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Finally Free


freedom-clipart-escapeWell another year has passed and the semester has come to an end! Congratulations everyone on making it through another semester. Finals are the worst part of every year, and even if you don’t ace your exam, grades are NOT all that matter. Jobs and grad schools look at your extracurricular activities and work experience. So don’t worry if you didn’t do as well as you wanted to on an exam.


End of year reflection


So I finished my very last exam a couple of days ago, and it has just hit me that I have completed 3 whole years at McGill now, and much closer to the finish line than I am from the start! Although my day-to-day activities has not really changed since first year (I’ve pretty much kept the same job, clubs, varsity sport, etc. ), I know that I have gone through some pretty large changes as a person, especially in the past year.  Although the change is likely due to a plethora of causes, I really attribute a large part of it to switching my major and the medical school application process itself.  As I blogged about before, I switched my major from Neuroscience to Psychology this year. This switch has put me into some really fascinating courses like my 2 favorites: “Intro to Personality” (PSYC 332) and “Personality and Social Psychology” (PSYC 333). The course content has really given me a new perspective on the human psyche and the idiosyncrasies of our daily social interactions. It really forced me to sit down and analyze my own personality, values, and reasons for my actions.  In a similar vein, my med-apps also required me to really self-reflect about my life choices thus far, which is why I believe the application process itself is an incredibly valuable experience.  Looking back, I would have to say that this has been my favorite year at McGill so far, and probably the one with the most personal growth as well.

My next 4 months of summer will look pretty similar to last year, as I will be continuing to do Neurogenetics research at the MNI, TA-ing Organic Chemistry 2 on the side, playing badminton with a few varsity teammates, and continuing my volunteering endeavors. I’ll also be starting on a dragon boat team for the very first time next week, and joining toast-masters to take my public speaking to the next level. Needless to say, summer 2016 is set out to be a busy and productive one! Stay tuned for the summer blogs from myself and the other bloggers!

What to do this Summer?

empThis is the last week of final exams (hallelujah!) which means that it is basically summer – well not officially, but you know what I mean. It’s time to drop the books, and make plans for the next four months. But what should you do?


Thanks to our CaPS Bloggers!! Summer is coming…

summerCaPS would like to say thank you to all our amazing bloggers for the 2015-2016 academic year!!.

Your posts have been informative, insightful and entertaining!!

We are also lucky that a few have decided to stay all summer long. So stayed tuned for their new posts about their summer endeavors and adventures!

Test Prep Courses – yay or nay?

prepAs summer is quickly approaching, many people are starting to think about plans for the summer. For some, the summer will entail studying for one of the many grad school admission tests: MCAT, LSAT, PCAT, OCAT, GMAT, GRE, etc. I took my MCAT the summer after my first year, and a big decision was to choose if I was going to self-study or take one of those notorious prep courses offered by Kaplan, Princeton Review, Prep101, or other test prep companies. There are certainly both pros and cons to each choice. Self-studying is of course the most economical option; you can often find very cheap (or even free) books/resources online to study from, whereas prep courses often cost upwards of $2000.


Here Comes the Sun

tumblr_static_cxzfy59e4g00sgsc80wg0cogc_640_v2Today I went to my final classes of second year. Most of them were review, a lot of them let me know of the difficulty of exams to come. I will be writing essays for what feels like a very long time. But this is something everyone can relate to. Rather, I’m excited for my summer.


Registration Time

classWe are just about to hit the month of April which means many things. Courses are ending, assignments are due, finals are beginning, and course registration will be opening up soon. For many it may also mean that they will be graduating within the next few months. The amount of stress that occurs during this period can be overwhelming, but it is also important to make sure everything gets done.


How to approach assigned readings

McAusland-Buried-in-workSince my switch from Neuroscience to Psychology, the biggest obstacle I faced was the enormous amount of assigned readings every week. At an average of 20 pages per course, per week, I  personally found assigned readings to be even more time consuming than the main course lectures themselves. This was a huge change from my past experience in biology based courses, where the testable exam material stemmed solely from the lectures. Memorize everything on the professor’s PowerPoint slides, and you are good to go for the exam. Even in courses where there is a “recommended textbook”, it is supplementary, and most, if not all of the exam material still come from the lectures.


Games and Motivation


Sometimes it’s easy to keep up with deadlines. Other times harder than scaling Mount Everest. It’s easy to push things for later and end up procrastinating. I find the hardest step to be getting started.

Stress season is about to hit again, so I would like to share some tips that I use to boost myself out of a low.


Reference Letters

reflet“Hi, can you write a reference letter for me?”

If only it were so simple to get a reference letter.

If you need to apply for any graduate programs and awards for next school year, now is the perfect time to start soliciting around! (more…)

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