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If you haven’t already heard Brock University it opening it’s doors this Sunday March 1st for our annual Open House Event.  The event will take place from 12pm-4pm and works on a drop in basis which allows you to show up at the best time that fits your needs. The day includes a self guided tour that lets you walk the campus and visit hot spots at your own pace. You can meet me at Hot Spot 5!

Iam Beddis GymnasiumThe added bonus of Open House that you wouldn’t experience with our traditional campus tours is the chance to meet with faculty, staff, and students within the faculty you have applied to. Our Ian Beddis Gymnasium that extends four basketball court long will be transformed and filled with booths of each faculty (Health Sciences, Goodman Business, Education, Humanities, Mathematics/Science, and Social Sciences). This offers you the opportunity to speak to students who are currently in your program who know first hand how the transition from high school to university is like. They can give you tips about classes, how to succeed and just fill you in on their experience so far here at Brock. You also have the chance to speak to professors that will be teaching the courses you will be taking in your years to come. Asking them general or specific question about courses will prepare you for what you are about to learn and to better understand what they except from you and what you should expect from them.

If you aren’t avaliable to come to our Open House this Sunday we still have tours from Monday-Friday at 10am and 2pm. Follow this link below to sign up for upcoming dates: http://discover.brocku.ca/discover/tours/

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Hello! My name is Mason Gerrard, and I am a third year student-staff member at Brock University. I am majoring in French Studies and Philosophy. I also am a Residence Don in Quarry View, as well as a Brock Ambassador. You may have seen me giving tours of Brock’s lovely campus with Recruitment and Liaison Services. I hope that you will be able to read through these blogs and find helpful information about Brock University.

In this blog post, I will try to tackle the vast topic of Brock’s Residences. First and foremost, I want to say that, unfortunately, there is no ‘best residence’! If only it were that simple! What I hope to convey in this post is that depending on your personality, interests, and other characteristics, I can guarantee there will be at least one residence that will interest you, if not more!

For starters, we divide the residences at Brock into two categories: traditional and non-traditional. A traditional residence is similar to the style you must have seen in movies: apartment style with an indoor common area per floor, whereas Brock’s non-traditional residences are set up in a grouped town house arrangement outdoors.

Court 11 in Village Residence: A Non-Traditional Residence

Court 11 in Village Residence: A Non-Traditional Residence

That’s our first distinction: traditional vs. non-traditional. Within the traditional style, there are four different buildings: Decew, Vallee, Earp and Lowenberger. I won’t go into too much detail, but these buildings have floors where students live in conjunction with one another. Traditional residences are serviced with cafeterias in both Decew and Lowenberger, and therefore cooking facilities are not present. Conversely, there are two non-traditional style residences: Village and Quarry View. These have cooking facilities in place for you, but nonetheless the cafeterias are open to you.

It can be difficult to get a good idea of what is being described from this blog post, so if you are at all intrigued or would like to have a guided tour of the residences and campus, please sign up for a free tour at this link: https://discover.brocku.ca/tours/

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Even though it was nearly 4 years ago, I still remember the day I moved in to Vallee residence like it was yesterday. I was equal parts nervous and excited, as I had no idea what to expect and was the only person I knew of from Peterborough that had chosen Brock as a post secondary institution. I was ready to start a life away from home in a new city, but my biggest concern was that I would not be able to make any friends on my own.

The two and a half hour drive from Peterborough seemed to fly by. My family and I arrived at my traditional-style residence at our assigned move-in time; collected my keys, and the move-in-day staff carried all my belongings to what would be my home for the next 8 months.

After I got settled in, it was time for my family to leave, and for my first hall meeting to begin. I hugged my family goodbye, my mom tried her hardest not to cry, and then they were on their way back home. I then headed down the hall to the common room to meet my new friends!

To my pleasant surprise, everyone was in the same situation as me. We went around the room to introduce ourselves, and just about everyone was from a different city. Not many people had any friends at Brock yet, but everyone was more than willing to make them! This is when I realized that just about all these people were in the same boat as me. Everyone was friendly and eager to meet new people, and it was not difficult to strike up a conversation with anyone because they were looking to make friends too.

After the meeting we headed down to the Decew dining hall as a group, where we got to know each other more. This became a Sunday night ritual that everyone on the floor was included in. After just a few hours in residence I knew that Brock was a place I was ready to call home!

