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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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Spring/Summer Hours

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Spring/Summer Hours

Spring/Summer Hours

Schedule a 1:1 session with a professional learning strategist or writing consultant this summer! We can provide support for issues with motivation, time management, procrastination, and managing academic stress, English language learner issues (including presentation and academic language skills sessions), as well as essays, dissertation and other grad-related writing. Learning Strategies: May through June, Monday through Thursday. Check our online booking system  for appointment availability! The Writing Centre: May 3 – July 28 Appointments are available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 12:30 – 3:30. To book a learning strategies advising appointment or a writing consultation, access our online booking system. For assistance or other queries, call us at 613-533-6315 and leave a message; your call will be returned within 1 business day. Our front desk is generally open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (closed for lunch). We look forward to working with you this...

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How to keep control of the steering wheel (AKA your schedule)

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Blog Post, Featured | Comments Off on How to keep control of the steering wheel (AKA your schedule)

How to keep control of the steering wheel (AKA your schedule)

By Inderpreet Gill Being a university student is more than just academics. Extra-curricular activities are great ways to get involved and make new friends, explore new interests or continue participating in old interests. I found being a part of a club or an organization as a way to take a break from school when I needed to. When I first started getting involved with extra-curricular activities, my schedule went from being relatively empty to not at all empty. With every meeting that I added to my calendar, I started to feel like I was losing control. I was not in charge of my days as much anymore. It was great that I was getting involved but this wave of anxiety came over me because my days were being chipped away to this meeting and that meeting. It was not until I started forgetting about deadlines or missing meetings that I realized something needed to change. The anxiety only escalated because I had no sense of my own schedule. I needed to find a balance if I wanted to continue being involved. Here is what I did to gain control over my schedule again: Get an agenda. I also like to have an electronic calendar. I have easier access to my phone during the day so it helps to take a quick glance at what my day looks like when I wake up in the morning. Enter important dates (assignment deadlines, midterm and exam dates) into your calendar(s)/agenda(s). Schedule in your extra-curricular meetings and event dates. This worked for me because deadlines and meeting dates were on paper and not in my head anymore. I had this sense of relief when I saw everything laid out on paper. When everything was in my head, I felt as if I did not have enough time in a day to do school work or things like laundry. Seeing it on paper, I had my “aha!” moment because it turns out, I did have enough time in my days to myself where I could work on assignments, FaceTime my family, and do some laundry. I have discovered a system that works for me when schedule my daily life and it has been less stressful since. We have plenty of resources to help you discover your system, too. Photo courtesy of Sh4rp_i under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license...

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Finding motivation

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in Blog Post, Featured | Comments Off on Finding motivation

Finding motivation

By Viki Lentini, 2nd-year Nursing student Sometimes, being a student can be hard. When the profs pile on the assignments and all you’ve eaten in the past three days is instant ramen and PB&J, it can be hard to find the drive to do anything. When this happens, it’s healthy to take a step back and ask yourself why you don’t feel motivated. Sometimes, the answer to this question is boredom. At this point, take a minute to recall what your goal is. Personally, my goal is to be a travel nurse. I have a little drawing above my desk of me in scrubs looking at an ocean. I captioned it The Dream and added a quote: What you do today can improve all your tomorrows. –Ralph Marston This is usually enough to pull me through whatever reading or research assignment I had been dreading. If drawing yourself isn’t really your style, try just putting your goal in writing. Another barrier to motivation can be feeling overwhelmed. For this, I’d recommend organizing what you have going on. One strategy I like is A Prioritized To-Do List using the Dump &Sift Method. Since that was a bit of a mouthful, I’ll break it down a little. The Dump &Sift Method involves taking a piece of paper and writing absolutely everything you think you may have to do in the next two weeks. Then, go through and rate each item from 1-3 based on priority. 1’s are kind of urgent, and 3’s would be nice but aren’t absolutely necessary. I make my To-Do lists a little differently. I take an 8 ½ by 11 and turn it into a chart, with a column for each day of the week. Each column acts as a To-Do list for that day. I like it because I can see that even if I don’t have a certain thing planned for today, I can see that I have planned to take care of it later in the week and that it isn’t forgotten. A final challenge to motivation can be if you’re preoccupied with one of life’s curveballs. If it’s a minor thing like an irritating cold, I recommend breaking tasks into very small chunks with breaks taken between each session. The first session should be the one where you plan what each chunk of work should be. If something major is affecting you like an illness or a personal loss, you should seek out the help of professionals. In my own experience I have found academic advisors and professors to be great resources. Not to scare you, but I would say it is actually essential to contact your profs. Looking at my own and my classmates’ experiences, I would say this can be the difference that enables you to still be successful. Other resources include professional learning strategy consultations and, earlier in the semester, peer mentorship. I’ve been mentored twice and absolutely recommend it! For more techniques to battle procrastination and feed your motivation, and for other learning strategies, please visit our online resources. Good luck my friends! Photo courtesy of Dominic Brygier under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license...

