Xaverian Weekly Articles 2018-19

Hello everyone!

As some of you may know, I write for the newspaper at my university, called The Xaverian Weekly.

So, I decided to make a masterpost of all of my articles from my second year working with them. If you’ve ever wondered what other topics I write about, what keeps me busy during the school year, or are in need of new reading material, please check them out!

This post will be updated as my articles come out throughout the year, so make sure to check back around every two weeks for new articles.

You can also follow the newspaper on Twitter or Instagram at @xaverianweekly.

Hail and health,

Mel.


How To Survive A Long-Distance Relationship

As someone who was previously in a long-term long-distance relationship, I figured I should pass on some of my wisdom about them to people who might be facing one now.

So, here are my tips for surviving a long-distance relationship!

  1. Trust each other. Even if you wholeheartedly trust your partner, long-distance relationships can create moments of doubt. In successful long-distance relationships, you have to have a level of trust and loyalty that goes above all else that is thrown at you.
  2. Take the extra time you have and devote it to yourself. Go do the things that you’ve always wanted to do, develop your hobbies, or spend time with your friends. Just because your significant other isn’t there, doesn’t mean that you have to stop living a fun life. Plus, keeping busy will keep you from obsessively missing them.
  3. Communicate. Make time so that you can both sit down to a weekly Skype or Facetime call to really catch up with one another and hear each other’s voice. Texting and apps like WhatsApp are great for keeping in touch while you’re apart from each other as well.
  4. Have an end date in mind to being apart, so you know where you’re headed long term with your significant other. Or, if you can’t plan a definitive end date, plan a date for when you’ll see or visit each other next.
  5. Send them a gift from time to time. It could be for a special event or just because, but it’s always a sweet thing to do to let them know you’re thinking of them.
  6. Work through the rough patches together. Long-distance relationships aren’t problem free, so having open lines of communication to solve and discuss problems is vital to success in the long run. However, remember that if you’re arguing with your significant other, that sometimes you’ll need to give them space.
  7. Remember that your significant other has a life too. You can’t expect them to be there 24/7, but they should at least be there for when it matters. Especially if they’re working or in university, cut your partner some slack if they’re really busy.
  8. Don’t give into jealousy. It may be easy to envy the relationships of your friends or family, but it won’t improve your long-distance relationship. Remember, you can’t judge the success of your long-distance relationship by the standards of relationships around you.
  9. Don’t cheat on your partner. It is incredibly unfair to the other person, especially if they trust you completely. However, if you do, please let your partner know as soon as possible, since then you can decide whether to carry on the relationship or not.
  10. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page. If you sit down as a couple now and then to discuss and reassess where your relationship is going, it will help you grow together and overcome any problems. As well, if you decide that both of you have changed and want to go down separate paths, it might save you some heartache.
  11. Last but not least, enjoy your time in your long-distance relationship. While they are a challenge and are hard to maintain, there may be a time when you look back on the relationship fondly. And who knows, maybe your long-distance will end because you’ve moved in with the love of your life.

I hope that my advice helped those of you that are in long-distance relationships or about to be in one. If you have any long-distance relationship tips as well, feel free to drop them in the comments!

-Mel.

 

30 Day Writing Challenge 2018

Hello everyone! I’ve decided to do another 30 Day Writing Challenge during May, since it’s been a while since I’ve done one, and since I haven’t been posting a lot of late. I’ll also be doing one extra post on May 31 as well, since I might as well write the whole month.

So, this is the masterpost of all the topics for each day, and it’ll be updated with links to the posts as I write them!


Tips For Online Dating

Since it’s that time of year when finding a Valentine seems to be on many people’s minds, I figured I’d share some of my online dating tips. I can’t guarantee that they’ll land you a date right away, but they might give you a chance to go on a date with a new special someone!

So, without further ado, here are my tips for using dating apps!

