First year: finals round 2

Now that I am in my second semester, I find finals a lot different and less stressful…however, that might not be the best thing.

Since I know what to expect and how to study, it seems like it just gives me more of an excuse to postpone studying and taking the exam. All of my tests were online Moodle exams, so I was lucky enough to decide my own exam schedule. This just increased my procrastination more! It’s just something about the second semester that I have less motivation to study and just want summer to be here so I can have a much needed brain break. It’s not just me that has this problem, as most of my friends feel the same.

It also didn’t help that summer came early this year with sunny 20+ degree weather so I REALLY did not want to be inside studying. You could tell who tried studying outside as by the end of last week ,most people walked around with scary looking sunburns.

As for my exams, they went well enough. Freedom is so wonderful and it is so hard to grasp that I just finished my first year of university!!! Where did the time go?!? I don’t think I could possibly write everything I had learned this year in a single blog post. I will just say that it was a roller coaster of growing up.

I just want to say thank you to all who took the time out of their busy school and work schedules to read my blog and I wish you all the best for the summer and the coming fall. Good luck to the new first years!

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Joys of the Gym

With summer coming up and extreme studying for finals I thought it might be a good idea to hit the gym. I had mentioned in an earlier post that it is encouraged for us students to try and workout or at least do some kind of physical activity to reduce stress and improve our brain power.

My first semester I rarely, if ever, went to the gym or used any of the other fitness services the U of L offers. So this semester I rented out a locker so my stuff would already be there and I would have a bit more of a push to go and at least make good use of the locker.

The gym is intimidating at first. It seemed like everyone there knows what they are doing and has a set out fitness plan or something. After wandering awkwardly for a bit I figured starting on the treadmills was a safe bet. It then took a good five minutes of button pressing to figure out how to work the thing, but I felt awesome once I was  jogging at a good speed. I decided to creep on the people next to me and realized that they’re speed is almost double that of mine so I up my own speed so I don’t look slow or that out of shape. I crashed after five minutes; it was time to move on.

Machine weights are easy enough and I tried to stick to the ones I learned how to use in high school rather than the scary ones that look like torture equipment let alone something to build muscle with. When I ran out of machines that I knew how to use I grabbed a couple free weights and did the very few arm moves from the latest magazine I had read. Finally, I go to the mats, grab a bosu ball and copy any and all the moves I could see other people doing. Hey they must be doing them for a reason, right?

Thankfully after going a couple times I got into the routine of doing things and don’t feel as awkward wondering what in the world I’m supposed to do. I’ve even tried some other things like running around the track, different machines and read up on some new moves to try. I encourage you guys to give the gym a try, or even the pool or rock climbing wall. It might be awkward like it was for me but at least it will give you a good laugh. You gotta start somewhere!

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Summer plans

I cannot believe that my first full year of university is almost over! And hello four month summer! EEK!

This year has gone by so quick it’s unbelievable, but just as quick I have to start planning for the summer and fall already. I can understand how the summer can easily creep up on someone when they’re so busy with midterms and finals. You have to figure out summer classes, fall classes, summer jobs, any travel plans and don’t forget to reinstate your student loans so they know your continuing studies!

I was just told last week that the registration date is for BOTH the summer and fall courses, yeesh that could have gone badly! I know they can’t baby us first year students all the time but some additional info throughout the year would be nice.

My current summer plans consist of taking a few summer classes so I can have a lighter course load in the fall. I have also heard they are pretty awesome so I’m excited! However I wonder if taking three in the summer is too much? Other than that my summer is open to anything. I hope to get a full time job when I’m done my summer semester but that may be tricky since it will already be summer and most jobs may already be taken. I heard of some of my friends who had applied for sweet research jobs back in January so we shall see what I can get my hands on. Career services has an awesome online job board so people can check that out which can help with the job hunt!

