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Hey Badgers, back here with another post. Today I wanted to talk about something that is technically non-school related, and even overshadowed by the exam session that stands right in front of it. Yes, that is our summer (or spring/summer) break. For first years, it’s standard that we do have this period off, as I know that later with Co-op and other things going on we might be dealing with work around the clock.

Yet, I am here to give you some tips so that you don’t find yourself bored out of your mind for 4 full months.

Before starting off, I just want to state how incredibly helpful the system here in Canada is. Yes, it is a bummer that our winter break is so short, but that allows to have that uninterrupted 4-month period which can be very useful. Let’s get started:

Find a job

This one is probably a no brainer, and most Canadian students are used to it. But, at least where I come from, most full-time students like me haven’t worked a day in our lives (not really proud of it TBH), but that is how it works back home. Now that I have this great amount of time on my hands, I have been able to figure out a job opportunity entering in the field I think I might want to work in the future. I really appreciate the opportunity to get the time to be able to get some experience and build my resume!

Take some classes

Brock is amazing at offering spring and summer courses, both online and over at campus. For those who stay or live close to campus, it is a great opportunity to get ahead or catch up on some of the classes. For sure I’ll consider hopping on this boat later in my degree.

Travel/Explore

I really do think that some of the biggest knowledge I’ve gathered in my short life has come throgh the possibility to travel to different places. As of right now, I haven’t got the chance to truly explore, but through sports or study I have been able to visit 9 different countries in America and several different cities within. Experiences are something that I really value and have contributed to building who I am today.

Overall, I would just recommend that you get active. At least for me, I like to be busy, meet new people, explore and whatnot. Remember that this time is just around the corner, so enjoy!

See you in the fall!

Eduardo Retes

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My name is Mahad and I’m a 15-year old high school student from the GTA.

As March break was approaching I started to think about what I wanted to do for the week, and I didn’t feel like staying home for a whole week to play outdoors with friends and binge watch Netflix shows. So after much pondering, my family members suggested that I should go out somewhere I’ve never been before. That was when I thought that I could take on a volunteer opportunity. In the end, I decided to visit my older brother Mohamed at Brock University and would help him at his work and shadow him for the week. I wanted to know how it felt like to be a university student, and I did not know exactly what to expect when I got there, but I hoped that I’d have a good time!

My parents dropped me off at Mohamed’s apartment on the morning of Saturday, March 11. He gave me a tour of the place: from the rooms to the many commodities of the area. I still can’t fathom the amount of freedom he actually has living away from home. I think that I am going to enjoy living at his place for the week, and even more excited thinking about where I’ll be able to live when I move out for university.

Saturday afternoon I stepped inside the Brock University campus for the first time. I was quite astonished by the structure of the area. The place was huge, and it seemed that you could easily get lost if you didn’t know where to go. Luckily, Mohamed was with me, and he walked with me to where his office is. The environment was nothing like what I have seen in high school. It was a lot more “free”; you could do whatever you want whenever you want, so long as it fits in your schedule. While in the office, me and my brother were relaxing, since there was no work to do on a Saturday. We didn’t do much that day, but I got a feel of the campus which was great. It felt like a small town, a tight-knit community. I loved it.

Monday morning, bright and early my older brother woke me up the same time he does which is 5:30AM. I thought this was March break and I could sleep in… guess I was wrong. He said he had a meeting that morning and I was welcome to join. I got to meet with some members of the Brock Badgers Athletics Department during a meeting concerning the upcoming Athletic Banquet event. The meeting was controlled and to the point. For a majority of the meeting we discussed what will happen during the event, and the production of it. We also discussed about deadlines for the plans of the banquet to be complete. There was a notable open environment for all questions and concerns to be addressed, which I enjoyed. I was able to add my recommendations and opinion on things and they all welcomed my ideas and even decided to execute on some of them. I definitely found it to be a productive and collaborative discussion between us. Some of the members of this meeting that I would like to thank for this experience include Neil Lumsden, the director of Brock Sports, and Robert Hilson, director of Business Development and Partnerships. They really helped me feel how it is like to be in Mohamed’s shoes, and obtain the full University experience. After the meeting, we decided to head back home to do some work from there.

