“Trust Your Gut, Becks”

Hey friends! I hope that those attended the Open House last weekend had a great time. It was really bittersweet as I’m graduating and it reminded me of my first March Open House way back in 2011. There’s a Storify of the Open House event that you can view here. Remember that you can join the #GL2019 Facebook group to get to know other potential Glendonites and to connect with Glendon’s eAmbassadors like myself.

At the event, I was talking to a fellow eAmbassador Jasmine about my experience with Political Science. As a Fourth Year nearly graduating, I’m really happy that I picked Political Science. And now, I’m ready to complete a post-grad certificate in Public Administration. I have a general idea of where I want to go in life and that makes me feel very relieved.

https://i2.wp.com/38.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpngwl9QfP1qi97guo1_r1_500.gif

Although, something had completely slipped my mind until this conversation. I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t always felt as though I was in the right program. In my First Year, I had gone through a moment of “is this program right for me?” and so, I thought it might be a good thing to blog about for this week.

Disclaimer: It is totally okay to switch your major. It is totally okay to feel a little worried in your first year. It is totally okay to change your mind. For me, this experience was a reminder to trust my gut and I’m happy I did. But this advice is totally subjective – everyone’s university experience is different.

I knew in Grade 11 or 12 that I was interested in the area of immigration and that I might, at one point, be interested in working for the Canadian Border Services. I had spoken to my Grade 11 civics teacher at the time about what university program would fit me best since there isn’t a degree in “Canadian Border Services or something like that….maybe Citizenship and Immigration Canada?”.

She advised me that Political Science might be a good option for me. It would be a great foundation for whatever I want to pursue after my undergraduate studies. Political Science can open the door for careers in the public sector, in politics, law school, journalism, communications, etc. After thinking about it for some time, I decided that I would apply for Political Science.

September 2011 came and I was a First Year at Glendon College studying Political Science. It was so surreal. But, I remember heading to my Introduction to Canadian Politics course and feeling slightly overwhelmed. I felt as though everyone participating knew so much more than I did. I was interested in politics but I definitely didn’t know everything.

https://i1.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/53cdca253159bac8cd4866afcb3c4276/tumblr_n01g8zOoEV1qk08n1o1_500.gif

About a month in, I felt as though I needed a quick fix. I felt as though my knowledge and involvement in politics wasn’t at the same level of everyone else and I panicked. I sent a text to my parents and let them know that I wanted to switch to Sociology and that it would all be fine. I switched my program and I felt kind of relieved…but not entirely. It was as though I had to keep rationalizing my decision to switch out of Political Science to be okay with it.

I would say probably a week later I had what some would call “an epiphany”. It really was though. I suddenly thought to myself and I quote, “no Becks, you got this. You know what your goals are in life and you picked Political Science for a reason”. In short, I was telling myself to trust my gut and myself.

https://i1.wp.com/forevertwentysomethings.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/self-five.gif

I knew that I wanted to work for the Canadian government at some point in my life and that Political Science revolved around learning about government, public policy, public administration, etc. The program was a good match for my ambitions in life. And I knew that I had thought long and hard about what program to apply for; it certainly hadn’t been a rushed decision.

So, I switched back. And I’m very happy that I did. If you would like to read more about my experience as a Political Science major, click here.

If you have any questions about Political Science or Glendon, you can tweet me @beckielhgl or you can comment in the #GL2019 Facebook group and tag me in the post under ‘Beckie Louise’.

Until next week!

Advertisements

Fall semester is over….sorry, what?

Hey friends! I can’t believe that as of tomorrow, my fall semester will be completed and over with. It’s my last fall semester of my undergrad – what?!

By far, my favourite class of this semester was my Transnational Crime and Corruption class. It was with Professor Gutterman whom I’ve had three classes with over my four years of undergrad. It was a little bit intimidating in the beginning as the class is a fourth year (4000 level) seminar-based class which means LOTS of discussion but I survived!

We looked at topics like human trafficking, terrorism, drug trafficking, transnational bribery, money laundering, and lots more. If you ever have a chance to take a class with Professor Gutterman, do it! She’s an incredible and inspiring professor who I’ve always enjoyed having classes with.

I also had my last Keele class of my undergrad. I’ve taken 3 classes at Keele as part of my Refugee and Migration studies certificate. This class was called “Migration, Citizenship and Identity” and it was a 3 credit course which means it runs for half a year.