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Hi baby Badgers,

As offers begin rolling out and University becomes more and more real for you, maybe your next thought will be: How will I finance my education? Let’s face it, we can’t just keep hoping that we’ll miraculously win the lottery, so let’s be proactive and look at our options…

Sure, there are student loans, and sure, there is OSAP, but have you heard about Brock’s OneApp? By completing this single, comprehensive application, we will do all the work for you and apply you to every scholarship and bursary you qualify for. -cue the “SAY WHAT?!“- I know, it’s hard to believe that it’s just that easy, but it is! Every year, more than $500,000 of donor-sponsored awards are given out to our OneApp applicants. And to add some more great news: Brock students can submit an application every year for consideration.

So, to answer your big question about financing you education, keep the deadline of March 31, 2015 in mind, as this is when the OneApp will be due.

I hope this helped ease some stresses!

Hana

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For all you prospective Badgers out there, I can guarantee you that Reading Week is just about one of the best things to happen for university students. And not only do we have a Winter break here at Brock but we have a Fall break as well. Bonus!

Obviously a mid-semester week off is great for a number of reasons – we get to run all of our important errands and we finally have the time to catch up on homework or visit our friends and family. With all of this in mind, coupled with the fact that students are very busy individuals, it can be difficult for students to actually relax.

Reading Week really is a great initiative when it comes to mental health awareness, which is a HUGELY important campaign at Brock. So don’t overlook the fact that students deserve a break. We all work hard and it’s very important that we take the time to appreciate ourselves. So take a nice, long, hot bubble bath. Do some pleasure reading as opposed to reading for school. Grab dinner with your friends. Take a nap. Do whatever it is that makes you feel happy and rested!

Don’t get me wrong, doing schoolwork over the break is a good idea but it is equally important that students also use this time to unwind and catch their breath. Many people, ourselves included, underestimate the pressures and responsibilities of being a student. Just because we aren’t out working in the real world yet doesn’t mean that we don’t get stressed out. That time will come for us eventually so it is good for us to start thinking about the stress monster now, before it becomes a bigger problem. Stress comes with the territory of being a student but Reading Week helps us to take an active role in combatting its adverse effects.

So whether you are already a Badger or are planning on becoming one in the near future, remember that Reading Week is the perfect opportunity to decompress and de-stress.

Ready…set…enjoy!

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Dear Grade-Twelve Me:

Greetings from the future! You will be happy to hear, I’m sure, that you have survived (so far) four years at Brock and that the end is near! You can now take a sigh of relief knowing that you ended up choosing the school that was right for you – I can tell you with confidence that this was one of the best decisions you have ever made!

So why I am writing this letter to you, you may ask? Well it isn’t just to tell you that you are awesome, which you are. Actually, I am here to remind you to keep working hard because what you are doing right now does matter! Trust me when I say that your years at university will be some of the best in your life and you should do everything in your power to prepare yourself for that moment.

You are probably wondering then, what words of wisdom can I offer you?

Lots!

Do your homework and go to your classes (not that you would ever dare to miss one anyways…). Attendance and preparation are largely influential, no – imperative – to your success in a post-secondary education atmosphere so don’t get in a habit of slacking off. (And don’t forget that your Brock residence applications do take your high school marks into consideration).

Take a critical and active role in your own learning. University is the place to explore new dimensions of learning that you may not have ever thought possible. But why wait? Start your quest for knowledge at a young age and don’t be afraid to be analytical, to challenge convention and to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Brock will encourage you to do all of these things so why not familiarize yourself with them now?

Make sure that you have everything you need to make a smooth transition into this new chapter of your life. The right courses, strong grades, volunteer hours, an optimistic attitude; these are all important things that will help propel you into university life and beyond. Speak to your current guidance counselor and the Brock recruitment/admissions officers to ensure that you have met the necessary criteria.

Don’t give up on your interests. Yes, school and academics are important but they are not everything in life. Both sides of the brain are valuable and worth developing. Your time at Brock will allow you to expand upon these interests in a holistic and stimulating way. So keep playing sports, keep in touch with your friends, keep playing that instrument of yours and keep doing whatever it is that you do, and you will turn into a very well rounded Badger someday, I’m sure of it.