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Memorizing vocabulary easily and effectively

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in Blog Post, Featured | Comments Off on Memorizing vocabulary easily and effectively

Memorizing vocabulary easily and effectively

By Tanveen Rai, 4th-year Bio/Psychology student When is memorization beneficial? As students we have all been told time and time again to stay on top of material and gradually gain an understanding of course material. One of the first steps involved in learning new material is getting to know the terminology, and this is initially done through memorization. When I say memorization, I am not necessarily talking about rote memorization where your spit out information in a robotic manner. This can actually be very time consuming and difficult to do. Instead it is beneficial to make word associations. The most obvious example of when memorization is essential is in a language class where students have to be able to translate words and correctly conjugate verbs. However, memorization is also helpful in almost any other course such as biology, psychology, geology and the list goes on. For example… In an introductory anatomy class I took this semester, we had to be able to name the bones that make up the axial and appendicular skeletons. I’m going to be using this example throughout the article in order to illustrate how to most effectively memorize. Here is a list of some of the bones that make up the axial and appendicular skeletons: Humerus Femur Shoulder girdle Radius Fibula Patella Bones of skull Ulna Tibia Ribs Effective memory strategies 1. Chunking The easiest way to remember the bones listed is by chunking. Chunking involves breaking this relatively large list into smaller groups. For instance, the bones can be divided into bones that belong to the axial skeleton versus those that belong in the appendicular skeleton: Axial skeleton: Bones of the skull Ribs Appendicular skeleton: Humerus Femur Shoulder girdle Radius Fibula Patella Ulna Tibia The appendicular skeleton section can then be further subdivided by grouping bones that make up the arm versus bones that make up the leg. By making associations between the different bones, it will become easier to remember what goes where. Bones of arm: humerus, radius, ulna Bones of leg: femur, fibula, patella, tibia Consider visually representing these categories using a mind map or other graphic organizer to help your memorization even more. 2. Repetition One strategy that works really well for me is to rewrite words over and over. This can be especially useful for a language class where by writing the vocabulary out you also learn how to spell the word at the same time. Another strategy I use when have to label diagrams is to repeatedly label them and to also recite the terms out loud. The key is to repeat, drill and review, ideally spreading out these review sessions over several days (rather than trying to do it all at once). The more you review the easier you will be able to recall information. 3. Flashcards Another question that can be asked in relation to the anatomy example is to describe the function of each bone. Using flashcards to quiz yourself is a great method to quickly learn definitions of words or as in this case the function of a particular structure. For example, on one side of my flashcard, I would write the keyword “Femur.” On the reverse, I would write the details: “bone in thigh; very strong; enables movement of lower extremities.” Flashcards also go...

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Lessons learned: How looking back can help you get ahead

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in Blog Post, Featured | Comments Off on Lessons learned: How looking back can help you get ahead

Lessons learned: How looking back can help you get ahead

By Sam Werger, 3rd-year History student “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” — Johnny Cash Students attend university for different reasons. For whatever reason we decide to get a university education, we all end up learning something (hopefully). Whether we’re learning about the French Revolution, or mechanical engineering, or the internal workings of the human digestive system, we all learn something while at university. As important as classes are, some of the most important things we learn at university may have nothing to do with formal classroom education at all. The things we learn about ourselves are perhaps just as, if not more, important as the things we learn in lecture halls and seminars. In four years we evolve from intimidated first-years to confident fourth year students. We learn how to juggle a busy schedule and how to succeed in every part of life. Most importantly, we learn what kind of person we are and what kind of person we want to be. Part of the learning process is making mistakes. We are only human and humans make mistakes. If you’re like me, you’ve made quite a few mistakes over the years. Whether it was waiting to study for a mid-term until the night before the test, or spending half of a lecture looking at memes on the internet, the mistakes themselves aren’t that important. The important part is what we learn from those mistakes. Will we let our mistakes define us? Or we will have the courage to look back at our past mistakes and see them as steppingstones instead of obstacles? By looking back at our experiences- our successes and our failures- we can improve our present and our future. Instead of shying away from past mistakes and failures, own those failures. Don’t allow them to drag you down. Use them to lift yourself up. Whether you’re a first-year student preparing for the final weeks of your first year at university or a seasoned fourth-year gearing up for the bittersweet final chapter of your undergraduate career, I urge everyone to look back and reflect on their past. Perhaps you’ll find yourself looking at your first-year self and remembering all those mistakes you made. Maybe you’ll find yourself looking at how much you’ve changed since September. Whatever you find yourself looking at, try to look at one thing in particular: your mistakes. Do not turn away from your shortcomings. Grab onto them and use them as a step on the stairway to a better you. Let your mistake guide you on your path and not obstruct it. And like Mr. Johnny Cash said, don’t dwell on your mistakes, but don’t forget them either — they can be your most valuable tool for improvement. Photo courtesy of clrcmck under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license...

