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.


Fall Life Update!

Hello everyone!

I figured it was about time I gave you a little update about what’s going on in my life right now, and about some of the things that happened over my summer.

I’m back in school for my last year of my undergrad, and I’m now V-P of the history society on campus. I’m also resuming my role as a writer for the campus newspaper, but with the added bonus of having one of my best friends on the staff this year. I’ll probably make a master list of all those articles on the blog again, so that you can read what I write in my everyday life.

I just moved off campus this year as well, since I really enjoyed working off campus this summer, in what used to be the town’s old courthouse. I’m super happy with my new place, and my roommates are pretty awesome too. Although, I think Eos might be the favourite roommate of all, since she’s a beautiful but curious corn snake.

I also got my first tattoo this summer, which has been on my list since I graduated high school. It’s a blackwork rose on my left shoulder, done by the fabulous Emily at Folklore Tattoo. I’ll be posting more about my experience and some tattoo tips later on, but for now, here’s a close up picture of it!

That’s about it for what I’ve been up to these last couple of months! I hope you’re all doing great, and are heading into fall ready to make it the best one yet. Please drop me a comment about any of your fall plans or what you’ve been up to, I love hearing about your lives too!

See you soon in the next post!

-Mel.

Back to School Is Upon Us…

…and I’m really looking forward to it. This year is my final year of my undergrad, which is incredibly exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. There’s a number of things in the works for my final year that I’ll post about soon, but it’ll be one for the books for sure.

However, as a fourth year or senior at university, I figured I’d share some of my tips for those starting or returning to university.  So, without further ado, here’s some of my advice for university:

  1. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Some of the best experiences I’ve had on campus have occurred because I took a leap of faith and signed myself up for activities. You may not be able to do everything, but try to get out there and do things so you have fewer “I should’ve done (x)” moments later on.
  2. Be open to meeting new people. It’s very easy to continue the mentality from high school that you’ll only click with certain people. I would encourage you to be open to making friends through classes, extracurriculars, or just someone you constantly run into on campus. They might just teach you some of the most important lessons during your school years.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I was like most frosh, where the last thing I wanted to do was show up to office hours and ask for help from my professors. However, I’ve learned by now that taking the time to ask the questions you have about coursework or just popping by for a quick chat with your professors can be incredibly helpful and open up new opportunities.
  4. Not succeeding at everything is okay. If you have to redo a course, get a bad mark on an assignment, or fail at something else during university, it’s alright. We aren’t all perfect, and sometimes circumstances in our lives can mess things up. However, the best thing to do after not succeeding is to pick yourself back up and have a game plan to make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
  5. Don’t be afraid to leave home. Moving somewhere completely different can be daunting after living your life in one place and having all your friends and family there. In my experience, there are ups and downs to going away to university, but I’ve been able to learn a lot more about myself by changing my environment completely. So, don’t be afraid to make that first step in leaving home.
  6. Get off campus. As tempting and easy as it is to always be on campus, give yourself a break from it sometimes. Sometimes you need a different perspective in order to find some peace during the hectic life at university. Plus, it’s a chance to either experience living in your own place or to explore where you’re going to university a bit more.
  7. Remember what you’re here for. While some of my advice is to experience the most of your years at university, remember you’re in school to study. It’s not worth paying a lot of money, all the long nights, and hours in class if you don’t get the degree at the end of the line. So, keep that mind when you’re really tempted to binge watch some Netflix instead of studying for an exam worth 40% of your final class mark.

I hope that this helps those embarking or continuing on the path of post-secondary education this year. Please pass this along to any students you know, and if you have any advice that you’d like to share, please leave a comment on this post!

Have a great school year!

-Mel.

Day 27: A Lesson You’ve Learned

I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this last year is actively going out of my comfort zone. I’ve always been a more introverted and cautious person, and this year I’ve really been trying to push myself to do new things and meet new people.

