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Having a Positive Mindset and Preventing Burn-out

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Blog Post, Cross Post, Featured | Comments Off on Having a Positive Mindset and Preventing Burn-out

Having a Positive Mindset and Preventing Burn-out

By Ann Choi, 4th-year Con-Ed/English Student One of the materials that particularly struck me during my two workshops on “Making the Grade: Transitioning from High School to University,” was its emphasis on optimism. While I was telling the students during the workshops that the studies have found out that optimism was a better indicator of the students’ GPA than their IQ, I realized I never seriously thought about the importance of having a positive mindset in academia before. This emphasis on optimism and an importance of having a growth-mindset was especially relevant in my final year at university as many of my friends approached me for an advice because they were feeling burnt out from their studies. Some of them have done consistently well at school, but as they began to lose motivation, they were beginning to worry that they may never do well in school again. As they were used to thinking that they did well because of their innate ability and study habits, negative thinking created a vicious circle: because they did not believe in themselves anymore, they also could not work, and their work indeed did not turn out well. Yet, they definitely had a great potential to do well as they had done before. They had just lost faith in themselves. This does not apply only to the final years: I have encountered similar cases in the first, second, and third years. Sometimes, students who used to be the first in their high schools lost faith in themselves when they did not do well in their exams in the first years. Some did well in the first years, but after one failed essay or test in their second or third years, they lost their positive outlook on their study and continued to do badly. I realized that the cycle of discouragement, the bad grade, and worsening work ethics was quite common at university. How do you prevent burn-out? All these students have potential. Many of my friends who have done poorly in first, second, or third year, after some time off from their study, decidedly did a lot better when they came back to study with a fresh heart. Many of them found that with a different mindset, they were indeed successful as they were before. Some of the negative thinking can be attributed to burn-out, as students often feel tired from over-work in their university career. To prevent burn-out as much as possible, and to maintain positive thinking, it is important to… Give yourself a break when you find yourself thinking negatively. Sometimes, you can work much better when you are feeling more energized. When deadlines seem pressing and when you have a lot of assignments due, you may feel guilty about “wasting” your time, but break is never a waste. I often felt guilty about my breaks and tried to force myself to work but realized it was counter-productive. Plan your schedule way ahead of time by using term calenders and weekly schedules to allot time when your body and brain can relax guilt-free. Spend some time studying with your friends. When I feel sad or unmotivated, I often don’t want to meet anyone. But when I actually meet some of my friends, it helps me to feel better. Talking to my like-minded...

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How to Write Your First University Essay … Workshops Sept 28 and 29th!

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on How to Write Your First University Essay … Workshops Sept 28 and 29th!

How to Write Your First University Essay … Workshops Sept 28 and 29th!

Are you wondering about the differences between high school essay-writing and university-level essay-writing? Wonder no more! You can attend our annual How to Write Your First University Essay workshop tonight! Workshops start at 7:00 p.m. sharp at Humphrey Auditorium. All welcome!  

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September Stress and Semester Success: Balancing School with Other Commitments

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Blog Post, Cross Post, Featured | Comments Off on September Stress and Semester Success: Balancing School with Other Commitments

September Stress and Semester Success: Balancing School with Other Commitments

By Shannon Hogan, 3rd-year French and History student Ah, September… An exciting month of trying new classes, catching up with friends, and making fall “looks” with that great new sweater… Wait, what?! Yeah, September can be great, but getting back to school is hectic! All at once, you have to handle a busy class schedule, get involved in extra curriculars, find time to line up at the bookstore, maintain your workout schedule, talk to your family, and sleep enough, among other commitments. When everyone and their cousin wants a bit of your time, it’s easy to feel stretched too thin. If you’re struggling to find enough time to do everything you need and want to do, try these techniques to help you balance your commitments: 1. Prioritize Write down every single thing you have to do for the next two weeks, then make that list less daunting by ranking the tasks from most to least important. Mark tasks that you need to get done ASAP with an “A,” tasks that you should do soon with a “B,” and tasks that you could do if you have leftover time with a “C.” Work on getting all the As done first, followed by the Bs, and then the Cs. Remember: What you decide to prioritize may be different from what someone else decides to prioritize, and that’s okay! Everyone has their own scale of what’s most important to them. 2. Reflect your priorities in your schedule. Once you know what you want to devote the most attention to, schedule time to do it! Make yourself a weekly or term calendar that helps you plan ahead for big deadlines and maintain your day-to-day commitments. Here are some average numbers that you could test out when you’re allocating your time. Spend 10 hours per week on each course, including class time, readings, homework, assignments, and review. Spend 7-9 hours per night sleeping. Spend 2 hours making and eating meals each day. To maximize concentration and free time, you can also incorporate study techniques like working from 9-5 each day, focusing for 50 minutes before taking a 10 minute break, and doing the most difficult tasks at the start of study periods. 3. Scrap the to-do list. It can be discouraging to look at your to-do list at the end of the day and see that some tasks aren’t crossed off. A good alternative is to make an accomplishment list at the end of each day: Write out every task that you completed to remind yourself of how much you’ve really done – it’s probably more than you think! This list also has the added bonus of showing you how much you can realistically get done in a day, which will help you to accurately allocate your time when you’re making your schedule.   So, the next time you feel overwhelmed by your commitments, remember that it’s okay to be busy, and that it’s not wrong to make time to do the things that make you happiest. It’s all about balance! For more time management resources, please visit sass.queensu.ca/learningstrategies.   Photo courtesy of SonnyandSandy under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license...