Weigh your options and make a thoughtful, educated decision as to where you will spend the next three, four, five (perhaps more) years of your life. Don’t rush yourself into something you’re not totally comfortable with. Even in university there is plenty of time and opportunities to change your mind and find your happy place (which doesn’t end up taking too long)!

That’s all for now, good friend. You have a strong head on your shoulders and are more than capable of hitting it out of the park. I believe in you!

Sincerely,

Your wiser, more outgoing, better looking and incredibly successful fourth-year self ;)

HAHA, just kidding, sort of…

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Hey Future Badgers!
This past Sunday was Superbowl Sunday! This made me remember the first Superbowl I celebrated while I was at Brock. I was living in residence, and many of the people who lived on my floor were football fans, so as a group we decided that we would have all watch the Superbowl together in our lounge. We decided to make it a potluck, so everyone contributed what they could. Some of us ordered pizza and others brought nachos. Someone else made chili at home and then brought it back to residence with them. This was a great event for our floor because not everyone had a chance to catch up after the winter break. Even people who were not football fans came to the event and enjoyed themselves. I had fun at this event. Looking back I do not remember anything about that specific Superbowl, except for the people that I watched it with and the fun that we had.
When I was a residence don, I watched as the students who lived on my floor planned their own Superbowl gathering. They planned it differently. Instead of a potluck, they ordered from one of Brock’s cafeterias. The Guernsey Market at Brock offered Superbowl specials that students could pay for using their meal plan. The specials included different  variations of pizza and chicken wings. I thought this was clever because they did not have to go off campus to get the snacks that they wanted. They all came together and had a similar experience to the one that I had the year before.
When you come to Brock, you will have the opportunity to have your own events similar to the ones that I have described. These are the experiences that you will remember far beyond your time in residence.

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Reading Rocks! Wouldn’t you agree? I wanted to share my love for reading with children in the Niagara Region so I joined a program that, low and behold, is called Reading Rocks!
Taking place in Brock University, twice a week, for one hour, this program helps children experiencing reading difficulties practice and improve their literacy skills. I got involved with this program because (if you remember from a previous blog post) I am completing an Applied Research Project with the Learning Disabilities Association of the Niagara Region.

Yesterday was my first day volunteering for this program, and boy, was it fun! I met the child that I will be working with for the next 8 weeks and in addition to talking about reading, my Reading Rocks buddy and I got to know each other on a personal level. This is important because Reading Rocks really encourages motivation—motivation to collaborate with myself, the tutor, but also for the child to independently strive to reach his or her own potential. What I found really neat is that the tutors at Reading Rocks record the child’s achievement throughout the weeks with a chart showing his/her improvement. What was even cooler was that many of these tutors personalized these achievement charts to depict the interests of the child. What better way to make reading fun, right?

As a future teacher, I found it really difficult to find time during my school days to volunteer in a classroom because many of my own University courses ran in the daytime. So having the Reading Rocks program run in the evening made it possible for me to get back into working with kids. But Reading Rocks is not the only program that you can get involved in at Brock. So many programs run through Brock’s support, or even utilize their facilities (which makes it super convenient for us Brock students who are already on campus). I strongly encourage you to search for clubs and groups to join at Brock once you come here in September because us Badgers foster both sides of our brain! :)

Until next time!

Hana

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Okay current and prospective Badgers, I have a confession to make…

Although it’s only the beginning of February, I already have exams on my mind.

Now before you label me a major keener, let me defend myself.

To tell the truth, exams have been on my mind since the very beginning of the semester. Don’t get me wrong – I’m just like every other Badger (or student for that matter) who dreads the thought of writing final exams. Nobody enjoys the pre-exam stress and anxiety that marks the end of each semester and I am certainly not the exception. What I do enjoy, however, is entering that exam room in April feeling confident that I know my stuff and that I can prove I’ve done the work, which brings me back to my first point. I’m sure we all strive to get a high mark in every course we take and so thinking about exams or other finals well in advance is beneficial for a number of reasons.

