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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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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…)

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…)

Be Sustainable: It’s Easy

Source: Getting to Zero Conference, Penn State University (2014)

Last week I went to the lower field to taste some delicious local food at the Food Show. In the tent in front of the garbage bins, volunteers helped everyone to sort their wastes to proper destinations. It was also reported that the plumbers from McGill created the water fountains to reduce the consumption of water in plastic bottles during these events. Seeing more and more moves are taken to reduce the production of waste or its misplacement, I feel very proud as a McGillian. (more…)

Dear Future Self

https://ymi.today

Dear Future Self,

Whatever you are doing right now, stop. Look around you. Wherever you are, everything that has happened has lead you to this moment. Remember when you were writing this letter. Your hopes, dreams, anxieties from back then are maybe all irrelevant, replaced by new ones. Stop worrying too much, because I know you are. When I feel anxious, I ask myself if this thing I’m worrying about will matter in five years. Have they mattered? No matter how you feel about your past choices and what they have brought you, there are a couple of things I want to remind you.

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Letting Go Of Old Goals

https://pixabay.com/

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” – Rumi

 

It’s always great to have personal and career-related goals – if you know what you want and where you want to end up, you can build a roadmap around your goals. The security of having goals keeps you on track as you are working towards them. However, goals can change over time. Life can be very unpredictable, and can throw you off by requiring you to make changes in your short and long-term goals. Here, it becomes important knowing when to let go of a goal, when to adapt it to the new situation, and when to decide if your old goal is still attainable. Letting go of an old goal can be a painful process depending on how much you’ve already invested in it. You’ve dreamed about attaining it, and maybe you were very close before realizing the unexpected turn of events now requires you to change course.

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Exploring The Gap Year

https://www.rei.com

Today, many students and young professionals all over the world take gap years. Gap years could be highly beneficial as, for most people, it’s time to figure out what they love and are passionate about and add that to their CVs. While gap years mostly mean travelling, volunteering, or working abroad, a gap year is really whatever you make out of it.

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New Year Checklist – a brand new start is always nice

Hello 2018 and Winter semester! It was freezing during Christmas season and I was indeed a little bit reluctant to resume my normal schedule as a busy student. Fortunately, I don’t have classes starting at 8:30 am any more, but I do feel you if you have one – I was in your shoes a few years ago. (more…)

2018: Starting the Year Off Right for Your Career

For me personally, the holiday season is primarily a time to be surrounded by family, to celebrate Christmas with the people you love, and take the time to recover and relax from the bustle of the past year. For this reason, I tend not to think too much about looking for career-related opportunities during late December. However, as everyone knows, New Year’s is a time to begin new goals and make new resolutions (that can be kept!). It is also perfect occasion to start fresh and get back into looking at volunteering, extra-curricular, and job-related activities that will be sure to boost your CV and enhance the skills that will make you an adept professional in the working world.

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Grad School – a new start?

Copyright: PhD Comics

For grad school applicants, some deadlines are approaching, especially for those who want to get scholarships/fellowships. I remember that two years ago, I was in the same shoes asking these philosophical questions: where to go, what to learn, why to apply?

Before I start my story, here is the CaPS page for grad school application: http://www.mcgill.ca/caps/students/gradschool. (more…)

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