Blog

KonMari your residence room

Whether it’s the middle of term or a week before you move out, keep your space fresh and organized with these decluttering tips!

Man working at desk

By Amanda Keating, 3rd year Arts student

During my time living in residence at UBC, it’s safe to say that I have collected a lot of stuff.

In first-year, I flew in from the US with just three suitcases. Flash-forward to third-year: let’s just say that three suitcases were barely enough to fit my vast collection of UBC sweatshirts. It’s totally natural to collect more things as you move through residence, but how much is too much? As I entered my third year, this was the dilemma I faced.

Let me paint you a picture of what my room looked like.

Clothes I hadn’t worn in months filled my closet, textbooks from first-year haunted my bookshelf, and there was a growing cache of who-knows-what under my bed.

Maybe you’re in the same boat?

Whether you’re moving out of residence or just want to tidy things up, figuring out what to keep and what to get rid of can be tough. That old hoodie from high school can have a lot of memories attached to it. That copy of War & Peace on your bookshelf… It’s your next great read, right?!

Like me, maybe you’re not sure where to start. I had no idea what to do with the accumulation of stuff that was taking over my space. Then, after watching her Netflix series, I turned to Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method—like millions of other North Americans!— and my room is now much happier (and tidier) because of it. Here’s how the process works and how it worked for me!

What is the KonMari Method?

According to Marie Kondo, the KonMari Method is not a “set of rules on how to sort, organize, and put things away. It is a guide to acquiring the right mindset for creating order and becoming a tidy person.”

A common misunderstanding is that the KonMari Method is actually just about minimalism—about living with less. Although minimalism and KonMari have many similarities, the KonMari Method is more about living with those things you truly cherish. The result might be the same, but not necessarily!

When I decided to declutter my room, I actually used a combination of the Konmari Method and minimalism. Turned out, I only had a few items that truly sparked joy, which made it easier to get rid of my unnecessary items. You might have lots of items that spark joy, and that’s okay too!

The 5 Steps to Decluttering Your Space

Woman holding pile of knit blankets

Even though I used some aspects of minimalism, for simplicity, let’s just stick to the KonMari Method, with its 5 essential steps to decluttering. Use these steps to help you figure out what to keep, throw away, or donate—or, if you’re moving out, what you want to put into storage or take with you.

Also, if it’s your first time using this method, I’d recommend setting aside an entire day to tidy up. Or split your tidying over a couple of days.

1. Discard by category first.

The first step is to discard your items—by category. Marie Kondo recommends using this order:

  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Kimono (a.k.a., miscellaneous 😜)
  • Mementos

2. Break your categories into subcategories, if needed.

If you have a lot of one type of item, like clothes or books, you can break these down into smaller subcategories. For clothes, the obvious choice is shirts, pants, shoes, etc. But you could also break that category down by season or colour. The choice is yours!

3. Keep only the things that spark joy.

This is the phrase that put Marie Kondo on the world’s stage. Here’s how it works:

  • Pick up each item individually.
  • Really feel it.
  • Then, ask yourself: does this item spark joy?

Do you have an emotional connection to the item? Yeah? OK, that one’s a keeper. Not so much? Looks like it’s time to let it go. This is the time to decide which items hold meaning for you, or serve a purpose in your life, and which items are, honestly, just stuff. Ask yourself: do you really need those books from last term—or are they better off on someone else’s shelf?

4. After you’ve finished discarding, it’s time to organize your room.

Choose where you’re going to store the things you’re keeping, whether it be in your drawers, closet, or under your bed. Just remember to store the same types of items in the same place. Looking for some storage options? IKEA has tons of cost-effective and residence-friendly options to help you optimize your space.

5. Do it all in one go.

While you can do the process over a couple of days, if you need to, Marie Kondo recommends decluttering your space in one single-day session, rather than little-by-little. It might seem like an overwhelming thing to do, but trust me, it will take way less time than you think. And doing so will help change your entire mindset when it comes to maintaining an organized space.

