All I Want for Christmas is…to go home for the Holidays

Hey friends! I’d like to start off this week’s post by saying how grool (yes, Mean Girls reference) it was that I was in my Transnational Crime and Corruption class yesterday and Professor Gutterman came by during our small discussion groups and told me that she had seen and read my blog!

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I’ve had Professor Gutterman three times during my four years here at Glendon – Introduction to International Relations in First Year, International Relations through Film and Literature in Third Year, and Transnational Crime and Corruption this semester. It was our final class and, consequently, my last class with Professor Gutterman at Glendon so it was a really nice way to finish off the semester.

It’s that time of the year again. Final exams, final papers, take home exams. It’s always a bit horrifying when I plan out the weeks leading up to when, at least for me, I can pack up and go home for the holidays. Every year, my pattern of going home during the school year have varied.

In first year, I went home every weekend because I was still employed at my part-time job in Brampton. Second and third year were spent differently and I found myself going home for the most part but staying back at Glendon when my work load piled up.

This year, I decided that I focused best when I stayed at Glendon. It’s my fourth year so I want to doreally well in my classes and concentration is key to staying on track with readings and assignments. So, I’ve been home about three times and the last time was early November. Needless to say, sometimes I find myself really missing being at home.

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Living on residence was a really great decision for me. Despite being from Brampton, living at Glendon cuts out the time I would spent commuting back and forth so I can use that time to do my readings, work on assignments, watch Bad Girls Club… but no, seriously.

But as it’s coming up to Christmas time, I find myself complaining that I just want to be home. It might be that the holidays are such a homely time for me or it could be that I want to escape the work load coming up in the next few weeks. I mean, just look at my dog and tell me that you wouldn’t want to snuggle with her instead of studying…

I don’t really have “tips” per se for dealing with missing home. I’ve often found myself texting my mom asking her to send me pictures of our two cats and dogs (again, no seriously). Keeping in contact with family and friends back home via text also helps – I just need to remember to text them back because I ALWAYS forget, whoops.

I’ve got about 2 weeks or so until I’m done exams and I can finally go home to relax. I’m mostly excited to just snuggle with (but I feel like she would say ‘snuggle on’) my not-so puppy Keira and drink endless amounts of tea – surprisingly as a English person, I don’t drink tea at school! So I haven’t had tea in amount a month or so!

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Well, today marks the beginning of the 6 days I have to complete a take-home exam and then another 6 days to study for my final exam for sociology. I’ll probably just be a coffee machine for the next few weeks so my tweets might not make a lot of sense but you can still tweet me with any of your questions! Tweet me here @beckielhgl!

See you next time!

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

The 411 with Becks and Michelle: First Show of the Year!

Ahhhhh! Last night was something I have been waiting for since I moved back to Glendon – our first show of the year on Radio Glendon!

I have a radio show with my friend Michelle every Wednesday night at 6:30pm that runs for about an hour. Our show is called The 411 with Becks and Michelle and we’re really interested in talking about current events and anything that has come up in the week that we think listeners would like to listen to us ramble on about! We try to be informative but also witty and opinionated (and a little sassy).

In my third year, I became interested in Radio Glendon when I listened in to a previous host’s show and asked her if I could co-host one night. I loved it so much that when I was able to, I requested that I have my own show. I knew that I didn’t want to do it alone so I asked one of my best friends Michelle (a fellow eAmbassador) if she wanted to tag along with me. She has a post about it too!

Our show last year was called Girl Code and we tried to follow the same sort of layout as the show on MTV (…Super original, I know). But, we soon found out that keeping within such a strict structure wasn’t something we were into. We found that our best content came from the times that we went with the flow and let the conversation evolve naturally. When our show ended in April, we decided that we wanted to switch things up going into our second year of being Radio Glendon DJ’s. We changed our name and although we do make notes on what we want to talk about, we really try to go into every show without a “script”.

This week we talked about the internet reaction on Ebola, Amanda Bynes’ behaviour on Twitter, the 4chan celebrity nudes leak scandal/sex crime, and the struggles with Tim’s orders.

If you’d be interested in listening in, you can tune in every Wednesday night at 6:30pm. Be sure to tweet us if you’re listening!

 

 

Getting involved on campus: Glendon Model United Nations

I was never really involved in anything in high school. I was on Prom Committee for a week and then quit because I hated being at school longer than I needed to be. At Glendon, it’s definitely different. I think a large part of that is because I live on residence. When Glendon becomes your home, you don’t need to think about “going home” afterwards. As long as you stay on top of your readings and assignments, you should take advantage of all of the clubs and extra-curricular activities Glendon offers!

Bible

The first club that I became a part of was Glendon Model United Nations or as we call it, GMUN. It’s one of the largest and most active clubs on campus. The purpose of the club is to learn about the United Nations and its network of agencies, civil society organizations, and non-governmental organizations, as well as their history and the impact they have on the world through research, debate, and conferences. In first year, I had big ideas of being involved with the UN (not so much anymore) which is what led me to go to their first meeting. It was held in the Senate Chamber which is a round-table room that nobody really knows existed. I wasn’t very good at public speaking and most of the time when I went to the meetings, I didn’t know what was going on but I continued to go because I really loved being part of the team.

(Disclaimer: There was an episode of Parks and Rec based on Model UN so prepare yourselves for a whole lotta P&R gifs)

So, what does GMUN do? Well, every week we meet to participate in mock simulations whether they be general assemblies,particular committees or crises. The first few months of GMUN are geared towards training the members on how Model UN works and how to participate in conferences. This is all in preparation for the big conference that we go to in January hosted by McGill university called McMun. It’s worth all of the work – McMun has always been a highlight of my year.

In my second year of being a part of the GMUN team, I ran for Vice President of Public Relations. For somebody who was uninterested in clubs in high school, to continue to be a part of the team for a second year and to run for an executive position was a big step. In my third year, I was elected Vice President of GMUN alongside my best friend Emily who is President of the club. That’s another thing; being part of a club allows you to meet new friends. Many of the friends that I have made through GMUN are people that I would never have met if it wasn’t for being part of the club.

Being involved on campus can really take your university experience to a new level. Not only do you gain experience to add to your resume, but you gain friends and (I know this is cheesy) memories. In the first month of school, there will be a clubs day hosted so that new students and current students can learn more about what clubs are available on campus.

Are you involved in any clubs currently? Are there any clubs you would be interested in joining at Glendon? 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!