On Wednesday, I went to my very first university level lecture. It was a Psychology lecture for PSYC 1F90 (Foundations of Psychology) class. When I stepped inside the lecture room, I was overwhelmed by the amount of students that were attending the lecture. Initially, I had made the prediction that roughly 50-100 students would attend the lecture. My prediction was off, like WAY off. Approximately 300-400 students had attended the lecture, which is about twenty times larger than a high school class! One thing I would like to note about the lecture is that the room became extremely silent once the lecturer began to talk; all internal discussion was shut down. I also found tone that the lecturer was speaking in was very formal and controlling. The interactions between the students and the lecturer were present; however, there isn’t as much as I thought. To top it off, trying to keep up with the lecturer and constantly writing notes was something that I found fairly frustrating. Perhaps this is a skill that I should build on now that I am in high school before I reach the university level. After the lecture, me and Mohamed didn’t do much- we stayed in the office for a while doing some work, and then we went back home. Overall, today I learned quite a few new skills, from note taking in lectures, to participating in intense office working sessions.

One of my favourite parts of my experience here at Brock was my introduction to BioLinc. In case you didn’t know, BioLinc is a business incubation facility that promotes the growth and commercialization of businesses and discoveries right at Brock University. I have heard of stories of people who grew a full scale business project from nothing, and for them it had all started with BioLinc. I was interested in what goes around here, so Mohamed took me for a tour around the place. At BioLinc, there was all the things an entrepreneur needs: workspace, tools, and technology required to start up a business. I would love to work in an area such as BioLinc one day, I have some great ideas that I want to execute on in the near future. So maybe I can go to BioLinc even sometimes during the summer as a high school student to learn from them!

My overall experience of Brock University, based on my week here, is that the campus brings about a positive environment every day, and gives every student a chance to pursue their own interests and make a name for themselves. All the students, staff and faculty were supportive and truly care for each other. I definitely would like to visit campus again one day, whether I’d be a student here or a visitor. I feel that this one-week experience at Brock has opened my eyes to a whole new world and I’m very excited for my future university experience.

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Hi Everyone!

It’s the middle of April, meaning classes at Brock are done, and exams are well underway! Final exams usually mean long hours of studying, and lots more time spent in the library. Sometimes, exams can be a stressful time for students so here are some tips for making sure you take care of yourself during exams and prepare wisely!

One of the most important things I’ve found about the final exam period in university is the importance of taking time for myself, and balancing my time. Here are some of my tips:

1. Use your professors and Teaching Assistants as a resource! When preparing for an exam, if you ever are unsure of something or maybe need a little refresher on a certain topic that was covered in your lecture, ask your professor! Professors at Brock are very open to students and are willing to help, so if you have a question, it doesn’t hurt to ask!

2. Get plenty of sleep. During exams, there are no classes running anymore, so most students have a lot more time on their hands. Getting enough sleep is super important, especially during exams. Keeping a good sleep schedule will help improve your mood, and even help you to retain more information while studying.

3. Stay hydrated, and eat well. Drinking lots of water and eating enough nutritious food will help you to stay on top of your game during the final exam period! With exam time being so busy, it can be easy to fall into the trap of eating junk food. Healthy food is the way to go! It will fuel your body and give you lots of energy to crush those exams!

4. Get some exercise! Exercising during exams will not only get your body moving and feeling great, it will also clear your mind and make you feel refreshed! It’s also a fantastic mood booster.

5. Find a good spot to study where you can focus. When it comes to finals, it’s important to get into a good study routine, and this includes having a good place to go to get the most work done that you can. Maybe you’re a person who likes to study with a friend, or you’re someone who prefers studying alone. Maybe you need complete silence in order to focus, or if your’e like me, you like a quiet buzz in the background. Whatever the case, if you can find yourself a spot that is comfortable to you, studying will feel a lot less like a chore.

6. Take study breaks! This is one of my most important tips! Yes, studying is important but it’s not everything. It’s extremely important to focus on your mental wellness as well. There are so many great things to do if you’re looking for a quick study break! One of my favourites is to treat yourself by taking a little trip to Beechwood Donuts (the best donut shop on planet earth), which is right downtown St. Catharines. Another way to take a break is to go for a nice hike at Decew Falls (just a few minutes away from Brock’s campus). Decew Falls is gorgeous, and has an awesome waterfall near the end!

That’s all for now everyone, I hope these are helpful to you all!

Emily

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Hey friends! These are a few things I thought I would share with you when it comes to considering which school to go to:

1. Scholarships and Bursaries

When it comes to post-secondary education, there are countless opportunities to receive scholarships and bursaries if you apply. In a previous blog I discussed how to finance your education and explained how scholarships and bursaries work. Brock has entrance scholarships along with bursaries and grants students can receive if they apply to the OneApp. Ensuring you can fund your education is extremely important.

