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Unique University Classes Across Canada
Looking for an extra elective next semester? Why not try one of these cool courses: 

1. MUS 391: Beyoncé: Starting in British Columbia, at the University of Victoria, you can learn about the queen bee herself. Beyoncé is used as a case study to investigate how popular music can influence society as a cultural construct. 

 2. MLCS 199: Superheroes in Comics & Beyond: At the University of Alberta, this modern language and culture class explores comics mainly in the superhero genre and critiques the new versions of superheroes. 

3. THEA 215: Comedy Gold: This special topics class at the University of Regina allows students to learn the art of stand-up comedy! 

4. REC 4720: Wilderness Adventures: Love the outdoors? At the University of Manitoba, you can learn to plan and participate in activities such as canoeing, sailing, kayaking, etc. 

5. ENGL 108: Popular Potter: At the University of Waterloo, this English class examines all seven of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter novels.

6. Physics 112: Intro to Holography: At Bishops University, you will have the opportunity to create holograms after learnings the principles of laser holography. 

7. MAAC 2095: Intro to Video Games: At the University of New Brunswick you can continue your video games addiction into the classroom! 

There are a lot of interesting and unique classes out there. Try searching courses in a different program to explore your other interests! 

-Michelle Young, yconic student ambassador 
A tuition-free Ontario: Would it be good or bad?
Tuition is super pricy (obviously!) Could you imagine a tuition free Ontario? There are definitely some pros and cons to it - would quality of education, and the reputation of schools deplete if there were no tuition? What do you think?

Recently OSAP (the Ontario Student Assistance Program) revamped themselves that will allow low- to middle-income students to attend school for free by providing them with grants to cover their tuition.

I am sure that you have heard the “free tuition” announcement circulating somewhere.This is the major change to the old OSAP form. 

Here is how the free tuition will work: 

Some students who are part of a low- to middle- income family can be eligible for free tuition if: 

The student's parents make $50,000 collectively or less per year 

The student will be attending school full-time The student is attending a public post-secondary institution 

The student meets the eligibility requirements for the OSAP program 

Now this is not anything like Newfoundland's elimination of student loans—Ontario is still handing out loans to students, however, some students will luck out with grants only if their parents are in the right pay brackets.

 Back in August of 2015, Newfoundland announced that they were eliminating student loans, and replacing them with non-repayable grants. Newfoundland and Labrador is the first province to completely eliminate its student loan system.

How do you feel about the New OSAP. Is it evolving the education system in Canada for the good or bad? 

Personally, I can see the benefits. I'm from a middle income family, and would have loved the help without the debt attached, however, I also see the negative of people squandering away government money for a chance to "try' post-secondary school, while those who may be very serious about taking courses but are just over the cut-off are struggling to stay in school.

What do you think?
What's YOUR exam routine? (Part 3/3)
Exams are fast approaching for many high school students. With midterms out of the way, the only thing standing between us and freedom are exams. Recently, I posted about early exam strategies (http://bit.ly/2nI27gf), exam day strategies (http://bit.ly/2oZtaUE), but what about your exam routine? 

Do you like to wake up sleep late? Wake up early? Do you arrive hours ahead of the exam? I want to know! 

For starters, let me share my own routine. 

10:00 pm the night before 
I prefer to sleep early, preferably 7-9 hours after studying my notes for about 3-4 hours. Sleeping anything less than 6 hours means I might run the risk of sleeping in and missing my exam altogether!

6:00 am Exam day 
I usual wake up early on and make a nice nutritious breakfast and checking over all my materials are ready (calculators, pencils, textbook, etc) as well as the exam information (what room, time, etc)

6:45 am 
By this time I would have taken the bus to school and stopped at the local coffeeshop for a quick hit of caffeine. *I take my coffee regular (no lattes or anything crazy) 

7:00am 
2 hours prior to the exam, you can find me in the cafeteria reviewing my notes one last time and maybe running over problems with classmates. Usually, the school is still relatively empty because everyone is still sleeping. 

