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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…)

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…)

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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Tips for Successful Public Speaking

Public speaking is consistently ranked as a top fear among people.[1] Over the past five years, I have had many public speaking opportunities and then the chance to go back and teach the skills I learned as a teaching assistant in a CEGEP public speaking course and as a training director of McGill’s Model United Nations Delegation Team. Through improving my own speaking skills and helping others improve or overcome their fear, I have developed a number of tips which I hope might help you. (more…)

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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What We Wished We Knew Before Getting a Summer Job

Going into university triggers a whole list of questions that students ask themselves – what am I going to do with my life? What are my desires, my goals, my wishes, my dislikes, my neutrals? Many of these long-term, big-picture questions suddenly become very real and tangible, so much so to the extent that the shorter-term questions get put aside. One of the experiences that I completely did not address until I really needed to was my post-first year summer. Although I ended up scoring an amazing internship at the Vancouver Pride Society, I am all too aware that I could have spent it unhappy working in a hot, Italian grocery store. To gauge how other individuals reflected on and approached their summer, I interviewed two friends to showcase their experiences. 

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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…)

Constructing a To-Do List That You’ll Actually Do

I love being organized. I’m the first of my friends to start a group chat for Friday night plans, and I adore a good Powerpoint presentation. My favourite means of organizing my thoughts is the classic to-do list. Classic they may be, to-do lists are often misused. There is the assumption that simply writing a to-do list will result in the completion of tasks. However, because they are often not well-constructed, to-do lists can result in procrastination. Here, I will share a tried and true method of to-do list making that I have devised after my personal failed list attempts. (more…)

Summer: working a job vs. taking a break

McGill’s winter term ends in late April and the fall term starts early September, which leaves 4 months of “summer vacation”. Obviously, this is the ideal and most convenient time to gain work experience, do an internship, volunteer, take classes, etc. Most people with whom I’ve talked have found the four months to be long, so without a task to keep them busy, they would quickly feel bored and underwhelmed. The great thing about having several months between terms is that there is both the time to gain valuable work experience and enjoy the warmer months.

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