Professor Molavi was really interesting to listen to because she was personally invested and extremely knowledgeable on the case studies we looked at. The case studies were when I became really engaged with the course matter as we looked at the Second Iraq War, the G20 summit, the Occupy Movement, the Twitter and Facebook revolutions in Iran and Egypt, and the Israel-Gaza conflict.

My other classes are 6 credit so they’ll carry over into next semester. But, I’ll be taking a few more 3 credit classes such as Public Law II which is a class that looks at the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Public Administration. Also, I’m taking a class called Global Civil Society and International Economic Organizations. We shall see how these two go!

You can always tweet me @beckielhgl and if you haven’t already, there is a Facebook group called #GL2019, class de 2019 that is available for all Glendonites planning to join us in September 2015.

Time to make some big decisions

Hey friends! I’ve kinda been losing my mind lately. A brief example would be this morning in the Starbucks line at Keele. Waking up for my Thursday class is always hard because my body likes to stay up until 3am on the regular. So, there I was at 4am the night before…still awake…and had to be up in 2 hours for the shuttle to Keele. Running on two hours of sleep, I wasn’t really functional. You know when you’ve sometimes reached your hand out for the wrong drink and then realized and it’s all a little awkward. Well, not only did I reach and take her sandwich which she had to remind me was hers, I also reached out for her drink that she had to, again, remind me was not mine. Shout out to her though, she was super sweet when I told her I had only had two hours of sleep.

https://i1.wp.com/runhaven.com/wp-content/uploads/giphy80.gif

Other than that, I’ve also been trying to decide what to do after graduation. I have a few ideas. I’ve always been a fan of the idea of going to college after university. It’s a new trend that’s been happening for the past few years and it’s a way for students to get hands-on skills that can set them apart from other individuals when applying for the same job. At the same time, I’ve been thinking about master’s programs but because it’s not always been in my “game plan”, I’ve neglected giving that idea the attention it probably deserves since applications would be due soon. I kinda wish I had at least given it some attention so that I wouldn’t feel so rushed to get everything in order in case applying is something is I want to do.

https://31.media.tumblr.com/a28fba3eac59c59ebca382d614b6520e/tumblr_inline_n7dmylHDie1ru8le0.gif

Post-graduate certificates or masters. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Last week, I texted my mom telling her I was feeling overwhelmed and not really sure if I knew what I should be doing with my life. And she reminded myself about something that I do find to be very true: life has it’s way of figuring things out. Choosing Glendon was one of the best decisions I ever made – really and truly not trying to plug the school, it’s my honest opinion. I say this because Glendon wasn’t my #1 but somehow it sort of worked out that way. I visited the open house and whatever York events I could attend and everything figured itself out.

https://i2.wp.com/snacktherapy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/anigif_enhanced-13720-1395961223-14.gif

Many of you may be going to the open house at Glendon on Sunday from 10am-2pm. All of the eAmbassadors and student ambassadors will be there – including myself. I will be going through the same thing this weekend also, just on the Saturday. I’ll be attending the Humber open house to talk to their student ambassadors and recruitment team about the program I’m interested in. From going to the Glendon open house in my last year of high school, I know how daunting it can be thinking of going to the campus and trying to figure everything out. What I can say is to have fun with it. Really try to #experiencegl (sorry, had to) and see if it fits into your game plan!

As always, I post every Thursday. Follow me on Twitter if you’d like @beckielhgl.

See ya!

Study tracks to help you stay focused!

It’s been an incredibly busy week for me! I had an exam on Monday and three papers due this week so I thought this week’s post could showcase what music I like to listen to when I really need to focus. For both, I usually use 8tracks playlists. When I’m studying, I try to stick to playlists that claim will they will help me focus but when I’m writing a paper, I really like to listen to remixes and mashups of songs – it makes it a little bit more fun and a little less tedious. Take a listen and let me know if any one these help!

When I’m studying:

Eargasmic Study

Studying Now = Success Later 

Concentration

Get Shit Done 

FOCUS

When I’m writing papers:

Mashups & Remixes

Remixes N Stuff

Chill Remixes

Remix It

Remixes

Hope these help! What do you like to listen while studying? Comment and let me know!