Travel plans are nothing concrete but after working hard this year I think everyone deserves some nice relaxing vacation time either at home, the river bottom or on a beach. I hope to go tubing down the old man river as I’ll be staying in town so that’s one thing I encourage to check out! I might also have the chance to go to Disneyland or Vegas with some friends so that would be the highlight of my summer!

I’m just excited for warm weather overall, ooohh and it all begins with last class bash this month! =)

I wish you all good luck with planning out your summer and finishing up this semester.

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From Biochem to . . . Fashion?!?

So we have all heard of people switching majors and programs in university and heck, I’m one of them with my psych gone social work major. My good friend Anali has the wildest of them all, she started out a biochemistry major and is now looking into careers in the arts and fashion world. I got to pick her brain about it and can now tell you guys about it!

Why biochem and the sciences first? Anali explained how there are a lot of options in this field and in the sciences, she could work in laboratory research, go to med school and the ultimate goal was to be some kind of doctor.

How did those classes go? The first semester did not go as well as expected. The classes did not interested her and were not enjoyable, with the exception of one, English. It seemed to be the one class she did enjoy and kind of pulled her towards the fine arts. It was about mid semester when she realized there had to be something done about this so she started researching classes, programs, and schools. It was the help of her friends in those classes that got her through the rest of the semester

Why fashion and art? Fashion and art was always something she enjoyed throughout junior high and high school but it was more of a hobby than anything else. She never thought of it as a potential career until recently.

Classes now? Anali is happy to say she enjoys her classes so much more and it is completely different than her first semester had gone. She is currently taking marketing and art classes in preparation for the possibility of going to a fashion school in the future.

Future plans? This past February Anali had applied for School of Fashion at Ryerson University out on the other side of the country. She explains that it is the only school across Canada that offers a Degree in Fashion rather than just a diploma.

Advice? Definitely look into a larger variety of classes and programs to see what has potential.

Do you have some crazy program switches? Post em’!

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Stressed? I found help!

So I’m gonna put it out there, school (life in general) can be stressful. I know lots of my friends and even myself got a overwhelmed last semester. Some with homework but some with other things too like work, homesickness and I even dealt with an extreme family crisis. I decided I had to do something about it so I went to the counseling services the university offers (can be found in Turcotte Hall). I’m just going to share some tips I got for de-stressing my life and just helping my overall well being.

1. Eat right. I know its been said millions of times but the professionals know what they’re talking about. You have to keep your insides healthy to keep your mind and everything else healthy. The big one for me was to try taking vitamins. Since the sun isn’t out all the time to provide vitamin D, just take it in pill form. I was really amazed how this helped my mood, I’m actually a grump and sluggish if I don’t take it. Same with good ol’ vitamin C, Iron and omega 3.

2. Exercise. I try… The gym is a little bit intimidating but it must be done, and a gym pass is included in your tuition so might as well try to make the most of it. All day you are studying and have lectures that you’re using your brain for so this is a good way to give it a break and work your body instead. There are also studies that show that exercising before writing a paper will improve your writing and energy levels!

3. Do stuff you love or will love. I started knitting. It’s nice to keep my hands busy while relaxing on the couch, plus I made nice scarf for my boyfriend. I also took up yoga again for some much needed meditation and breathing.

Did you know when your stressed you actually unconsciously take smaller breaths? Yeah, well you do! So take a few minutes every time while washing your hands in the bathroom to breathe deeply a couple times.

I was talking with the kind ladies at the university counseling services and they really want to mention to people that it is not something abnormal to go there for help. They also offer help on things like studying and note taking! Things won’t get better if you don’t seek help.

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Beware of bike riding in winter.

So since the weather is so beautiful and sunny I figured why not ride my bike to school! I forgot about the hazardous equation that  bike + melting snow + people = fail.

I made it alright most of the way, and I thought biking on snow would be a lot like biking on grass. Until I actually hit snow that is, and got stuck with my tires spinning in place and the bike falling on top of me. Okay, so I avoided snow from then on and stuck to the roads and sidewalks, no short cuts.