Girl sitting in chair reading a book

And that’s it! Once you’ve finished decluttering your space with the KonMari Method, you should have 3 piles:

  1. Stuff you’re going to donate.
  2. Stuff you’re putting in storage.
  3. Stuff you’re going to recycle or throw away.

You could also add a fourth pile for items you want to sell on the UBC Buy & Sell Facebook group, Craigslist, or a marketplace app.

The takeaway

If you decide to declutter in the middle of the school year like I did, your room will be a much happier, less distracting, and better functioning space—whether you need to chill out after a long day of classes, hunker down for a late-night study session, or quickly pack a bag for a weekend away.

If you decide to declutter while getting ready to move out, letting go of the things that don’t spark joy will make moving into your next place that much easier.

For me, using the KonMari Method to declutter my room helped me completely transform my space. My drawers are less cluttered and my closet is free of all those unworn sweatshirts. After an arduous study session at IKB, it now feels so comforting to step into a tidy, organized room, which contains items that I know spark joy.

Ultimately, it’s up to you what, and how much, you choose to get rid of when you KonMari your room. Maybe your space is in dire need of a deep decluttering. Maybe it just needs a minor clean-up. Figure out what’s best for you, and get to it. Happy decluttering!

Study Break Ideas To Help You Rock Your Exams

How can you make the most of your study break? It’s easier than you think.

By Amanda Keating, 3rd year Arts student

It’s happened to the best of us. You’re in the middle of a study session and you decide to take a well-deserved break. You pull out your phone and open TikTok. You tell yourself “Just for ten minutes…”

Two hours later, you’re lost in the endless abyss that is your For You page. Your textbook remains untouched and your eyes droop shut with exhaustion.

I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me and an innocent study break has quickly escalated into doing nothing—for hours… I condemned my procrastination. I swore to myself I would never do it again. But those were empty promises.

Until I started to ask some questions. What is the actual purpose of a study break? We’re all told that study breaks are good for us. But why are they good for us?

Turns out routine study breaks have many benefits including increased productivity, motivation, and creativity. The catch? You need to take the right kind of study break. Despite how tempting it may sound, “accidentally” binging five episodes of Love Island or aimlessly scrolling through TikTok does not count.

When to take study breaks

Human attention spans aren’t particularly long, and research indicates that the human brain is actually wired for distraction. So how can you combat your own programming and avoid the pitfalls of an unproductive study break? As with many things in life, it’s all about timing.

The sweet spot for productive focus is estimated to be somewhere between 50 and 90 minutes, with the ideal study break length being between 15 and 20 minutes—but you can take longer for meals, of course. 🙂

These days, during study sessions, I typically use the Pomodoro Technique. But feel free to experiment and see what tools, techniques, and time increments work for you. Whatever you choose, the timer on your phone will soon become your best friend.

How to spend your study breaks

So, now we know an effective study break is just 15–20 minutes. What are you going to do with that time?

Importantly, you want to decide ahead of time what to do during your study breaks; otherwise, the moment you touch your phone you know you’re going to slide into that TikTok vortex I warned you about earlier.

With that in mind, here are six effective study break ideas—to help you feel rejuvenated and ready to focus when you return to that textbook, essay, or project.

Remember, set a timer for both your study sessions and your study breaks, so you don’t forget to get back to work!

1. Have a meal or healthy snack

It’s easy to get in the zone while studying and completely forget to eat. If you’re in first year residence, take a walk down to your residence dining room or market and grab something to eat. There are lots of healthy takeaway options! If you’re in upper-year residence or living off-campus, use your study break to make yourself a quick snack or meal. Consider prepping food ahead of time so it’s ready to go!

Need some ideas? UBC Food Services offers some delicious, easy recipes to try out! And don’t miss all the great cooking tips and tricks on @ubcfoodie!

2. Take a walk

Seriously, leave your study space! Although taking a walk in Vancouver’s rainy weather isn’t always ideal, it can be really beneficial to change your environment and move your body during your study break. So grab your umbrella and head outside to give your brain a rest and switch gears for a few minutes, so you can return to your study space refreshed and ready to go!

