what uni and i's conversations are like

Uni abbreviations/acronyms in French

So the French like their acronyms. A lot. It’s one of the biggest things I noticed in my very first meeting at the university, as I was noting down strings of letters I didn’t understand to go look up later. I figured I may as well be a good language blog and actually make a list of them, many of which, if you come to France to live, work, or especially study (like on an exchange or whatever), you will almost certainly come across in everyday conversations. You don’t necessarily need to know what they all stand for - I’m not convinced even native French speakers could immediately give you all of them without hesitating - but if you know what they mean you can use them the same as everyone else. Enjoy ^^

  • (la) fac - la faculté - used for university in the same way we’d shorten it to “uni”. Je suis à la fac = I’m at uni.
  • UFR - Unité de Formation et de Recherche - used basically to mean “department”. L’UFR d’anglais = the English department.
  • LEA - Langues étrangères appliquées - a degree in foreign languages, normally two, with an aim of being more ‘practical’ (“applied”). Je suis en LEA anglais/espagnol = I’m doing a joint English/Spanish degree.
  • LLCE - Langues, littératures et civilisations étrangères - a degree in which you study just one foreign language but more in depth. It involves more literature, history and cultural stuff than an LEA and often leads to teaching.
  • L1, L2, L3, M1, M2 - used to indicate what year you’re in. L for licence (Bachelor’s), M for master. Je suis en L1 anglais = I’m in my first year of English.
    (NB - many subjects would also be abbreviated, eg philo (-sophie), psycho (-logie), histoire-géo (-raphie))
  • BTS - Brevet de Technicien Supérieur - another form of higher study other than university, more vocational… (I’ve not a lot of info on this one tbh)
  • SHS - Sciences humaines et sociales - social studies/sociology.
  • Bac - (le) Baccalauréat - the final exam at the end of high school that you’d take when you’re 18 normally. There are different ‘branches’ you can choose - L (littéraire / literary), S (scientifique / science), ES (économique et social / economy and social studies). If someone says something like j’ai (fait) un bac L it means they did more literature/language/philosophy classes at school, whereas j’ai (fait) un bac S would be more science based etc.
  • Bac+3, Bac+5 etc - higher education is always measured against the baccalauréat, with the + meaning the number of extra years. So a bac+3 is a licence/Bachelor’s because it’s 3 more years of study after high school. A bac+5 would be a masters, and a bac+7/+8/beyond would be a doctorate.
  • LMD - licence, master (maîtrise in some places), doctorat - the normal university levels/stages of Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate.
  • TD - (un) travail dirigé - small classes, seminars, more interactive, more exercises.
  • TP - (un) travail pratique - small classes, more ‘practical’, in a language context it’s in language labs with headphones etc.
  • CM - (un) cours magistral - lectures, big classes, less interactive
  • ECTS - European Credit Transfer System - a standardised credit system across a lot of Europe. Normally it’s 60 credits to pass a year.
  • CC - contrôle continu - continuous assessment, grades every week, participation grades, several small tests etc.
  • CT - contrôle terminal - grade comes from one all-encompassing final assessment. It’s often something you’d have to apply for, justifying why you can’t come to classes or do CC. J’aimerais passer en CT = I’d like to switch to final assessment.
  • DST - (un) devoir sur table - an in-class exam/test. J’ai un DST d’anglais demain matin = I have an English exam tomorrow morning.
  • QCM - questionnaire / questions à choix multiple - multiple choice questions.
  • BU - (la) bibliothèque universitaire - university/school library. Je t’attends à la BU = I’m waiting for you at the library.
  • ATER - (un) Attaché Temporaire d’Enseignement et de Recherche - normally someone who teaches while researching/writing a thesis.
  • PRAG (pronounced as a word) - (un) Professeur Agrégé - a professor who has some kind of admin responsibilities too… gotta admit I’m not sure on this one either!
  • amphi - (un) amphithéâtre - lecture hall.
  • Repro - (la) reprographie - printing/photocopying service.
  • CAPES (pronounced like capès, with the s) - Certificat d'Aptitude au Professorat de l'Enseignement Secondaire - the competitive exam that allows you to become a teacher. You’d take le CAPES d’anglais to become an English teacher, le CAPES de français to become a French teacher etc
  • Cité U - (la) cité universitaire - university residence/halls.
  • CROUS (pronounced as a word) - (le) Centre Régional des Oeuvres Universitaires et Scolaires - the organisation that manages student services, bursaries, and accommodation France-wide.
  • ENT - (un) Environnement (ou espace) Numérique de Travail - the intranet, moodle, etc.
  • FLE - Français (comme) langue étrangère - French as a second/foreign language.
  • TOEFL/TOEIC (pronounced as words) - Test of English as a Foreign Language / Test of English for International Communication - two of the biggest/most widespread/most recognised English proficiency exams.

  • CDD - (un) contrat à durée déterminée - a fixed term contract.
  • CDI - (un) contrat à durée indéterminée - a permanent contract (le rêve de tous les jeunes quoi).
  • brut - before tax - un salaire brut is what your employer pays for you.
  • net - after tax - un salaire net is what you actually take home at the end of the month.
  • sécu - (la) sécurité sociale - social security, health insurance etc. Le numéro de sécu is a social security number.
  • CAF (pronounced as a word) - (la) caisse d’allocations familiales - the organisation that manages benefits/social welfare.

