yconic - Mental Health, Discussion Topic
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Mental Health

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Bad senior year grades + dealing with mental illnesses
Hello!
I'm a grade 12 student and I'm not doing so good for two of my most important courses for this semester - academic biology and academic chemistry. I currently have a 56 in bio and a 64 in chemistry, and my marks dropped this much due to a harsh unit test and assignment. It's the second month of school, and I'm already close to giving up on working as hard as I did in the beginning of this semester, and univeristy application submissions + midterm report cards are right around the corner. I'm one of those students that invest most of their day for studying, and try to do everything to the best of my ability.  I've been dealing with depression and anxiety issues for a few years now, which I feel like is taking a poll on how I'm currently feeling now about my future, and at this point I feel like I'm going to get rejected or end up passing these courses with a low mark (and what I need is at least a 90 :/) If someone can advise me on what next steps I can take in encouraging myself/get my grades up in time for early application submission I would greatly appreciate it. 
Thank you very much
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De-Stress
Hey Everyone! 

At UNB, we are right in the middle of midterm season. I was wondering what sort of things you folks do to de-stress during this time. 

Myself, I like to run through the town trails while listening to my favourite music! Fredericton is beautiful this time of the year and the trails are breath-taking! 

Looking forward to hearing what you folks do!

Mick
yconic Student Ambassador  
Loran Scholarship Advice
Hey, has anyone here applied for the Loran Scholarship before? I'm in Grade 12 this year, and I am applying for it, but I wanted to know some more about it. What was the process was like for you? Did you get an interview? Any helpful tips for the application form? Were you able to get an interview? 


Things to Keep in Mind During First Year of University
The first-year of university is not easy. It's a change that not many people are expecting to be so drastic. The first thing I would recognize is how important family is...especially if you move away. You're going to be thankful for them every single day that you are away. Show them you care and that you miss them by phone calls. I usually call my parents for about ten minutes while shifting between classes. 

Next, make sure that you are budgeting. Budgeting is SOOOOO important when you're a student. I actually downloaded this great app called "Mint". It allows you to input how much money you have access to spend each week or month, and then you can allocate it to different things such as groceries, fast-food, entertainment, etc. 

Finally, do not put too much stress on your grades. Of course, they're important, and education is the reason you are at university. The opportunities are endless with a proper education, however, so is your mental health. Sacrifice some "me time". Take an afternoon off from studying and play Mario cart with a friend. Take a dip in grades for a small assignment to help a friend who is going through a tough time. Or take a mental health day from classes to watch your favourite movie. Remember that grades are NOT a reflection of your self-worth and that other things matter as well. Remember that you have so much to offer the world, and that cannot be measured. Know that having an education is valued in this society and many people have it, but kindness is a rare trait. Remember that you are a human and perfect is a social construct that people are constantly chasing. Take a step back and relax when you need it. You cannot achieve success if you are burnt out. 

Mick 
yconic Student Ambassador 
Helpful University Majors?
Hey, I'm in Grade 12 and well it's time to start applying for universities and think about what degree I should get. So, I'm wondering what courses are you taking and for what job? I know personal interest is definitely a factor, but I also want to take something useful. So, for example, I have aspirations of becoming a doctor, but if I unable to get to that level I don't want to be stuck with a degree that I cannot use anywhere else. Any advice?
STRESS
okay, so, this is going to be lengthy - and super specific. i'm just super confused, and new, and weirded out by this whole situation. 

i moved to canada in april 2016 from south asia, and was in one classroom for two months working on 2 grade 10 courses. it's, like, this program my school has for recent immigrants to catch up on courses if they come in super late during the semester. 

my point is, i didn't know anything outside those 4 walls, and so my actual school year didn't start until the next semester. i absolutely couldn't manage EC's right after i moved, because my mental health (naturally) deteriorated drastically. in my first full year, i had a grade 11 semester, and then my very first grade 12 semester. i did fine, i guess. but i do lack in EC's in canada. that's my only problem. and of course, my grades aren't crazy great, but i'm in my second (and last, thank god) semester of high school right now, and i'm planning to make up for it. 

my grades for my first grade 12 semester: 
philosophy - 90 
international business - 88 
advanced functions - 75 

and the grade 11 semester i had before that one: 
physics - 80 
functions - 79 
english - 87 


i mean, i wanna make it clear that i really wasn't trying last year. like, at all. i've only been here for 1.6 years. i don't have a strong enough application. what do i do? (i realise this is awfully long and super specific, but my situation is super specific and i don't know what to do. i really want to get into uoft or queen's commerce - i realise i'm not even close to smart enough for either, but a girl can dream) 

any advice/thoughts?

