Little Wanderer

Blog by: Elijah Lagman and Jacqueline Teer

19 Things to Do the Summer Before University

by JacquelineTeer

Summer Sunset

19 Things To Do The Summer Before University:

University is a huge 4-year investment. This means that the summer before you head off to University has to be fun and productive to not only relax from your 4 year high-school-haul, but should also prepare you for the next 4-year-haul ahead. These are just a few things you can do to stay busy!

  1. Get an internship/ volunteer

Keep your work profile in mind. This will allow you to be able to land future internships or jobs which may give you advantage once you’re in the actual job market.

You will not only gain experience, it may even drive your passion towards or against certain professions and inform future career decisions (which you now have to think about!).


  1. Take time to plan what courses you are going to take for your first semester.

Make relevant plans with your intended course advisor (this may vary in difficulty depending how far you live from your University)

This will make your transition into college a lot easier and more seamless if you know exactly what you’re studying and why you are studying it. Be wary of the several pre-requisites, both of your university, of your college and intended major and make sure you’re fulfilling them!

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My Approach to Highschool

by JacquelineTeer

High school is where grades begin to truly matter, at least for me. Your high school GPA is now a huge piece of a puzzle that will determine what university you will get into.The 1st trait I notice that sets apart people who do well in high school is their demeanour and attentiveness in class.

1. Engaged listening

I found it much easier to follow a class when I engaged in the class with the teacher. This is much easier in a smaller class, but still possible in a large one. Engaged listening is truly what sets many student apart and this involves:


raising handAsking questions when you need clarification or assistance.


“Low achieving students- those in most need of assistance—appear to ask increasingly fewer questions as they proceed in school from grade to grade.”

(Good, 1981; Good, Slavings, Harel, & Emerson, 1987)


If you’re a “low achieving student,” you don’t have to ask about everything, but definitely try to ask about small relevant things. The logic of this is: in order to ask a question, you must have thought about the material, showing that you care.

Young female is writing notes and planning her schedule.

Actively taking notes.

I do admit I take an extensive set of notes; I use the Cornell note-taking system.

Yet, although active note taking is instrumental for me, I personally think that if your note taking gets in the way of your absorbing the material, you are better off simply listening to the teacher. If you take notes without absorbing the explanations, you will be left with empty words that you don’t understand. You could instead ask the teacher to email you the PowerPoint and take short notes of what he says.

PRO TIP: Something that works well for me is reading my class notes once I get home. Within days of practicing this, you’ll be surprised how much you’ve already forgotten after a few hours. You’ll also be surprised how much more you will remember over your peers after having kept this up.


On that note, since this article is an attempt to update your approach to high school, it is relevant to mention the use of laptops to take notes. For many, this is a viable option. I have seen many peers succeed with this note-taking style, but personally it feels detached. The ease of tabbing into Twitter and Facebook is all too real. Just remember, if you are taking this route don’t  forget to backup your files! I recommend investing in a 2TB hard drive


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The Best YouTube Bassists of 2015

by Elijah MK Lagman

Besides my sights for medical school, I’ve also got an ear for the electric bass. Before the year ends, I wanted to share a couple of bassists that have inspired me by their pioneering technique in manipulating the instrument to new heights. YouTube bassists don’t tend to release their own material with the exception of 1-2 minute improvisations of programmed synth and drums. So they’re kind of Weird Al without the often cringeworthy (but totally laughable) lyrical manipulation.  What are we waiting for? 

Note: I’m only considering bassists who’ve gained popularity through YouTube. This is also in no particular order

1. Zander Zonzander zon

The pioneer of YouTube piccolo bass, Zander has had a lovely year being even more experimental than the last. What’s a piccolo bass? No, it’s not guitar strings on a bass. It’s a bass with strings that can reach a higher range than the normal electric bass and can include guitar tunings (EADG) but I don’t think Zander ever did. Using electric bows, acoustic 6 string basses (that pretty much look like acoustic guitars but don’t sound so), electric cellos and finally, he’s started collaborating with the likes of Miki SantamariaCharlie Puth and vocalists such as KJC. You’d think he was busy this year but having only posted 6 videos, we know he’s been busy teaching as well as coming up with these beautiful arrangements. I’d still consider him one of the best as even if you check the comments in his videos, the bassists I look up to now still comment on his finesse and playing and he’s not even that old, mind you. His quirky username combines the name of his infamous headless 4 string piccolo Zon bass with his own. There’s nothing much like Zander and there might not ever be one.

Recommended Videos:

  1. Mr. Brightside (cover) I love this song, and what more as a bass solo? It inspired me to learn it and cover it note per note!
  2. Looking Glass (original). This song was truly ahead of its time and cemented Zander Zon as a YouTube Bassist. I would listen to this more often than his covers of popular songs.


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Death Cab For Cutie @ UC Berkeley Greek Theatre [Part 1]

by Elijah MK Lagman

Death Cab for Cutie


Warning: This series of articles is a big project of song lyric analysis of the set list played at UC berkeley. Each song has a paragraph dedicated to it. Press cntrl + “F” to activate the “find” function for the corresponding song analysis.

