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Happy New Year Badgers!

Welcome back from the Winter break. I hope each of you had a fun, relaxing time off. I had the opportunity to travel to Cuba for Christmas and spend a week in Varadero. I can safely say, I would much rather have the sun and the beach over the wind and the snow any day! However, coming back to Canada did make me appreciate how beautiful it gets in winter. I always feel like I live in a snow globe!

As this semester rolls around, I am looking forward to a new beginning with new courses and extra—curricula’s. Here are some of the things I plan to achieve this semester:

1. Stop procrastinating!

This is a hard one, but also the first on my list every semester. As things get busy, it becomes easier to say yes to more breaks and the mindset “I will have time for this tomorrow.” Through a weekly schedule and having a plan for every day, I hope to be more proactive this semester. I have always met my deadlines in time, but I would also like to get things done much earlier this semester. I am also the kind of person that likes to be busy all the time, so this semester I am going to try to not take up too much and manage my time wisely.

2. Have more school spirit!

Last semester I was able to go to a couple of the basketball games at Brock and Meridian Centre. It was great cheering for the Badgers (especially when they won) and seeing everyone so hyped up! I was disappointed that I had never attended any of the varsity games previously. This semester, I would like to go to more games and support our athletes, especially since some of our Brock International Ambassadors are on the Basketball, Wrestling and Volleyball teams.

3. Spend wisely!

This is another hard one, but using the tips I highlighted in my Living on a Student Budget blog last semester, I want to stick to my budget and save up for my next trip. Visiting Cuba has been my first trip to Latin America and I enjoyed every bit of it. As I was leaving the resort, I was already thinking of my next travel destination and how much I have to save up. As of now, the plan is to go to California and San Francisco in the summer. I will definitely have to stick to my budget if I want to afford that trip!

Apart from these, I would like to continue my volunteer and extra-curricular involvement with the Brock International Office, Power to Change, DECA U and Brock Conversation Partners. I wish you all the best for this upcoming semester – I’m sure it’s going to be great!

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As 2017 comes to a close and the new school year rolls in, I have a number of goals that I wish to achieve and experiences I want to enjoy. Here is my list of goals!

1. Be more organized

During my first semester of university, it took me a long time to get settled. As such, I was far less organized than I usually am. As this new term starts, I aspire to use my planner more and get my school work done earlier than usual. I hope this will help me not only maintain my grades but increase them as well.

2. Participate in Brock’s intramurals

Since the first day, I had every intention of joining in on Brock’s amazing intramural program, however, I never got around to it in the first term. This term I have join the underwater intramural team so that I can have the experience of playing intramurals at Brock.

3. Volunteer more

Besides the amazing opportunities I have had as an ambassador, I have yet to volunteer since becoming a Badger. This semester, I intend on changing that! I am currently deciding between joining the Special Needs Activity Program (S.N.A.P) or volunteering with an Athletic Therapist. The S.N.A.P program is a Brock-run program that works with special needs children and encourages them in physical activity that meets their personal needs.

4. Explore more in Niagara

I have been living in the city for four months now, but I could barely show my aunt and uncle around – HOW SAD! In 2018, I want to explore more of St Catharines and the Niagara, from trying new restaurants to bowling and new experiences unique to the city!

5. Make more friends

You can never have too many friends, right? In 2018, I want to continue to expand my horizons by meeting new people and learning about new cultures!

6. Enjoy the snow

There is going to be plenty of it (for a Caribbean girl at least) so I might as well. As it is my first winter I want to try and enjoy it as much as possible. Ice skating, snowmen, snowball fights, and snowboarding galore! YES PLEASE!

That concludes my list and I hope all my fellow Badgers have a fantastic 2018 and a great semester!

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Hi Future Badgers!

Winter Term has just begun, and while many of us Badgers would like to think we are ready to take on another term with new classes full force… most of us are still stuck in Christmas break mode.

After writing final exams in December and having a nice break to reboot over the holidays, sometimes it can be hard to keep up those great study habits, organization, and especially TIME MANAGEMENT.

This is where I come in. Over my (almost) 4 years here at Brock as a student, I have learned many strategies that help me manage my time and be the most productive I can be during the school year. In this post I will share some of these tips with you!

1. Get an agenda. Not just any boring agenda, a cool agenda that you enjoy using! There are so many new agendas out there that have cool pictures, stickers, activities and more that will motivate you to use them effectively and organize your schedule!

