Happy Monday, little Badgers!

I figured that today, I would give my readers a little more insight into my experience at Brock. I’ve talked about my next steps after completing my Undergraduate degree, but what about my current steps? Well, presently I am in my fourth year of the Child and Youth Studies Honours program, which means that I was given the option to complete my year with course work, an individual thesis, or an applied research project. I personally chose to complete an applied research project. But wait! Have I scared you off already with the word “research”? Hear me out…

The idea of leading my own research study scared me too, to be honest. But then I began thinking, well hey, I’ve been doing course work for the past 3 years. And although my courses have been incredibly stimulating and helped me gain so much insight into the issues surrounding children and youth, I began to wonder whether it may be cool to try something new. But doing research was not a completely foreign idea to me, because my degree has been speckled with numerous courses about research methodology and ethics. Even so, I was too nervous to combat the thesis option, and opted for the applied research project. And boy, was that the right decision for me!

By stepping out of my comfort zone, I was taken on by a wonderful and inspiring Child and Youth Studies professor named Dr. John McNamara. His first year class was the very first undergraduate class of mine, and it gives me the greatest joy that I spent my final year under his guidance as well. Together, we are working to assess the effectiveness of a literacy program called Reading Rocks. While this research project has challenged me to make my own deadlines, Dr. McNamara and his Master student, Hilary, have supported me through every step. And with Dr. McNamara’s focus on learning disabilities, I know that all of the experiences that I gain throughout my research project will be applicable to my future career as a teacher. To read more about this program, click here.

So to summarize, trying something new is what can help you realize a new passion, or to help you gain experience in a way that you otherwise could not have had.

I hope you learned something new! Talk to you next time!


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University is a big investment. With textbooks and tuition costing several thousand dollars, it is important to know how much money to earn, save, or set aside. If you are planning on going away for school, the cost of university usually doubles as things like rent and groceries also need to be budgeted for.

Here’s the thing, the cost of living in residence will be comparable from university to university, but comparing the average monthly rent for the area is where the significant differences will show. Though many choose to live in residence in their first year, most students move off-campus and rent a house or apartment with friends for their other years of school.

While rent in larger cities can cost anywhere around $1000 per month, the average student rent for Brock students ranges from $400-450 per month. It may only sound like a few hundred dollars difference per month, but it can add up to several thousand dollars if renting off-campus for your second, third, and fourth years of university.

So why is monthly rent so much lower near Brock? In the St. Catharines and Thorold area surrounding Brock, there are more rooms for rent than there are students at Brock University and Niagara College combined. Landlords would rather rent their house for a lower cost and fill the room than charge too much and lose a prospective tenant to another landlord. This means that the supply is greater than the demand, and it keeps the rent costs relatively affordable near Brock.

So when comparing schools, make sure to look beyond first year costs and take the monthly living costs of your other years into account as well.

Well, that’s all the time we have for Economics with Sofia! Tune in next time to read more about other ways to save money when living away from home!

For further information, check out Brock’s Off-Campus Living page at brocku.ca/ocl.

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The Instructional Resource Centre ( IRC) is any Child and Youth Studies or Concurrent Education students’  dream! The IRC offers curriculum libraries which includes books, activities, and multi- media for elementary and secondary school teaching. IRC also has a media production workroom for the construction of teachings aids which includes various lettering systems , a lamination press, opaque projector, paper cutters, coil binding, button maker, magnet press, eyelet punch, as well as photocopiers. All of these resources are offered to students when they show their Brock University student card and students can also rent materials for up to two weeks.

The staff at the IRC are EXTREMELY helpful! The first time I went in there I had no idea how to work any of the cut out and laminating machines and gave me some amazing ideas to make my project even better!

Even if you don’t want to be a teacher this is a place to visit if you are making a poster, bulletin board, name tag or anything you need to design with construction paper!

Check out this link to learn more about the IRC and all it has to offer!


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It’s often difficult starting university, living away from home and having to pick up new study habits now that mom and dad are not at home reminding you to study. Even coming back to school after a prolonged period of time (Christmas Break) and getting back into the habit of having to study is not fun. Whether you’re in your first or last year as a student nobody enjoys spending all their time studying. Here are some tips to help get you through:


Brock LibraryIt is important to understand what type of student you are. Do you like complete silence when you study or do you need some background noise to pass the time. If you’re like me and love to talk, you should probably find an area in the school that gives you that option. The Matheson Learning Commons (Brock’s biggest library) has different levels to fit your noise preference. The first floor acts as a lounge area, and allows students to talk and study as a group. This level is probably where you will find the most amount of noise. If you’re the opposite of me you’ll want to hide out in the 9th or 10th floor that permit no talking.


Smarties logoYou should reward yourself for studying! On your way to the library grab a pack of Smarties and treat yourself to one with every page you get through. If you don’t have chocolate cravings like myself, find rewards that fit your needs…a 5 minute Facebook break for every chapter read or  a TV episode for every lecture you get through. This is an easy was to keep you motivated to study longer but not go crazy while in the process.


