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  2. That's the real pandemic. I mean - the anxiety and depression is a real problem, not a C19. I'm currently in deep depression and even Therapy can't help me. Good to hear that you are better now
  3. It's important to recognize how much our mental health impacts our overall well-being and quality of life. May 3rd-9th is the CMHA Mental Health Week campaign, where CMHA is encouraging individuals to express and understand their emotions, no matter how uncomfortable they may feel. During this pandemic, many of us have experienced low feelings of depression, anxiety, and isolation, making mental health more important than ever. Throughout my time in university, I struggled a lot with my own mental health due to the constant pressures of trying to balance school work, extracurriculars, social life, co-op jobs, relationships, and other external factors that made up my life during that period. I had many instances where my social anxiety blocked my efforts to improve my life, whether that would be personal or professional. I was constantly stressed and felt like I was underachieving in everything I did thanks to my own perception that others around me were always doing better, and that I was never going to catch up. That was a personal flaw I didn't realize I was doing at the time; instead of worrying about how others were doing, I could've chose to be more mindful and remind myself that I was just fine and how many things I could actually be grateful for. Today I'm a lot more self aware of my emotions and how my past experiences shaped me as a person. Speaking with numerous mental health counsellors, during and after university, taught me how to understand and cope with my emotions in a healthier way. That was a big factor in how my mental health had the chance to progress over the years through the good and bad days. They didn't encourage me to ignore and filter out all the bad things in my life as I had been previously doing, but rather how to cope with the anxiety and impulsive thoughts when they occurred. This is not to say I don't have days where I experience regression. Your mental health journey isn't always going to be linear, and it's okay to take a couple of steps back. I am able to be more self aware of my actions and not let my emotions surpass a threshold where I do or say things I may regret later. Overall, I recommend reaching out to any mental health services your school offers if that is something you feel you can benefit from. I personally find that speaking with a professional can always offer you an unbiased perspective on certain issues, and the feeling of being in a place free of judgement makes me feel safe and more open to talking about things that people in my personal life, such as friends and family members, may not always understand or show compassion for. Not every counsellor is going to be a good fit with what you are looking for, so be open to finding someone else, or even something different if that's what you need. Take care and stay safe!
  4. MCAT is the standard in Canada for medicine, however, there are no medical schools that accept students after grade 12. There are a few in the US (BS/MD programs) and many more in the UK/Australia (MBBS programs). Canadian medical schools need a 3-4 year university degree before applying for medical school. This might help: https://www.afmc.ca/web/sites/default/files/pdf/2021_admission-requirements_EN.pdf
  5. I'm from india but I've been studying the Igcse/AS/A2 level syllabus, due to which studying for neet has been a hassle for me. I want to enquire if any medical school would accept me if I did MCAT instead of neet? Could you suggest some if you can?
  6. Hi! I think this is possible to achieve, definitely not easy though. It becomes stressful and exhausting to manage and balance good grades, a social life, and getting enough sleep as it is, and many students have extra curricular activities or part time jobs on the side which makes things even harder. I believe that with proper time management everything can be achieved, like I said though, it definitely is not easy to get in the habit of proper time management but it is a very useful skill to have.