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Managing school, extra-curriculars and life

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in Blog Post, Featured | Comments Off on Managing school, extra-curriculars and life

Managing school, extra-curriculars and life

By Tess Kuhelj, 4th-year Concurrent Education student (French and Geography) One of the best qualities of Queen’s is the numerous clubs, groups and teams that are available to students. Maybe you’re thinking about what to sign up for next year. However, if you’re one of those people who loves getting involved, having all those opportunities available to you probably means you’re part of three clubs, six groups, four intramural teams, have a part-time job and taking a full course load. Although you may love everything you’re involved in, sometimes you have to take a step back and prioritize. Now I’m not saying you should stop getting involved, but the only way to manage all your activities, stay on top of school work and maintain good health is with moderation and excellent planning. Picking and choosing Getting involved in extra-curriculars is often the best and most memorable part of people’s university experience because you meet new friends and get exposed to wonderful opportunities. In fact, having commitments other than schoolwork can help your study habits because if you have a meeting or shift that day, you have a time frame for how long you have to complete your homework. However, this is only applicable if you are in a manageable number of extra-curriculars. My recommendation is to pick only a few extra-curriculars that you are really interested in so that you will still have time for schoolwork and rest. Each person is different and knows their limit, but I recommend starting with two things (it can be one job and one club, two clubs, one club and one intramural, etc.). If you find that you are managing well with your 2 extra-curriculars and still have a burning passion to join more, go for it! You can keep doing this with an increasing amount of extra-curriculars as long as make sure you are monitoring how well you are balancing everything and know when enough is enough. This way, you are choosing the extra-curriculars that mean the most to you and are still giving yourself time for school, “me time” and social commitments. Making a schedule Being a master of schedule-making is key when you have a very busy schedule. At the start of each month, input your class times, any static meetings or shifts you have, and your bedtime on your calendar. Then, on a weekly basis you can go in and add any extra meetings, games or shifts as needed. Make sure you are inputting enough time to complete all your readings and assignments; just because they are not at a concrete time does NOT mean you don’t have to schedule time to do them! Otherwise the time is takes to complete the work will be taken up by something else and you will find yourself needing to pull all-nighters before things are due. Your schedule will keep you organized and help you remember that you do have enough hours in the day if you use them all properly (or … possibly realize that you are over-booked and should take something off your plate!). Prioritizing Even though you may have only picked a few of the activities you are most interested in and have made a killer schedule, it is still important to have priorities. To do this, write down...

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With three weeks left in the term, it’s time to start thinking “exam prep”!

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in Blog Post, Featured | Comments Off on With three weeks left in the term, it’s time to start thinking “exam prep”!

With three weeks left in the term, it’s time to start thinking “exam prep”!

By Caleigh Treissman, 4th-year Psychology student April (and exam season) might feel far off in the distance right now, but here’s a secret to help you rock those final exams: get organized early! Final exam prep can look a little different for everybody, but here are some tips and tricks to get you started: Get organized Getting organized is a crucial step to acing those final exams. You should gather all the information you will need to prepare for your exam and make sure it is in a format that you can review and clearly read/understand. Treat your syllabus like a checklist: Do you have notes for every lecture? Have you done all your readings? If there is something you’re missing, go get it! Plan the work, work the plan Make a study schedule early so that you can fit in all the studying you will need to do, and still have time to take care of yourself during exams. Make sure you are getting in the hours for each course that you need, with some flex time in case something unexpected comes up. Schedule in time for yourself: shower, eat, exercise and de-stress! Making the time for yourself will only help you succeed. Get down to it Final exams can be a stressful experience, but by planning ahead and getting organized you will be in a great position to do well! Don’t overwhelm yourself: Don’t spend all day in Stauffer working on one subject! Mix up your subjects and study spots; it will help you feel more refreshed each time you sit down to study. Reward yourself! What are your favourite treats or relaxation activities? Try some group study. We recommend studying with a group about 25% of the time! Use your resources: TAs, your professors and the PLAs all want you to succeed! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Photo courtesy of rhodesj under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license...

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Motivation: It’s GO time!