3. Meditate

This one might sound a bit out there, but hear me out! Taking 15-20 minutes to slow your breathing, quiet your racing mind, and refocus your attention can be super helpful. So if you’re still with me, make sure you sit somewhere that isn’t your desk, and let a podcast or YouTube video guide you through the meditation.

Meditation not your thing? Try some simple breathing exercises! They have similar effects as meditation, and there are many videos on YouTube to help guide you through.

4. Tidy up your room (or study space)

You might have heard the phrase “clear space, clear mind.” It has some truth to it, don’t you think? Take a moment to look around your room. Is it messy? A little bit cluttered? Use your study break to tidy it up! Clear the laundry from the floor, throw your trash away, and make the bed you “forgot” to make in the morning.

5. Visit your friends

(Note: this applies when physical distancing is not in effect! For now, virtual visits are the name of the game.)

Be careful with this one. You go to visit your friend, and what was supposed to be a quick stop-by turns into a two hour hangout. Despite that risk, social interaction can help break you out of your internal monologue and allow you to focus on something other than studying. Plus, tons of research supports the mental health benefits of social interaction. Just make sure you don’t lose track of time!

6. Take a power nap

No, not a three-hour, extended sleep; just a short and sweet power nap. In fact, you only need about 20 minutes to feel the benefits. Just avoid napping for more than 30 minutes, since that can leave you feeling groggy.

Of course, how you spend your study breaks is up to you! The most important things are to set a timer to keep it short and to choose an activity that helps you relax and reset your mind—so you can get back to focused, attentive studying after your well-deserved break. You got this!

Getting around UBC: An intro to transit on campus

Turns out, you don’t have to walk everywhere.

By Michaela Dunn, 3rd year Arts student

It’s a warm, windy day in early September. The air smells of hot pavement. I’m in first year, it’s my first week at UBC, and I’m in the middle of my first mission to stock up on snacks for my room. I hobble down East Mall for the fourth time, in flip-flops, a blue Student Housing lanyard dangling around my neck. I notice a blue and grey bus drive by. 

Onlookers – mostly upper-year students – sneak perplexed (or sympathetic?) glances as they watch me stumble, my shoulders slumping with the weight of four over-filled Save-On-Foods’ grocery bags grasped in each hand, their plastic handles losing structural integrity with each step. A second bus passes by.

Now, you may be wondering: how on earth did I find myself in this situation? Who in their right mind would lug heavy groceries for two kilometres, on foot, from Wesbrook Village to Totem Park Residence twice in two hours? Not to mention the return trips.

The funny thing is, I’m from Toronto, Ontario, where transit is very much a thing. The concept of buses was not foreign to me. First year me, however, was painfully  unaware that transportation on campus existed – and it’s okay if you don’t know about it either! 

Transit on campus

During my first year (after I figured out they existed…) I depended on the trusty 68 and 70 bus routes. These two powerhouses were the backbone of the transit system on campus. With the launch of Translink’s Rapidbus service in January 2020, and the new R4 bus, the campus transit landscape got something of a refresh.

Let me bring you up to speed:

  • The 70 is no more. 🚌😵
  • The 68 has a longer route, running via the west side of campus between the UBC Bus Exchange and Wesbrook Village.
  • For trips along Wesbrook Mall, take the 49 – or the R4!

Now that those changes are out of the way, let’s get into what makes the 68 so helpful – nay, necessary – for taking care of business during your UBC years.

The 68

The 68 is a community shuttle bus that operates just like any other Translink bus. Simply tap your Compass Card (aka, your U-Pass) and enjoy the ride.

So, don’t feel like trudging through the rain from one end of Main Mall to the other? The 68 has your back. Having a lazy day and you’d rather not walk from Vanier to Totem for that lunch with friends? The 68 won’t judge. Heading for a run in Pacific Spirit Park, but want to save your energy for the actual run? The 68 will take you (most of the way) there too.

Where else does it go?

The 68 can also drop you off near ALL. THE. ATTRACTIONS. Suddenly, an excursion to the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) or the Botanical Garden doesn’t seem quite as daunting.

