Ask Natalie: First time finals

“Dear Natalie,

What should I expect for finals? It’s my first time and I’m nervous.”

That really depends on what kind of classes you’re taking.

The exams you take can be as different as the classes UBC offers. Your prof should go over what your exam will look like. If they haven’t, they will soon. If you’re in Arts, expect at least one essay exam. Hopefully you don’t get two on the same day – that always throws my writing hand out. Multiple choice and short answer questions are also very common. 

Regardless of your major, expect to seriously question how other people are finishing so early. There’s always a few people who finish stupid early. It probably means they had no idea what they were saying. Don’t worry. 

It’s the criers that should tip you off. I’m kidding. Sort of. 

Bring a pencil and an eraser. Extra pens. If you’re in the SRC, bring a sweater. I’m always cold in there. 

Outside the exam proper, expect to not know how to deal with your new found “freedom.” I mean, you’re not free, but you feel like you are. It’s a cruel time. You want to do things because you don’t have class, but you need to study. 

And study you must! Try to study as much as you can. Find a nice quiet place and buckle down. Re-write your notes. Re-read chapters you skimmed before. Make flash-cards. Study. 

Exam time is for two things: studying and holiday cheer. I’m serious. How excited are you guys to go home this year? 

“Dear Natalie,

There’s this girl who works at this coffee shop I go to quite often and I want to see if she’d want to go out sometime, but I don’t want to seem stalker-y. I think she likes me, but how can I know for sure?”

As someone who works in customer service, you can’t know for sure. Maybe she really does like you. Maybe she secretly hopes she’ll have to make your grande hazelnut Frappuccino. But there’s also the chance she’s just doing her job. In a world where the customer is always right, it’s hard to say no. 

I would just slip her your name and number. That puts the ball in her court and when she does call you, you’ll know it’s not because her manager was breathing down her neck about giving “the best customer service experience possible.”


“Dear Natalie,

I keep hooking up with these guys who really don’t want a relationship and just want to hook up. But I want the relationship, not just the sex. What should I do?”

You want a Ted, but you keep getting a Barney. I get it. 

There’s nothing wrong with not wanting a relationship and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a relationship. But you should try to figure out what you want and what they want before you hook up if you know you are not okay with something casual. Talk to them! Be firm. Know what you want. Don’t bend for anyone. Be honest and ask that they are too. 

If they are looking for the same thing, great! If they don’t, let them go. It’s not healthy to expect people to change what they want when starting a relationship. If they don’t respect that, then you know you made the right choice. People who push you to sleep with them after you’ve made it clear you’re not 100 per cent for it are bad news. While I feel like your mom saying this, you are deserve more than them. 

If you keep hooking up with these guys you know aren’t going to work out, try taking a break from dating for a little bit. Focus on you and what makes you happy. Hint: It’s not going to be a relationship. It’s not going to be someone else. It’s going to be you. 

Don’t change yourself to attract more boys. Don’t bend who you are in hopes of impressing the right guy. The right person will find who you really are interesting and awesome and wonderful. Don’t stress about it. 

In university, it can feel like everyone is either looking for something casual, already in a relationship or in engineering. But that’s not the case. There are tons of great guys who are looking for great partners like yourself — you just have to keep looking. There’s no rush to find “the one” because you’re young and you’ll definitely change in the next five years. 

Need advice? Contact Natalie anonymously at and have your questions answered in an upcoming issue.