Hello future Badgers,

I know many of you are focusing on completing your residence application (which I highly recommend!! I will talk more about my residence experience in an upcoming blog post), but an important aspect to consider when choosing a University is off-campus living. Often I get questions from students and parents inquiring about the possibility of living in residence after first year, but as many of you know, Brock residences are mainly allocated to first-year students. This is because residence provides students with many resources that first-year students require the most, such as directional assistance, knowledge of the student services on-campus, and more. But in general, living off-campus is a wonderful experience!

What makes it even greater is that rent for student housing in St. Catharines is super inexpensive compared to other cities. The average rent rate is $450 per month without utilities. Some popular areas to live are off of Glenridge Road or off of St. David’s Road. And even more great news: buses running near these areas pass by the most frequently: every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes in the evenings and weekends. To browse some options, click here!

Have a great snowy week, everyone!


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Hey, future Badgers. It’s been awhile since this series, but I’m bringing back #BrockThrowbacks–this one being about on-campus involvement!

Although Brock is great in itself, I found that what made my experience the most meaningful was my involvement. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I was incredibly shy and did not participate in any clubs in high school. In University, I knew that I had to break out of my shell because, especially as a Concurrent Education student, I knew that my volunteer and work experience would set me apart. So in my first year, I began applying madly on this wonderful resource we have at Brock called CareerZone. CareerZone is an online directory that posts part-time and full-time work opportunities, as well as volunteer and internship positions offered within Brock, in the city, and even abroad! Soon enough I had interviews set up, and the rest was history. Since, I have had the opportunity to work with 5 departments at Brock, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Representing an institution that I love so much has been the most rewarding experience. And hey, it doesn’t hurt that I make some extra money on the side! But wait, it gets even better: Brock understands that you are a student first, before an employee. So those Reading Weeks and exam periods that you want to take time off for, that’s a given!

The moral of the story, Badgers, is that Brock wants you to foster both sides of your brain; your academic side, and also your interest-based side. Without both sides of your brain, you wouldn’t be who you are. To begin planning how you will make your mark, browse some of the ratified clubs here at Brock.

Until next time,


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Hey, friends! It’s been awhile! I’ve been busy working away at my assignments and essays, but good news, I’m finally done!

I won’t lie, I was under a great deal of stress but I don’t think that I could have made it through without what Brock calls Wellness Week. Are you intrigued yet? To clarify, Brock University’s Student Union (which is essentially like your high school student council but with much more funding to advocate for students’ needs) organizes super innovative, fun ways to address mental health the week before exams begin. I mean, would you rather sit in on a lecture as to what positive mental health practices are or would your rather get a free massage, fall into a free-cupcake-and-smoothie induced coma, only to wake up to a room full of puppies in our puppy room? Pretty rad, wouldn’t you say?

Take a look at what Brock offered for this semester’s Wellness Week and let me know, which event would you take advantage of? Or what kind of mental health activities would you like to see?

Talk to you soon!


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It’s getting cold out there Badgers!

Sweater Weather is coming to a close and Wintersuit-boots-hats-scarves-jackets-snowpants-and-mitts Weather is creeping it’s way in! And with St. Catharines being in such a wacky weather state right now, it’s sometimes hard to keep up on whether you should dress warmly or dress for the snowfall these days, and with that comes runny noses, sore throats and chapped lips.

But not to worry! Brock U has the perfect solution when your nose starts a-runnin’ and you throat starts a-scratchin’! It’s Student Health Services! (*cue Superman theme*). Here on our very own campus we have got ourselves a nifty little clinic full of professional and

SHS registered health professionals, including Medical Doctors, Registered Nurses and Mental Health Nurses (and Mental Health Medical Staff) to assist you with all of your wellness wheel needs! Located in a convenient location on campus (right next to the Campus Security Services building), Harrison Hall is like a little patch of Heaven, just walking in you know you’ve reached the right place.

This year, Brock students can set up appointments with a physician up to two weeks ahead of time on their my.brocku student account so that your sore throat or banged-up knee can be looked at in no time! Alternatively, Student Health Services also offers Urgent Walk-In hours for those run-of-the-mill Walk-in needs that of course, weren’t planned sicknesses — like that common cold or icky stomach bug you’ve got.

I mentioned that there is a professional Mental Health staff working within Harrison Hall as well, and there is! Our Mental Health Support Team is here to assist Brock students with any of their mental health needs – anything from speaking with a mental health physician, nurse, psychiatrist and/or eating disorder specialist this amazing staff is here to help you out so that you can learn to understand what you are experiencing and will be there for ongoing support with your mental health!

