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Academic writing: But what does it really mean?

Have you ever read an article for a class and wondered what exactly the author was talking about? Perhaps situations like this contribute to why so many students don’t bother with readings. If someone understands a subject well enough to publish academic papers, surely they can explain it in plainer language. In fact, there is a movement of academics who are fighting against opaque language.[1]

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What Does Self-Care Look Like at University?

Nearly five minutes into every discussion I’ve had with an adult about my post-secondary plans has contained the two following phrases: “University is the best time of your life!” and “University is the hardest time of your life.” The fact is, they’re both right. University life is definitely distinct in how it is a time of newfound independence, freedoms, hardships, and distractions. For many, the post-secondary period is a combination of new commitments, a lower disposable income, as well as more sources of stress; this combination may only be sustainable through the practice of self-care. (more…)

Celebrating the Smaller Achievements

When you get into a university like McGill, chances are you’re a pretty good student. Maybe you’re one of the best. Your grades are consistently high, you’re always engaged in class, you’ve never missed a day of school and you’ve never failed even the smallest of assignments. You probably expect the same out of college, but by the time first semester ends, you realize this is not the case at all. I know, I’ve been there. The first year is hard and to be completely honest, it wasn’t at all like what I’d heard and thought it was supposed to be. There are bumps along the way and not everything you do will turn out perfect, but learning to recognize, appreciate, and celebrate your smaller achievements will prove to be beneficial.

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Passion and Choice

www.care2.com

Some of you recent graduates may already know what your passion is. Maybe it’s medicine, law, or art. There still may be obstacles standing between you and your future career, but at least you have an end goal to work towards. Some of us are one step behind. What if you don’t have a clue what your passion is? Where do you begin?

In an article for the New York Times, psychologist Angela Duckworth offers her advice for recent graduates, urging not to, “‘follow your passion’ but rather, to ‘foster your passion.'” This simple change in wording may help shift your frame of reference, as it did mine!

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Comparing Yourself To Others

https://welldoing.org

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” — Theodore Roosevelt

 

It’s the end of the summer. You’re back in the city and the school is about the start. You are in your favorite coffee shop with your friends catching up. Everyone is talking about their summer. One of your friends is talking about an internship they did over the summer that helped them make important industry connections. You spent most of your summer working as a waitress, and while it helped you make some money, it wasn’t exactly a step towards your dream job. Another friend is telling you about how she looked into her grad school options and she now knows what program she wants to apply to. You thought you wanted to give school a break after graduating and work for a while, but after hearing your friend talk passionately about her grad school plans, you aren’t so sure anymore. Maybe you want to do grad school after all? Your other friend tells that he decided to move back home at the end of this school year because he already has a job waiting for him. You realize you have no idea where you will be working, if you want to stay in the city or if you will be moving back home. After saying your goodbyes, you leave the coffee shop feeling completely drained and confused.

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Municipal Elections Matter, Part 2: Nationalism and Party Identification

When voting, is your decision something based on a singular issue or is it about how much you identify with the party? Perhaps one issue shapes the entire party landscape? This question is fundamental to many who study political science, but until attending CMES, I had no idea that municipal politics were a field of study. In all my introductory political science courses at McGill, the topic was never touched upon. Thus, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about the study of municipal politics, which has been studied in Canada for many years. In this post, I will focus on how municipal politics interact with Quebec nationalism, an issue Canada has worked with and around since the British won the Seven Years’ War.[1] (more…)

Networking 101

credit to: https://eocc.co/professional-networking-dos-and-donts/

Whether you are a new graduate or still in college sifting through your career options, networking is a significant part of the job search. Becoming comfortable with networking is extremely important because the right contacts open the door to new opportunities. I have been working on my networking skills for some time now, and while I still have a long way to go, I did manage to learn a few things over the past couple of months. So whether you are reaching out to an alum or cold-calling professionals working in industries you are interested in, here are some tips on how to connect with people who can help you grow.

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The Value of Personal Projects

It’s the middle of the summer – yay! Some of us are still very busy with jobs and internships, and others may be taking a very well-deserved break. The four months in between the winter and fall semesters gives students plenty of time to work on other things besides classes and coursework. For some, keeping yourself busy during this time can be a little hard to do! The competition for summer positions is very real and sometimes entry-level jobs asking for less than a few years of experience are a challenge to find. Getting started is not easy. It may be a good idea to consider working on some personal projects.

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Municipal Elections Matter, Part 1: An Introduction to CMES and Split-Ticket Voting

Municipal elections are important, however, in the field of political science, they are largely understudied. Notably, little is known about how candidates compete, or how voters make choices at this level. The Canadian Municipal Election Study (CMES) received funding to conduct research based on survey data in eight Canadian cities. This month, seven draft papers focusing on the Montreal and Quebec City elections were presented at a small conference at McGill.[1] I will be writing three broad pieces about split ticket voting, nationalism and party identification, and women in municipal politics based on what I learned at the conference. (more…)

To go on exchange or not to go on exchange

Dublin, Ireland

Montreal is an amazing city so it could seem a bit extra to go spend a semester or a year elsewhere… but the benefits of going on exchange are pretty endless. If you have the opportunity to live, study, and make friends in another country, you should definitely do it. Now is the time.

McGill has relationships with so many schools across the world. Often, you can make arrangements to study abroad to most any school of your choice. However, specifically with exchange, you avoid paying those international tuition fees and you continue to pay your same tuition to McGill.

Explore any opportunities for scholarships, and plan to work the summer leading up to exchange to save up. Depending on your budget, that may eliminate some locations due to cost of living, like London, but the flights can be so so cheap once you get over there (bless Ryanair).

If you’re at all on the fence about going on exchange, here are my responses to some common objections.

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