Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to make Major choices

As you reach the end of your first year in college, you may begin to experience some anxiety related to your choice of a Major. Maybe you want to change your Major from English to Sociology, but wait Psychology is looking really good too… That is completely normal! Personally, it took me almost three years and multiple changes of my Major to finally settle on a Major that I loved. Or, possibly you have not chosen a Major yet, which also is completely normal.

The great thing about the world today is there are so many career and education opportunities available to you. However, you may also feel that this is a bad thing because out of all the opportunities out there, how can you only pick one?

Well, if those Bachelors and Bachelorettes can find their ‘soul mates’ on reality television, then you too can find your ‘soul Major’ while in college.

If you don’t feel a pull towards a certain Major, you should try this Choosing a College Major Worksheet to help you map out where you would like to be in the future, as far as education and your career go. If anything this worksheet will force you to think about what exactly your career and life goals are, so you will have a better idea of what steps are needed to complete your goals.

The main point to keep in mind about choosing a Major is that it is not worth stressing out about it! Don’t turn choosing your Major into a major headache. Utilize the resources available at RDC, talk to professors and professionals in a field you find interesting, find your passion and you will enjoy the rest of your academic career.

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Start thinking about summer

Yes, you read that right. I want you to start thinking about summer! However, I am not talking about tanning, swimming, and parties. I want you to start thinking about your summer job. The Winter Term may have just begun, but many companies are already recruiting students for summer positions. In order to nail down a wicked internship or summer job, think about the following questions:

  1. Are you looking for fun or for experience? If you want a serving job that will allow you to enjoy your summer and make decent cash, then you don’t really need to put much thought into your plans just yet. However, if you are hoping to gain experience in the field you are studying, it is time to start looking for work. It will be difficult to find a job in your specific field if you wait until finals are over.

    What you can do right now is regularly check out sites like the Government of Canada Job Bank and Talent Egg for student opportunities. There are not that many at the moment, but keep an eye on these pages over the next few months.

  2. What sort of job do you want? If you don’t know what kind of job you want (both for the summer and as a career), you can try volunteering for different companies in a variety of positions. This will help you to figure out what sort of work you enjoy, and it will also look great on your resume.

    You could also take a career quiz to help figure out what kind of work you are interested in. Now, I don’t think you should put a lot of weight into these career quizzes, but I am guilty of going to a psychic for career guidance. I feel that you really do know deep in your heart what you want to be and sometimes having your dream career validated through a quiz or a psychic is the push you need to take a chance and pursue your dream.

  3. Is your resume ready? Check out the Counselling, Career & Learning Centre in room 1402 for help with your resume and your job search. Their expertise can help you throughout the entire job search process, from creating your resume to accepting a job offer.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your summer job search today.

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Top ten of 2009

Everyone is putting out their “top ten” lists, so I figured I may as well follow suit.

I have chosen to do a top ten of academic websites of2009. The majority are blogs, some are resources, all valuable.

In no particular order:

1)      College Candy  – Funny, yet insightful. Superficial, yet refreshing. College Candy is a humorous blog on a variety of college related issues.

2)      Zen College Life – Tips on overall wellbeing in college. Not overly preachy, just a helpful voice of reason.

3)      Make Use Of – Learn about all sorts of free computer resources from an arrangement of topics. From dieting to microblogging, you can learn how to do all those things you never knew you wanted to learn through this site.  

4)      Gearfire – More academic and lifestyle tips, such as, saving a wet cell phone and  4 ways to use Wikipedia.

5)      Grade fix – Remember when I was harping on you about creating a schedule? Well, grade fix can help you do that, for free!

6)      Poorer Than You – Great financial tips and advice.

7)      Rate My Professors – Not very useful, but quite funny. Teachers are rated not only on their quality of teaching, but their good looks too. Therefore, I wouldn’t rely too much on the ratings offered.

8)       Life After College – Okay, so not based on the college experience, but it is humorous and real, giving you the inside track on what you may expect when you are finished college.

9)      Study Hacks  – Wonderful strategies on how to become a successful college student.

10)   This very blog you are reading right now. Sorry, I couldn’t resist!

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48 hours…

Finals start in less than 2 days, so here are a few quick tips about preparing for exams:

  • Avoid drinking the night before your exam. Alcohol deprives you of a quality sleep, so you won’t feel rested and focused the day of an exam.
  • Review, recite and then relax! Go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep. Trying to cram information in while you are exhausted will not benefit you.
  • On the day of the exam, eat light, well-balanced meals to provide you with energy. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeine. You should have your cup of coffee or energy drink, but you do not want caffeine jitters to impact your test performance.
  • During the exam, relax! Take a deep breath, read over the entire exam, and then show that exam who is boss.  