8:45am 
15min prior to the exam, you can find me outside the exam room (but avoiding the pre-exam speculators). I come relatively early because I like to get a nice seat with a clear view of the clock and close to my favorite spot in the classroom (besides the window)

9:00am 
Exam time!

11:00am 
Grab lunch, bus home, and repeat! 

What did you think of my schedule? How does yours look like? Comment below and check out part 1 and 2 of my exam series as well! 

Part 1: (http://bit.ly/2nI27gf)
Part 2: (http://bit.ly/2oZtaUE)

-Benson Law 
Yconic Student Ambassador
Any advice?
Last minute, I decided that I am still interested in the architecture field, but admissions and applications are over. Now I have to accept a different program I previously applied too. During first year of university, I will apply to an architecture program at Ryerson or Carleton, but I still have to decide what to do during first year. Should I apply to a college and take an 2 year architect program? Or take Criminology at York (which I got accepted into) ? Or apply for another program at Ryerson or Carleton? Any other options or advice? Thanks in advance.
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Why Summer Jobs are Important as a Student
Why get a job over the summer instead of working on that perfect tan you may ask? Here are my top 5 reasons you should start working on that resume:

1. Save money for university: University is expensive and the earlier you start saving, the less stress you will experience down the road. If you work hard during the summers, you will be able to work less during the school year giving you more time to study and enjoy university life.

2. Learn skills important for the work force: Many skills you develop working typical student jobs such as serving or working retail can help you down the road. Some examples include communication, time management, and working under pressure. 

3. Build your experience: It is hard writing a resume when you have no work experience. Past employers also make great references! 

4. Become independent: You can’t live off of your parents forever. Working allows you gain responsibility by having the financial freedom to start making some of your own decisions without asking your parents for money all the time. 

5. Networking: Knowing the right people can make all the difference in the workforce. There have been jobs in the past that I have gotten solely because I had connections within the company. Working is a great way to meet new people and expand your network! 

Now that you know the importance of a summer job, it’s time to get going on that resume! 

Michelle Young, yconic student ambassador
York Late Admissions
Is it possible to apply to YorkU right now through OUAC? Their website says Jan 11 (early), and then a date below is June 14. Does that mean I could still apply before June 14, but have lower chances because it's late?
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OUAC: Change program after offer of admission?
So I was offered admission to a program at York University. I am wondering if I withdraw the program - will i be able to add another York program and will it cost another $50? Thank you.
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Third round acceptances?
I haven't been accepted anywhere yet because my grade 11 grades were really crappy and that was overall a really bad year. I know I'm really cutting it close by relying on my grade 12 grades but my marks improved significantly and I'll be at a strong average after midterms are submitted. OUAC will have my top 6 after that, but I'm still terrified of not getting accepted. Is there a harder chance of getting accepted during the third round or is it still the same? 
(just need some reassurance)
Thanks!
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What Are The Best Resources to Write an Essay?
Have trouble writing essays? Having access to the right resources can make the essay writing process a lot easier. Here are my go-to resources that help me get the job done:

  1. Purdue OWL: Purdue OWL is pretty much the essay writing bible. I mainly use it as a resource to properly format my essay, include in-text citations, and to create a reference page. There is also information on how to conduct research which can be helpful as a first-year university student. If you are writing a paper in APA, MLA, Chicago, or AMA, Purdue Owl will most likely become your new best friend. 

2. Grammarly: Grammarly will help you catch more grammar mistakes than Microsoft word. It also has a plagiarism tool that catches any content in your essay that is not written in your own words. You can either access Grammarly by website or you can download the app to your computer.

3. Bibme.org: This website properly formats your resources in a selected format. All you have to do is select your preferred format and type in the website or title of the journal article. The citation generator will locate all the information you have to include within your citation and do all the work for you! This website is a huge time saver. However, it is important to know how to properly site resources yourself and to check over your resources before you hand it in. I have caught mistakes in the past.