Of course, we can’t forget about our Brock Personal Counselling Unit found on the 4th Floor of Schmon Tower, a team who will be there to talk when you need to talk, whether it’s about your anxiety regarding your social life, if you are suffering from depression, loneliness, weight-loss preoccupation and much more. The Personal Counselling Team are also wonderful advocates and support systems for maintaining a healthy mind and spirit.

Lastly, Student Health Services also offers a fantastic team of Peer-Health Mentors — a fabulous group of individuals who can usually be found at the Student Health Hub who are there to talk to you about things like: Mental Health, Sexual Health, Healthy Relationships, Sleeping Habits and much, much more!

The best part about ALL of these services? They are 150% utterly, completely and totally ABSOLUTELY FREE to Brock Students! That’s right Badgers, you read that right, the Health Services (this is excluding the filling of prescriptions…it’s only the services that are free…) at Brock are completely FREE to all Brock Students!

Until next time,

Brock on Badgers!

For more information about Student Health Services (Including the Health Hub), click here.

For more information about and to schedule an appointment with Personal Counselling, click here.

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Alright Badgers…

Time to face he facts, it’s not always easy to keep focused in class. With the whole “Facebook is everything” trend going right now, it’s incredibly easy to log on and plug-in to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, and even Snapchat during class and get distracted from the lecture environment, or even distract everyone around you (if you’re lucky, maybe even both!).

Dictionary "Focus"

In high school, I found that teachers often didn’t teach to all of the learning styles, and sometimes it was all too easy to zone out and start thinking about other things like frolicking in a field of dandelions or puppies running around in a park. Well unfortunately, it’s not always peaches and apples at University either, sometimes you need to force yourself to learn from a statue with a scarf on.

But the easiest way to stay focused is to push yourself to stay focused! Try to write out your notes with classic pen & paper instead of bringing your laptop to class and browsing Facebook. Turn off your phone until he lecture break to keep focused on material instead of on that text message from Jenny from the Block.

Most importantly, force yourself to keep motivated! It’s easy enough to see your marks drop when coming to University because more is expected of you with high learning opportunities, but maintaining that drop from 90s-80s is much easier when you can keep motivated to make it on the Dean’s Honours List or simply pass the class because you need it!

Maybe this is all easier said than done…I know that I have trouble paying attention in class when my professor doesn’t teach to my learning style, but hopefully you can take something out of this that will be helpful for you and maybe even develop your own focusing methods out of this post…

Brock on Badgers!

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‘Tis the season for university shopping. With Brock’s Fall Preview day just having passed, I’m sure you have so many thoughts running in your head as to which school is right for you. Although academics are your main priority when deciding on a university, I want to warn you that it is so much more! Making the sure the school fits ALL your needs, for example: accessibility, distance from hometown, and safety are just a few things you should consider when deciding on your future university. Below I’ve listed a few reason as to why and I chose Brock and how it has fit all my needs.

1. Small Community Setting

Brock University is home to 18,000 students and is considered a mid-sized university. To me, campus feels like a big high school where you are bound to see someone you know when walking down any give hallway. Being the only one from my groups of friends back home to come to Brock I was really nervous about meeting new people and making friends. I look back now and think “Why was I so nervous?” The community atmosphere here at Brock allows me to think of Brock as my home away from home. I currently live with three girls that were in my residents first year, which goes to show how the friends you make in first year can last you all throughout your university experience.

2.Concurrent Education Program

There is no other word that AMAZING to describe my education experience here at Brock so far. If you haven’t gotten around to reading my introduction I am currently a third year student in the Con-Ed Program with a major in Physical Activity and a minor in Biology. Brock’s Concurrent Education Program has allowed me pursue my love of children. One of the major advantages of coming to Brock for Con-Ed is due to the fact you begin a placement in your second year! If you’re new to the area and aren’t familiar with schools in the area there is no need to worry! The Concurrent Ed. Department does an excellent job with assigning you a school in the area you live in and along the closest bus routes. Last year I had the privilege of attending a grade 7/8 class once a week for the school year. The relationships I was able to make with teachers and students went way beyond my expectations. Currently I am setting up a placement for myself in my old high school back home which I am extremely excited for. The opportunities that Brock offers are endless in the Child and Youth area.


Location is a key aspect when choosing the right university for you. Are you comfortable with being far away from your friends and family back home, or are you more comfortable with being able to drive down the street to get to school every day? For me, I live the perfect distance away from home, approximately one hour.  I am able to go home for holidays but I’m far enough that mom and dad won’t just randomly stop by without giving me a heads up first. But your opinion of a comfortable distance may be different than mine. Therefore it is important to determine how far you want to live away from home or if you want to live away at all.

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Coming to Brock University was the first time I ever took public transit. Since this was such a new experience  for me I was always worried that I would miss the bus or wonder if it was going to be on time.