  7. Hi Tony! I think we can acieve all three if we can manage our time well. However, if we need to work while studying, I think it is hard to have enough sleep. Thanks, Julie
  8. Hi! Thank you for sharing your education experience with us! I am studying in a Graduate Certificate program in Human Resources Management. We have seven courses every semester. We are learning Canadian Employment Law, Occupational Health & Safety, Compensation & Reward Strategy, etc. Time management is really important because we have many individual and group assignments. Thanks, Julie
  9. Hi everyone, What you can do with OR without a psychology degree One could say that I enjoy learning or that I really did not know what I wanted to do with my degree. After my psychology degree, I knew I still wanted to do therapy but I didn’t’ really know how to do it at that point. I still had no idea what social work was (that’s a whole different blog post :)). However, I did find a program that absolutely changed the way that I view the world. This was the Assaulted Women and Children’s Counselling and Advocacy (AWCCA) program at George Brown. Although I had a psychology degree prior to enrolling in this program, it is not necessary as there is a 2-year diploma option along with a fast track option if you have the necessary requirements. AWCCA is a phenomenal program but very specific in who it supports, as noted in the title. This college diploma is a sister program to a social service worker program. Although AWCCA does cover a lot of the same topics, it does so from a feminist and anti-racist lens. Unfortunately, the AWCCA program does not allow you the same options for college registration as the SSW program. Similar to the SWW program, the AWCCA program gives you the opportunity for 1-2 placement opportunities at local agencies to understand how violence shows up in different forms. The AWCCA focuses specifically on supporting individuals who have experienced gender-based violence. The definition of violence covers many different forms from psychological to emotional, to physical and sexual violence. Unfortunately, this is a topic that is all too well known to many female-identifying, trans, non-binary folks and children. This is not to say that men do not experience violence because they absolutely do and their experiences are incredibly valid. However, this focuses specifically on the experiences of gender-based violence. This course opened my eyes to the injustices that I was ignorant about growing up in a predominately white area. This program taught me so much about myself but also how violence is much more common than I expected. This course will teach you about the psychology of gender while giving you the counselling skills to support individuals in times of crisis. This course will encourage you to be engaged in activism while teaching you about the necessary steps to organizing round table conversations or political activist events. This program gave me the opportunity to do my placement at a local refugee shelter, which taught me about the immigration process and how to support individuals who are new to Canada. After I completed this program, I was able to secure a job as a residential counsellor at a local womens’ shelter, supporting women and families who were fleeing violent situations. This is just one of the many opportunities that this program can lead you to! For more information, check out their website and watch their video on the student experience! https://www.georgebrown.ca/programs/assaulted-womens-and-childrens-counselloradvocate-program-awcca-c137
  10. The possibility, and very probable reality that you may not get into the program or school of your choice is not talked about enough. A lot of times we hear of the success stories, we talk about our peers admissions and we post about our accomplishments. Very rarely do you see a Facebook post from a friend that says “I didn’t get into engineering!”. There is an obvious reason for this, and that is simply explained by human nature, we don’t celebrate what we perceive to be a ‘failure’ or ‘step backwards’ and I can tell you from experience that I personally felt a bit ashamed and embarrassed to tell my friends and family when I experienced my first rejection letter, but, im here to tell you that you are not alone if you don’t get accepted the first time and in fact everyone should be prepared for this possibility. One site {linked below} suggests that the University of Ottawa, located in Canadas capitol, has an admissions rate of only 15% meaning only 15 of every 100 people who apply will be admitted! The school I attended, Memorial University of Newfoundland, had a 67% admission rate in 2009, much better odds, yes, but I also know that the entrance to specific programs, such as the Faculty of Medicine, is highly competitive and can be as low as 8% some years. So let these stats be a small comfort that it’s not as easy as writing your name on the application, wiring 50$ to the school and boom you’ve landed in a university classroom in the program of your dreams. In reality, there’s a lot of hard work, perseverance, drive, and dedication that may, or may not, stand between you and the school or program. So, my short and simple story, I had great marks in high school and got right into the faculty of engineering, finished engineering with great marks, got a job fairly easy and realized that I wanted t go to Medical school. Chasing my dreams I applied and living in the bubble I was, I got rejected. Didn’t even get an interview! That was the first time I didn’t get what I wanted right away. I was upset and I cried when I got the letter of rejection. I initially thought “How could this be, nobody would be better in this job then me!?”