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4th year Ryerson student: Ask Me Anything!
I'm a current student at Ryerson in my 4th year, majoring in Professional Communication. I'm currently studying for the LSAT and plan to write in Summer 2017. Aside from holding 2 internships over the last 3 years, I work as a mentor for first year students and in student recruitment for my program faculty. This past summer I worked as a Project and Communications Assistant for the Government of Ontario, and in September I was hired at the Ontario Energy Board in the Public Affairs department. 

I can answer questions about:
- all program requirements and acceptances 
- campus life 
- residence 
- internships and co-op opportunities + job search + how I got hired in the government 
- basically any other questions you might have 

Hope you're all excited about the potential of attending Ryerson! Ask me anything! 

If you're looking to contact me personally, you can reach me at ienoukov@ryerson.ca

Is SHSM worth it?
Hey everyone!

     I currently am in the business shsm program at my school & I think it's a great opportunity. However, in gr11 & 12 I have not taken co-op during the school year because I do not have the course space and all my classes are important. I was thinking about taking coop in the summer but my mom & I think that re- doing 3U functions would be a good idea because I didn't get my ideal grade. So with that being said, I'd like to take on the partial business shsm. Partial business shsm includes me not taking coop but meeting other requirements.

   Does doing a partial shsm make me look irresponsible on uni apps? I intend on studying economics or finance at Western, Brock or UFT. 

  Also, do uni's even look at shsm? From what I heard, uni's look at only IB and AP but on my transcript, won't is say that courses like Accounting (included for my top 6) were for shsm?

* I'm in gr11 btw

How do you write an A+ essay?
I used to think getting an A+ on an essay in university was impossible. However, having the right tools and mindset has helped me make the impossible possible. Here is a breakdown of how I write an A+ worthy essay: 

1.Have Confidence: A little confidence goes a long way! 

2. Plan ahead: Make sure you start your essay well in advance to leave yourself adequate time for proper research, writing, and revision. Procrastinating and leaving your essay until the night before does not leave you enough time to compose a well thought out paper.

  3. Pick a topic: Normally I choose two or three topics that interest me and do a bit of research on each and see which one has the best information to back up my argument. Picking a topic that interests me keeps me better engaged during the research and writing process. 

4. Do your research: I use the research guides provided on my universities library website to find peer-reviewed evidence-based articles. Most professors look at the quality of resources you are using to write your paper. I always check to see if my professor has a rubric available so I know exactly what they are looking for in an essay. Rubrics are a handy tool to make sure you have all the requirements in the essay.

  5. Make an outline: Before I start writing a paper, I make a brief outline so I am better organized when it comes to writing the actual paper. 

6. Write the paper: If I get writer's block, taking a break and returning to the paper later is more time efficient than spending hours just staring at a blank screen.

7. Proofread and Revise: After proofreading my essay myself, I put my paper through a grammar check to see if there are any errors I am missing. I use the 'Grammarly'  application available for free online. Asking a friend to proofread your essay or visiting your school’s writing center are also good options. Writing centers are great if you are not a strong writer or need some advice on how to make improvements to your essay. It is also important to make sure you have accurately referenced any work that is not your own to avoid plagiarism. The Purdue owl website online is a great reference for making sure you are using the proper format.

8. Submit your Essay!

Hope these tips are helpful if you really want that A+ on your next essay! If you have any great essay writing tips feel free to share below!

  -Michelle Young, yconic student ambassador
What should you eat before exams?
Did you know, what you eat before an exam can impact how well you will do on the exam? Here are my top nutrition tips to help you ace your next exam:

1. Do not skip breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and your brain needs energy to reach its full potential. If you are nervous and have a hard time eating before an exam, try sipping on a smoothie.

2. Eat a balanced meal: Try eating a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and fats. Grabbing a muffin for breakfast will leave you hungry in no time as you need protein and healthy fats to sustain your hunger. Healthy fats are also great for brain health! I recommend having a couple of eggs with a side of fruit and whole grain toast! 

3. Eat foods that benefit brain health: Healthy fats and fruits and veggies are known to boost memory and focus! Have a sweet tooth? Dark chocolate is a healthy brain food as it is full of antioxidants.

4. Don’t Eat foods, that don’t sit well with your stomach: If you have a history of foods that upset your stomach, avoid them the day of your exam to prevent having to run to the bathroom mid-exam. 

5. Stay away from processed and sugary foods: Besides being bad for your health, sugar is actually known to impair your memory and learning skills. Beware of that double-double you order from Tim’s if you like getting that last minute caffeine fix to keep you awake after a long night of studying.

