. You ready to start/continue your academic year and transform your “place” into a home so you can start “living” comfortably. These are some of the things I did to move in, I:
Noticeably, the word “bought” keeps cropping up. Unfortunately, it’s true, you will be buying quite a few things, so in retrospect the key word should’ve really been “budget”. I trust that you will understand the constraints of your student income and work accordingly. I mean you really have no choice, considering you could be feeding on ice and dust particles by the end of the month if you’re not careful. The ball is in your court my friend, all the cards are on the table. I bid you good luck.
And after the long process of apartment accumulation, the trinary is finally complete. Whether you are an inexperienced first year looking for an apartment to start your ULIP adventure, or just someone in search of an easy read, I am truly grateful that you have chosen to journey along with me. During my time of writing this, I was indeed going through the process of accumulation and honestly documenting my experiences as they went along was quite therapeutic, although I could’ve been better with my deadlines (sorry Vice Pres). It would truly be an honour to know that this trilogy has helped even one of you in some weird way or another. So now I sit leisurely on my comfy sofa, sipping on a dull mug of chamomile tea wishing o’ so strongly that it was a good ol’ cuppa of my beloved Typhoo (yes, I drink Typhoo… and yes, I like it) or Tetley’s for you sophisticated folks, smiling and hoping that the some of you have found a nice set of four walls to shelter you for the year, yet simultaneously grimacing because I have a deadline coming up.
Back to the books I guess!
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