Eight or Nine Things to Know about SIS

So, you’ve just entered McGill’s MIST program and you’re not sure what to expect. Or, more realistically (because I suck at writing posts), you’re about a month in and feeling overwhelmed.


Along with a few second year students/minions, I’ve compiled a list of things that might help make your first year a little easier.

1) Thomson House is your friend. The program has a lot of group projects, and this is a place where you can a) drink beer, b) avoid climbing up and down the hill unnecessarily (see no. 7), and c) work loudly in groups without being shushed by librarians.


2) Google Drive is also your friend (you have a lot of friends, OKAY??) – for when you want to avoid said group meetings.


3) The CLA Professional Mentorship Program is endlessly helpful. Sign up in your first or second year and take advantage of this awesome opportunity. It’s a great way to connect with professionals in your field and I speak from personal experience when I say they offer way better advice than that publications committee chairperson or whatever. Want more info? Check out this site: http://www.mcgill.ca/sis-students/cla/partnering

4) Don’t go through it alone.

Before I started the program, I had a Survivor type mentality (Reality TV, not Destiny’s Child) in which I found myself thinking/saying things like “I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to win”.


Fun fact: your friends will help you get through this year. Smile, get to know them, talk about similar interests with them. Oh, c’mon, you know how to make friends.

5) Classes aren’t everything. In an information studies program, I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your first semester might feel a little like Information Overload. Be that as it may, I was surprised and it was a tough adjustment. It’s important to keep in mind that classes aren’t everything in this program, and you’ll get a whole lot more out of them if you volunteer, work, take part in our student associations and those associations’ events. Check out the write-ups on the various associations on this very blog. Psst…SISnic is tomorrow! Come network and EAT FOOD.

6) The education classroom temperatures are whack. Layer-up. Why do you think librarians own so many cardigans?


7) The hill will never get easier. It’s not you. It’s the hill.


8) Learn how to “sell” your degree, and memorize that sentence. You’ll get lots of eye-roll inducing questions asking what information studies is, why you need a master’s degree to shelve books, or if there are classes on shushing. We all know the value of this degree, but it can be difficult to put into words when put on the spot. Think of this as a catch phrase, and trust me, it will come in handy.


 9) Volunteer to help write for the school’s blog! And I’m out.

Favourite Things – Evernote

I know I’ve been neglecting this blog, but I promise I’ve been swamped with readings…and by “swamped” I mean “obsessed with” and by “readings” I mean the Veronica Mars book. Yes. It’s a thing.

This will be a fairly short post and one in which I test out a new idea for the blog: our favourite things at SIS. Unfortunately, this won’t be Oprah style, though I do sincerely wish I could give you all some SUVs. This will be a place where we talk about things we like – apps, authors, websites, stores, publications committee chair people, you name it! I will literally post anything you want to rave about here.

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to my newest crush: Evernote.



My room/life may be a disaster zone, but I really like it when my Internet stuff is organized. I recognize that I’m behind the times on this one, but I’ve tried this personal organization system about a billion times in the past and I’ve never found value in it. However, I had been growing increasingly disillusioned with my own system – a rag tag mix of Pinterest, Google Drive, Gmail, and a mass of files and folders on my desktop. The system was sufficient until school started. But once I started working on school stuff in various locations – school, home, work – and on various devices – laptop, work computer, phone – I was frustrated. There has to be a better way!



Enter Evernote! Evernote allows me to “clip” webpages, PDFs, email threads and more into notes, which I can organize into notebooks (which can be organized further into stacks). Stacks, you guys. This syncs no matter where I’m working – on my phone (app), at work (web version), and at home (desktop version). If you use Chrome, I suggest downloading the Web Clipper extension to make this process even easier. You can also share notebooks with your fellow Information Science nerds friends.

TLDR: Evernote combines the functionality of Google Drive with the bookmarking potential of Pinterest – with the added bonus that Evernote is private, until you decide to share. It’s also easy on the eyes, and allows you to “clip” exactly what you want, including simplified versions of articles.

My advice to make it more functional: the more you use it, the more you’ll like it. Try using it for different areas (school stuff, recipes, articles) and make your notebooks and stacks as granular as you see fit.

While I’m positively smitten now, I’ll admit that my eyes will certainly start to wander upon the release of Google Stars.

Want some further reading? Check out the article that made me try Evernote again: http://lifehacker.com/5989980/ive-been-using-evernote-all-wrong-heres-why-its-actually-amazing.

Anything you guys would like to share? With assignments piling up and this miracle approaching, I think I’ll need your help more than ever.

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