Study groups allow you to have open discussions about the topics you talk about in class. Often others will interpret the lecture differently than you originally did and studying with them gives you the added bonus of learning more than what you wrote down in class. Also teaching others is the best way to learn yourself.


An easy way to pass time between your classes it to review your notes. Instead of waiting until the last minute to head to class, walk over early and review the lecture from your previous class. It’s a great way to start studying early and will prepare you for the upcoming class or any assignments that may be due soon.

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Hi future Badgers,

If you are anything like little ol’ Grade 12 me, you are checking your mailbox daily for mail from Brock. After the first couple days, maybe you’re beginning to wonder: when can I expect an acceptance letter to Brock?

Well, some of you may have received offers of admissions as early as December depending on your academic performance. That means that some of you have already heard from us!! It has been such a heart-warming experience to see the new tweets, Instagram posts, and Vines of students receiving our acceptance packages. For those of you that have already received them, back me up here, aren’t Brock’s acceptance packages THE BEST?! (For those of you who are still waiting, I won’t spoil the surprise)

And if you haven’t received an acceptance yet, don’t you worry, because the majority of the offers are sent out in mid-Feburary, and again in early to mid-May. Until then, sit tight and enjoy your final year of high school! In the wise words of Drake, you only live once!

I will be looking forward to seeing the many more social media posts of students celebrating with our acceptance package. Welcome to the Badger family, everyone! :)


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Hey Future Badgers!

I recently returned to my student house after the winter break. I was excited to come back to St Catharines and to see my roommates after being a part for three weeks. When I came home my roommates and I all sat together and had a New Year’s Eve celebration of our own. We discussed our resolutions and agreed to help each other reach our goals. While it was great to go home and to see my family, because I miss them when I was at school, I also miss my Brock family when I am at home.

When you come to Brock you will find that you will have a new family of your own. Coming to university is an adjustment, but it is an exciting one. One of my favourite parts of coming to university was the opportunity to live in a house with my friends. Through this experience I have been able to learn how to cook for myself and become more independent. University has been a growing experience, I have learned just as much outside as I have inside the classroom.

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Hello again, future Badgers!

Are you ready to hear about my next step in nearing graduation? Well, my next step is to head off to Teacher’s College next year! I was really excited to hear about how Brock gives students the option to complete Teacher’s College at the St. Catharines campus or the Hamilton campus. For me, this option was really helpful because I live in the GTA, so commuting became possible with the Hamilton campus. This meant that with the option to live at home, not only was I able to save on the money that I would spend monthly on rent, but the placements and teaching blocks that I would complete during my time in Teacher’s College would be completed in school boards closer to my home—which is where I intend to teach full-time.

Talking to peers who are currently completing Teacher College has been really insightful, but another way to learn more about your future field is through Mentorship Plus. Mentorship Plus pairs Brock students with upper year students to help facilitate and support them during their time at Brock. As I was a mentee in my first year, I was excited to now have the experience and knowledge to become a mentor. But Mentorship Plus had another option that I was interested in: Career Mentors. This is a service that pairs students with Career Mentors, who are individuals that are practicing in a field of interest to the student. So in my case, I was able to connect with an experienced teacher to get answers to my many questions about my future career. Therefore, through an open dialogue with my friends and mentor, I have truly acquired a better understanding of what it means to be a teacher. I know this is looking quite far ahead, but I hope you seek out a similar experience when your graduation nears as well!


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I remember when I was in Grade 12 and looking at a variety of different universities, it was completely overwhelming.  All of the universities in Ontario would give me an amazing education, but how was I supposed to know which would be the best fit?  I found in my case that the answer was to go visit each university and take a campus tour. Now that I am in my fourth year of my degree and my third year of being a tour guide here at Brock, I have decided to compile the top 5 reasons that it is worth your time to come take a tour of Brock.

1. You can only really get a feeling for what a campus is like by visiting it.  Do you want a campus in a city, in a small town, or more of a stand alone campus?  I really appreciate that Brock is a self-contained campus with lots of beautiful green-space surrounding it, but the bus, which is included in student tuition, can take to St Catharines’ vibrant downtown in a matter of minutes.  This really gives students the best of both worlds in that it gives a close-knit community feel at Brock, but lots of restaurants, concerts and cool areas to explore within a 15 minute bus ride.

2. One of my favourite parts of the tour to give is the tours of residence.  I had the most wonderful residence experience and it helped me learn so much about living with people who were not my family for the first time.  On the tour, we visit single rooms and double rooms and we tour both traditional and non-traditional residences, which you will find out more about once you get here.  We also tour residence facilities like the dining halls, common rooms and residence services so you can get a good picture of what it will be like to live and learn at Brock.