4. Your school’s online library database: I do the majority of my research using my school’s online journal database. It is a trustworthy resource to find peer-reviewed articles and other scholarly material.

5. Google Scholar: Google scholar will help you find more scholarly resources than using the normal google search. It also has great filters to help narrow down your search. 

Hope these resources help you write your next essay!

-Michelle Young, yconic student ambassador
Pass/Fail vs. Letter Grading: Which do you prefer?
Traditionally, education systems around the world have adopted a grading system that would typically based on a percentage or a letter. This has allowed students to not only stay motivated but also give assessors a much clearer indication of how students are doing in the class. In recent years, however, school’s have noticed that such grading system contributed to the increased levels of stress faced by students and have looked for new ways to change it.  

Hence, some programs are using a “Pass/Fail” system which is exactly what it sounds. Studies have show that it has not only reduced the levels of stress faced by students but has led to increased collaboration amongst peers. There are its fair share of complaints however, as student many not be as motivated to strive for excellence and accessors not being able to accurately assess students.  

What are your thoughts on the two systems and which do you prefer going forward? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.  

Mathieu  
yconic Student Ambassador
Find a summer job: Build the Perfect Resume:
Are you having trouble landing a summer job? Does your resume have room to improve? Here are some tips to help you create your perfect resume: 

1. Start with a well-written cover letter: Don’t underestimate the importance of a cover letter. Ever since I started putting more time and effort into creating a cover letter customized to the position and company I was applying for, I have had better responses than just handing in a generalized resume. 

2. Work experience: Include jobs that have the most relevance to the job you are applying to. For example, if you are applying to a clothing store include any retail or customer service you may have. If you have never had a job, you are going to want to focus on your education, achievement, extracurricular, or skills section. 

3. Highlight your skills that would benefit the employer: After each skill, try adding an example of how you exhibit each skill. Anyone can say they are a leader or have good communication skills, but employers want you to be able to demonstrate your skill.

4. Include appropriate references: Professional references are ideal. Past employers or supervisors from a job or volunteer position are preferred by some employers. When you are looking for your first job, an academic reference would be an appropriate choice. Other options could include a coach, colleague, mentor, etc. Whoever you end up picking, make sure you are confident they will speak highly of you and be sure to ask them first!

5. Keep it simple: Resumes are one thing that do not benefit from extra frills. Keep it simple and to the point highlighting your major and most recent accomplishments. There is no need to include first place prize in your seventh-grade science fair.

Best of luck in your job search!

-Michelle Young, yconic student ambassador
Summer School English vs Explore Program
Hi 
So recently, I received the bursary to go the explore program and I really want to go. Unfortunately, my school's grade 12 english teacher is very hard. The class average is usually low 70's and the program at Waterloo that I want to go into needs at least a mid 80. Now I dont know if I should go to the explore program or take english during summer school to get a better grade. I want to apply to Health Studies at Waterloo. 

Thanks
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What’s the easiest student part-time job to have?

Let’s face it, tuition can get quite pricey. Apart from assistance from parents and using programs such as OSAP or StudentAid BC, many students work part-time.


So what are some of the best part-time jobs to have?


1. On-Campus Customer Service Jobs

Working at an on-campus restaurant or in the library is convenient because you can go from class to work in a matter of minutes. These employers are also tend to be more flexible around exam times, which is a huge plus.


Places to check for these jobs:

-Your student union’s website

-Your university’s internal student job board (e.g. CareerZone at Brock University)

-Your university’s main HR website.


2. Being a Teaching Assistant/Tutorial Leader

Apart from the on-campus convenience and exam-time flexibility mentioned above, the added benefit of being a TA is that the pay is well above-average. I was a Tutorial Leader for a first-year Economics class for 3 years; the added benefit for me was that I became confident in speaking in front of large groups of people.


Place to check for these jobs:

-Your university’s main HR website.


3. Being an Entrepreneur

If you prefer working for yourself, having the maximum amount of flexibility and potentially earning a lot, you may want to consider entrepreneurship. Many universities now have business incubators, which integrate university resources and community expertise to help student-driven start-ups.