I post every Thursday, see you then!

My guide to taking notes in university

Happy October! Wow, time really is flying by (please slow down!). A month of classes down and so far, they’re going well! I’m keeping up with my readings and I’ve been making an effort to take better notes in class. Taking well-written and organized notes in university is key to understanding what is going on when it comes to writing essays for class and  prepping for your midterm and final exams. This week, I’ve come up with some helpful tips that might help you out when taking classes in university.

1) Decide: Laptop or paper?

You won’t need to make this decision right away. You might even find that each class is different. For myself, I only use my laptop in my Theories of Society and FSL (French as a Second Language) lectures. I take notes for the rest of my courses on paper. It may come down to your personal preference; it may be that some classes are smaller and paper-notes are easier or perhaps your professor restricts laptop use and prefers students hand write their notes. Either way, stay organized! For hand-written notes, make sure that you take care of your notebooks to ensure that you don’t lose your notes. For laptop notes, read the next tip!

2) Use Dropbox or an online USB

I started doing this in first year and although I’m happy to say I haven’t had my laptop suddenly crash on me, I know that if it had happened, all of my notes and essay prep would be saved. This will save your life, literally. For Dropbox, you can install it onto your laptop and when you save your notes, you can save them within a folder on Dropbox. You can then access these notes anywhere – your laptop, your computer, another computer (just as log as you have your login). I’m sure there are other types of online USB’s like OneDrive but I prefer Dropbox.

Don’t let this be you

3) Try your best to stay off of other websites

I can’t lie, I’m pretty bad for this. However, I really do like to take well-written and organized notes so I try to limit myself on the internet during class. If you’re really having a hard time with this, you can always switch to hand-writing your notes or using a program on your computer that stops you from logging into your listed sites during specific times. Lectures are 2 or 3 hours with a break in between so it’s really best to take your notes and go on Facebook during your breaks. Trust me, you will love yourself later in the semester when you’re compiling all of your notes for your exam.

4) Sit near the front of the class

Doing this will encourage you to stay focused on the professor and the lecture being taught. You’ll be less likely to start texting if your prof is right in front of you and you’ll be less distracted by people sitting around you. Also, it might make it a bit easier and more comfortable environment for you to raise your hand in class since it’ll feel like you’re just speaking to your prof and not the entire class. Honestly, it’s a really easy way to get the most out of the class.

5) Compare and share notes before an exam, test, or essay

Cross-referencing your notes with another person can take your notes from 0-100 real quick (Sorry, had to). No but seriously, you might find that the other person took better notes on one lecture than you did or that they were there on a day that you were absent. I’ve done this before a bunch of mid-term or final exams and it honestly helps so much. You really can’t go wrong with this tip.

Hope these tips help! What are some of the ways that you try to take well-organized notes during class? Comment and let me know!

I post every Thursday, see you then!

What it’s like to be a Political Science major

In high school, I developed an interest for immigration in Canada. As an immigrant myself, I was interested in the process of immigration and what types of jobs existed.

I had no idea what I should do to get to this point so I took a proactive step. This led me to speak to my Career’s  teacher and she told me that studying Political Science would be a step in the right direction. This was a big thing for me as I find it really hard to ask for help and want to do everything myself but I’m glad that I spoke to her and got the advice I needed.

Literally me

Whenever somebody asks me what you learn in Political Science, the only word I can think of is “….politics?” but it’s so much more than that. In Political Science, you take classes exploring politics in general, state politics, international relations, law, morality, etc. It forces you to think about the past, the present, and the future in terms of historical events, the politics involved, the policies enforced, and its implications. For example, in my Transnational Crime and Corruption class, we discussed cocaine smuggling into the Miami area in the 1970’s and how it ended up financing the construction of many of the modern-day high-rise buildings in Miami.

Say whaaaaaat?

Where can a major in Political Science take you? It can open the door to many government-type careers within public policy, finance, immigration, foreign services, and politics. It can also lead to careers in journalism including public relations, television and radio, print, and press. Another area is the public sector with careers such as an analyst, financial consultant, human resources specialist and many take Political Science as their undergraduate degree as a step before applying for Law School.