I have two amazing websites you can use to see when the bus will arrive at your stop or even to help you plan which buses  to take and the BEST part they are both FREEE!

Where is Your Bus

This isn’t a normal app per say but it can be used just like one. I bookmarked the website so it is always on my home screen to quickly check if the bus is running on time. This app can be found through the St Catharine Transit Website (http://whereis.yourbus.com/bustime/home.jsp)I like using the estimated arrival time ( the left box)

I like using the estimated arrival times because you can add your stop number or the route and you can find what buses and how far away they are.

This website as well helps you to plan your route and  shows  you which buses are the best for where you would like to go.

St. Catharines Transit App

This app is very similar to the where is your bus, however the good thing about this app is that you don’t need to know what the route number or stop number is. Your phone will use the GPS settings to detect where you are and shows the bus stops that are close to you and

all the different choices for buses you can take. This is good for when you’re in an area that you don’t know, for instances going to a costume store to get a Halloween costumes you can track to see how far away the buses are from your location. Another cool feature is with this app you  can favourite bus routes so they always show up at the top so you can see them. You can find this app in your phones apps store.

Here is  where it shows how far away the buses in the area are
As well similar to the other website it can help you find the proper route

So whether you use one or the other, you will definitely know where the bus is and what time it will be coming to your stop or the area near you.

Best of Luck future Badgers!

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Brock University is located right on the Niagara Escarpment. This allows students to partake in numerous amounts of fun activities right in our backyard. There are walking and biking trails surrounding the university, including the Bruce Trail, which is 885km long and runs all the way up to Tobermory! If you want to know more about the trails and our “Hidden Gem” Decew Falls read my fellow ambassador Krista’s Blog  http://www.brocku.ca/blogs/futurestudents/2014/10/02/exploring-brocks-hidden-treasures-decew-falls/

I’m going to talk a little bit more about all the places you can go in the Niagara area:

Johnny Rocco’s is an Italian family restaurant that is great for getting a bite to eat and a few drinks with friends. My favourite part of Johnny Rocco’s is probably going in for tapas and drinks with my girlfriends on a Friday or Saturday night. Tapas are appetizer sized meals that allow you to taste a wide variety of meals on a small scale and smaller budget. There are a number of bus routes that can drop you off right in front of the restaurant for those who may not live in walking distance.

Peaks is a popular indoor rock climbing facility located right here in St. Catharines. They offer 60 climbing routes, all with different textured walls, cracks, overhangs, and climbing caves. Peaks offers their services to inexperienced and experienced climbers of all levels. Inexperienced climbers are able to book lessons and learn all the tricks of rock climbing, while those who are experienced are able to get a free 5 minute orientation and the get right to climbing. If you’re looking for a good full body workout without having to go to the sweaty hot gym, I highly suggest looking at their website.

Fairview Lanes is another great outing activity for you and your friends. Bowling with friends on any given night calls for great entertainment and friendly competition. Whether you bowl like a granny or are able to score a turkey, Fairview Lanes offers an affordable evening out to just get away from the stress of school work. Toonie Tuesday and Wild Wednesday are just a few promotions they offer during the week.

The Bull BBQ Pitt-for all you students who consider themselves foodies but maybe don’t have the budget to go to high-end restaurants, the Bull BBQ Pitt is the place for you. The most expensive food item on the menu is only $11.45! They serve authentic BBQ which include pull pork, steak, chili, burgers and sandwiches. They even deliver!!!! If you don’t live in the area or are locked in your room during exams like myself, you can always still indulge in the cravings that somehow tend to always appear during the busiest times. I dare you to go and find something  you don’t like!

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As an upper-year student in the Concurrent Education program, I have completed tons of group projects! As a result, I have really come to see the value of collaborating with your peers for homework, assignments and especially studying. Even I can admit, however, that group work can be testing at times. So…check out these tips for a successful group project, paper or presentation.

1. Schedule a meeting time. Getting together with the other members in your group can be difficult to organize but is necessary in order to establish which direction the project is headed toward. Finding a mutually agreeable time for everyone might take a couple tries. Leave your options open and try not to be turned off by the idea of compromise; sure meeting up to talk schoolwork on a Friday evening or first thing on a Saturday morning is not ideal but if it’s the only time that works for everyone then you should make a meaningful effort to show up.

2. Figure out what type of group work style fits your personality. Finding that balanced role within your group is important. Nobody likes a “steamroller” group member who takes over all of the work and dominates when it comes to pitching ideas. On the other hand, group members that sit there silently while everyone else does the work just aren’t pulling their weight. A good group member will be a combination of both styles: assertive and confident without being pushy, open-minded and willing to listen but not lazy or disinterested.  Don’t be afraid to speak up and make your thoughts known but also try to let everyone have a chance to participate – group work should be run as a democracy, not a dictatorship.