2. Use a calendar. Whether you get a whiteboard calendar for your wall in your room, a desk calendar, or even just the calendar on your laptop, make sure it is easy for you to access so that whenever something comes up that you need to add, you can do it before you forget.

3. Find a system to use like highlighting or colour coding. I like to colour code my activities and events. I usually use a different colour for each of my courses so that when I have an assignment or test it will stand out to me. I also use a different colour for my job and my volunteering. It’s not just helpful, it’s also fun and looks good as well!

4. Set specific times for things you need to get done, and try your best to stick to these time frames. For example, I usually try to do my homework during the week, so that for the most part I can have my weekends to relax and do fun things with my friends! Giving myself a schedule to follow day by day has really helped me balance out my commitments with my needed breaks and free time.

These are just a few of my time management tips, and I hope you find these helpful! Good luck finishing off school this year, Future Badgers!

- Emily

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FUNDING EDUCATION!!!This was probably one of the scariest things about coming to university – wondering how I could afford it! But I want to let you know it is possible as there is always help you can get. Personally, finances have always been troubling for my family as I am a triplet and when I first started at Brock, all three of us went away to post-secondary institutions. However, I found there were ways to overcome worrying about finances. One thing that was extremely important to me was my entrance scholarship based on my Gr.12 admittance average marks. This was an easy way for me to fund my tuition as I had achieved a high average in high school which resulted in the scholarship being directly applied to my account. Also, throughout my years at Brock, I maintained over an 80% which renewed the scholarship each year. Additionally, at Brock, there is something called the ONE APP. This is one application to fill out which the, once you submit, will consider you for all awards, scholarships, and bursaries you are eligible for!

In one of my previous blogs, I talked about having an on-campus job. These jobs that I had the privilege to hold on campus helped me survive my four years. After tuition and fees are paid, you still must pay for residence or living off-campus and ultimately pay to live! This is where I used all the money I saved up from on-campus jobs. Therefore, it is possible, do not be scared about funding your education just ensure you consider every option and apply for any help you can receive!

Cheers!

Jacqueline

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Bus pass

Hey Badgers! One thing that’s amazing when you are a Brock student is that a bus pass is included in our tuition and fees we pay each year. It is provided to us thanks to our students’ union we call BUSU (Brock University Students’ Union). I was worried heading off to university because I did not have a car to get around. But I am writing this blog to tell you that it is possible to go to school without a car!

In my first year, I did not leave campus much thus I did not become very familiar with the bus system. However, in my second year when I decided to live off-campus, I had to learn very quickly. There is an app you can download called “St. Catharines Transit” which I recommend ALL Brock students get!! It makes it so easy to see which bus to take to get to the Pen Centre for example to go shopping. Or which bus to take to get to campus if you live off-campus.

Having survived 4 years as a student with no car, I am here to tell you it is possible! Like you all could imagine, having a car would be nice, but I survived just fine

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I want to share with all of you future Badgers one of my favourite spots on campus – General Brock. When I was in my first year I did not do much exploring around campus except for where my classrooms were and where to eat and I don’t want you all to make the same mistake!! There are so many hidden gems around campus and you need to find one of your favourite spots.

For me, this is General Brock. Not only do they have my favourite coffee, they also have so many affordable snacks and meals for students. So, if you get hungry and need a little pick me up to get through the day, I recommend GB (this is what people tend to call General Brock on campus). Also, GB has study spots available so if you like a little background noise while you study, this could be the ideal place for you. Finally, GB is Student Powered which means that they only employ students. Again, if you want to get involved on campus, meet new friends and add to your Brock experience, GB could be the perfect job fit for you.

Regardless of where your favorite spot is on campus, find it sooner than later because you never know when you’ll need it as an escape or need it to help brighten your day!

Cheers!

Jacqueline

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When I was in my first year, I needed to find something to help me with my mental health and well-being as I transitioned from high school to university. This is when I started working out and exercising! This was a new concept to me – before university started I had never been to a gym or knew how to work out. But, this made me more determined to get into a habit and try something new. I started by attending Express Fit classes on campus. Express Fit classes are included in tuition as a Brock student. Which was AMAZING because I did not have to pay to work out! After I felt more comfortable, I started using the gym! I had some lovely friends that taught me how to use the equipment and free weights to help me learn how to effectively work out. It was intimidating at first but do not give up!! I was determined to make a habit out of it which I did!

Now in my fourth year, when I get stressed or I am worrying about something, the gym is mu escape. It helps my mental health stay sane and I recommend that everyone finds something to help balance their well-being during post-secondary education.

Cheers!