2. Residence

Most times when students go to university, this is the first time they move away from home. Your university will become your second home, so you need to be able to picture yourself living there. Explore the options at every school. Brock has the option of single rooms and double rooms along with three different styles of residence. It is also important to look at how you will be eating. Whether you purchase a meal plan, or cook your own food in our townhouse style residence, it is important to think about.

3. Campus

The size of a campus is extremely important. I came from a small town so big university campuses seemed intimidating for me. I like to say that Brock’s campus is big enough where you can get the full experience, but small enough you won’t get lost along the way. The atmosphere and your level of comfort is extremely important as well. Consider what school’s strive for in regards to the student experience.

4. Degree itself

The program you study is probably of utmost importance, as that is the degree you will finish with, and you want to make the most of it. Explore the different options you can have within your degree. Brock has a form of experiential learning in all its programs which means whether it is a co-op placement, internship, placement, field trip, or volunteering, students can gain experience in the field of study they are enrolled in.

5. How you see yourself

If you’ve applied to Brock, then university will be the next chapter of your life that you will be embarking on. You need to picture where you want your life to be or continue. Even if you do not know what you want to do after university, you need to make sure you feel comfortable in the environment and decision you have made.

Good luck everyone! Hope to see some of you next year as Brock Badgers :)

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Hello there Future Badgers!

School is almost over and with handing in my last set of assignments and preparing for the <much> anticipated exam season, I can’t help but reflect on how much of an amazing year my freshman year at Brock has been. Here is a list of all the wonderful things I experienced in my first year:

1. RESIDENCE. Living on Res has allowed me to make some of the most important friends in my life so far and has given me a new family. It has been my home away from home as I know that I can always count on someone to have my back.

2. INVOLVEMENT. Brock’s various clubs and organiazations have been pivotal in influencing my time here. I’ve had the privilege of being a part of Brock National Model United Nations (BNMUN) team, Brock’s North American Culture Show (Brock NACS) dance team, The South Asian Student Alliance (SASA) amongst many others. These clubs have allowed me to grow outside the classroom and have enhanced my time at Brock.

3. COMMUNITY. Brock consists of a community of strong, like-minded individuals who are always ready to help people around them and support them through thick and thin. At your time here, you are sure to be greeted by friendly faces who will go out of their way to ensure that you get the help that you need. Smily faces everywhere!

4. EVENTS. As an international student, being away from home is both challenging and could possibly get lonely at times. However, Brock and the Niagara Regions always have something or the other going on that could be of interest to everyone.

So what are you waiting for? Accept that offer and choose Brock as your home, welcoming the best four years of your life!

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Hellllooooo Future Badgers!

As we continue in our educational careers, I have found that technology used in and out of the classroom surrounds our lives more-and-more. Each and every day, there is some new form of technology that is released on ‘the market’ whether that takes the form of an app, or a new phone, the most recent MacBook or medical advances.

While this surge in technology can sometimes be overwhelming, it does actually spell out some good for us Badgers. Some of this tech on the market is student-based or academic-oriented tech, or it’s tech that actually helps with learning, is efficient and improves productivity. As University students, productivity and organisation is arguably everything! Here’s a list of apps and websites that may help you improve your efficiency and productivity once you’re a full-blown Badger!

1. Spark Mail App

Number one on the list is a personal favourite of mine, Spark Mail App. This mailbox application is a perfect mail app for me because I juggle so many different email inboxes and Spark does a lovely job of bringing them all together into one convenient location! This mail app also focuses on “Inbox Zero”, a nifty little feature that encourages you to sort your emails so that they don’t clog up your inbox. By clearing things out — either archiving, deleting or simply saving for later — you become more efficient with your work, and don’t get stressed out by the influx of “things to do” throughout your day!

Spark Mail App is geared towards Mac users, and is available free on the iTunes App Store.

*My friend and Brock Alumni Nigel Crosscombe wrote an excellent, more in-depth piece about Spark on his Tech Ed. blog, check it out!

2. iStudiez Pro

This little number is especially helpful for me because it tracks all of my due dates and grades in one helpful integrated location. Within the app, you have the ability to generate a course schedule (which will also link with your calendar software), which you can then add homework, due dates, assignments, exams and grades to. The app conveniently assigns a grade (percentage or GPA-based) according to the info you put in for each assignment in each class, and it then calculates your final grade and average at the end of the year. So as long as your get your grades back from your professors, you’ll always be in-the-know as to where you’re at throughout the year!

iStudiez is available in both a free and Pro (paid) version for Windows and Apple products.

