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Learning from McGill’s Public Talks

Source: Owen Egan/McGill News/Alumni Magazine/2013

When you go to a large university with a lot of students, faculty, and staff, there’s often a lot going on both on and around campus and you may not always know about all that’s happening. For me, one of these was the variety of public lectures available. For one of my classes this term, students were handed a list of lectures pertaining to the class and given the task of attending several public talks over the course of the semester. Going to these conferences turned out to be very enriching and eye-opening. In fact, there is a lot that you can learn and find out from the speakers and their presentations, especially regarding your studies and what you’d like to do in the future.

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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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Why is it so hard to just “do what you want?”

quote thought bubble saying what do you want to be when you grow up mcgill career blogWhat do you want to do? That’s a loaded question.

I remember asking this question during a speed dating study. First, he says “well, I don’t know.” Then he shares a bit about what he’s studying. Eventually, if he feels safe enough, he might share a dream of his. He thinks it’s not practical. I listen as he convinces himself to be interested in something more mainstream and secure. Maybe you’ve had a similar conversation with someone, or with yourself — knowing what you want, but not sure if it’s the ‘right’ thing to pursue

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What Next?

I’ve been at McGill for just over a year now. Some might say I’ve “settled in”, but sometimes I still feel pretty new here. There are some things that, by my second year, I probably should have seen or heard of already, however, just this week was the first time that I’ve seen upper year students preparing for and celebrating convocation. As a student not even half way through my degree, seeing them enjoy this time as they start a new chapter of their lives reminded me of the rush of excitement I felt after my high school graduation, but it seemed that much more exhilarating – so many new adventures lay ahead and new memories waiting to be made.

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To the First Year’s Who Aren’t Sure They Made the Right Decision

It’s been almost a month since classes started, summer has come to an end and the mid-term period is upon us. As a first year student, this was about the time of the term where I started to ask myself questions: Did I take the right courses for my degree? Will I enjoy them? Will I do well in them? What if this is not what I want to do at all? While some students know exactly what classes they want to be in and what career path they want to take, for many others, it is not as clear cut.

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7 More Tips to Succeed in Your First Year

As a first-year student, you get a lot of advice on how to manage the start of this new chapter of your life. From student handbooks to online resources, many places offer tips and tricks that you can carry on with you throughout your studies and later in life. Things like ‘don’t procrastinate’, ‘eat well’, and ‘get involved on campus’ often make up part of the list of things you can do to both enjoy your university years and be successful, but there’s more!

Here are seven more ways to do well during your first year (and beyond!):

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STEMinine – A Supportive Community for Women and Femmes in STEM

Source: https://thenib.com/women-in-stem-speak-up

Jessica Droujko, McGill BEng 2015, retells the story of how she sat next to a rocket scientist on a plane, and how he convinced her that she too can be a rocket scientist. Now, years after that fateful encounter, Jessica is completing her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, more commonly known as ETH Zurich. As a woman engineer, Jessica saw a lack of exposure of women and femmes in STEM fields (i.e. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), which in turn indirectly discourage young girls from pursuing those fields. Jessica wants high school and university students to be able to ask whatever they want and to find support in their search. Her project, STEMinine, does aims to do exactly that — showcases women and femmes in STEM. (more…)

A Resource Kit for New and Returning Students

Another school year has begun! The skirt and shorts season is coming to a close, switched for the coats and course packs of another knowledge-packed semester.

As a recent graduate, walking by the downtown campus, captivated by its newfound novelty, reminded me of my first impressions of McGill.

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My $0.02 Worth to an Incoming Student

Hello new McGill student that has stumbled upon this blog! First and foremost, I want to say congratulations on your acceptance to McGill – I hope you find everything and more that you’re looking for from a university experience at McGill. I know that you’re probably being bombarded with e-mails about orientation sessions and all the glorious events that are coming up. Or you could be a not-typical-first-year-student; maybe you’re on exchange, or just testing the waters for a year, or a third-year student that just switched into McGill. Whatever the case, I’m sure the process of coming to McGill is quite heavy. From planning courses to planning housing to planning food, there’s a lot to think about. But there might also be some general things that you’ll want to know. Here are some things I wish I was more familiar with when I first joined the McGill environment:   (more…)

How to Capture a Dream

Life has been very good to me lately. Several things that I only dared to imagine are now realities. One of these dreams is a paid job as a writer with a flexible schedule. Here, I try to identify the key moments that helped to manifest this vision into reality.

Dreaming is part of the work. It’s almost impossible to work towards something that you cannot envision. For me, this dreaming was simply wanting to be a skilled writer. I felt my writing skills had stopped improving since high school. So, as soon as I had sufficient free time and mental space, I started looking for opportunities to write within the McGill community. (more…)

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