And, hey, if in January you don’t want to compromise your snazzy Friday night outfit with your rain boots, umbrella and parka, the 68 will embrace you in a warm hug, give you a pat on the back, and drop you off right near your campus destination.

Here are some other key places you can visit:

  • Wesbrook Village
  • UBC Farm 
  • Sage Restaurant
  • The Point
  • Koerner’s
  • The Student Rec Centre/the ARC
  • …and more!

How late does it run?

In case you find yourself studying on the other end of campus after dark, most nights the 68 runs every 20 minutes until about half-past midnight. Just one of the ways to stay safe on campus after dark.

So remember, as long as you don’t forget to reload your U-Pass each month, the 68 is at your service – along with the 49 and the R4!

Accessibility Shuttle

If you have a temporary or permanent condition that affects your mobility, the 68 isn’t your only option for getting around. Cue the UBC Accessibility Shuttle, a free shuttle that can transport you to and from places on campus, which are normally just for pedestrians!

Learn more about the UBC Accessibility Shuttle.

What about cycling? 

Yeah, I know, I said this post was about transit…but there’s another great option for getting around campus – besides your hoverboard. You might have seen those turquoise and black bicycles around campus. Or maybe not? Anyway, for those days where you’d rather cruise across campus and take a break from the usual 68 route, check out HOPR, UBC’s bike share program.

Getting Off-Campus

Now that you’re well-versed in transportation options on campus, you’re ready to leave the nest. Lucky for you, UBC is a major transit hub with an abundance of buses, including:

  • The famous 99 B-line, which runs east-west on Broadway
  • The 44, which will get you downtown or connect you to the SeaBus for a North Shore adventure
  • The R4, which heads east on 41st Avenue and connects with the SkyTrain just a couple of stops away from Metrotown mall

All you have to do is tap your card, find a seat (if you can), and wait for the adventure to begin. Plan your journey online or, if you’re old-school, take a gander at the transit map. Check out this UBC Life blog post for a breakdown of bus routes, neighbourhoods and key destinations.

So when the day comes and you need to hit up Save-on-Foods for some supplies, get to the opposite end of campus without getting drenched, or go on a weekend excursion, don’t be first-week me. Save a little time (and frustration) by taking a ride on the 68 (or any one of UBC’s many transportation options). Your chariot awaits!

I’m Worried, My Student Hasn’t Returned My Calls

Concerned mother checking her phone

It is important to remember that this is a challenging and exciting time for your student. They’re juggling competing priorities—classes, friends and extra-curricular activities, not to mention the typical challenges of early adulthood—and can become distracted.

However, if you’re feeling worried or concerned because your student hasn’t returned your calls, here’s what you can do and how UBC Student Housing can help.

Urgent health or safety concerns

If you are concerned that your student is at risk and that an urgent health and safety check is warranted, our residence front desk staff will ask you to contact our local police detachment (RCMP) at 604.224.1322. The police will attend and we will assist their efforts to locate and ensure the safety of your student.

If your student hasn’t returned your calls

If your concern is less urgent, but repeated efforts to contact your student have failed, and you are growing concerned about their wellbeing, you can contact your student’s residence front desk. Our staff will send a note to your student to inform them that you have phoned about their wellbeing and that you have requested they contact you. Additionally, a peer Residence Advisor will attempt to locate your student by the next day to ensure they are safe. If your student does not respond to our outreach efforts within a day, we will ask the RCMP to do a health and safety check. We will provide the RCMP with your student’s emergency contact information, which your student was asked to provide when they accepted their residence offer.

Find contact information for your student’s residence front desk at vancouver.housing.ubc.ca/contact-us.

Please note that UBC is required to respect your student’s privacy. Therefore, we are not able to phone you with an update.

Difficult transitions to life at UBC

On the other hand, if you are in touch with your student, but you are concerned that they are experiencing difficulty transitioning to UBC, you can contact your student’s Residence Life Manager (RLM). While RLMs are not able, without your student’s permission, to share specific information about your student with you, the RLM will listen and take your concerns seriously—and they will talk with you about our typical assistance in the circumstances you are describing. Additionally, our staff will reach out to your student, talk with them about how they’re doing and offer to help them access relevant campus services, supports and resources.