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Blog Post, Featured | Comments Off on Motivation: It’s GO time!

Motivation: It’s GO time!

By Grace McCabe, 5th year English major, Religious Studies minor To some, it may seem like the semester is winding down, but final assignments, papers, reports, and preparation for exams is ramping up as due dates quickly approach and it seems like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done…in other words, IT’S GO TIME! At times like this, it can be difficult to find and maintain motivation, which is why I have complied a small checklist of things that have helped me in the past and will hopefully help you in getting the wheels turning on the train out of motivation station! Set goals by looking ahead This is a little visualization technique I like to use as a motivator to help me get through any stressful or demanding set of tasks. Look ahead to what is on the other side of that task; for some, it’s going home for the summer, graduation, travel, a job, volunteer experience, visiting with friends and family, starting that Netflix series everyone was talking about or catching up on sleep. Whatever the end goal or result is, focus on that to motivate you to continue to work really hard right now. Rewards, such as any (and more) of the ones listed above, can be very powerful things that motivate us to work better and harder. If you haven’t yet thought about what those rewards are for you, try making a list of what your rewards are going to be at the end of the semester. Pin that list somewhere you can see or carry it with you and pull it out when you’re feeling low on motivation in order to fuel back up and keep going! Checklists or To Do lists Yes, you read that right. One of my tips within my checklist for motivation is exactly that…making checklists! If you don’t already use daily or weekly checklists or to do lists, try making one for yourself for all the tasks you have to get done by the end of the day or end of the week and check them off as you go. These types of smaller, detailed lists let you see and manage your progression and you can use them to motivate you to keep on going to get to the end of your list. Extra tip: personalize to do lists by using different coloured post it notes or pens and check off the tasks with big, exaggerated strikethroughs and markings. Celebrate your accomplishments! Surround yourself with other motivated people Find other motivated people to form a study group with or just to be around in order to help you harness and maintain motivation. You can help each other stay on track and share your own strategies for staying motivated through difficult times. Bonus tip: Studies have shown it is effective to study in groups 25% of the time. Believe in yourself This can sometimes be easier said than done, but I mean it when I say it. You are awesome! Believe that you can achieve and succeed at all you have to get done between now and the end of the semester. You’ve made it this far, which means you’re doing many things right already…keep going! You rock! Bonus bonus tip: if you have a...

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Remembering to breathe

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Blog Post, Featured | Comments Off on Remembering to breathe

Remembering to breathe

By Monica O’Rourke, 3rd-year Concurrent Education (English/History) student If you’re anything like me, by now you’ve realized that the month of March is not kind to students as all of a sudden the assignments that you’ve conveniently forgot about all semester are showing up in bright red. It seems that all the work we were most definitely, 100% going to do over reading week didn’t just disappear as we hoped it would and instead they came back with friends. Freaking out over the amount of work and hitting Club Stauff until the early morning is one ineffective solution to your problem, but it can sometimes seem like the only option. While it’s easy to panic and reach for the nearest brown paper bag to breathe into, there is hope out there. So put down the fourth cup of coffee, remember that this happened to other adults who are now successful and instead employ some strategies that will help all of us get out of the month of March alive. One of the most important things to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work on your plate in March, is to breathe. It seems simple but gaining much needed perspective from that single deep breathe is sometimes the hardest thing to do. Breathing deeply in and out is probably one of the simplest and most relaxing things that a person can do when they’re stressed and it only takes a few minutes. Once you do this, you’ll find that it’s easier to gain the all-important perspective that will allow you to accomplish all of the assignments that you have due in March. Don’t sell yourself short — believe that you can get through this month. If you’re an upper year, remember that this happens every year and not only are you still standing, you’re still here attending Queen’s so you’re doing something right. If you’re in first year, look to the upper years or even your parents or older siblings for inspiration, if they went to post-secondary school (and in your parents’ case, maybe even without the benefits of Google!). I know that whenever I get into the downward spiral of panic that comes with looking at my March calendar the first thing I do is organize all of my assignments and notes. This can mean different things for different people- I write out when they’re due in my organizer and then put more detailed sticky notes on my laptop so I get a reminder every time I open it. However, you may do something different which is totally okay! It’s up to you to figure out what works and go with it. Organization and those calming breathes will bring your stress level down immensely and allow you to remember that it’s only one month and you can get through it. If you’re not sure how to start your organization journey, our online resources can help. These range from worksheets with strategies such as time management to workshops and one on one professional advising. Use all the sources you can to maintain your mental health during the month of the March. Because the only March Madness you should be experiencing this month is the basketball tournament on TV. “Breathe” photo courtesy of Mae Chevrette under Flickr Creative...

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