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What Kung Fu Panda Can Teach Us About Staying Motivated

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Blog Post, Cross Post, Featured | Comments Off on What Kung Fu Panda Can Teach Us About Staying Motivated

What Kung Fu Panda Can Teach Us About Staying Motivated

By Ian Farndon, 4th-year History and English student In the movie Kung Fu Panda, Po the panda must defeat the looming threat of Tai Lung, a seemingly unstoppable kung fu master, by training in kung fu himself. With only a final, massive goal in sight, Po feels overwhelmed and loses the will to train. As the school year begins to ramp up, and you face the daunting task of working through a seemingly endless amount of schoolwork, you may find it difficult to maintain motivation and concentration in much the same way as Po. Fortunately, Po’s master, Shifu, finds a solution to this problem: positive reinforcement (or more simply, “Treat Yo’ Self!”). Shifu discovers that the best way to encourage Po to train is by rewarding the panda’s incremental advances with food, such as when he offers Po dumplings after his student wins a sparring match. By creating shorter-term, manageable goals for Po to achieve (such as beating his master in sparring), and providing a reward as each goal is passed, Shifu helps Po advance towards his long-term goal and defeat Tai Lung. I personally find that using a reward-based system noticeably helps me stay focused on schoolwork. For instance, without a “carrot at the end of the stick,” my mind often wanders when studying for exams, leading me to spend more time on a single topic than I should. If I set a goal for myself with some sort of reward at the end, however, the motivation to reach the reward encourages me to push through and finish what I started in a more timely fashion. This reward can be anything that works for you, from watching an episode of Archer after completing a paragraph of an essay, to eating a handful of Smarties after you finish a page of readings. Of course, it’s important not to go overboard – if it looks more like you’re “marathon-ing” Game of Thrones instead of studying, you’re doing it wrong. Create reasonable goals, with reasonable rewards, and you may find yourself focused enough to perform tasks faster, with no drop in quality – whether you be completing schoolwork, or training to fight a homicidal tiger.   Photo courtesy of Marco under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license...

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Planning Out Your Semester: Some Tips and Tricks

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Blog Post, Cross Post, Featured | Comments Off on Planning Out Your Semester: Some Tips and Tricks

Planning Out Your Semester: Some Tips and Tricks

By Rachel Day, 4th-year Gender Studies student By now, you should have received your class syllabi and be finishing up readings for week one. If you’re not, then this post is definitely meant for you! I am a bit of an organization and planning expert; it’s a trait that my friends both love and hate about me. As a fourth year student now, I definitely have the planning skills down pat. Here are some of my personal favourite tips and tricks to help you plan out your semester—the organized way: Get ahead and stay ahead on readings I know readings are awful and they’re basically the last thing you want to do, but they are important. It took me a couple of years to learn this so don’t make that mistake. A good strategy (one that I employ religiously) is to start a reading as soon as I finish one. Maybe not the exact second I finish, but I don’t wait until week 4 to read week 4’s readings. To ensure that I retain the information and can reference to it for an essay if need be, I make sure to take notes on the important stuff and record the page numbers. Make an assignment planner I would advise doing this the moment you receive all your syllabi, but doing it at some point within September is key. There are a bunch of different formats and templates you can use to make this planner. You can go the fancy, colourful and pretty way, or the simple pen and paper route. It’s your semester and your assignments so you track them however you want. I like to include details like the weight of the assignment so I have that somewhere I can easily refer to. Then, when you submit the assignment, highlight it off your planner. It’s incredibly satisfying! Sticky note dates to contact your professor/TA In your planner, sticky note 1-2 weeks before each assignment due date for you to email your professor/TA to set up a meeting to discuss said assignment. I prefer to meet with them once I have a topic and/or a working thesis just to talk about my ideas and make sure I am on the right track. Feedback from your professor before you start writing is always handy. Since making this a habit, my grades have significantly improved. Take advantage of your productive hours You know you best. As much as campus and peer learning assistants and professors try to push you work within a specific set of hours, you need to find hours in the day that work for you. Maybe you like working 2-3 hours every day before breaking for a meal or small social event, and then getting back to it. Maybe you prefer working 5-9pm and sleeping in instead. Of course, don’t pull all-nighters because you need sleep to function.   Here are some last-minute-self-explanatory tips: make good use of campus resources (The Writing Center, Student Academic Success Services, Peer Mentors, etc.), schedule in social hour with friends or with yourself, and try to get your 150 every week. Photo courtesy of Cindy Schultz under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license...

