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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Get involved- 6th Annual Student Perspectives Conference

Help organize the 2010 SPC by joining the SPC Committee. You can assist with the event publicity, set-up, planning and abstract review. Volunteering looks great on your resume and when applying to grad school.

Interested in joining the Student Perspectives Committee? Contact Christina Verticchio for more information.

The Student Perspectives Conference is an opportunity for students to present their best work on a topic related to the Humanities and Social Sciences, learn from their peers, and showcase the quality and diversity of research and work done by RDC students. The 6th annual Student Perspectives Conference is March 19 and 20, 2010 at RDC.

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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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