Where I’ve put an article in brackets, you’d use that article before the acronym, e.g. la CAF, le CROUS, le DST, for some things you’d mostly use en with no article, e.g. en L1, en LEA, en CT

Hilariously awkward moment as the girls next to me at the uni bus stop (freshmen I suppose by the conversation they’re having) start talking about AkaYona, and one of them asks the other two if they’re up to date and starts telling them they should check this blog called KiraKira that has translations of the latest chapters and I’m just there like .___.

2

Recent DLola webcam selfies.

Something that’s really weird about being 22 and finished with university is that you have to have conversations with your older relatives about what you’re going to ~do with your life~ as if the current life you live is not, you know, your life?

I studied Journalism at uni and throughout my entire time studying I worked as a journalist in various facets of the industry. I decided I don’t fucking like it and I don’t want to do it as my ~career~ a long time ago and I’m intelligent enough not to do anything that makes me miserable, even if it is the conventional or sensible route. Could I go and get a job as a journalist doing practically anything in the industry, tomorrow? Yes I literally could. I’ve travelled for international media projects. I interned for Chuck Palahniuk’s web editor. I have a professional portfolio longer than I am tall and I did exceptionally well at a very prestigious university.

But I don’t want to. I don’t like the industry or the work. That’s not to say something won’t come along that makes my heart beat faster, but it hasn’t come along yet and I’m too damn young, too damn smart and too damn interesting to settle for less than what I deserve. (I’m not saying I’m special here - I hope for a world in which EVERYONE gets to do whatever they damn well want rather than going into shitty ‘careers’ to please those around them.)

So yeah, I talked to my mum’s dad the other day and he wouldn’t ease up about what I was going to do with myself now. No congratulations by the way, haha - those around you who criticise without recognising your achievements typically aren’t those you want to impress, keep that in mind. Apparently selling out of three separate self-published poetry collections this year isn’t that impressive because my desk is in my house, not an office building, and I package up my zines myself and send them into the world with love, rather than delegating someone else to do it. The fact that I also work in a bar, that my partner and I are living the dual-income-no-kids dream lifestyle with an overseas trip every year at no strain on our budget is incidental, because I don’t wear a fucking white collared shirt and drag myself out of bed at 7am five days a week to be my definition of miserable.

Where am I going with this rant? I don’t fucking know haha.

All I know is, EVERYONE should live their lives according to their own standards and be happy, or at least surviving on their own terms. Fuck anyone who disagrees tbh - it’s 2015, office jobs aren’t all that’s available to us now and more importantly, fuck the notion of work being the most important thing in life. Find what you love and try to get paid for it. If you can’t get paid enough to support your lifestyle, find work that can and do what you love in your free time.

I work two nights a week, sell my poetry to people all over the world, and spend the rest of the time exploring, writing, travelling and loving. If that’s not success I don’t know what the fuck is.

Here’s the thing.

Bea still has not watched any of the videos since she left the flat.

She maybe thinks that Ben has made a grand gesture of dropping out of uni to go traveling with her, without even asking her if that was what she wanted.

She has no idea how much he was suffering after she left.

She has not really heard him acknowledge how much he hurt her and himself.

I mean, we don’t know how much of their conversation had already happened by the time the camera pointed at them, but it looks to me like there has still not been successful communication between them. Bea is angry, and has made a decision without letting Ben tell her how he feels. It’s a decision that, with the information she has, makes total sense, and frankly, she might make the same decision even if she had all the information.

But we don’t know, because she doesn’t have that information yet. 

I sort of hope that she will now watch those videos, realise that Ben is dropping out of uni because he’s failing and that he was desperately clinging to the Rules for the sake of keeping the camera as a way to cope with anxiety (?), and at least decide to open the dialogue again. 

We now know that she felt abandoned when he left for university–but apparently she never made that clear to him until now. He has still not told her what we have been able to see for a while–that he feels abandoned (in advance) because she is going to go traveling without him.

I mean. Most people don’t stay together with their high school sweethearts, especially after long periods of separation if one or both go traveling or to university. So it’s realistic for them to break up. But I think these two still love each other and could maybe work it out if they could just understand one another.

Thank you for the tag sweetie @swanvika ❤️

Tag users you want to get to know better

1. How old are you? 18

2. Current job? Student

3. Dream job? I’m in business so yeah…

4. What are you talented at? I dont know, like I really like going to the gym and running but like I’m not amazing lol…

5. What is a big goal you are working towards/have achieved? Getting into my dream uni was nice haha… Unfortunately, I had to turn it down because of my major…

6. What’s your aesthetic? Reggeaton, warmth, sun, beaches(especially with clear/blue water), Aliya Mustafina, the gym, running, me sweating, my teams slaying…

7. Do you collect anything? I collect cool clothing tags lol…

8. What topic do you always bring up in conversations? School most of the time cause it is a relateable topic. People get annoyed when I talk about sports most of the time…

9. What’s a pet peeve of yours? People who belittle others for what they like, people who think they’re entitled to something, cocky people, people who are close-minded. Also people who think they have it “bad-off”, especially if they’re prancing around with the newest iPhones… A lot bugs me, I swear there’s more…

10. Good advice to give? Just do what you love. Don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you love cause it’s different, and in the same respect don’t change yourself to fit in. If you do what you love, you’ll make yourself happier in the end. 

11. Recommend three songs. Vente Pa Ca, Bobo & Enjoy the Flight

I tag @magicesc@captainterrys, @leisure, @boringchelsea, @margaritamamun, @zizoufc