Find contact information for your student’s RLM at vancouver.housing.ubc.ca/contact-us.

Your student’s privacy

We take parent, family, and friend concerns seriously, and we will follow up with your student. But please keep in mind that UBC is required to respect your student’s privacy. Without your student’s permission, we are not able to share information with you or phone you with an update about your student—even in the above situations.

My Favourite Study Spaces

Group of students studying together in library

By Julia Yang, UBC student

If you’ve ever been in your room with the intention of diving into study only to be drawn by the magnetic pull of the bed, then this article is for you. Succumbing to the familiar comfort of the bed too frequently may be detrimental to the health of your academics and, if you have one, your normal sleep schedule.

Sometimes all it takes to get into intense study mode is a change of scenery—finding that one place where your brain seems to magically click.

So here is a list of my favourite places (in no particular order) on and off campus to escape the lure of “the Bed” and to spend some quality study time!

Life Sciences Centre

The Life Sciences Centre on Health Sciences Mall is wonderful place to study because it’s not so quiet that you have to be self conscious opening your binder, but it’s not loud enough to feel irritation. There are two atriums with plenty of light, one with smaller round tables and the other with long wide tables. Speaking from personal experience, if you are an avid practitioner of study sprawling, then the long wooden tables will be an absolute delight for you! Plus, if a caffeine fix is desperately needed, there is Caffè Perugia located in the Centre and a Starbucks across the street.

It’s open from 7 am to 6 pm on weekdays, but unfortunately it’s closed on the weekends.

Ridington Room

Known more famously as the “Harry Potter” room due in large part to the paintings of past UBC presidents, it is one of four silent study rooms in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.  It has a calm and quiet atmosphere, and the high ceilings make the room feel large and airy which contributes at an overall relaxed environment. Like the Life Sciences Centre, the long tables in the Ridington Room make it a great place for study sprawlers. During sunny days, wonderful, warm sunshine peeks through the giant windows to remind you that, outside of that frustrating and table flipping course, all is still well.

Law Library

The Law Library is across from Buchanan and is a great place to get some quiet studying done. All three floors of the library have spaces for students to study and the chairs are quite comfortable to sit in for longer periods of time. The new building itself is visually pleasing and doesn’t have that funky, old building smell which I suppose is always a bonus (for those of you with sensitive noses, it actually smells quite nice).  If you get caught in a mind bind, the Law Café downstairs provides food for brain fuel and the movable book stacks in the library are a great distraction during breaks. Outside the library are seating areas for students who want to work on group projects or just study in each others’ company.

An important side note is that during exam period, certain areas of the library will be reserved for law students so just make sure to observe the signage to avoid the uncomfortable situation of being asked to vacate. Also, food and drinks (other than bottled water) are not allowed in the library in order to maintain its pristine and stink-free environment.

Walter Gage Commonsblock

The Walter Gage Commonsblock has a variety of different study spaces available to both students living on and off campus. Ruth Blair C is a quiet study room with mostly glass walls, so at times it may feel like being an exhibit at the aquarium.

The Izzy Mac Ballroom is a semi-silent study area that has mirrors covering opposite walls (like a dance studio) but is sometimes unavailable due to residence events.

Another semi-silent study is the Mary Murrin room which is great if you love to study in an environment that is mostly olive in colour (it’s honestly quite relaxing).

Ruth Blair A and B are smaller, separate rooms available for students to book at the front desk and can only be booked within the 24 hours prior to your chosen time.

The common area has many cozy couches and fairly large tables that are great for group study sessions and a mini mart to stock up on snacks. All study areas in Walter Gage Commonsblock are open 24 hours a day, which makes them great places to study with friends during exam season.

Feel free to check out these spots, escape from the comforts of your blanket and hopefully reconnect with 
your books!