  1. Don’t be afraid to shop around for different dating sites or apps. I had to try a few different apps to find the ones I was comfortable using, and with the type of people I would consider dating. You should take into account if the app is more for hookups or relationships, if it can accommodate who you want to date, and how you communicate with people on the app when choosing one.
  2. Don’t ever neglect your safety. While this is more for the women out there, in general, you shouldn’t agree to meet with someone you don’t trust. I also recommend that you make first dates in a public place where you can get help easily, and tell a family member or friend about the date. Unfortunately, there are people catfishing out there and people convicted of sexual assaults on dating apps, so be careful.
  3. Don’t be stingy in who you think might work out. Some of the most interesting conversations I’ve had were with people that I tentatively swiped right on. Plus, you don’t necessarily want a partner to be an exact carbon copy of yourself, so go ahead and explore your options!
  4. Make the plunge and send them a message. It can sometimes be the scariest thing to do, but even a quick sentence about how you share a favorite band can grab someone’s attention. It may be a good idea to just send a “hi” instead of a really bad pickup line too for that first message.
  5. Don’t be afraid to say no. There are some characters out there, and if they are interacting with you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, you can leave the conversation or say no to anything they ask of you. Keeping toxic people around is going to cause you trouble, so sometimes you just have to hit the block button.
  6. Guys, this one’s for you. Please, for the love of all things holy, do not send explicit pictures or messages unless you have asked if it is alright first. I know very few women who want to have a dick pic pop up on their screen randomly. There’s nothing wrong with exchanging pictures or sexts if you want to, just do it with consent. And no, getting my Snapchat does not count as consent.
  7. At least write a little bit about yourself on your profile. There’s nothing more frustrating than opening up a profile to see every section saying “hey” or “message me.” Giving people some information can serve a jumping off point for conversation, which will make it easier for people to message you.
  8. Embrace patience in your use of dating apps. It’s going to take time to build up some matches or get a conversation going. Don’t give up hope if you don’t have a hundred messages in your inbox after day one on a dating site. After all, people lead busy lives, and they say the one is always worth the wait.
  9. Don’t let dating apps take over your life. While having a partner is fantastic, obsessing over dating apps to find one can be draining. Besides, sometimes you need to be single for a while to figure out what you need and want from your love life. It’s perfectly fine to delete dating apps from your phone if you need a break.
  10. Be unapologetic about who you are, because they’re going to find out eventually. While it is easier to lie in online dating, if you end up dating someone in real life that you met online, they will find out what you’re trying to hide. It’s better to be honest, since someone who is truly worth dating will accept you as you are.
  11. Last, have some fun. The whole point of dating apps is to get to know different people, so get out there and do it. Go to the movies, to that cool new restaurant, or try paintball, whatever your heart desires. Except, with a dating app, you can have some company to explore all the intriguing things this world has to offer.

What are some of your best tips for online dating? Leave a comment or any questions about online dating you have below!

Hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

-Mel.

How To Get Over A Rough Patch

Sometimes life throws you a curveball that makes you stumble or falter in your plans. It’s never pleasant dealing with those curveballs, and sometimes you can feel stuck in a rut.

So, as someone who’s been through a few rough patches in the last few years, I thought I’d give some tips on how to cope and get out of them. Hope these help!

  1.  Listen to your favorite playlist for when you’re angry or upset. Sometimes the best reset for me is to get my emotions out through music. Even better, pound out an angry tune on the piano, that’s always cathartic.
  2. Make a list of the things and people that are good in your life. Sometimes it’s easy to lose track of what you already have when you’re in a tough place.
  3. Watch your favorite movies or TV shows. Personally, I love watching anything made by Laika or Buffy when I’m down to get my mind off things.
  4.  Write out your frustrations and worries or tell them to someone who’s close to you. Sometimes you just need to get all of that out in order not to feel like you’re the only one carrying the burden of your problems.
  5.  Go out with friends or family. Doing something fun with people that love and appreciate you will cheer you up and get your mind off all your worrying.
  6. Take a long walk, maybe to your favorite coffee or food place. I’ve always found taking a walk through the park or down by the river soothing, so maybe try that out!
  7. Invest some time in your hobbies. Dust off your camera, pick up an instrument, go have a long session at the gym. Do what makes you happy, and everything else will sort itself out.
  8. Think about your goals, and how you can go forward with them even with a few roadblocks on the path. Sometimes, the lessons you learn the hard way push us onto the path that is better for us in the long run.
  9. Pet your favorite animal. Nothing like a few dog or cat cuddles to brighten up your day while you’re going through a rough patch.
  10. Try something new. Sometimes you need to get outside your comfort zone in order to solve a problem. It could be as simple as trying a new activity, to something as big as moving to a different city.
  11. If all else fails in solving the problems life throws at you, give things time and don’t give up hope in your dreams. It may be hard to keep a positive attitude, but keeping it up will attract good things to you and leave the rough patches behind.