3. Is your group being marked individually or collectively? This shouldn’t really affect your work ethic but it might be helpful to know what criteria you’re being graded on. Perhaps only some of your mark is based on the group presentation while the majority depends on your personal reflection? In this case, plan your focus accordingly.

4. Divide tasks between each group member. Some group projects require the group to complete the steps together as a whole. For other group assignments, however, you might find that splitting up tasks is a more efficient approach. By giving each member a small portion to work on, the task seems manageable and won’t overwhelm students’ busy schedules. At the next group meeting these “puzzle pieces” can be fit together to form the larger picture.

5. Show up prepared. Nothing can be more awkward than showing up for a group meeting only to realize that you’re the only one who hasn’t done the readings or prepared for the assignment. It is understandable that life gets in the way sometimes and things unexpectedly pop up but this awkward situation can be avoided by sending out a message to the rest of the group before showing up empty-handed for the meeting.

6. Edit your work. If your group does decide to go with the puzzle model just be sure to edit the work so that it is cohesive and free of punctuation and grammatical errors. The paper may have been written in parts by different members but it should all sound uniform with a style that flows throughout. This is also a good time to share ideas with your group before finalizing. Maybe one member has some valuable thoughts on another member’s topic that are worth including in the final product.

7. Rehearse. Practice makes perfect so rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Practising your project with your group before the actual presentation date is a must. This gives you a chance to smooth out any bumps, get a better sense of timing and to shake any pre-presentation jitters that might arise. This might even help you and your group to predict questions that your classmates or professor could ask about your presentation, and to prepare an answer.

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Hello Badgers!

As we are in the height of Reading Week at Brock, I think more-and-more of the school work that I could have done in the days already gone by. Instead I chose to do what only my feline friends do on a regular basis….SLEEP! As with most University students (and maybe just people in general), I feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day to actually get sleep; with school schedules, work-life and whatever else we have going on.

So, while we can’t always get that ever-important 8-hours of sleep time in, I find it more than beneficial to find time in our day to nap! According to the National Sleep Foundation – or – the NSF (I know right!? An entire scientificly-based organization on the benefits of sleeping…now that is an organization I can get behind!!), napping is a natural and important part of anybody’s day and a great way to recharge, reenergize and reinvigorate your body to keep going strong with your day just like the Little Engine that Could!

Now, the NSF states that there are 3 different types of napping — and all are a-okay!

The first is: planned napping — my personal second favourite of napping styles — this is where you make time in your day to nap (imagine a world where scheduled napping was part of the workday!). The NSF suggests this type of napping in situations where you know that you will be up later than usual, so that you can ward off that sleepiness feeling you would normally feel without taking the nap.

The second is emergency napping — my least favourite because this means that you’re working too hard — emergency napping occurs when you are simply and suddenly too tired to continue you doing you and your body goes into ‘sleep mode’. I strongly suggest trying to stay away from this napping style, because ironically, it could be a wake-up call that you are working much too hard, without giving yourself a break and you are starting to burnout…

The third is my personal favourite…habitual napping! This nap style is when you routinely take a nap at the same time every day (almost like when little kids have ‘nap time’).

But why take a nap? I bet you’re reading this and thinking to yourselves, “ok Iain, we get it…you like to nap a lot, but what does napping do other than make you feel like you’re living on a cloud?”

First of all, living on a cloud sounds fantastic….but in all seriousness, napping has got it’s serious benefits!

For starters, naps can restore your alertness. On days when you have got just too much packed in to the short 24 hours, naps are a great way to make sure that you are keeping your head in the game, all game long!

Napping has also got its psychological benefits. According to the NSF, it’s a great way to keep in check and make sure that your body is getting the relaxation and rejuvenation it needs to keep pressing on with the day.

Not to mention that napping is safe! Now I know what you’re thinking, “how is napping safe?” well, studies have shown that napping actually improves safe driving! I’m sure that we’ve all felt groggy at one time or another when we are driving long distances (I know that driving tuckers me out…) but still, we press on and keep driving because we just want to get to our ‘Point B’. Well, it turns out that taking a 20-minute nap before driving that long distance can significantly reduce your chances of being directly involved in a “driving drowsy” collision.

All-in-all I strongly and seriously approve of hardcore napping, and I think that we can learn a thing or two from our feline friends; everyone should take part in a nap here-and-there whether it’s planned, or habitual because napping has got some amazing benefits, and Badgers simply need to nap once in a while…

For more info on appropriate napping and to read the full article with more benefits and some possible negatives, hit up the National Sleep Foundation here: http://sleepfoundation.org

Brock On Badgers!

Safe Napping

Courtesy of: The Wall Street Journal

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