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Do You Fear Learning?

Never has this quote resonated with me as strongly as it does today— especially when it comes to the workplace. We get through our days looking for those who are on our wavelength. We stay around those who see things the way we do. It’s familiar, it’s comfortable, and we feel good about ourselves when we know someone thinks we’re right. It’s good— until we do this with all parts of our lives…

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Fear, Confusion, and Change- A Search for Answers

It’s hard to think that your choice of study may have been the wrong choice. Some common thoughts are: “maybe I’ve enrolled myself into a program that I thought would give me a good shot at a well-paying job” or “maybe I enrolled into a program for the passion I have for the subject despite knowing the job opportunities are slim”. Sometimes we only realize that we may have made a mistake only after receiving our degrees and entering the work-force. If you’re in one of these places right now you’re probably feeling trapped or anxious. But hey, a semester just came to an end and you owe it to yourself to search for some clarity in all this… (more…)

Report is due, but don’t panic!

Credit to: Calvin and Hobbes (Scientific Setbacks)

As graduate students, we are often assigned teaching jobs, most commonly lab and course TAs. I really enjoyed my time with students when we did lab work together (I’m a lab TA), and we chitchatted about life, study, weather, or  future. My colleagues have various working styles, but in general we are a bunch of cooperative ants focusing on our tasks. On the other hand, grading several dozens of lab reports is the most painful moment at the end of every experiment cycle – we are sad to see people forgetting what we emphasized during the experiment, not double-checking the formatting, giving us blah-blahs without even reading the background information… (more…)

First Post Ever — TOP TIPS

1. Take advantage of the resources here. 

McGill has endless opportunities designed specifically for you to learn new things and meet new people. I can vouch for the fact that there is literally something for every single person sitting in Leacock 132, so be sure to soak up all the benefits you could from your undergrad/graduate experience. Because, as cliche as it may sound, before you know it, it will be too late.

  1. Office hours. Never. A waste. Of time.

Whether it be with your professor or your TA, you will ALWAYS learn something useful… Even if it means learning that emailing might be the better option for next time. 😂

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Why You Should Not Get a Job in Your First Year

Moving to university, most of us are expecting to have changes in our life style. And getting a job is one of the most exciting and anticipating thing you probably have in mind, especially if this is your first time working and getting paid. But after a semester long of trying out, couple things crossed my mind which made me reconsidered about going to work early. Here is my story! (more…)

So, About Volunteering…

Have you been adamant about volunteering throughout your academic career? Have you been told that volunteer work is extremely important for building your resume? I’ve definitely heard this before, and I’ve been hearing about it since high school. But I have to admit— I’m a little late to jump onto the volunteering wagon. And it isn’t all my fault. Let me tell you why…

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Graduate life – Take the advantage of academic seminars

Resource: Vanderbilt University website

First of all, Happy Halloween! I hope you are enjoying a wonderful (although rainy) day of pumpkin spices, costumes and fun with friends. Today, I would also like to talk about how to make the most out of academic seminars.

I believe that each department has their own schedule of academic seminars and talks. Here I just use Department of Chemistry as an example. Each Tuesday afternoon, one invited speaker (usually professors) gives an 1-hour talk on their research. As everyone can imagine, the research themes cover the whole spectrum of chemistry – inorganic, synthetic, biological, medicinal, etc.

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Moving To University – Lessons I Have Learnt

For most of us, going to university or college is the optimal choice for pursuing further knowledge in the academia. You might choose to study at the local post-secondary institution, or if you are like me, decide to go somewhere further away from home. Regardless of what you choose, there will be a big leap on your journey. It would be fun, exciting, adventurous, mind-opening experience, but it could also be stressful, scary, over-whelming at the same time. For so, I would like to share with you my story of coming to a university on my own, outside of my comfort zone, and tell you what I have learnt so far. (more…)

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…)

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