First, knowing that there is in fact a final exam for a particular class changes the way we take notes in lecture. If there isn’t an exam, students might spend less time obsessing over specific details mentioned in lecture and spend more time making sure they actually understand the larger concepts and can apply them in a meaningful way for a final project or paper. Alternatively, students who do have a final exam will want to take neat and thorough notes that can be easily accessed at the end of the term. In addition, the prospect of an exam means it will be important to ask a friend to catch you up on any notes that you may have missed throughout the semester.

Second, and similar to the first point, is that an exam affects the way we approach our required readings. If there is an exam, students might want to complete a brief summary of each article or textbook chapter (or whatever it may be) as they read. Trust me when I say it is a lot easier to look over twelve one-page summaries than it is to re-read all twelve articles in the few days leading up to exams. Plus, summarizing the readings in your own words can help to avoid plagiarism and can help you to understand the larger picture without having to work your way through all the technical lingo yet again. And if you can’t bring yourself to write a whole summary, try using post-it notes or writing in the margins – they all make studying a whole lot easier!

Third, it is important to distinguish between midterm and final exams. For full-year courses, a midterm exam usually happens in December and it is crucial to remember that this is not the be-all and end-all of marks. There will be plenty of other chances to improve as the course goes on. Moreover, you’ll also want to ask your professor if the final exam will be cumulative. In other words, will you be required to remember information covered throughout the entirety of the course, or just the material learned after the midterm exam? Again, this may impact your note-taking.

Fourth, being aware of the breakdown of marks can have a huge impact on our attitude toward exams. In the event that there is no final exam, students will want to focus their efforts on the other assignments, presentations or activities that make up the bulk of the mark. If there is an exam, students will want to pay attention to its weight. Maybe your group presentation is worth 30% while the exam is only worth 15% – if this is the case, you’ll probably want to make sure you nail that presentation! Why stress over exams more than we need to?

Fifth, the presence of an exam (or lack thereof, if you’re lucky) gives students time to plan their schedules accordingly. In-class exams take up less time, eliminate some of the stress associated with walking into the gym-turned-exam room and ultimately translate into a longer Christmas or summer break. Knowing when and where your exams are can be helpful if you’re trying to organize a vacation or summer job. Your professors mean it when they say they have no control over the scheduling of exams so don’t get caught having to switch your plane tickets at the last minute!

"Keep calm and ace your final exams"Let me wrap up by saying that final exams do have advantages and disadvantages. Some students actually prefer an exam over a paper as it is a way to just “get it over with,” much like ripping off a band-aid. I don’t want to scare any prospective students into thinking that exams are just a way for professors to trick their students. This is not the case. The reality is that exams are just another part of post-secondary education so it is best to prepare for them in every way we can. Whatever your summative assignment might be, it is always a good idea to have finals in the back of your mind, even if we’d all rather just forget about them entirely. It’s better to be proactive as opposed to being reactive, right?

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Hello Future Badger! I am happy to announce that today is one of those days,that as kids we all hope and dream for, it is a SNOW DAY!!!!  That means we get to sleep in, watch movies, play in the snow and drink hot chocolate!

Expectation:

Baking cookies and playing in the snow

That is normally what you would do for snow days in high school or elementary school. In university you can still play in the snow and watch movies, but mostly it is a day of sleeping in, catching up on readings for classes or try to get ahead and wanting to stay in bed watching Netflix all day!

Reality:

Stuck at home trying to decide what to watch on Netflix or do homework

So what happens if you have a midterm or assignment due in class on a snow day??? IT’S NOT DUE!!.… Just kidding that is what all university students dream to have a cancelled midterm or assignment. However, unfortunately we will have to most likely make up day. There are two days reserved in April if there are snow days and for this year these days are April 7th and April 8th. Majority of classes will just get pushed back a week, as well as there is constant updates from the Professor as well as the University to ensure you know what’s going on.

Additionally since it is a snow day for the University that means that the University libraries and recreation facilities will be closed, except for the cafeterias still remain open for students staying in residence (thank goodness).

To find out whether it is a snow day here at Brock University you can follow us on

Twitter (https://twitter.com/brockuniversity)

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/brockuniversity )

or even on the main site where all your class information is posted will have updates  on the weather conditions.

My plans for this snow day is I will be staying inside today drinking lots of tea ( David’s Tea is my favourite) and trying to catch up some of homework while watching friends!

Best of luck out there Future Badgers hopefully you have a snow day too!

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