Now, stop reading this blog and get back to studying! Good luck on your finals and enjoy your winter break.

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Last day of classes! Time celebrate or time to study?

It is the last day of classes!

Since finals don’t start for a few days, you may be thinking about going to the FarSide tonight to celebrate. Then maybe you will go out again tomorrow, Thursday, and maybe for a bit on Friday. I mean, you can ace that economics final hung-over, right??  

Yes, you deserve to celebrate the end of classes, but it is not the end of the semester until finals are over. If you don’t have any finals, go out, have fun, and share your secret scheduling tricks with the rest of the BA students. If you do have finals, it is a little premature to celebrate the end of the semester just yet. I mean, look at the Grey Cup. The Rough Riders (and their fans) went from complete ecstasy over winning the Grey Cup, to complete shock upon realizing that the game actually was not over and that they had lost. Cruel analogy? Probably, but you get the idea.

My last advice to you was to establish your game plan and start studying. If you followed my advice, which I am sure you didn’t, you will have already begun the studying process and nailed down which areas you need to focus on. If you didn’t follow my advice, it is crunch time!

Study tips:

  • Go back to the schedule you have created for studying (or create a schedule for studying). Remember to factor in time to sleep, eat, exercise, play on Facebook, and watch 30 Rock. Tweak the schedule if you are not getting enough done, or if you are way ahead of schedule.
  • When it comes to your place of study, choose wisely. It is not always the best idea to study at home because there are too many distractions (ex. your laptop, roommate, cable TV). If you can turn everything off, and leave it off, you may be able to get some work done. Or check out the library, which can be the ideal place to study, free of noise and distractions.
  • Set a study goal for the day and make sure your goal is based on the amount of material covered, not the time it takes. It is really easy to waste time and say that you were studying. So, instead of saying you will study History for two hours; say you will review all the chapters up to WWII. This may take longer than two hours, but you left room for the unexpected in your schedule, right?         
  • Study for 30-50 minutes and then take a 5-10 minute breather. If you are not studying ‘actively’ then you are just wasting your time. Do not study tired, you need to study with attention and purpose. Create flash cards, ask yourself questions, do not just read aimlessly.
  • Stop reading this blog and get back to studying! Unless, of course, you are on your 5-10 minute breather.

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Speakers Wanted: Call for Submissions for the 6th Annual Student Perspectives Conference

Want to present in the 2010 SPC? Abstracts for the 2010 SPC are now being accepted until February 22, 2010.

Please refer to the 2010 Abstract Submission Guide for more information.

Not sure what SPC is all about?

  • Occurs annually in March. This year it will be held March 19 and 20, 2010 at RDC.
  • Opportunity for students to showcase their work related to the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Organized by students and faculty from the department of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Why you want to present in the 2010 SPC:

  • Polish your presentation skills
  • Show off to your family and friends
  • It looks good on your resume and/or grad school application
  • Supportive environment
  • Overall great experience

You may be thinking “Yeah right, I hate presentations” or “Why would I do this? I don’t even get marks for it”. So you hate presentations- this is a great chance to show your nerves who is boss. Plus, when you are the head of a massive multi-national conglomerate, you are going to have to speak in public. You might as well start your quest for world domination now.

Also, you may not get marks for this, but the experience is totally worth it. Besides looking good on your resume, it is also a great chance to perfect your presentation skills. So, although you may not be getting marks for your presentation, you always won’t lose any marks if you stumble over a line or two. It is an encouraging and supportive learning experience, one that you won’t regret participating in.

For more information on how you can participate in the 2010 SPC, contact Christina Verticchio.

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Beginning to prepare for finals

The final exam schedule is now available and it is time to think about preparing for your final exams. You may think it is too early to start preparing for your finals, but really finals begin in three weeks! Plus, you probably have a bunch of readings to do, assignments to hand in, and essays to write before classes end, so you might as well start reviewing for your finals and devising a game plan before it is too late.

I definitely struggled with time-management and study skills throughout university. It took me a few years (not to mention my fair share of all-nighters) to finally master the art of studying and multi-tasking. Let me share a few oh-so wise words of wisdom…

Right now the important thing to do is create a game plan for studying, like athletes do for big games. You should create a schedule for studying. The hours and length depends on your studying habits but it is really important to hold yourself accountable to following that schedule. Thinking about how you are going to manage your time in regards to studying, classes, extra-curricular activities, etc, is the key to success and reducing exam stress.