(i posted this late last night & didn’t get enough replies since everyone was probably asleep, but my stress level is evidently high since i’m posting it again!!)
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#Askyconic - How to Handle School Anxiety
#Askyconic is back and your hosts Aaron and Alyssa are ready for your questions!

What if I don't make any friends in university? What happens if I don;'t know what I want to do after I graduate? Is university really hard? Why do I feel so anxious and depressed? I just don't feel inspired...

Follow us and join us on Facebook LIVE for  #Askyconic on Thursday October 5 at 6 pm EST. Our student hosts will answer all your questions regarding student mental health. Let us know what stresses you about school in the comments below!!

Don't forget to come back to this thread after the show, as we will be posting the resources we shared. 

 PS. Be nice! Inappropriate comments will not be tolerated.
AMA: Student Council President, Rowing Coxswain, High School Senior, UVic Applicant
Hi! I'm Chanel, one of the Yconic Student Ambassadors for 2017-2018. As a student in high school, I can easily relate to any questions you may have and am readily available to help you. So feel free to ask me anything and I answer back speedily! 

About me:
- Student Athlete: joined many sports from basketball to volleyball but transited onto the water for rowing 
- On Student Council for two years as Fine Arts Rep and School President 
- AP English Student with courses aimed towards the Sciences (Bio, Physics, Chem) 
- Arts Student in Visual Arts (published illustrator), Choir and Drama 
- Guide International Students from numerous countries like Japan, China, Korea, Brazil, Spain, etc. 
- Volunteer at Women In Need, aiding women in transition homes
- Attended Private school and Catholic school
-  Applying at the University of Victoria in British Columbia in the Faculty of Science
I'm lonely
I've been dealing with depression since I was in 9th grade. I've  attempted suicide. I used to cut daily. I've never felt like I fit in. Always felt out of place in high school. I genuinely liked a couple of teachers better than the students.

 With age, my shyness turned into anxiety and as I got older I started to have panic attacks. I don't know what's wrong with me. I thought that going to an out of province university would help me/give me a fresh start. I'm all alone and too scared to go out of my room and make friends. Haven't even said a word to the people I share a bathroom with. I can hear them all socializing  and it makes me feel pathetic.

I walked around campus alone today (first day of welcome week) for about 2 hours and didn't find anyone that wanted to have a proper conversation me. I'm an only child too so I feel that when my parents die I'll have no one in this world and that scares me so much. I'm such a mentally weak person. I feel pathetic. Idk what to do. I want to seek help on campus. On campus u have to book an appointment to see a councillor and that can't happen for another week. I need help now.

 I'm worried out of my mind that I made the worst decision of my life to go to uni in a province so far away from my own. I've wasted so much money. With all my expenses including travel expenses this first year costs about $24 000 for me. I'm not rich either. I feel like such a failure honestly I've spent the last 5 hours locked my room crying. 

I'm also in business and I've never taken a business course in my life (they're not offered at the high school level in my province). I don't know what's wrong with me to go into a field I know nothing about. 

I would really appreciate some advice. 

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Night School for 20 yr Adult?
Hi,

Wondering if it is a good idea for me to do night school at the age of 20? Right now my life is just messed up...And I wanna go back to school and challenge myself to do more. I finished my high-school but I want to take Uni Math and Physics or Biology. I wanna maybe later doUniversity...But do Unis care about night school credits? Planning to do something in sciences degree or engineering...Haven't decided yet, is it worth or not?

Thanks in advance! 
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Is it worth it for me to move out for my undergraduate degree?
I calculated that it will cost me $10 000 for each school year's living expenses (renting an apartment alone, food, utilities, personal expenses). I believe this summer I can make $3900 working 35 hours per week and $7000 working 20 hours a week during the school term. Total: $10 900 for the first school year. This is with a minimum wage job.  I'll have four months between school years during which I could move home and get a full time job (40 hours a week, $8100 minimum wage). Total: $15 100 for each of the last three years, maintaining minimum wage. By grad school I would have accumulated $56 200. Take away the $40 000 per year, I would be left with $16 200 after earning my undergraduate degree. Now I could get a higher paying job or work more hours between school years, but this is the minimum amount that I am expecting to earn. 

Is it worth the money to leave home? I believe it would be a better experience if I moved out. I cannot live at home if I go to my first choice, which is in Ottawa. Otherwise I would live with my parents in Oshawa. I'd save $40 000, but is it worth it if I am unhappy? Do I really need to save up if my parents are paying for the education?

OSAP estimates that I would get $2300 grant and $6900 loan if I go to Ottawa. I am also from a middle class family. I don't think I qualify for any scholarships, aside from entrance ($2000 per year).
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U of T or U of Ottawa?
Hey guys, I'm trying to decide between going to University of Toronto or University of Ottawa for International Relations/Political Science and French. The admissions scholarships that I got are pretty comparable and I've heard that both schools have great programs in this area. 

