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Some More Advice

One year ago, I started writing on this blog with an advice post outlining seven tips to succeed in your first year of university. They were specifically aimed at first year students and were meant to come in addition to the many pieces of advice students already receive before starting college. To wrap up this past year of blog posts, I wanted to present some more advice in the form of seven more tips – some new things I’ve learned along the way and some life reminders, especially to those who will be heading out at the end of the academic year.

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Book Review: Mind Gym, Part 2

In this post, I am going to cover how different concepts from Mind Gym[1] can be applied by students. You may be familiar with some of them from other ‘self-help’ type books, from workshops on time or stress and anxiety management, or already use them without giving them names. I am going to give overviews of the power of positive thinking, motivation and fear of failure, and SMART goals. All of these contribute to getting ‘in the zone’ and succeed at everyday tasks or activities. (more…)

Dealing with Distractions

Getting down to work and staying focused when you’re studying can be a real challenge. Of course some people are excellent at ignoring them, but many of us aren’t quite there yet. Distractions are everywhere and they can make completing assignments and reviewing for exams very difficult if you don’t have a way to block them out. Once you get distracted, it can take a very long time for you to get back to your original task and it will inevitably hinder your long-term productivity. With the willingness to change habits and a bit of self-discipline though, you can learn to better deal with these distractions and therefore work more efficiently. Here are some tips that you may find to be helpful:

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Volunteering Abroad

Before coming to McGill, I lived in Asia. While I was there, I was a part of several volunteer groups through my school, most notability an after-school program that offered English classes to children from displaced communities. My experiences volunteering with these kids were some of the most rewarding and valuable ones from my time living there. Volunteering is often overlooked during the school year when students are busy with their courses and during the summer when students gravitate towards jobs and internships. However, volunteering is truly a remarkable experience, and doing so abroad is bound to be unforgettable.

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Book Review: “Mind Gym”, Part 1

You might find Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence[1] in the sports section or the self-help section, depending on the bookstore. Published in 2001, Mind Gym was written by sports psychologist Gary Mack to show regular people how the mind influences athletic performance. The book is organized into 40 chapters which end with short exercises to improve the mental habits which help performers succeed. Mack demonstrates the impacts of stress and motivation on success using examples from sports. However, his recommendations apply to elite athletes and regular people alike. (more…)

What I Learned from a Summer in Retail

At the end of the winter semester, I found myself in a scramble to find a summer job. In the end, I started working as a sales associate at a popular clothing chain. While it may not be a prestigious internship, the experience has been awesome, from a learning standpoint, but also socially, since I had great coworkers. Notably, this summer I learned a lot about customer service from my experience in retail. Overall, based on the past summer, I have found retail experience to be more valuable than I would have expected. (more…)

Finding Your Dream Job

https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-questions-thatll-help-you-find-your-dream-career

When you’re talking to family and friends about your job prospects and what you hope to achieve someday, you often hear, “go after your dream” or “do whatever makes you happy.” If you’ve already figured out what you want to do, then that’s great! However, if you’re not sure what your dream job entails or what you want to do with your degree, hearing the same sentence over and over again can create the opposite effect and make you feel more self-conscious. Figuring out your dream job can be tricky but here are some useful tips to help you get there:

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Finding Happiness

http://www.finerminds.com/happiness/create-happiness-in-hopeless-situations

How to find happiness has been one of the most fundamental questions since the beginning of humanity. Today, behavior scientists are tackling this question, studying what makes us happy and what doesn’t. While happiness seems like an elusive, relative concept, there is a science of happiness. And to become more adept at staying happier for longer, understanding the nature of happiness is key.

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Avoiding The Mid-Semester Slump

https://medium.com/@vincelawco/getting-off-the-email-hamster-wheel-in-5-steps-901f790c42b4

Add-drop has come to an end, and papers and readings are beginning to pile up. You even might have had your first quiz this past week! As the school is going full steam ahead, you may be noticing that the initial motivation you had just two weeks ago is fading away. If you’re feeling like you are losing momentum, here are few tips to help you regain your focus and power through your work:

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Research in Industry vs. Academic Research

Credit to: Japan Chemical Daily

It is not that easy to get an internship in a company, especially when there are more restrictions on international students. As I wrote in my very first blog, I went to an interview to get an R&D internship in a renowned enterprise in the fine chemical industry. It was a hard interview but fortunately I nailed it. Without this experience, I would not decide to do a PhD after a master, and it was so different from doing academic research. (more…)

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