3. Something that Brock is very proud of is our amount of student support services, so as you tour our campus, you will see how many different ways Brock tries to support you as a student.  We have mentorship options, mental health support, academic workshops on skills you may not have mastered in high school as well as many, many more supports to let you focus on learning about your passions.

4. By touring the campus, you can start to imagine what your life would be like at Brock.  Would you be more likely to study in the library or the Guernsey Market? Are you better suited to a single or a double room?  Would you have an on-campus job? If you get the chance to come visit Brock, try and imagine the life you would have here and if you think that it would be a good fit.

5. And finally, on snowy days like today, you will appreciate that you can travel across almost our entire campus completely indoors.  Through a series of bridges and connected buildings, our tour only goes outside for a couple of minutes so you can stay nice and warm.

If I have successfully convinced you that a visit to Brock should be in your future,  please feel free to click on the image below or give us a call at (905) 688-5550 ext 4293.  If you have any other questions, feel free to comment below or send us an email at liaison@brocku.caWant to book a tour? Click me!

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With OUAC Application deadlines right around the corner, I’m sure that many of you areApplication Deadline facing the dilemma of having to choose between schools that sound awesome,look even better but most importantly, choosing to make the decision with both your heart AND your brains….I know that was my rock and a hard place two years ago, so here’s my insight on “Why Brock?”

It’s a question I hear all the time: whether from my professors, prospective students or even my friends and current Badgers. “Why Brock?” As a Concurrent Education student, I could have chosen a number of better-known schools that I was accepted to, because let’s face it, Brock is a fairly new, 50 year old school. There are plenty of post-secondary institutions out there that offer Education programs with a Dramatic Arts focus, and honestly I don’t know why I chose Brock, I just knew that it was right. From the second my foot touched the asphalt on the Lot D parking lot, I knew that Brock was right for me. Of course “I just knew” isn’t going to help future badgers like yourselves understand why Brock just might be the school for you; so let’s break it down:

I love to keep active. Not in the “I’m going to the gym” kind of active (because let’s face it…I don’t use the full advantage of our free gym membership that Brock students get…), I mean community active. For as long as I can remember I have been playing an active role in my school community, whether it’s running events or producing my own plays; I’ve done it all. This was definitely my first tangible reason for choosing Brock. While all students will focus on having strong academics, it’s just as important to keep involved in student life, and with Brock’s ‘both sides of the brain’ philosophy, you can do just that.

There isn’t a focus on one-or-the-other here at Brock, because Brock recognizes that both sides of life are important to the average student. With such a strong community base here at Sir Isaac’s long-standing namesake, it’s hard to pass up life at Brock without keeping involved in something. Whether it’s being a leading member of a student club/organisation, sitting as an elected member on the Brock University Students’ Administration Council (BUSAC) or involvement opportunities through the Student Life Department among plenty of other opportunities, it is actually pretty hard to be a Brock student and not keep active in the school community.

Being a medium sized campus definitely has its advantages, especially with a campus that isn’t in the downtown core of some bustling big city; here at Brock there’s definitely more of a family feel to everything that we do here. Professors take the time to learn your name and learn about your interests, your likes and dislikes, how you learn best, etc. and make their best attempt at putting that knowledge into action, and that’s really the least that a humble old student can ask for, isn’t it?

So maybe that’s why I chose Brock, future Badgers. Because Brock loves its students just as much as we love it, and when Badgers love to keep involved, that counts for something, right?

Boomer & Student

Brock On Badgers!

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Hey future Badgers,

It’s been awhile since the last #BrockThrowback series, but I hope you enjoyed them! This will be the the last blog topic of the series because guess what: this is my final year of my undergrad… I’m in denial. Can’t I stay a Brock student forever? ..unfortunately not. So what are my next steps?

Well, I have begun planning for my future by seeking out co-curricular experience. What I mean by that is that I have been looking for work and volunteer opportunities that allow me to gain experience working with children. Now, although Concurrent Education students (unlike non-Concurrent Education students) do not necessarily need experience working with children to be admitted into Brock’s Teacher’s College, I recognize the importance of gaining hands-on experience in the field and building relationships with stakeholders who can be your reference in the future search for a job.

For example, I volunteered for the Special Needs Activity Program (SNAP) where, once a week, I was paired one-on-one with a student with special needs in the Niagara Region. During our several hours together, the child and I practiced social and motor skills through play. It was a really interesting experience because the child that you are paired with typically changes each week, so I gained experience with children requiring a varying level of support. Also, the types of diagnoses varied among the children, so I gained experience working with children with Autism, Down Syndrome, Mutism, and so much more. The experiences I gained at SNAP is what truly sparked my passion for working with children with special needs.

Without reaching out for opportunities like this, I would have never identified this passion of mine! So I strongly recommend that you remember to gain experience outside of the University classroom during your time here as well.

Tune in next time to hear about my next post-graduate step!


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