3. Grammarly

A convenient online and app-based tool that helps sort out your grammar, so that you don’t have to spend too much time looking up grammar rules! The website comes complete with a drag-and-drop platform where you’ll be able to create your own documents within the website, or upload your Word documents to be surveyed and scanned. Grammar mistakes are pointed out to you, and with Google Chrome integration, you can even grammar-check on the fly, so even your Facebook posts will be grammatically accurate! Show off your scholarly skills to your friends and family, so that everyone knows that your tuition money is being put to good use!

Grammarly is available at a free or subscription basis for both Windows and Apple products.

4. Caffeine

Caffeine is a freeware app that keeps your computer screen awake as long as you are! Ever been writing a paper and you leave your computer screen for just a few minutes to look something up in a source, only to have your computer fallen asleep while you’ve been away? It can be tedious to have to type your password in every time you wake your computer up and just sets you back as you try and finish that paper in crunch time. Well luckily you can provide your computer with some much needed caffeine as well! The caffeine app overrides your system’s sleep timer (with your permission) for an allotted amount of time — also set by you every time you open the app — so that you don’t have to worry about being bothered by your computer’s brain wanting some rest. It’s helpful, and convenient!

Caffeine is available online from their website for Mac download.

5. Scrivener

I suppose that most students who aren’t writers-by-trade wouldn’t consider Scrivener (usually geared towards authors) to be a helpful application for them…however Scrivener is the perfect tool for writing just about anything! Everything from novels, to blog posts, to that 10-page essay you have to write can be easily written within the software. Scrivener has sections in which you can store your notes, outline your essay, and even complete the writing. You can then compile the document for publication in a variety of formats and hand in to your professor with a new sense of (mostly) stress-free accomplishment under your belt! Happy Writing!

Scrivener is available online from their website for both Apple & Windows products. The software is available for free-trial download, and offered at a discounted rate for students.

Well Badgers, that about concludes the overview of tech that I use on a regular basis, hopefully you’ll find these apps helpful as well! Happy Badger-ing!

Brock On, Badgers!

Iain

*Note, none of the recommendations contained within this blog post are a result of a paid advertisement or affiliation…I simply wanted to share the knowledge!

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Final exam time can be stressful, but by using helpful study tips and getting organized you will find yourself much less stressed than most of your friends. Not only will you be reducing feelings of being overwhelmed, you will find that exams are no biggie because you have prepared for them like the true pro you are!

Here are my top 5 study tips to help you kick exams right in the butt!

1. Give yourself enough time to study!

Don’t leave studying until the last minute. Cramming will only make your stress levels higher and you will retain only a fraction of the information that you could have if you studied over the course of a week.

2. Make a study schedule

If you’re anything like me, and you have to write stuff down to remember to do it then this is the tip for you! Write down how many exams you have and the days you have to write them. Then organize your study schedule (ie. Monday study for History for 2 hours). Note: You may want to give some exams more study time than others, depending on your comfort level with the subject, etc.

Also, keep in mind that everyone has different study routines, so find one that works for YOU. If you study better in the morning, start early or if you’re more productive at night, settle down in the evening. If you study better in a group, find people who are like you in your class and form study groups! If you study better alone, find a comfortable spot and go for it!

3. Practice on old exams

Many professors will post previous exams online for students to access. These are an excellent tool to practice what you have studied and helped you to get used to the format of questions! (http://exams.library.brocku.ca/)

4. Take Regular Study Breaks

Contrary to popular belief, studying for as many hours as possible is not beneficial to retaining information. Our brains need a little break to be able to absorb all of the information that we are throwing at it. For example, if you were training to run a marathon, you would not run for 24 hours a day- your body also needs food and rest to be able to keep going. This is exactly like studying. Go for a hike, a walk around the neighborhood, watch an episode of your favorite Netflix show, bake some cookies, or simply take a short power nap!

I will never forget, in 1st year, my roommate and I were super stressed about our psychology exam. We felt like we could not possibly study anymore, so we decided to head over to Decew Falls and went for a nice long hike. Believe it or not, when we went back to studying later that night not only did we remember everything that we studied but we actually studied more efficiently and learned so much more! So get out there and get some Vitamin D and fresh air to promote a healthy brain.