  6. Pack a snack: If you find yourself focusing on your growling stomach instead of your exam, a small snack may come in handy as fast fuel to get you through your exam. Just remember to pack something that won’t be distracting to other. Crunchy carrots may not be the best option. Instead, try packing a banana or a granola bar.

7. Stay hydrated: Water is essential for your whole body to function properly so sip up! I hope this helps as you eat your way to your next A on your exam! 

-Michelle Young, yconic student ambassador
Re-taking Advanced Functions in Online School
I completed 12 Advanced Functions last semester in day school and ended with a 70%. Even if I re-take and get an average mark like an 80%, my overall average goes up to 88%. It's my lowest course and brings down my average a ton. Which schools can you recommend to look at? Preferably ones that aren't too expensive - I looked at Virtual High School and their costs are $600. 

Also for those of you who've taken it/ have friends who've taken it, is it difficult to complete? Especially considering I have a full course load at the moment.

Most of the unis I applied to have stated that they'll either take the highest average of the two credits, or take an average of the two, which I'm okay with.
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Study habits
Hey, guys, I was hoping to get some advice on some study tips you all might have. My first problem is that I forget. Every time I learned something different, I forget what I had just learned. Another thing is that I make WAY TOO many silly mistakes on my test/exams, especially in Math. So with that being said, if you have any tips/advice, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you! :)
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AMA: Brock BAcc Grad, Carleton MAcc Student, Big 4 Employee
My name is Neal, and I'm one of yconic's Digital Brand Ambassadors for 2016-17. I also currently work at Ernst and Young in Toronto.  

I graduated from Brock's Bachelor of Accounting program in 2016 and I am currently enrolled in Carleton's Master of Accounting program. I will write the Common Final Exam (the last exam in the CPA process) in September 2017.  

A snapshot of my time at Brock:  
-Served as an executive for several clubs  
-Participated in numerous internal/external case competitions and conferences  
-Served as a Tutorial Leader for Brock's first-year Macroeconomics course  
-Inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma (the top 10% of Goodman get invited)  
-Did co-ops and internships with 3 different companies in corporate accounting, assurance, tax and risk assurance located in Germany and Canada  
-Participated in a short-term exchange to France  
-Volunteered for the business school's Career Services office, where I critiqued students' resumes  
-Lived in residence (first-year) and off campus

A snapshot of my time at Carleton:  
-Currently the President of the Sprott MAcc Society  

As a Digital Brand Ambassador, I am here to provide insight into the post-secondary world. Feel free to ask me questions below.  

Please subscribe to me (click the + beside my user name) to follow my weekly blog posts!
Calling all yconic members!
We know it’s hard to think about but it’s almost that time of year again. Tell us your top 3 “Must Haves” for back to school and you could be featured in yconic's newest article.

Example:              1. My trusty Herschel backpack
                               2. Red TOMS shoes
                               3. My lucky pen
                              ~Jon, first year Queen’s student in Economics

Reply to this thread now for your chance to be featured!
Advice for high school students - from a first year Western University student.
I remember in grade 11 and 12 I would constantly be on Yconic, freaking out about marks and acceptances. Now, being more than halfway done my first year at Western University, I wanted to give high school students some advice to make this time in their lives a little less stressful.

1. Grade 11 marks really don't matter.
Unless you're applying for a major scholarship, your grade 11 marks will only impact when you get your first acceptances. As much as it may suck to have to wait until March, April or May to get into your top choices, it ultimately doesn't matter. As someone that had a mid-70s average in grade 11 and a low-90s average in grade 12, I was terrified that universities would take my low grade 11 marks into consideration and not accept me, but I ended up getting in everywhere I applied (including top business programs). If you didn't do as well as you wanted to in grade 11, don't beat yourself up. Instead, try to learn from your mistakes and do as well as you possibly can in grade 12, when it actually matters. I know there's a lot of talk about early acceptances based on grade 11 marks, but that's all they are - early acceptances. Getting accepted a few months earlier really doesn't make a difference, and most competitive programs don't even send out acceptances based on grade 11 marks.

2. Don't discount a university based on (social) reputation.
I'm saying this point specifically as a Western student, but in grade 12 I knew so many people that wouldn't apply to Western, Laurier etc. because of their party reputations. Having gone through most of first year I can say that, although Western is definitely a party school, you can easily meet people with all sorts of interests. I know many people that don't drink or party and still have tons of friends with similar interests, and some of the most serious students I know go out every weekend. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone and apply to schools that don't seem like your "scene". Where you end up going may surprise you.