Places to get resources:

-Your university’s business incubator (e.g. BioLinc at Brock University)


Are there any other good part-time jobs that I missed? Comment below!

Apps that help you avoid distractions when you have to study
Smartphones and social media websites can be two of the biggest distractions when it comes to studying. If you are anything like me and find yourself checking your social media or email every 5 minutes you may want to consider downloading one of these apps:

  1. Self-Control: Self-control is an app that you can download if you are a Mac OS user. It will block your access to selected websites or mail servers for a set amount of time. Self-control is a free version of the popular app Freedom that blocks your access from the internet for 8 hours.

  2. Moment: Moment is an IOS app that tracks the amount of time you spend on your phone a day. All of those quick study breaks may add up faster than you think. If you want to set limits on the amount of time you spend on your phone, Moment will notify you when you reach your limit.

  3. AppDetox: For those Android users, AppDetox is an app locker that allows you to take a digital detox while setting your own rules. 

4. Off time: Off time allows you to block calls and texts while sending out auto-replies and keeps a list of your missed phone activity. It is offered for both Android and Apple phones. 

5. White Noise: White noise is an app that is known for helping you sleep at night. However, it can also increase your focus and reduce your stress levels. 

6. Turn off your phones notifications: Turning off my notifications help keeps me focused because it restricts my phone from buzzing every few minutes. If you are not constantly being reminded of your phone, it is a lot easier to keep away. 

I hope these apps help you stay focused during the last few months of school!

  -Michelle Young, yconic student ambassador
i don't know where to go anymore
Hey guys,

I was accepted into the following programs:
- Nursing @ Ryerson
- Medical Radiation @ McMaster
- Kin @ McMaster, Waterloo and York
- Physical Sciences @ UofT Scarborough 

I'm interested in all these programs believe it or not. But, I'm struggling to narrow down my choices. Which is the best university to attend? And which program will increase my chances of getting into med school?
Can this one song really reduce your stress and anxiety by 65%?
Let me be honest here. University is difficult and the course load comes with its fair share of stress. As stress and depression levels continue to increase, it goes without question that mental health is becoming a larger and larger issue amongst post secondary institutes across the nation.

But what if there was a song that could reduce your stress just by listening to it?

Well you could be in luck! Check out this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=55&v=UfcAVejslrU 
 
The creators of the song worked alongside sound therapists in order to create a harmony that would decrease cortisol levels, slow down one’s heart rate, and reduce one’s blood pressure. Studies have shown that is had been able to effectively reduce the stress of individuals by up to 65%! 

Did listening to the song help you or is this just a gimmick of an idea? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

Mathieu 
yconic Student Ambassador
How to write an essay based final exam?
As someone who prefers the sciences, writing is something I had to work on over the years to do well in my other subjects. Here are some tips I have found helpful on how to prepare for and write an essay based exam: 

Before the exam:

1. Anticipate what questions may be asked: Brainstorm the main concepts, theories, or outcomes of the course. Essay questions are open-ended questions that are created from the big picture ideas that you can elaborate on and/or give your opinion.

2. Practice writing about the questions you brainstormed: Even if the topics are different than the actual exam questions, you will be better prepared for the writing and critical thinking process. If the questions are given ahead of time, take the time to brainstorm solid arguments.

3. Know the content of the course: The more familiar you are with the course content, the easier it will be to write about a given topic.

During the exam:

  1. Make sure you understand what the teacher wants in your response: Look for key words in the question to determine if you have to argue one point, compare different theories, reflect on your personal opinion, etc.

2. Make Notes: I find it helpful to write down what I know about the topic, so I have something to go back to when writing. Idea maps don’t work for me, but I know other people who swear by them. 

3. Organize and formulate an argument: Write a thesis and organize your notes to support your argument. Having a plan makes the writing process easier. 