Ah, but then I hit the path after the intersection leading to the parking lot. I dodged most of the people alright, but then I saw slush patches . . . I made the mistake of looking down to make sure I wasn’t covered in brown slushy wetness. I looked up and BAM! A guy is walking right in front of me, he yells, literally yells “UGGHH!” and jumps out of the way just in time then I swerved and almost hit three other people.

I did make it to school without harming anyone in the end! I may never forget that scared looking expression on the guy however, and I really hope he heard me yelling sorry afterwards. Well if he ever reads this, I am truly sorry and promise to stay off my bike until the spring.

But on that note I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing reading week, you deserve it! =)

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From Psychology to Social Work

I thought I might update you guys as to why I’m taking Psychology as my major at the university, how it is going so far and it may help anyone who is looking into that for the future.

I know I could never be a doctor as blood and cutting someone open is not for me, but I still wanted to help people in some way or another. I always helped my friends get through their problems so I figured, heck might as well do it for a living! I had taken an Intro to Psyc class in high school and I became interested in the abnormal psychology and different disorders, even though they may be a little frightening. So looked more into this through career fairs, job shadowing and what programs the university offered.

So BAM! Here I am in university working at my Bachelor of Science with my major being Psychology. I loved the Psyc 1000 class but something wasn’t working out for me. I seriously did not want to spend 4 years getting my Ba. Sci and then another who knows how many years to be an actual employable person. Don’t get me wrong I admire those who do suffer through and become a doctor in this area but it’s just not for me. I hate calculus and stats with a passion, so I’m not quite sure how I’d get through. . . Thankfully I have stuck with my semester planning guide for psychology and am still taking lots of GLER’s so I can really figure out for sure if this is for me.

This semester I actually got into the Introduction to Social Work class which is offered on campus but technically through the U of C. I thought I might take it to explore my options some more as it is related to psychology and I’d still get credit toward my degree. So far I love it! As cliche as it may sound I think I may have found my calling. A social worker does a lot of things that a psychologist kinda does, yet without the heavy science courses and MANY years of schooling required. I also find that it is more community based to some extent and you don’t just give drugs to people to make their problems go away.

I find it funny because back when I was planning my university career I swore I wouldn’t switch programs and this was the one for me and yadda yadda. . . Surprise! I’m now part of the growing statistic of students that switched programs. However I can’t “officially” switch into the Faculty of Social Work until the end of my second year so until then I’ll be taking my required psychology classes. So I’ll still get my interests in psychology explored, a job after I graduate and help people in the end. Yay! =)

Fingers crossed I don’t switch into something else in the meantime . . .

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I <3 downtown Lethbridge

The title basically sums up my feelings about that part of the city. I love taking a walk downtown on a nice sunny day and stopping into all the shops with a delicious latte or milkshake.

For those who don’t know where it is I’m talking about, it’s the area around the city centre where all the buses stop and up to and around Park Place mall. Everything is in walking distance and you can always find something that fits your needs.

My favourite store is Silla Designs! It’s the cutest boutique with jewelry, clothes, accessories and more. Even fancy leather wallets and hats for the gentlemen, and all with a bit of vintage flare. You can also choose from Hannah Banana across from Galt Gardens for more than just children wear and Gentlemen Three for your manly man wear. Nicolei tops the list for awesome home decor from furniture to candles.

For cafes and coffee places you have a nice competition between: The Penny coffee house with yummy meals, Esquires with cool scenery and the wifi and staff that always have stories, Round Street cafe with yummy pie and lastly Express Coffee with more funky decor and loose leaf tea types you can imagine. There is also a new place called Chelsea’s Cafe opening up so I’ll have to go see what that will be like. Did I mention the cupcake place?!? Edible Incredible across the street from The Penny has cupcakes and sugar cookies to die for! Hint: Valentine’s day idea!

The artsy people have the art gallery across from The Penny that is full of some rich art pieces made by the locals. Even The Penny itself has pieces on display which can also be purchased. And can’t forget to mention the SAAG! In the evenings The Owl, The Slice and even Mocha Cabana has some local musicians sharing their tunes with the city. Hint: Some evenings the galleries have nice wine to help you enjoy the art.

