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!


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.

Quick blog update!

Hello to my lovely followers!

Since I’m now writing articles weekly for my school newspaper, I decided I will only be posting once a month. There might be some months where I’ll be writing two posts, but for now, I’ve decided to only commit to one post in the interest of my academic and personal life.

I hope you all stick around, I’ll be continuing the Surviving a University Course series this semester, with some possible bonus posts as well.  And, if you want to check out my school newspaper and all the awesome content from the people that work there, the link is here.

If any of you are interested in seeing specific content or posts in the following months please leave a comment or send me a message, I’m always open to suggestions!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

-Mel.