I hope that whatever struggles life has thrown at you right now, that these tips may help you find peace and happiness again.

If you guys have anything you do when you’re in a funk, leave your tip in a comment below!
-Mel.

 

Goodbye to the Sunshine Dog

Jypsie, Jyps, Tipsy, Sexy, Houdini, Dummkopf, you were known by many names.

You always knew where the best sun patch was inside and outside. You’d always lie on the picnic table, napping for hours under the sun and keeping an eye on the kitchen. I’m sure at some point you must have been raised by a cat, since you were a very strange dog.

Of course, you also got into a fair amount of trouble. From digging holes to escaping the yard so many times, we had to keep it shut with a belt. It’s amazing that you managed to teach our old dog Jerzy your tricks as well, you two were a ridiculous duo when you combined your talents.

You were a good hunter too, fitting for a family of hunters. You were oh so proud to come into the house one day smacking on the feathers of the bird you’d just caught. We’ll miss our bird and mouse hunter.

You also never understood the concept of personal space. It didn’t matter if the three of us girls were on the couch, you’d find some room to squish your fluffy butt into. Sharing the back seat with you on car rides meant at some point, you would have a dog on your lap that demanded attention.

You got me through some rough times, either by spending a few hours cuddled close or by sharing your infectious good energy. Nobody could say no to your goofy grin greeting everyone that stepped through the door.

Saying goodbye to you was really hard, but I’m glad that you waited until I was home, so I was there to sneak in a few last pets.

I hope you are at peace, running around with Jerzy and getting spoiled to no end in heaven.

Love you always,

Mel.

How To Survive A University Course-Midterms and Finals

This post is part of a series on how to survive a university course. You can read the other posts here.


When it comes to midterms and finals, studying for them can be quite stressful. Since it is that time of year when exams are creeping up, I figured I would share some of my tips.

So, without further ado, here are my tips for studying for exams and midterms:

  1. Study!!! Don’t go completely blind into exam or midterm, at the very least look over your notes a few times.
  2. If you get any topics for essays or exams beforehand, prepare them well. It’ll give you more time to focus on writing instead of content, and might give you more time to go over the exam at the end to catch any mistakes.
  3. Know when and where your exams are since they might be in different places or times than the class is. As well, most universities release exam schedules pretty early, so keep out an eye for any changes too.
  4. Know what you can and can’t bring to exams. Your prof will tell you in class usually what they will allow you to bring into the exam, including cheat sheets or books. Most universities should also post what you’re allowed in exams on campus or online.
  5. Make sure you get some sleep, are eating well, are exercising, and stay healthy during midterms and finals. Neglecting any of these things can drastically affect how well you perform on your exams.
  6. Go to the exam review or midterm review for your classes. You can ask any questions about content you have, and profs sometimes give hints about things that will appear on exams. If you can’t make the review, ask friends in class for information or go to the prof’s office hours.
  7. Find a friend to study with! Sometimes it’s better to study with another person so they can catch what you’re missing in the content or so you can brainstorm ideas.
  8. Remember to take breaks. Studying for hours on end is not productive, so take a little walk or watch an episode of your favorite show every now and then.
  9. Have some confidence in yourself. Remember to take a deep breath, tell yourself you’ve studied and worked hard, and that you’re going to kick this exam’s butt.
  10. Look at your marks if you can before going into the exam. Knowing how you’re doing so far in the course and the weight of your exams or midterms is always a good thing and can give you some peace of mind.
  11. If you’re really worried about exams, there may be some tutors or free courses on campus that can help you out. Don’t be afraid to ask upper year students or profs what resources they recommend as well!

What are some of your study tips for midterms and exams? Leave them in the comments below!

-Mel.

Xaverian Weekly Master Post

Hello everyone!