If you decide that Political Science is what you would like to study at Glendon, there are a few requirements that you must take within your years here. To begin, there are 4 core courses of which you must take 3. These are: Introduction to Canadian Politics, Introduction to International Relations, Birth of Politics, and Comparative Politics. Personally, I took Canadian Politics and Intro to International Relations in First Year and Birth of Politics in my second year. These were some of my favourite classes that I took at Glendon.

The Birth of Politics was a really interesting class. It was taught by David Carvounas who was incredibly approachable and made the novels we read as part of the class come alive in lecture. We were asked to read Plato, Aristotle and Socrates (There were more but they’ve escaped my brain as it was two years ago). If you’re planning on taking Political Science at Glendon or even if you have room for an elective, take this class.

My motto in life

The other Political Science classes I’ve taken, aside from the core courses, are: Government and Politics of the United States, Introduction to International Law, International Justice, International Relations through Film and Literature (Take this class!), Transnational Crime and Corruption, Media Identity and Citizenship (Keele class), Theories of Society, Topics in Law and Politics, Civil Society and International Organizations.

If you want to know any more about my experience with Political Science, tweet me @beckielhgl.

Comment and let me know if you’re interested in this program and why.

I post every Thursday, see you then!

And so it begins: Fourth year

It boggles my mind to think that it was only three years ago that I started my life at Glendon. It has flown by so quickly! Each year has been so unique and special in its own way.

In first year, I tried extra-curriculars which was something I never did in high school. As a result, I became part of Glendon Model United Nations and I also worked with my Don and other residents on my floor to plan social events for our house. In second year, I was a D-Frosh for the first time and was able to provide incoming students with the warm welcome that I received when I first moved in.

In third year, I tried co-hosting on Radio Glendon and actually started my own radio show with a fellow eAmbassador Michelle. Read up on our show and find out when our show will be starting here: https://www.facebook.com/the411withbecksandmichelle

And now, it’s Fourth year. WHAT.

what animated GIF

As the new school year begins, I’ve been asking myself what should I do to make it the most positive and enjoyable year I could possibly have. I thought about goals that covered academics, living on campus, living in Toronto, and being the relatively normal human that I am.

1) Take care of myself:

I have experienced three years of university life now and I think I’ve finally figured it out that in the midst of working on campus, being involved in extra-curriculars, academics and standing in the Tim’s line, self-care and taking time for yourself is essential. Even if it’s a nap during the day or allotting yourself some time in the evening to watch an episode of our favourite show with a yummy snack, these are steps that you can take to break up the day and to give yourself some time to breathe.

2) Go to the gym (No really, Beckie)

I’ve said it every year and I’ve never really stuck to it but I am going to try my best to make time for the gym this year. Glendon students get to take advantage of the Glendon Athletic Club with an annual membership of just $15! It offers a pool, group exercise classes, a weight and cardio room and more. You can find more information about the GAC here: http://www.glendon.yorku.ca/gac/english/index.php

3) Explore the city

I live in residence and sometimes I forget that there is a whole city outside of our campus. We’re just one bus ride away from Lawrence Station on the Yonge-Spadina line. I visited Ripley’s Aquarium a few weekends ago and loved every second of it. Just last weekend, my friends and I went to Roundhouse Park near Union Station for a free concert! This weekend I’ll be in music heaven – I’m seeing Ed Sheeran at the ACC (Air Canada Centre) tonight and Sam Smith at the Kool Haus on Sunday! WHAT.

4) Go to the events on and off campus that interest me

This year, I really want to make an effort. If I see a poster or a Facebook ad for an event that sparks my interest, I want to try my best to go. I’m planning to go to the Back To School pub night tonight but it is important to note that there are also alternative events that are planned for Thursdays nights. For example, the alternative event for tonight is Snakes and Lattes held in the Lunik Cafe. There is also the Homecoming Festival at the Keele campus this weekend. There will be a Homecoming Pre-Game and a YorkU college festival – not entirely sure what it’ll entail but I’ll find out soon enough!

5) Get to know my profs better

One of Glendon’s best qualities that I love is that professors and TA’s get to know you by name (so long as you make the effort for them to find out what your name is). This year I really want to make an effort to participate more in class. Getting to know your professors and TA’s is a great way to make connections that you may need if graduate school or law school is in your future!

Comment and let me know what your goals are for this school year. You can tweet me @beckielhgl if you have any questions.

I’ll be posting every Thursday, see you then!