5. Plan out your exam day

Make sure that you have everything ready in advance of the exam day. Check your schedule to make sure when and where your exam is taking place. Make sure that you show up to the school with enough time so you do not feel rushed and overwhelmed. Make sure that you have everything you need to write your exam (pen, pencil, eraser, highlighter, calculator, student card). Lastly, do not try to cram study when waiting to head into your exam room. These people exist, where they are holding 100′s of cue cards trying to memorize every single one a minute before the exam… this will do nothing for you. Go to your exam feeling prepared and put your notes away 20 minutes before the exam!

Hope these exam tips help, they sure do for me! If you have any questions regarding exams at Brock please leave a comment below!

Chat soon,

Ally

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Hey Everyone!!

Residence at Brock has been recognized as one of the best in Canada! Your residence will become your home away from home. Not only will you have the opportunity to live in modern facilities, but also you will meet many new friends and become a significant member of the Brock community.

Each residence has a common room area that contains a kettle, microwave and sink that are free for students to use as they wish. WIFI is also made available in residence! Additionally, each residence has an assigned “Don” which is an upper year student who is there for the students in their transition to university. Don’s also put on many events for their students and promote fun things on campous.

Here at Brock, we offer 3 styles of residence:

  1. Traditional Style: single and double rooms. Students are required purchase a meal plan that can be used on campus at any dining hall (Decew Residence).
  2. Semi-suit style: residences have single and double rooms. Students are required to purchase a meal plan that can be used on campus at any dining hall (Earp, Vallee and Lowenberger Residence).
  3. Townhouse style: students will be living in a house-like residence with the option to cook their own meals in a full kitchen or purchase a meal plan (Quarry View and Village Residence).

Q: Is residence at Brock guaranteed?
A: Residence is guaranteed for all incoming 1st year students coming from high school or those who reside outside of Ontario. Just make sure that you accept your offer of admission no later than June 1st, 2017. Additionally, Brock must receive your residence application and fee no later than June 1st, 2017.

On your residence application, you will be allowed to rank your preferences based on style of residence and single or double rooms. Rooms are assigned based on average. Here’s a little helpful hint- If your average is 90% or higher, you will be offered to choose which residence you would like to live in during your first year.

Take a look inside our residences by following this link and come tour our campus: https://discover.brocku.ca/living/

Talk soon Lil’ Badgers,
Alessandra

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Hey future Badgers, have you ever experienced this problem: You set a goal for what you want to change, try it for two weeks, but then your old habits are back? Here is some advice if you want the change to stay for good!

1. Write it down:
Studies show that we are 10 times more likely to achieve something when we physically write it down as opposed to keeping it in our minds.

2. Post it somewhere you can see everyday:
My favourite spot is posting this list to a mirror, that way as soon as you wake up in the morning, it’s the first thing you see and it’s a constant daily reminder of what you want to achieve.

3. Make your goals realistic:
Often what we want to achieve is long-term. Making short-term progress is more realistic.

4. Tell yourself you’re going to achieve it:
This ones my favourite, because we believe what we tell ourselves. If you tell yourself you are going to achieve your goal, that tiny voice inside your head will make sure you get there!

Whether it’s changing your diet, hitting the gym, learning a new skill, or acing your classes, whatever your new year resolution may be this year, I wish you all best of luck that you achieve it…and when you do, remember to reward yourself! :)

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Good news future Badgers! Accessing our student services has never been easier with the introduction of Brock Central. Our Registrar’s Office has undergone renovations to include multiple student services that were previously housed at separate locations over campus. Brock Central makes everything more user friendly for Brock students. If you need to access any services related to: undergraduate admissions, enrolment services, student account services or student financial assistance, they are all now located here at the 3rd floor of the Schmon Tower.

Brock Central is here for answering any questions or addressing any concerns regarding registration, forms and letters, secure information, student finances, academic transcripts and convocation. Plus, Brock Central is open for longer hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30am-7pm and Friday 10am-4pm.

Brock Central is run by a wireless system designed to eliminate lineups and reduce wait times. This new renovation includes new software that replaces physical waiting rooms with virtual, mobile lines. Once students either text into the queue system (Text “Brock University” to 289-301- 4243) or visit the third floor to reserve your place in a virtual queue. You will then receive text message notifications about the status of your place in line. While waiting for services, students can roam freely and keep up to date from Brock Central.

So there it is future Badgers, there is now a more holistic approach to administrative services at Brock making it easier and more convenient for you.

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