As you know, I’m writing for my university’s newspaper this year, which is partially why I’m not writing on here as much. I’m a staff writer, which means I’ve been writing an article for each issue of the newspaper.

I figured to make up for the lack of posts on here, I’d make a master post of all my newspaper articles so that you can read them when the blog is quiet. A quick word of warning; since I write for my university’s newspaper, the articles are geared more towards those that go to or have gone to my university. However, I hope my articles are relevant to any university students out there.

Also, it should go without saying, that all the articles belong to the Xaverian Weekly, and not to myself personally. They have all been edited and reviewed by my fantastic editors and the co-editors-in-chief (round of applause for all the hard work they do).

So, without further ado, here are links to my articles I’ve written so far!


Surviving a University Course-Study Tips

This post is part of a series about surviving a university course. You can find the rest of the posts here.


Since the busy crunch time is coming up for most university students, I figured I’d share a few of my study tips to help make it more manageable.

So, without further ado, here they are!

  • Make your notes work for your learning style. Rewrite them, highlight them, draw giant information webs, whatever works best for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different methods!
  • Don’t over study, since it can be just as bad as understudying. This is when it’s crucial to know if your professor only needs you to know certain course material, or if you’re expected to know everything from the course and more.
  • Have a good study space or workspace. Either off or on campus, find a quiet space that lets you get your work done with the least distractions.
  • Take breaks and reward yourself during long study sessions. No matter if it’s a walk, stretching, a food or coffee break, it’ll help you retain facts in the long run.
  • Eat and drink things to keep you going during study time. Hopefully, you choose healthy food, but sometimes you need some chocolate or comfort food.
  • Keep your things organized to make studying easier and avoid losing important papers. If you take a few minutes every day to put papers from class where they belong, you’ll be so much better off for the stressful times of the semester.
  • Find an interactive way to study. Flash cards, fill-in-the-blanks, or practice tests are very useful. Remember, studying with friends might be interactive if you’re quizzing each other, but it can be distracting as well.
  • Try to limit distractions like texting, social media, and Netflix. Study times should be only study time. I also recommend listening to instrumental music so you’re not distracted by lyrics in songs.
  • Take a night off every once and a while to charge your batteries. You’ll need it later during the semester, and going out or some Netflix is good for you.

What are your best study tips to succeed in university? Leave them down below!

-Mel.

Surviving a University Course-During the Semester

This is part of a series of posts about surviving a university course. You can find the first two posts here.


As the semester progresses, it can sometimes be a bit of juggling act to get everything done, and done well. Not to mention, early classes start to feel even earlier as the semester progresses…

Here are some of my tips for things you should try and do during the semester so that things go as smoothly as possible!

  1. Try to be on time and with all your materials. Don’t be that annoying constantly late person or pen borrower.
  2. Come to class with a mindset to work. Even if you don’t really like the course, you’ll get more out of it if you put in an effort.
  3. Take notes! Even if they’re messy, they might contain an important test answer later on.
  4. Do your assignments, on time preferably. That way you’ll know the material better and you won’t lose marks for handing things in late. If you do need an extension for any reason, try to ask for one sooner rather than later from your prof.
  5. If you miss a class, try to get notes from friends to catch up. Only ask your prof for notes if you missed a lot of classes or have tried friends and online notes first.
  6. GO TO OFFICE HOURS. Your prof is there to help you with questions or to help you out with assignments. Plus if they know you, it’ll be easier to ask for references or extensions later on.
  7. Try to keep up with course material. You’ll probably fall a bit behind at some point, but try your best to keep up or set aside time to catch up if you’re really behind.
  8. Keep an eye on your grades so you know how you’re doing. This will help you going into midterms or finals and with deciding if you might want to drop a course.
  9. If your course load is too heavy or you’re doing really badly in a course, don’t be afraid to drop classes. However, it’s better to decide that before course drop deadlines.
  10. Take a break. Sometimes, the best thing to do when you’re overwhelmed by work is to take a hour or two for yourself. An episode of your favourite series or a nap might be the special ingredient to boost your productivity sky high.

What do you guys do during the semester to keep your grades up? Leave a comment down below!

-Mel.