4. Avoid writing a generalized response with a whole bunch of random facts. Even if you know a lot about the topic, the professor wants you to be able to present your facts in a focused and organized manner. Well written essays have direction and avoid redundancy.

5. Instead of focusing on the length of the essay, focus on having a well-written argument. Quality is more important than quantity.

6. Beware of the time: If you have to write more than one essay, make sure you allow enough time to answer each question. Writing two good essays is better than one excellent essay and one half finished essay.

  7. Review: If you have extra time make sure to read over your essay to make sure your ideas flow in a logical manner and fix any grammatical errors.

  I hope these tips come in handy with your upcoming exams!

-Michelle Young, yconic student ambassador
3 Tips for handling group work
Group work can be super stressful. For my first few years of university, and even all through high school, every time I heard the words "group work" I would shudder. Who likes group work? For the longest time, I believed that group work was the absolute worst thing in the entire world, however, over time I realized that it's a part of life. Although we may not necessarily love group work, it's something that we'll always run into. 

I'm it my 4th year of university, and as part of my requirements, in order to graduate with anything other than a general BA (which 4 years of Journalism specializing in PR and Marketing and finishing with a general BA is NOT what I want to do at all) I had to complete a full-year group capstone project with two other members. Luckily, it was a small group, but it didn't make it any less difficult. Group work will ALWAYS be a learning experience. Here's three tips I've learned on how to handle group work:

Task Delegation and Contracts
Immediately (and I'm talking before you even start working) create a perimeter on who will complete what tasks, and the overall expectations you all have for each other, and the creation of your work, then delegate tasks according. Make everyone sign that piece of paper, and photocopy it and hand out a copy to everyone in your group. BAM. No one can pretend they "didn't know" what was expected of them.

COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE
Am I stressing this enough? The number one problem with group work is lack of communication. Always communicate with one another. I personally love using the website slack. Slack lets you chat, and upload files to each other to view. You can even instal a slack app on your cell so that you're not slackin' on communication.. See what I did there? Cheesy. If Slack isn't for you, find another medium in which to communicate with. Not only does communication keep members in your group informed, but it avoids miscommunication which could lead to potential conflict (which no one wants - yawn.)

Embrace your Differences
If every group was filled with the exact same type of person, not only would you never grow from group work experiences, the experience as a whole would straight up suck.. Embrace the differences of each member and what each person brings to the table. For example in my capstone, I studied Marketing and PR. Another person studied Print Journalism, and another studied Journalism and Human Rights. We're a diverse group of individuals with a diverse set of skills. Find out what each others skills are, embrace them, and utilize the heck out of them!

Group work isn't easy.. But it is worth it. You'll gain so much knowledge, patience, and communication skills when you're place in a group work. Even the worst of experiences, you will learn from.

Got tips I missed? Share them below!!


How do you exactly make friends in university?
im not a social outcast, but kind of shy tbh. if someone talks to me ill happy converse with them but how many people randomly come up to you and talk to you these days?
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How Sports Can Lead to Better Academic Performance
Lots of people drop out of sports and don’t participate in physical activity because of the extra time commitment. Who wants to spend time sweating when you have multiple exams to study for? However, there are multiple benefits to juggling the two disciplines, including:

  1. Time Management: I remember once in high school I had to skip track practice because I had a major assignment due the next day in one of my classes. The next day at practice, my coach told me that doing homework was not an acceptable excuse to skip practice and to get better time management skills. As my coach can be kind of scary, never again did I skip practice for school, and my marks didn’t suffer the consequence either. I have become better organized, self-disciplined, and more time efficient from balancing my sport and school workload.

2. Focus: Mental training is a huge component of any sport. You have to be able to block out any distractions keeping you from performing at your best. This can be really handy when you need to buckle down on an assignment or stay focused during an exam. 

3. Decrease Stress: It is well known that physical activity is positively associated with reducing stress levels. Exercise is a huge benefit to reducing the stress associated with being a student. 

4. Communication: You need to be able to communicate effectively with your coach and teammates in order to achieve success. Communication is a crucial skill to have when you have a group project or need to network. 