Professor In Residence

Professor in Residence

The Professor in Residence program offers you the opportunity to connect with a professor outside of the classroom. A professor is assigned to each first year residence community—and the professors are excited to engage with and get to know students outside of a classroom setting.

The Professor in Residence team is diverse in experience and committed to:

  • Offering weekly drop-in hours to answer questions
  • Being present in the community
  • Attending residence events and programs
  • Helping make professors more approachable for students

Additionally the team offers a diverse range of engaging programs on topics related to well-being, academic success, and more.

Your Professors-in-Residence

Totem Park

Michael-Griffin.jpg

Michael Griffin
Philosophy

Office Hours:
Wednesdays | 5-6pm
Totem Park Commons Block

Learn more about Michael!
Hi, I’m Michael! I’m an associate professor in Classics and Philosophy at the University of BritishColumbia. I study the philosophers of the ancient Graeco-Roman world, especially the vibrant intellectual traditions that emerged around Plato and Aristotle during their lives and later, during the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. I am particularly interested in the practice of philosophical education (paideia) in late antiquity, and the role that philosophy – ancient and modern – can play in cultivating public citizenship and human flourishing.

Place Vanier

Place Vanier Residence

Lynn Norman
Biology

Office Hours:
Wednesdays | 6-7pm
Gather Dining Room

Learn more about Lynn!

Hi, I’m Lynn! I teach biology here at UBC. When I started university, I remember being uncertain about what I wanted to do for a career – I just knew that I loved animals and wanted to do something that involved them. As it turned out, I was still not sure what I wanted to do after I finished my undergraduate degree.

After embarking on graduate work on the movement ecology of garter snakes, I discovered that I adored field research, but also, much to my surprise, teaching ecology labs. I have taught biology at UBC since 2001, and for a few summers I also helped coordinate the Vertebrae Anatomy Labs (Biology 204).

When I have spare time, I try to get outside, watch a movie (ideally one with dragons), or play a little World of Warcraft (For the Alliance!). I am super excited to be a part of the Professor-in-Residence program at Place Vanier. I love being asked questions and helping students, and I can’t wait to meet you!

Orchard Commons

Kayli-Johnson-2.jpg

Kayli Johnson
Chemistry

Office Hours:
Mondays | 5-6pm
Open Kitchen Dining Room

Simon-Lolliot-2.jpg

Simon Lolliot
Psychology

Office Hours:
Mondays | 5-6pm
Open Kitchen Dining Room

Learn more about Kayli and Simon!
We (Kayli and Simon) met in England while finishing our PhD’s at the University of Oxford. Simon’s research focused on intergroup contact and reconciliation whereas Kayli’s background is in organic chemistry (specifically enantioselective organocatalysis – if you don’t know what that is, come and ask me!). Kayli likes competitive sports and collaborative board games. Simon likes pretending he is being chased by zombies while running and competitive computer games. We both enjoy hiking local mountains and exploring the coast on our paddle board. We’re happy to chat about course work, university life, armchair philosophies, or whatever is on your mind! We are looking forward to serving as your Professors in Residence this year in Orchard Commons.

Connect with your Professors in Residence on Facebook!

Check out a great story on the Professor-in-Residence and the Professor-in-Collegia programs.

“I was excited about the opportunity to connect with students outside the classroom, to put a human face on the faculty, and to bring an academic dimension to the social life of residence. — Dr. Michael Griffin”

Dr. Michael Griffin

Dr. Michael Griffin, an associate professor of Greek and Roman philosophy, lives in Totem Park as a member of the Professor in Residence program. We sat down with him to talk about the program.

What was your motivation for joining the program?

From my experience in first year at UBC, I remember how huge and sometimes faceless the university can feel, especially if your first encounter with faculty is from the back of a huge lecture hall. I was excited about the opportunity to connect with students outside the classroom, to put a human face on the faculty, and to bring an academic dimension to the social life of residence.

I did my doctorate at the University of Oxford, which features a college system that houses professors, grad students, and undergraduates across all disciplines in the same residences. That was a great opportunity for me to connect with researchers and interesting peers outside my area of academic interest and comfort zone, and I think the Professor in Residence program at UBC has a chance to do the same thing.