I think that U of T's program is a bit more tailored to my interests, however, I've heard that it has a tendency to be overly competitive. I am extremely passionate about my studies and did quite well in high school (96% avg.), but I don't want to compromise my mental health to receive a quality education. Essentially, while I am prepared to put in a 100% effort in my academics, I want a healthy balance between my work and social life. 

Any advice would be great, thank you!
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Psychology Arts or Sciences?
Just wanted to know which program is more interesting, fun to study, and what each offers in the long run. I'm currently in Gr 11 and having a tough time deciding between the two. I heard that Psych arts is more about holistic practices whereas psych sciences is more about research. I know doing either a BA or BSc in Psych can lead to a Ph.D., but in your own opinion, which is worth doing? I was leaning towards Arts, but I have better grades in Sciences/maths so I picked Psychology since it was a mix of both.
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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
What does an MS in Psych lead to?
I'm planning on taking on studying Psych Sciences in Uni and I'm wondering what occupation it can lead to besides neuropsychology jobs. I want to go to medical school to get a PhD also but what jobs can I get with that? I live in BC by the way. Also does the closest thing UBC and SFU have to an undergrad and graduate degree in Psych,  neuroscience?
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I don't think I am smart
I am a grade 12 student who got into top business schools in Canada. 
Yes, I believe that I have good grades and I make smart choices morally but I don't think I am smart enough to compete with the other smart kids that I will be meeting in business school. I am really bad at debating and I don't have solid knowledge in politics or other smart ppl talk about. I also really hate reading books. And I am hoping to become a successful consultant LOL. I don't know if it's just like a self-esteem problem or whatever, but I really want to expand my knowledge to the fullest before I attend university this upcoming fall. So please leave some comments for tips. Peace. 
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Should I take Calculus 12 if I'm getting into Psychology?
Hi, I'm currently in Grade 11 and I've recently gotten my course selection sheet. I'm planning to either get into Psych Arts or Psych Sciences but haven't decided which one to choose yet, so I'm trying to do as many courses to reach the enrollment requirements of both. My GPA is currently 95% and my courses include:
- Chem 11
- Physics 11
- Pre-Calculus 12
- French 11
- Socials, English

Next year I'm planning on taking:
- Chem 12
- Bio 12
- French 12
- Photography 12
- Psychology 12
- Info-tech 12

I'm not sure if I should take Calculus 12, if I'm leaning towards social sciences. Do universities like Calculus on your transcript? Should I swap out the easier courses with harder ones? My school also has Economics, Entrepreneurship, Law, etc.
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What happens when you hate your program?
“Passion is the difference between having a job and having a career.”

Do you find yourself dreading going to class?
Are you more interested in your electives than your major classes? 
Do you struggle completing your assignments out of complete boredom?

If you find you are asking yourself these questions and hate the program you are in, it may be time for a change. Before making a rash decision, make sure to do some research and figure out if switching majors is the best option for you. If you chose your major for the wrong reasons (ie. Choosing a major solely based on potential salary or what your parents wanted you to study) and have no interest in potential careers post degree, I would suggest taking some time to figure out what you are interested in. If you don’t know what major you would like to pursue, spend some time reflecting on what you like and dislike about your current program. Seeing your likes and dislikes may give you some insight into qualities you may want to look for in a new program. Doing research on potential new programs is important to see what courses are required and what career direction the major will lead you towards. Looking at course descriptions is a good way to gain insight into what the major entails. If you are really stuck on what interests you, there are career counselors and career aptitude tests you can take that will match you to careers that fit your personality.

  Changing programs is typically pretty easy, as long as you have the prerequisites. If you are already an undergraduate student and plan to attend the same school, normally you just have to submit a request to change programs online. This may differ depending on which school you go to so be sure to do your research and learn your school’s protocol. 

When I changed programs, the hardest part was realizing that the time, money, and effort put into the classes of my old major would not necessarily count towards my new degree. As I result, the time it will take me to complete my degree will be a lot longer than the average person. However, being set back a year or two is worth it in my opinion when I am headed in a direction that I am excited about and motivates me to do well in school rather than questioning every day what I am doing with my life.

  -Michelle Young, yconic student ambassador
Are you addicted to caffeine?
Did you know that March is national caffeine awareness month?