5. Confidence: Sport is a great way to build your self-esteem and confidence levels. Having a good self-image will benefit you in all aspects of life, including the classroom.

6. Scholarships: Sports look great when applying for scholarships. The more scholarship money you receive, the less you will have to work to pay for school. The less you work, the more time you will have to work on your grades. 

 If sports aren’t your thing, staying physically active is also great for academic success and health! 

-Michelle Young, yconic student ambassador
Lessons Learned From Living on My Own
Moving out and living on your own for the first time is exciting, however, with freedom comes responsibility. Here are six things I learned from learning on my own my first year out of high school:

1. Life is not cheap: After paying for the big expenses like rent and groceries, I learned that the small things add up and can quickly break your budget. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices living on a student budget (Good-bye Starbucks coffee).

2. The ‘freshman 15’ is the result of residence meal plans: All you can eat desserts at the cafeteria may sound like heaven at first, but after a few months can take a toll on your waistline. Instead, I learned that taking turns cooking with a roommate can save you time and save your health.

3. I learned how to cook (without a pantry full of food). Even when I lived with my parents, I would like to cook once in a while. However, without a pantry full of food and limited kitchen utensils, cooking on your own takes some creativity. 

4. Ask Questions: Living on your own is full of new learning experiences. I learned not to be afraid to ask questions, even dumb questions. Moms are the best resource for random household questions.

5. Roommates can be hit or miss (Choose them wisely). I learned that the best roommate may not be your best friend but rather someone who can respect your space, time, and personal boundaries.

6. Staying in touch with your family and friends is important: However, spending all your time on facetime with your best friend from home can keep you from making friends and starting a new life at your new school/ city (If you are going to school out of province).

-Michelle Young, yconic student ambassador
Football walk-on?
hey there, okay I really wanna know if Laurier or Western university has walk-on opportunities for football? or tryouts before season? i've got offer to both school but really wanna know if there walk-on.  i've played football growing up on and off but I wanna get back this time and play uni ball which has been a goal of mine since i was little. Really hope anyone can help me out, thanks!
should I mention this in my AIF?
Hello hello! 
I recently dropped physics 12 U from my timetable because I was rejected from one of the only programs that required it, plus it's in no way a mark booster and it would be easier to balance out my other courses -- philosophy, english and calculus and vectors all at 12U level. However back on my AIF which I submitted Feb 1st, I mentioned I had an unbalanced course load but now since I dropped physics, should I make an amendment stating I dropped physics for a not as crazy timetable? Thanks! 
How to study for multiple choice exams
Preparing for and writing multiple choice exams was one adjustment I had to make coming out of high school and entering university. Here are my top tips for studying for an MC exam: 

1. Condense: Go through your notes and condense them down onto fewer sheets of paper, this also includes highlighting key information or collecting a list of terminology.

2. Begin Studying Early: Multiple choice exams tend to focus on details, and you cannot retain effectively in short-term memory. It is better to study for shorter sessions over a longer term.

3. Flashcards: As corny as it sounds, flashcards can do the trick when it comes to quizzing yourself with terminology or concepts before an exam.

4. Teach others: Study in groups and explain class concepts to others to solidify (Long Term Memory) the information that you are supposed to understand.

5. Double Check: Check in with your instructor to make sure you understand what topics will be covered on the exam and from which sources. It is as easy as sending an email. It is better to be sure you understand what content is covered during the exam.

6. Depth of understanding: Memorizing is not the way to go for MC. Most instructors will rephrase things in their own words, so it is more important to understand the concepts. 

7. Practice test: if there is a previous exam on file, see if you can photocopy it for practice. 8. When writing the exam: 
a. Do not get hung up on a question, star it and come back to it when you have the time.
b. Look for key words and ignore extra info not needed to answer the question. 
c. Don’t second guess yourself, your first answer is more likely the right answer.

I hope this list helps as you prepare for finals!

  -Michelle Young, yconic student ambassador