  1. No room in Frame (Kintsugi)
  2. Crooked Teeth (Plans)
  3. Photobooth (The Forbidden Love EP)
  4. Black Sun (Kintsugi)
  5. The New Year (Transatlanticism)
  6. The Ghosts of Beverly Drive (Kintsugi)
  7. Grapevine Fires (Narrow Stairs)
  8. Codes and Keys (Codes and Keys)
  9. Little Wanderer (Kintsugi)
  10. No Sunlight (Narrow Stairs)
  11. President of What? (Something About Airplanes)
  12. You’ve Haunted Me All My Life (Kintsugi)
  13. What Sarah Said (Plans)
  14. I Will Follow You Into The Dark (Plans)
  15. Everything’s A Ceiling (Kintsugi)
  16. Doors Unlocked and Open (Codes and Keys)
  17. Cath… (Narrow Stairs)
  18. Soul Meets Body (Plans)
  19. I Will Possess Your Heart (Narrow Stairs)


  1. Binary Sea (Kintsugi)
  2. Why You’d Want to Live Here (The Photo Album)
  3. Marching Bands of Manhattan (Plans)
  4. Transatlanticism (Transatlanticism)

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Paper Towns Review and Why Cara Delevigne is Perfect as Margo

by JacquelineTeer

Paper Towns Review and Why Cara Delevigne is Perfect as Margo

Rating: 7.5/10 stars


Paper Towns is my first John Green book despite having followed the vlogbrothers for as long as I can remember. Now having read it, I can confidently say that I can’t wait to see the movie.

Paper Towns is centered around the just about to graduate Quentin Jacobsen and his preoccupation with Margo Roth Spiegelman. To Quentin, she is nothing short of perfect. After taking him on the most exhilarating night of his life, Margo disappears. The book continues with Quentin’s journey towards adulthood and his search for Margo who has seemed to have left him clues to lead him right to her.

I recommend this book for those who have just graduated high school particularly because it deals heavily with themes of identity. Having just graduated myself, it has broadened my perspective on how I choose to live my life. I often asked myself if I was a “paper girl” –an idea Margo presents early on in the book. Yet, I found that although this book is particularly relevant for the transitioning youths, it is also universally relevant. John Green uniquely deals with the theme of identity in a way that makes it open to everyone.

John Green notes that if there’s such thing as dehumanization: treating people less than human, there is also the opposite which is romanticization: treating people as more than human. John Green also  emphasizes that the very thing that humans define themselves by, empathy, is an intrinsically flawed and incomplete skill. I liked how although many parts were very light hearted, John Green also drives into very dark themes such as neglectful parenting, and parental hypocrisy. It is this type theme development laced within witty adolescent humor that makes Paper Towns worth the read.

For those who have not read the book, there will be spoilers.

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Why Graduation Isn’t All it’s Jacked Up to Be.

by JacquelineTeer

Why Graduation isn't All it's Jacked Up to Be

It’s not the diploma, but what has been learnt in its pursuit. As far as I was concerned, I had a very fulfilling journey.

Why was it that I didn’t feel all that celebratory, then? I had learnt lessons! Lots of them!

A graduation ceremony was supposed to be like enjoying the view after having climbed a mountain.

Yet, that wasn’t quite the best fitting metaphor since whilst graduating, I was still stuck in thinking ahead. It was difficult to truly look back and recognize my previous efforts.

Suddenly, I felt silently embarrassed at myself. I was sat thinking of myself, certain that this day was going to be worth all my efforts. Deflated, I hadn’t realized that I had made a 4-year-commitment climax into receiving a diploma.

The diploma, now, an anticlimactic end to a highly memorable journey.

Was this journey going to be made anyways without the diploma? Yes. Was it any less with it? No… Yet I was still sitting there, with my ‘empty’ diploma wishing I hadn’t glorified this day to the extent that I had. It felt almost insulting that my 4 years had been summed up in a few hours, and a rolled up piece of paper. A rolled up piece of paper that attempted to stamp my journey as ‘good enough’ and ejected me into the pile of students who were in likeness, ‘good enough’.

That day, I had learnt one more lesson. It was to be my first lesson as a graduate.

Nothing can amount to the value of the knowledge you learn everyday, not even a prestigious diploma. This knowledge is what you celebrate, not moving onto a new chapter”–whatever that even means, not “graduating,” and definitely not receiving a diploma.

Thankfully, I also realized that this lesson-learnt drives into one of the core principles of “wandering.” We must wander, and celebrate not trivial accomplishments, but the joy of wandering when we are able to do so.

Graduation and Growth: How things have gradually changed for the better

by Elijah MK Lagman

Graduate's perspective

Graduating high school isn’t just about getting that rolled up piece of paper. Graduation made me realize that the bubble that I’ve lived in for the past 13 years has popped. I am currently at free fall to the real world. Instead of watching from a safe distance a thousand meters in the air, I will soon be walking, wandering, and living in the world. And right now, as I approach terminal velocity, everything is closing in on me at a speed beyond overwhelming.

I was scared at first but then I noticed that actually: this is a great feeling. The distance between the school and me is exponentially increasing and for the longest second, I feel free.

For these very few moments, before I pull the chute and transition into the world of college, I’m going to let my mind wander and reflect on what I’ve done, how I’ve done it and what I’m going to do now having done it.

Most say graduation is a rite of passage that we can either pass by or pass through. High school can fly by as quickly as it can fall in slow motion; It’s all a matter of perspective. It may be mere coincidence that I’ve found the love of my life in my senior year or that I had a falling out with my best friend of 3 years. These significant events, good and bad, happened without my direct control but had a distinct purpose.

I could have talked about any event, from my first prom to the sleepless nights doing my extended essay but these weren’t unique to me; they seemed to have happened to everybody.

We find an event ‘significant’ primarily due to the fact that we acknowledge its very weirdness in our lives so much so that we attach a great deal of sentiment. The nostalgic qualities in significant events, such as graduation, prove that reminiscence is a reminder of the lessons we’ve learnt. Looking back made us who we are now, good or bad. We grow in this way, and adapt our viewpoints and values to (hopefully) become better people and now, look forward.

Most say graduation is a rite of passage that we can either pass by or pass through. I would prefer the latter as we take our painfully pleasant memories of our bubbled high school cocoon and emerge, a beautiful butterfly.

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