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McGill Reddit: Your go-to virtual community!

Hey friends! As the semester is underway and midterms are coming up, there are so many questions about academics, events, on-campus resources, and everyday living that we are faced with! From my experience, it can be pretty stressful when I needed some advice about course selection just days before add-drop, or when my hungry self doesn’t have the time to ask around for where the samosas sales are on campus! From my first year at McGill, there were questions that I wanted answers to but didn’t always know where the get the answer from. Since McGill is a large school, I always wanted some way of connecting with the greater student body, and the best way to do so is through Reddit! (more…)

Summer Withdrawals & How to Defeat Them

Back to school – we all know the feeling. Whether you spent your entire summer travelling and relaxing, or whether you were slaving away at a job, internship or volunteer position, there’s a certain panic that accompanies the end of summer and the transition back to school life. The chilling expectation of winter weather aside, fall semester can be intimidating in a way that winter semester often isn’t: your brain isn’t functioning like it used to, you’re reading slower, your handwriting is way messier and there is no reading week to look forward to. Fall semester, however, is the best time to get active both on and off campus! Here are some ways to maximize your first few months back: (more…)

What Stuck With Me This Month

  1.  “No information is useless information.” – Alex Trebek, on a recent episode of Jeopardy

People tend to say “the more you know” with a sarcastic intonation. 

But EVERYTHING YOU LEARN can be pertinent, as long as you know how to apply it.

You also never know what might come up in a conversation, and contributing to discourse is always a plus, not to mention so satisfying.

So next time you find yourself learning about something that has absolutely nothing to do with any of your current classes or your intended career path…

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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.

  1. #SELFCARE

The single most important thing you could do for yourself, because only once you are in a healthy mental and physical state, can you perform your very best and go on to helping others. 

  1. Attendance

A direct determinant of your grade.

(Okay this was a controversial one, I know)

Now I suck at math, but here is a formula based on my personal experience:

f (attendance) = grade

  1. Find what works best for you.

EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, to each their own. That being the case, college is also about learning who you are and how you function as a person — from learning how you study best, and what teaching styles and methods of evaluation (if applicable) work for you, all the way to learning how to dig up your real priority at a given moment. Sounds a little tricky eh?

*Number 5 is only possible through this thing we call experience, so don’t get discouraged and just keep going, but more significantly, remember to LEARN as you go ❤

~xoxo~

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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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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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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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…)

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…)

Note-Taking 101

College is a time to develop many of the fundamental skills that will be essential to you throughout your career. Things like public speaking, problem solving, and collaboration are all vital both at school and in the workforce. One skill that does not tend to receive as much attention is note-taking. Because many of us prefer to use our laptops to take notes and due to the quantity and density of the information taught in class, we often make a habit of transcribing what the professor is saying or copying lecture slides word for word, which is neither efficient nor beneficial.

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