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Work Study Reception Assistant position available!

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Work Study Reception Assistant position available!

Work Study Reception Assistant position available!

Do you like working with students? Can you work independently? Have you used the Writing Centre or Learning Strategies services? We are looking for someone with energy and warmth to welcome Queen’s students to SASS! Reporting to the Director or Designate, Student Academic Success Services (SASS), the Reception Assistant performs reception and administrative duties as assigned. Primary responsibilities include greeting and assisting students, answering the phone and responding to voicemail and email messages, photocopying, filing, replenishing resources, and assisting with promotions, as scheduled and upon request. PLEASE NOTE: We are looking to hire one student, but may consider splitting the position between two students, depending on availability. Applicants must be enrolled in the Work Study program to qualify. KEY RESPONSIBILITIES: Greet and assist students. Book, confirm, and cancel student appointments via online schedule. Monitor appointment cancellations (voice mail / email), respond to messages and inquiries, and send out fine notices. Print and restock department materials (handouts, promotional literature, etc.). File departmental materials. Assist with creating, printing, and distributing promotional materials. Maintain work area and equipment in a clean, orderly condition. Application deadline is Tuesday, September 27. To apply, email korbas@queensu.ca with a current cover letter and...

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Welcome, new and returning Queen’s students!

Posted by on Sep 8, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Welcome, new and returning Queen’s students!

Welcome, new and returning Queen’s students!

We hope that your fall term is off to a great start! Remember that Learning Strategies  is here to help you with any and all aspects of academic skill enhancement, whatever your year, discipline, or proficiency level. Explore our website for information about booking 1:1 appointments,  finding a helpful workshop, or downloading...

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Writing Consultant positions available: Applications now being accepted

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Writing Consultant positions available: Applications now being accepted

Writing Consultant positions available: Applications now being accepted

For the Fall/Winter term (2016-17), the Writing Centre is seeking Writing Consultants for its 1:1 Writing Consultation Program. Candidates should have a graduate degree, preferably in a writing-related field, and experience with academic writing, 1:1 consulting/tutoring, and/or teaching. Experience working with students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, particularly non-native speakers/writers of English, is strongly preferred. For a full description of the position and additional qualifications and skills, please access the following link: Writing Consultant (2016). The primary purpose of these positions is to provide writing support to undergraduate and graduate students in order to assist them in becoming more skilled, confident, and versatile writers. Candidates will be required to do some preliminary training and should be prepared to work outside of the regular 9-5 work week (e.g., weekend or evening shifts). Term dates:  September 12, 2016 – April 21, 2017 (note that actual work hours assigned will likely begin in Week Four of the Fall 2016 term; any required orientation/training will take place in the two weeks prior to beginning work hours, and will be paid). Work hours: The actual number of hours of work will be determined depending on availability of shifts/demand. The number of hours of work per week can vary from 3 hrs to 14 hrs. The rate of pay is commensurate with the rates specified in the Collective Agreement of Academic Assistants (USW). Application process: Apply in writing with a cover letter and resume or CV to Susan Korba, Director of Student Academic Success Services, at korbas@queensu.ca. Applications must be received by  Sunday, September 4, 2016. Please note that only those applicants considered for an interview will be...

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SASS will be at SOAR … have you registered?

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on SASS will be at SOAR … have you registered?

SASS will be at SOAR … have you registered?

The SOAR program aims to help ease the transition of incoming first-year students and their families. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about academic expectations, resources, learning strategies, and common student transition issues, as well as meet upper-year students, tour a residence room, and have their questions and concerns addressed. For more information and to register for SOAR, visit http://www.queensu.ca/studentexperience/soar!

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Our cancellation policy has changed!

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Our cancellation policy has changed!

Our cancellation policy has changed!

Need to cancel/reschedule your 1:1 appointment with a professional learning strategist or writing consultant? Beginning May 3, you will no longer be required to provide 24-hours’ notice when cancelling an appointment. Cancellations will now require only 12-hours’ notice. How do I cancel an appointment? If for any reason you must cancel your appointment, here’s what you should do: Ensure that you are cancelling 12 hours in advance of the appointment, in accordance with our cancellation policy. Log into the SASS appointment booking system at queensu.mywconline.com. Locate your appointment on the schedule. Select your appointment to open the reservation window. In the reservation window, scroll to the bottom and locate the check box labeled “Cancel this appointment.” Click the “modify” button. Your appointment is now cancelled. You may also call the front desk 12 hours in advance to cancel an appointment (leave a Voicemail message if your call is not answered; phone messages are date- and time-stamped, so you will not be charged if you have called 12 hours in advance of the appointment). Failing to provide 12-hours’ notice when cancelling an appointment will result in a $25 fine levied against your Queen’s account. Note that students who “no-show” (fail to cancel appointment with 12-hours’ notice and do not show up for the appointment) are not entitled to further appointments until the fine has been paid....

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