Ironically, pushing my boundaries started with two spur of the moment decisions. When I applied to the campus newspaper, I did it on a whim since I was having fun writing this blog. Similarly, I joined the executive of the history society since I was asked randomly by a friend and one of my old professors if I wanted the job. Both decisions pushed me out of my comfort zone with having to recruit people for the society and writing new stories on topics I wasn’t as familiar with. But I wouldn’t change a thing, since I made some great friends and learned a lot about myself along the way.

With school as well, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone with a few of the classes I took this year. It made me realize that I don’t find sociology interesting, and that I never want to become a lawyer. At the same time, I realized that I’m most interested in my classes when I’m able to study security or conflict issues, which has made me consider studying those topics more.

Overall, continuously pushing my limits has been a good lesson to learn this year. I’m sure I’ll continue doing a little bit more outside my comfort zone this next year, and I can’t wait to see what good things come out of that.

What lesson have you learned recently? Drop me a comment!

-Mel.

Day 19: What You’re Currently Worrying About

I think that being an adult means you always have a couple of worries in the back of your mind. I’m sure at any point I’m worrying about work, school, the future, etc as background noise.

What I’m currently worrying about is mostly school related. I have to choose my courses fairly soon for my 4th year, which means spending a few hours sighing exasperatedly over the course timetable. It’s really hard to juggle two majors with two sets of requirements when they like to schedule things at similar times.

The other school related worry I have right now is to do with pursuing a Masters degree. I’ve been doing research about grad schools and programs recently, which is always stressful. At this point, I’m fairly certain university websites are supposed to be confusing and send you down several rabbit holes until you find the information you actually need.

However, even if I’m worrying about school, I know it will all turn out for the best in the end. After all, I’ve got a few years of university under my belt, and a great support system that will help me with whatever I need.

Are you worried about anything at the moment? Drop me a comment, and I might be able to give you some advice!

-Mel.

Day 16: Something You Always Think “What if…” About

I think I keep gaining new what if questions monthly, but that could just be a mark of the stage of life I’m in.

However, one of the what if questions I come back to sometimes is what if I didn’t take a gap year after high school?

I know I would have never travelled to Nicaragua and moved to Banff had I not taken that gap year. I probably would’ve chosen a different university, and I would have had to choose it during my last year of high school. I would’ve missed out on so many life experiences that I cherish had I not taken a gap year.

I also know I wouldn’t have met a lot of people that are my close friends currently. And it wouldn’t just be the people I met during my gap year, I wouldn’t have met my close friends at university as well. I’m sure I would’ve met amazing people had I not taken a gap year as well, but I truly am grateful for the friends I made that year and shortly thereafter at university.

I think my gap year has become such a big what if moment in my life since I’ve changed a lot since I took it. I would’ve never pictured myself where I am today back in grade 12 when I decided to take a gap year. But I’m eternally grateful for that choice, and a few people who nudged me in that direction in the first place.

What are some of your what if moments? Leave them in the comments below!

-Mel.

Day 13: One Thing You’re Excited For

It was definitely hard to choose just one thing I’m excited for, since there are a lot of exciting things going on in my life.

But, the thing I’m most excited for right now is graduating university next year and finishing my first degree.

It’s more than just getting a piece of paper with my name on it that’s exciting. It’s also knowing that all the hard work and late nights that I’ve put into studying have paid off, and hopefully my good marks will be recognized as well. Finishing a degree is no small feat, so it’ll be nice to know I made it through the four years.

I’m also excited to get my X-ring this December. Having seen some friends get theirs this last year, I’m looking forward to getting mine even more. Of course, it might seem a bit frivolous to put so much importance on a gold ring, but it really is a symbol of how much St.F.X. becomes a sort of family.

Graduating is exciting as well because it means that I get to start a new chapter in my life. It’s both slightly terrifying and really exciting to decide where I’ll go next, and what I’ll do next. I do have a couple of plans in the works, but I’m ready to face the unknown of post-grad life.

I’m really looking forward to the next year of university, and the X-ring and degree that I’ll get during it. I’m definitely going to try and make the most of every moment I have left on campus so this last year is unforgettable.

What are you guys excited for? Leave me a comment down below!

-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!