3. Make your second semester of grade 12 as easy as possible.
Trust me, senioritis will hit. Hard. The last thing you want is to be bogged down with all your difficult, prerequisite courses in second semester when all you want to do is skip class, go out and enjoy your last few months of high school. I was able to be a part time student my second semester of grade 12 because of fast tracking and taking summer school, and I had such a good experience because I was only worried about two bird courses (law and world issues). Take as many prerequisites and hard courses as you can in your first semester, when you'll likely be more motivated to do well than at any other point in your high school career, and use second semester to have fun and finish high school on a good note. Even better, try to get your top 6 marks in grade 11 and first semester (see next point).

4. Fast-track non-prerequisite courses.
Fast-tracking two grade 12 courses in grade 11 (accounting and international business) is one of the best decisions I ever made. It allowed me to be a part-time student in my second semester of grade 12, and have my top 6 marks by the end of first semester. While I wouldn't recommend taking prerequisite courses a year early, as you really can't afford to mess them up, taking relatively easy non-prerequisite courses a year early gives you much-needed wiggle room in case you mess up a course in grade 12 or senioritis hits you as hard as it hit me. 

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Admission Averages/ Top 6
So, I was talking to my ex-tutor recently.
He told me that, the top six do not have to comprise of your requirements, unless the requirements are your highest marks. Instead, universities only check if you got the credit or not.
I thought that universities first take your requirements and then your highest marks to fill up the rest of the six.
Is what he said true?
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Will i get accepted to aerospcae/mec eng?
Okay so im really scared atm for not being able to get any offers i applied to wloo u of t ryerson and carleton (aerospace and mec eng for all). My marks (so far) are

Ap advanced functions-91
Ap Calculus (midterm)-88

The only other couses i have are physics and phil, im expecting around mid to high 80 (maybe 90) in both. Also i had a mid 80 average in gr11 (i slacked off a bit).Do i stand a chance in any of the unis??

2nd year UBC student! Ask me anything!
Contact: elizabethsflower@gmail.com 

In second year at UBC as a Health Science (FNH) student from LFS. 

Want to know how I got in? What UBC life is like? General advice about gr. 12/senior year, study tips, and applying to universities? I'll try my best to answer any of your inquiries (:

See you at UBC in September!
Help York or UOIT?
Hello guys I am in Grade 12 and I want to go for Software engineering in university. I am really confused about which one to choose between York and UOIT as in York I can get Co-op and I den't get Co-op in UOIT but after I graduated from any of the university which university will have a upper hand in getting jobs like which one will get more opportunities  for jobs? Talking in general which one should I choose for my future??

Hidden Library Services Rundown for Incoming University Students

University libraries are more than study spaces – they can provide helpful services as well! If you’re starting university in the near future, here are some library services that can help you out:

#1 - Laptop Rentals

BSOD on your laptop? While you’re working on getting that sorted out, you can borrow laptops from your university library. At the Brock library, laptop rentals are available on a 4-hour basis. And if you rent within 4 hours of closing, you can keep the laptop overnight.

#2 - Exam Reserves

Your university library may have a section on its website which will link you to electronic copies of previous midterm and final exams (that professors have authorized to be made public). Brock students, check out: https://e-reserves.library.brocku.ca and click on "Looking for Exams?"

#3 - Short-Term Textbook Loans

Sometimes, professors will put copies of your course textbook on reserve at the library. You can rent them out on a short-term basis (anywhere from 1 to 4 hours). This saves you from having to buy textbooks. Brock students, check out: https://e-reserves.library.brocku.ca

#4 - Inter-Library Loans

Working on a research paper, and don’t have proper books at your university’s library? Or do you need a textbook for a class and is it not available for short-term loan? Most universities participate in Canada are part of the inter-library loan (ILL) program. This means you can borrow books from other universities across the country, all for free. Ask your librarian for how to register.

(Note: These are services that I’ve encountered based as a student at Brock University. Library services will vary by institution.)

Are there any other helpful library services that I’ve missed? Comment below!

-Neal, yconic Student Ambassador

Picking a School
I'm a grade 12 student and the deadline for applications is coming really soon, but I still don't know where I want to go or what I want to do and I'm starting to panic. I have some ideas but I don't know how to make the decision!!

How did you guys pick where you wanted to go? What factors played a big part in your decision? Where are you now and what do you think?