  Caffeine has its place and time and has several benefits for students including:

  -Increased alertness: If you are up all night studying, caffeine can help keep you awake during your 8 am class
  -Focus: Caffeine can help you keep focus during a long study session
-Caffeine has some health benefits 

  However, these benefits only hold true when consuming caffeine in moderation. From past experience, I have found that the longer you take caffeine, the less effect it will have on you in terms of a study aid. Also, consuming caffeine in large doses or during the wrong time of the day can have detrimental effects. Some drawbacks of caffeine consumption include:

-Insomnia: Caffeine can take up to eight hours to wear off. If you drink an energy drink before your late night study session, chances are you will have a hard time falling asleep. I got into the habit of drinking caffeine before I race. When I race in the evening, I will not sleep that night if I have caffeine before I run. A night of missed sleep can ruin your whole week which will affect your studies. I recommend keeping your caffeine consumption to the morning hours if needed.
  -Addiction: I know many people who are addicted to coffee and get severe headaches, anxiety, and are irritable without their daily dose of caffeine. I have even heard that caffeine addiction can also lead to depression.

Coffee isn’t the only product with large amounts of caffeine. Tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate also contain caffeine. Even small amounts can add up quickly. Want to stop your caffeine addiction? Here are some alternative ways to get energized:

  - Gradually cut back on your caffeine intake. If you love your daily cup of coffee, try ordering decaf instead.
  -Exercise: Exercising in the morning is a great way to wake up your body and get energized for the day ahead.
-Stay hydrated 
-Sleep: Rest is the best way to get energized

  -Michelle Young, yconic student ambassador
What inspires you?
I'm writing an essay for school and wanted some input from people telling me what inspires them most!
Should you live on campus in 1st year university?
For some students, living at home is not an option. Their university of choice is out of province, the program of choice is not available in their local university, etc. The question is then: to live on campus, or to live off campus while completing your education?

Pros of living on campus
- You'll become immersed in your community and make life long friends.
-It's a risk-free form of independence
-You'll be able to walk everywhere
-Fees are all inclusive, so you don't have to worry about budgeting for rent and food

Con's of living on campus
.-You get what you pay for...even if you don't need it
-Mandatory meal plans
-Sharing a crowded bathroom might not be your idea of a good time

Have you lived on campus? tell us what you found amazing and what sucked in the comments below!


anxiety and interviews - I need advice
all my peeps with mental illnesses or people who just get the jitters, how do you go through an interview? I had one recently and was pretty humiliated, anyone have any tips on how to deal?
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Strategies to Curb Procrastination and Improve Productivity
It's that time of year again! We're more than halfway done school and many of us are already feeling the burnout. While this may be the case, it's important that we stay on track, not get side-distracted, and avoid procrastination. 

Here are some tips that I have to stay on top of everything:

1. Uninstall anything that may be distracting on your computer: 
-For me, this included games and such. For all those gamers out there, I hope you realize that you can calculate how many hours you've spent gaming. After almost 1500 hours, I realized that uninstalling STEAM was the best way to curb my gaming addiction. 

2. Self-Control Programs
-Another common problem for students is that we constantly check social media, irrelevant website, etc. To curb this, I installed a program called "self-control" that can help blacklist and prevent access to certain sites for a set period of time. This is especially useful when you need to study hard for tests, complete assignments, or going on a study grind.

3. Ditch the phone
-Most of the time, we don't even need our phones to finish our chem or calc homework. So why is it on your desk? Many students will impulsively pick up our phone to check Instagram or snapchat, so why not put your phone in your bag or somewhere far/out of sight. This way, the thought of even checking social media won't cross your mind. 

4. Use a planner, or two
-Personally, I use a physical planner where I mark down homework ,tests and assignments due dates. This way, you will never get caught off guard with an assignment that you forgot about! I also use the calendar function on my computer to mark down important dates and will send me reminders in advance as reminders. For something that costs next to nothing, you can always make sure that you stay on top of everything!

5. Sleep
-Productivity is always improved when your body is well rested. When cramming for a test, consider sleeping earlier and reviewing in the morning so that way, you won't be running on fumes! Getting 6-8hours of sleep is also essential for memory retention, reaction time, efficiency, and sound judgment. 

What did you think of my list? Got more ideas? Feel free to comment!

Benson Law 
-Yconic Student Ambassador

Western Residence Question
I've narrowed my options down to Queens and Western. I prefer the program at Western and like the idea of a more diverse community. The only problem is with the residences. I have really bad OCD and I need to know that my spaces are clean and a certain way (I can deal with shared common rooms, eating areas, etc.). I've already taken a lap year hoping that I would improve but I haven't much. At Queen's it is possible to (with the support of a form filled out by a doctor) get a private room with a private washroom. As far as I can tell Western only has semi-private washrooms. Is there any way to get a private one? This may sound stupid but that has been a major factor in my decision and I am currently leaning towards Queens because of this. 
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I hate my life...
So I'm in my second year of University and I fucking hate it. I'm taking a degree that has no use for the future and I feel like I'm wasting money and time. My parents think I will do okay but in reality this degree that I am taking is shit...Feel depressed and out of touch of this world...I feel like I go no hope..IDK what to do
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