Learning from McGill’s Public Talks

Source: Owen Egan/McGill News/Alumni Magazine/2013

When you go to a large university with a lot of students, faculty, and staff, there’s often a lot going on both on and around campus and you may not always know about all that’s happening. For me, one of these was the variety of public lectures available. For one of my classes this term, students were handed a list of lectures pertaining to the class and given the task of attending several public talks over the course of the semester. Going to these conferences turned out to be very enriching and eye-opening. In fact, there is a lot that you can learn and find out from the speakers and their presentations, especially regarding your studies and what you’d like to do in the future.

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Getting Away from the McGill Bubble

As the date of the first final exams approaches, it is likely you will be reminded of the importance of taking good care of yourself, and told ways to alleviate the stress that comes with the end of the semester. It’s stressful for everyone – in your first year, you often don’t know what to expect, it’s the first time you’ll be taking a university-level exam; in upper years, the material is often increasingly demanding, and more is expected of you. For me, this semester has been particularly heavy on course work, and I’ve found that fitting some free time for yourself in between the studying is beneficial regardless how tight your schedule is, because it really helps you refocus and gives you something to look forward to after hours of doing practice problems.

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What Next?

I’ve been at McGill for just over a year now. Some might say I’ve “settled in”, but sometimes I still feel pretty new here. There are some things that, by my second year, I probably should have seen or heard of already, however, just this week was the first time that I’ve seen upper year students preparing for and celebrating convocation. As a student not even half way through my degree, seeing them enjoy this time as they start a new chapter of their lives reminded me of the rush of excitement I felt after my high school graduation, but it seemed that much more exhilarating – so many new adventures lay ahead and new memories waiting to be made.

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Skills to Develop Today, So You Can Use Them Tomorrow

University teaches you an immense amount of invaluable information. Most of us go into it thinking we will learn everything there is to know about our degree, so that we can apply the new knowledge and know how to get the job done, and get it done well. But the truth is, your classes provide much more than just the information you will need, as important as that is. You also develop a wide variety of skills that, as you continue your education and enter the workforce, will serve you well, and provide you with a basis for so many of the things you will do later in life.

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To the First Year’s Who Aren’t Sure They Made the Right Decision

It’s been almost a month since classes started, summer has come to an end and the mid-term period is upon us. As a first year student, this was about the time of the term where I started to ask myself questions: Did I take the right courses for my degree? Will I enjoy them? Will I do well in them? What if this is not what I want to do at all? While some students know exactly what classes they want to be in and what career path they want to take, for many others, it is not as clear cut.

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7 More Tips to Succeed in Your First Year

As a first-year student, you get a lot of advice on how to manage the start of this new chapter of your life. From student handbooks to online resources, many places offer tips and tricks that you can carry on with you throughout your studies and later in life. Things like ‘don’t procrastinate’, ‘eat well’, and ‘get involved on campus’ often make up part of the list of things you can do to both enjoy your university years and be successful, but there’s more!

Here are seven more ways to do well during your first year (and beyond!):

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