Honestly any information would be greatly appreciated!!
Staying motivated as a student
"Working hard for something that we don't care about is called STRESS; working hard for something we love is called PASSION."

Whether we are in high school or in post-secondary, the pressure to do well academically can cause us to feel inadequate for the future ahead. How do we stay motivated to achieve success in this rollercoaster chapter of our life? Try these tricks out!  

7 Years in the Future Visualization
We all have our ups and downs, and when writing tests, this is no different. For instance, when we get our marks back and see that we bombed it, it is easy to feel down. Instead of beating yourself up on the inside, think to yourself, “In 7 years from now, how will I feel about the struggles that I am in right now?” For me, that would be my life in Grade 7, and looking back at the problems that I had back then, where it be a bad grade or stress from a project, I easily have a good laugh!  

YouTube Motivational Videos
YouTube is always the way to go for a way out to procrastinate, but when you need an extra boost to get yourself back into the right mindset, there are some great motivational videos out there! My personal favourite is “Mateusz M” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgmVOuLgFB0)!

Create a roadmap and set reasonable goals
This is not only a great way for you to stay on track for your goals and ambitions but allows you to get motivated through the daily tasks that you complete! Whether it’s a checklist of tasks that you check-off after finishing an assignment or setting an academic goal (Usually 1-2% higher that you are currently) that you end up achieving, you will get hungry for more! 

How do YOU stay motivated?

yconic Student Ambassador
What would I tell my first-year self?

Kill Your Shyness By Getting Involved

Whether it’s a club, a sports team, a part-time job, or whatever, do something to meet new people. You never know who you may meet or what interests you might develop just by stepping outside your comfort zone.

Don’t Study Hard, Study Smart

In first year, I thought that the key to acing exams was writing out all of my notes – I thought that there was a “memory in my hand.” While writing stuff out may have made me remember things more, it took forever to do. Instead, study to your subject.

For example, as an accounting student, my tried-tested-and-true method of studying for finals was this:

1. Anticipating the problems that would be asked (by writing down hints professors would give throughout the semester).

2. Typing out similar problems from my lecture notes/textbooks (taking up no more than 1/5 of the page).

3. Printing out several copies, and doing them over by hand – until I knew the steps by heart.

The Key To Landing A Solid Co-op Placement/Full-Time Job

I was under the impression that all I needed for an interview at my target firms was a high GPA. Boy, was I wrong. It turns out that my target firms were looking for well-rounded people: individuals with slightly-above-average grades who are involved in things outside of the classroom (club involvement, athletics, a part-time job).

Current students – what advice do you have for YOUR first-year self? High school students – what is the best advice you’ve received about university?

-Neal, yconic Student Ambassador

3rd year Canadian medical student happy to answer questions!
UPDATE July 11, 2012:

My name is Josh, some of you might know me as the guy who started MedHopeful. For those of you who don't know me, I am currently a 3rd year Medical Student at UofT and I have run a blog called MedHopeful for almost 4 years now which provides stories and advice relating to undergrad, scholarships and medical school.

I originally wanted to remain anonymous in this thread because I was working on a few new projects (like a new group blog I had started) with some medical school classmates who wanted to remain anonymous. However, after long discussions and thinking, I decided to go back to primarily posting on MedHopeful. I also figured that I was OK not being anonymous (my friends still want to be, which is fine and I understand why).

In any case, I am happy to answer any questions, and for those of you who didn't know, I started a similar thread like this last year on the old Student Awards forums, which you might also find useful:


* * * * *

Hey everyone,

I am a 3rd year medical student at a Canadian medical school. My first 2 years were spent mostly in the classroom learning anatomy, physiology, disease, treatments, etc.

I started 3rd year in September 2011, and since then, I have been in "clerkship" - which means I have been working and learning full time in the hospital - seeing real patients everyday, and learning to diagnose/treat their illnesses. I have to say, it's very different from what I imagined. No matter how much you try to learn what it's like to practice medicine (e.g. shadowing), you really don't know what it's like until you do it.

I found these forums very helpful while studying in undergrad and applying to medical school. I'd like to give back by answering questions about medical school if anyone has any.

I'll try to be as honest as possible. I just won't be revealing any personal details as I'd prefer to remain anonymous.

Ask away! :)

P.S. I now blog everyday about med school life, getting in to med school, undergrad tips, etc. (see signature)
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Chances with Rotman, Ivey, DeGroote, Schulich, Queens, Waterloo?
I was wondering if I have good chances with those universities.