Jacqueline

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ExperienceBU is Brock’s campus involvement portal and event calendar. Thus, like I mentioned in my previous blog, if you want to make the most out of your Brock experience and get involved this is the place to go!

Within ExperienceBU there is something called the campus-wide co-curriculum where you can track anything you’ve done outside of the classroom within domains.

The 10 domains include:

1. Arts and Culture

2. Brock Spirit

3. Career Preparation

4. Community Engagement

5. Diversity and Inclusion

6. Global Awareness

7. Health and Wellness

8. Innovation

9. Leadership

10. Personal Growth

Countless events outside of the classroom will help you to track your experiences within these domains. For example, if you go to a performance at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Performing Arts, you can track that under the Arts and Culture Domain. Another example is if you had the opportunity to be our mascot Boomer the Badger (which I can neither confirm or deny whether I have), you can track that under Brock Spirit.

Therefore, Brock acknowledges you for getting involved outside of the classroom! So, if you become a Badger, take advantage of this opportunity to have it with you for your future to have proof of everything you have done outside of the classroom to make the most out of your Brock experience!

Cheers!

Jacqueline

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I knew throughout my time as a student that I wanted to get involved as most as I could. In my first year this was intimidating however I wish I got involved sooner. One of the best ways to make the most out of your time at Brock is to get an on-campus job. This is one of the best things I ever decided to do as I learned countless transferable skills and met some of my best friends. In my first year, I had a job as a Room Tour Attendant where all I did was share my experience in residence and show my residence room to prospective students and families on campus tours. This sparked my interest in becoming a tour guide for the University which is why I decided to become a Brock Ambassador. I have been an Ambassador for three years and it has been easy to work throughout my studies as I can go to class, go give a tour and then go back to class. On campus, jobs make it easy to work and study at the same time, which is why I decided to apply to the Brock Sports Welcome Desk in my third year. Working on campus also allows you to network and get to know so many members of the Brock Community. At the end of the day, I recommend everyone considers getting an on-campus job because at the end of the day, your employer will understand that school comes first, and work needs to be based around your schedule.

Cheers!

Jacqueline

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“Winter is coming” or so everyone tells me.

I’m from Colombia, a country with absolutely no seasons, so it’s baffling how it can suddenly rain soft ice. I’ve never been able to enjoy what I’ve seen in movies my whole life, a wonderful “White Christmas”. This won’t be the case this year either, as I’m going back home for the holidays.

During my winter break, I’ll see my friends and family and have wonderful food. In Colombia, we usually have a series of celebrations leading to the day of Christmas, one of which is called “novenas” (ninths or nines), and consists of traditional foods, prayers and chants on the nine days prior to the 24th of December. It might sound a bit religious, but it’s mostly a social gathering, ideal for catching up with all the wonderful people I haven’t seen in four months.

There are many other traditions, like on December 6th we celebrate what we call Candle Day or Día de las Velitas, in which it is customary for children to make decorative torches and light candles inside of them at night, this is done outdoors, and usually marks a chilly night. It usually brings candlelit memories of dark nights outdoors, followed by great homecooked meals surrounded by friends and family. All kinds of wonderful desserts are made for Christmas, my personal favorite is called buñuelo, which is a ball made out of fried dough. It’s sweet and spongy, and it’s the number one thing I wish I knew how to make from back home.

After Christmas, I’ll be celebrating New Year’s with my closest friends and family, during which we participate in a number of traditional customs to ensure the coming year is full of good fortune. One of our traditions is to pack a travel bag with clothes for your preferred weather, put a few of them on, and then run around your block right after new year. It’s supposed to make you travel to the place of liking, provided that it has the right weather for your clothes. So, you can imagine I went around my block wearing a thick winter coat in preparation for my trip to Canada.

Another custom is to put women’s jewelry in champagne glasses. This is to ensure they receive more jewelry in the coming year and that they’re successful and prosperous in their endeavors.

One of my favourite traditions is to stuff your pockets with raw lentils to promote prosperity in the coming year. It’s fun because you’ll find lentils just about everywhere after you do this.

Finally, a tradition we do for setting goals is to eat 12 grapes before the coming of the new year. This is usually done in the last minutes of the year with the idea that you eat grape for every month of the coming year, and think about what you want to achieve during that month.

That only covers the basics of the things I do for good luck in the new year, and I can assure you that the best one is to make sure you’re surrounded by the right people. After all that is done, I’ll pack my stuff, get on another plane, and be back at Brock for the beginning of a whole new adventure! The real winter, and the winter term!

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