I recommend refamiliarizing yourself with the materials now. Especially if you are writing cumulative exams, you don’t want to be stuck cramming a semester’s worth of sociology into one night of studying. It is more effective and manageable to review material over a longer period of time than over a night fuelled by Red Bull.

Also, while you are refamiliarizing yourself with the materials, get reacquainted with the library. It is a great place to get some studying done undisturbed. Sadly, library etiquette has gone astray in the past few years. So please keep conversations about your love life or how drunk you got at Lotus over the weekend out of the library. No one wants to hear it; these conversations are better off held in the FarSide. All in all, the library is a good place to go to get away from Facebook, television, and gossiping roommates so you can get some work accomplished.

So, what are you waiting for? Establish your game plan and start studying!

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Complete your degree at RDC

In collaboration with the University of Calgary, Red Deer College offers four-year Bachelor of Arts degrees in English, Psychology, and Sociology with minors available in English, History, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology. This means you may complete a University of Calgary degree right here at Red Deer College!

The benefits to staying at Red Deer College to complete your degree are numerous. A few advantages are:

  • Lower cost of living
  • Shorter commute times
  • Smaller classes
  • More opportunities for student engagement

The time to apply is now! Applications to the U of C for Fall 2010 are now open.

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Life after graduation

When I finished at the U of C last December, I had an anxiety attack of sorts. On one hand I was proud of myself for completing my degree, but on the other I was scared to leave the structured environment that university offered. I realized I had no idea where to go from here. I was done school, but I didn’t have a job lined up, or even a clue as to where I wanted to pursue a job. So, I wallowed in self pity for a few weeks before attempting to figure out which direction I wanted to go in life.

I have a degree in Communications, and I love it, but I still freaked out when I was done school and had to make decisions regarding a career path. It isn’t easy, especially when you don’t know what you want to do. So, I researched career options through Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS). I knew that there were a lot of career options for me, but I didn’t know much about the careers themselves, so ALIS helped me to research different career options.

I highly recommend becoming familiar with the ALIS website. You can find information on post-secondary programs, careers, scholarships & bursaries, etc. It is an excellent place to start when you are determining what you want to take in school and what you are going to do with it after.

Also, along with using ALIS, I talked to a few professionals in the communications field to help me understand what employers look for and how to obtain experience. They recommended volunteering to gain experience. For example, they suggested volunteering at a newspaper to gain writing experience or volunteering at a not-for-profit to gain experience in event planning. They also said they look for employees who have a wide set of skills, which is where having a BA comes in handy.

So, armed with this new information, I was able to embark on a career search that ended with me being over-employed a week after my June grad ceremony. Doing a little research on my career options made the job hunt more bearable and also more successful.

My advice is to research your career options like you would research your final term paper. Knowing your options and what a career in a certain field entails will help you to know if that truly is what you want to do. Also, if you can, volunteer! It can be hard to find a part-time job in a field that interests you, so contribute to a newsletter for your favourite charity, write for the Bricklayer, or plan events for a student group you are involved with. A little experience can go a long way when it comes to searching for a job after graduation.

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5 things to be thankful for

Following Thanksgiving, I thought it would be fitting to comment on 5 random things I am thankful to RDC for:

1) The Study Tour to China.

Summer school has never been so exciting. Expand your worldview and earn credits towards your degree while seeing China from May 27 to June 17, 2010. Contact Randy Johnson or Choon-Lee Chai for more information.  

2) The U of C Collaborative office.

The U of C is now accepting applications for Fall 2010. Contact Jen or Tanya if you are interested in completing a U of C at RDC collaborative degree in Psychology, English, or Sociology.

3) The BA Fall Mixer.

A chance to relax and mingle with the faculty and fellow BA students. Come for food, games and prizes. Tickets are $4.00 and available in 2506 I or J. Contact Christina  for more information.

4) The Writing Centre.

 The tutors can help you with grammar issues, the structure of your paper, and improve the quality of your writing. Unfortunately, they are not going to write that paper for you, so go see them in room 1621 during the early stages of your paper.

5) The BA page on Facebook.

 One more tool to help you stay connected while at RDC. Become a fan today (and don’t forget to RSVP to the Fall Mixer).

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