Dr. Michael GriffinHow has your experience been so far? 

Fantastic. The students and RAs, and my colleagues on the Residence Life team, have been amazingly welcoming.

I’ve enjoyed conversations about all kinds of subjects, and I’ve learned a great deal. My lecturing style has adapted based on discussions with students and watching my colleagues on the Academic Team (A-Team) work with students.

Dr. Michael GriffinWhat were some of the activities you ran last year? 

I ran a “pizza and ideas” film night each term. In Term 1 we watched The Matrix (1999) and talked about questions that film raised. I offered academic workshops on exam strategies, picking a major, and term papers, and I held regular office hours at a table in the Commonsblock. I also invited different floors and houses to dinner during the term to talk about their experience with faculty at UBC.

 

More Than A Game

At UBC, we’re big believers in the benefits of getting involved in extracurricular activities.

Playing sports, like football, is a way to build important leadership skills, stay healthy and active. It’s also an opportunity to make new friends.

We sat down with Colin Yang, Vikaram Varpaul, Spencer Moore and Karson Patommel, Totem Park residents and first-year recruits on the UBC Thunderbird football team. Here’s what they had to say about it.


Colin Yang (right) is from Frisco, Texas. He's studying Computer Sciences at UBC.

Colin Yang (right)

Colin Yang

Football is a place where I have no doubts, no stress and no fear.

I’ve heard people refer to their university experience as the best time of their life. I’ve no idea how true this really is or not, but one thing’s for sure — it’s definitely one of the most stressful.

It can get really hectic sometimes. Pages upon pages of reading to keep up with every night. Tests and quizzes to study for.  Luckily, no matter how tough or stressful life seems, there’s always a place I can go to unwind, de-stress, and forget about my worries. It’s a place where I am at ease, in tune with my element, no matter the time of day nor the season.

Colin is from Frisco, Texas. He’s studying Computer Science at UBC.


Vikaram Varpaul is from Surrey, BC. He's studying in the Faculty of Arts at UBC.

Vikaram Varpaul

Vikaram Varpaul

Football creates a winning attitude, helping me develop not only as an athlete but as a student.

What makes football so much more than a game is everything that it teaches me. To be a member of the UBC Thunderbird football team requires mental toughness and discipline. Every day I put 100% of my energy into workouts, practice, and meetings trying to constantly improve myself and help the team succeed. This attitude applies towards everything I do outside of football, including academics.

To me, football is not just a game, it is a huge part of my life.

Vikaram Varpaul is from Surrey, BC. He studies in the Faculty of Arts at UBC.


Spencer Moore (centre) is from Langley, BC and is studying in the Faculty of Arts at UBC.

Spencer Moore (centre)

Spencer Moore

Football is more than just a game, it’s my passion and first love.

As a player, a great amount of dedication is required on and off the field: in meetings, in the gym, and in the classroom. To be successful at what I do, it requires a very determined attitude and that’s what I adopt.

With that said, all the efforts I put into perfecting my game can be very time-consuming, making it tough to study and get school work done sometimes. But, at the end of the day, the challenge of balancing it all is worth it. When I get to step out on to the field, and wear that number 31, I know I won’t be out-worked. Every play is all out and that comes from the constant grind day-in and day-out.

Spencer Moore is from Langley, BC. He’s studying in the Faculty of Arts at UBC. 


Karson Patommel is from Vernon, BC and is in his first-year of Kinesiology studies.

Karson Patommel

Karson Patommel

Football lets me be more than just a first-year student at UBC: it’s what makes me unique. 

When I walk around campus, I am proud of being on a team that works so hard and contributes to the community.

Because of football, I have the unique opportunity to play for thousands of fans all while making friends and creating important relationships with my teammates. Football is more than just a game, it gives me the opportunity to better myself and it has really made my experience at UBC a great one. I look forward to many more years as a UBC thunderbird.

-Karson Patommel is from Vernon, BCHe’s studying Kinesiology at UBC.