For the real adventurers there’s King of Trade full of all sorts of wonders to be discovered. A block or two down you have Alpenland as your ski-snowboard-sports-topia.

So if you’re ever in need of a break, go for a walk in downtown Lethbridge and see what you can find! Also give us a comment on someplace you enjoy or think others should know about, I can’t fit all the excitement in one blog!

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Scholarships again?!?

I don’t know about you guys but scholarships are such a drag for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting money for school! Just hunting them down and doing what’s required for them just isn’t my thing. I did however go to the scholarship and student finance office (AH 151) and got the low down on them so I’ll be a bit more prepared than last year.

Current students: I really forgot about scholarships, until I got my bill for tuition. *Cries* But thankfully the University of Lethbridge comes through once again and has them all on the bridge for you to apply for. Since the deadline is May 1st, this semesters’ grades get factored in. So YIPPEE if your like me and need to make up for last semester. Come on, I only need .02 GPA boost to get in the running!

Another awesome thing is when you apply on the bridge you just fill out as much as you can and then U of L figures out which scholarships you quality for. Yet another score for not having to search around a ton, and there are tons of scholarships to get.

Deadline: May 1

Grade Twelve: As I hunt for scholarships I find more and more of them for grade twelve students only. I know you’re busy with being an awesome grade twelver and suffering through diplomas, but make time. You’ll thank yourself for it later! Apply now!

Another one is the Alexander Rutherford scholarship. Yes you can apply anytime but if your starting in the fall semester apply by May 1st. I was told that the high school will automatically send your applications but they don’t, so I missed the deadline and am still waiting to hear back for my award. 🙁

Deadlines: March 15 for Leadership and High school Applicant Awards
May 1 for Alexander Rutherford scholarship. (Both for fall entrance)

Grade Eleven: Apply for the Merit scholarship NOW! Don’t be like me and find out about them once they have already been handed out. Not fun. 🙁

Deadline: June 30

Other sources: If you go to the scholarship and student finance office they have two scholarships from the good ol’ government that you can pick up the paper work for. You just have to hand it back to them by the deadline! I also used these websites and some I even got to make a profile and they find the scholarships that actually apply to you.

alis.gov.ab.ca
aucc.ca
canlearn.ca
scholarshipscanda.com
studentawards.com

Happy hunting!

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Why U of L? | Basia

I just thought I would share my choices for why I decided to go to university and the U of L specifically, as many high school students, returning students and older students will be deciding (or have already decided) what will be the plan for fall. Don’t fret, it’s still far away!

University: I liked how statistics said you’d make more money in the future if you went to university. But honestly, it was because university offered programs and classes that the college or other institutions didn’t have.

The Location: I have lived in Lethbridge all my life and live with my parents so close to the university it was really convenient. My family is here, my friends are here, I have a job and I found it important to have these support systems in your life when you’re making this big step.

Programs/Classes: You have so much to choose from! You can even switch and change programs if it comes to it. YOU decide what classes you want, when you want them and even in some situations where! They take the term ULeth very literally!

Credentials: It has many programs that are the only one of its kind in western Canada, and even across all of Canada. U of L is sure giving those “fancier” schools a run for their money, literally.

You’re not alone: I’ve heard some horror stories about other institutions not getting back to students soon enough to help but I got the answers I was looking for. I went to academic advising, cash office, counseling and some of the other faculties and got it worked out.

It’s Awesome: There are always fun events going on for you to get involved in and meet sweet people. You can join a club that interests you, go to movie nights, and Bill Nye, The Science Guy is coming for a visit! That must tell you something. 🙂

While you’re at it, why not read our other bloggers and why they chose the University of Lethbridge!

P.S. You can click the bolded words if you want more information! Plus discover.ulethbridge.ca is basically the place to go for all this stuff too, Hey I still use it!

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