English: 88
Advanced Functions: 85
International Business: 96
Calculus: Currently taking (Projecting 90-95)
Law: Currently taking (Projecting 90-100)
World Issues: Currently taking (Projecting 90-100)


HOSA Txecutive
Math Tutor
Environmental Club Member
Athletics Council Member

I also do Karate lessons
Is honour roll still possible for me?
Hi, everyone! I'm in grade 11 and I am an Ontario student that attends a semestered school. I have just received my marks and they are pretty bad. Here they are:
ENG3U1: 63%
*MCR3U1: 60%
**FSF3U1: 66%
SCH3U1: 77%
This semester I have: 
**For the French, we had a temporary teacher and she didn't even teach us that much and the exam was made by another French teacher who actually teaches, which resulted in many of us not knowing what was going on with the exam.
*As for Functions, the exam was a total disaster for not only me, but for like 60 other students from other classes.
I understand that my marks are not the best and I don't think they are, but do you think I still have a chance at making the honour roll? I always seem to work better in the second semester of school (which I still don't understand why), and I get more work done. I know that I have to work 10 times harder and I want to be able to finish this year knowing that I made the honour roll. So, any sort of helpful feedback would be very much appreciated. Thank you and I hope you have a great day! :)
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Study & Homework Tips
Hey guys, I'm starting a really hard semester for Grade 11 and I really need some tips for procrastinating and actually doing homework. Studying effectively is something I struggle with too, I have world religions, Accounting, world history and Law so I'm really worried with not being able to handle it with poor skills.
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Ask Me Anything: 4th Year WLU/Conestoga College Collab in Journalism&PR
Hi Everyone! My name is Kat, and I am one of your Digital Brand Ambassadors here at yconic! 

I am a fourth year Journalism major specializing in Public Relations, minoring in History at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus. I have a post-graduate certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications from Conestoga College. I wanted to create this post as a space to answer as many questions as I possibly can that you may have! 

 Who is Kat: 
 - I am a fourth year Journalism major, specializing in Public Relations with a minor in History. I have a post-graduate certificate from Conestoga College in Integrating Marketing Communications (By April, I will have finished 5 years worth of school in 4.) 
- Photography Editor for the university’s school paper, The Sputnik, and Editor-in-Chief of the university’s yearbook, The Carnegie 
- I’ve been a part of many organizations at Laurier: O-Week Icebreaker, Foot Patrol volunteer, The Carnegie (yearbook) volunteer, The Sputnik (newspaper) volunteer 
- I’ve completed work placements in Marketing Communications 

 What Kind of Things Can I Answer for You: 
- Campus Life at the Laurier Brantford 
- Time management!! (I work full-time and study full-time, so I’ve gotten really good at this!) 
- Anything about J-School - I will do my absolute best to give you the best answers I can! 
- Organizations and clubs you can get involved in on campus 
- The transition between high school, the workforce and post secondary education 
- Gap years (I took two!) 
 - How to get involved in your on and off campus communities 
 - Course selection – after four years of course selection, I have it down to an art! 
- What it’s like to live off campus during your post-secondary education (and not with your parents) 
- The difference between college and university from the perspective of someone who has done both 
- OSAP - Literally ANYTHING about OSAP 
- Summer jobs - I've worked in some weird atmospheres like cleaning toilets for a summer, and some interesting and physically demanding atmospheres like in a Toyota Motor Manufacturing Weld Shop 

Of course these are just a few things I can help you with! If you have any questions that are not listed above, please ask anyway! I’ll do my absolute best to help you out! 

 The comments on this forum are open for your questions below! 
What are the chances I get into the University of Waterloo Computer Science and what grades should I achieve for second semester
Hello all,  

So it is February 2017 and the first round of acceptances from Waterloo is on the way. However, I am still wondering about admission averages for computer science at Waterloo, some places say it is 91% and other sources say its is 95% or even higher! My grades from first semester are as follows:  
English 4U - 87%  
Physics 4U - 98%  
Math (functions) 4U - 96%  

With these averages I do not really expect an offer during the first round but with that being said, second semester has just begun today! The courses I am taking are as follows:  
Data Management 4U  
Calculus and Vectors 4U  
Computer Science 4U  

I believe the second round of offers start in May when mid term marks will be evaluated as well. So my question is, what is a realistic goal in each course so I am most likely to be accepted at Waterloo? In other words, what is the minimum grade I should achieve in each course? Also which courses are easier to get a higher mark than others (I know everybody is different)?  
Thanks in advance , any help is much appreciated