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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

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“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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Why Am I Not Stressed?

I’ve learned a few things about time management, responsibility, and cramming for midterms in my three semesters at McGill. In my U0 year, I had a very different outtake on balancing academics and social activities; I often prioritized the wrong thing and made poor decisions, leaving assignments and homework to the last minute. I wasn’t super involved on campus and I was only taking four courses per semester, so I blamed myself for not staying on track.

However, it took me an entire year to realize that my stress levels had little to do with how much I needed to accomplish. Instead, it had a lot to do with self-care, a healthy lifestyle, and effective studying habits. Today, I am more active within my faculty and I am effectively juggling a heavy course load along with part-time jobs and social commitments. This is what I’m doing to say goodbye to stress: (more…)

Cafés: the Newest Study Spaces

For me personally, the perfect study space is in the comfort of my own room, where I’m free to follow my own routine and get up whenever needed without having to worry about leaving my things out on the table, all while not getting distracted by others passing by or loud conversations. I know for many of my friends, however, that it is quite the contrary for them. Unable to stay focused at home, other settings give them the motivation to study and keep on track. Once you’re in your final year, you know what works best for you, but in the meantime, there are plenty of spaces to go to if you’re in need of a change in environment while you review your notes for that upcoming midterm.

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Getting Away from the McGill Bubble

As the date of the first final exams approaches, it is likely you will be reminded of the importance of taking good care of yourself, and told ways to alleviate the stress that comes with the end of the semester. It’s stressful for everyone – in your first year, you often don’t know what to expect, it’s the first time you’ll be taking a university-level exam; in upper years, the material is often increasingly demanding, and more is expected of you. For me, this semester has been particularly heavy on course work, and I’ve found that fitting some free time for yourself in between the studying is beneficial regardless how tight your schedule is, because it really helps you refocus and gives you something to look forward to after hours of doing practice problems.

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Dealing with stress and cold weather – final survival guide

It is mid-November and some of us still have their second mid-terms of this semester. Now it’s getting dark before 5 pm, and we wrap ourselves like tortilla. Since our semester is only less than 4 months long, the finals are actually around the corner.

Undegrads usually have 4 to 5 courses per semester, and we are drowning in deadlines throughout the semester. It seems that we don’t have a lot of time to prepare for the finals, so I want to share with everyone how I managed to obtain decent grades for 6 courses in one semester. (more…)

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