. Then I applied again and REJECTED! Again, I cried and this time I had a whole weekend of self-pity. I got caught up in the idea that too much time would pass and I’d be to old to go back to school, id be really old when I finished school, I thought that my boyfriend would be upset that instead of adding money and starting our life together id be putting myself back into late nights and student debt, my worries went on and on. The problem was I just couldn't stop thinking that this is where I'm suppose to be and what I should be doing, for the long haul. So, it’s okay to be sad and ashamed and most importantly its okay to be rejected, the fact of the matter is that you haven’t failed and its hardly a step backwards. I sat back and evaluated what I needed to do to get in. More importantly, I took a breath and reminded myself how much I have done so far! I have a whole new year to better my application and try again. I am doing what I need to do, for me, that is talking with the admissions officers, paying for a course that can help me better my MCAT score, and redoing my application. For you that may be upgrading your average, adding more volunteer work to your resume, getting a tutor, doing the last course you need for admission. No matter the reason you got rejected, you have put tremendous work in and spent your time, energy and money to try. That effort isnt all lost, in fact its built a foundation for you. Build up and don't throw in the towel, don't let all your effort go to waste. Furthermore, at first talking aloud about these little setbacks to family and friends can be really dang hard! And that's okay. But I encourage you to come to terms with the rejection letter, come to terms with who you are and understand where you need to improve. Know that your rejection letter wasn't because you aren't capable of being a part of said school or said program but instead its because you need to grow and better a certain aspect of your application or portfolio. Once I learned this I didn't feel so awful telling others the truth when the subject came up, in fact, after I stopped avoiding the subject so many of my friends had similar stories! Setbacks make the story of your path to success and happiness that much more interesting! Im not going lie, the rejection stings and in the moment you feel lost, but how are you going to recover from that? Get back up on your horse and keep moving forward because that acceptance letter will feel sooo much better when you know how hard you worked to get it. YOU CAN DO IT. YOU WILL GET THERE. https://www.prepscholar.com/sat/s/colleges/Ottawa-University-admission-requirements#:~:text=The acceptance rate at Ottawa,the school is extremely selective.
  11. One of the main reasons I chose to attend Waterloo was because of the co-op program that was offered to its students, granted it was offered in your program and you were able to keep up a specific GPA. The prospect of working 4-8 months in between my study terms sounded very exciting, as there were a lot of benefits that could be considered: 1) Expanding your network by increasing the number of professionals you meet within your industry 2) Having relevant experiences to add onto your resume 3) Getting to travel to new cities/countries if you chose to work abroad 4) Applying to a variety of jobs to figure out what you are truly interested in 5) Earning money to help pay for tuition, rent, and other finances during university 6) Getting experience with job interviews and resume writing 7) Improving skills that can be applied to any job such as communication, organization, teamwork, etc. With all the benefits of a co-op program in mind, there are also downsides to consider before choosing to apply to one based on my personal experiences: 1) Applying to jobs and preparing for interviews takes a lot of time and effort, especially when this is done during a study term 2) The first co-op term could be extremely difficult - Lack of previous work/volunteering experiences can be a detriment to employers even if you are enrolled in a co-op program 3) Co-op guidelines - Not being able to apply to work that is unpaid (volunteer), mandatory to find a job by a specific deadline, cannot work for family businesses, and other factors that could prevent you from finding opportunities that arise 4) The stress of not receiving interviews or being turned down by an employer can be taxing on mental health during the study term 5) Finding that the job does not meet your expectations Although my own personal experience with co-op was not always easy, I can't speak for everyone. Perhaps you do one interview and get the job on the spot, maybe you apply to 100 jobs and still haven't received any interviews. It's important to remember that you need to focus on yourself and what your personal goals are when deciding on entering a co-op program.
  12. It was the summer of 2013, I had just graduated high school and was ready to start my new life as a university student. I was so excited to be living away from home for the first time and experiencing what it would be like to make all of my own choices without requiring permission from my parents such as going out late, eating whatever I wanted, hanging out with my friends, and other typical activities teenagers liked to do. I think a lot of students can relate to the sentiment of living as their own person for the first time and truly figuring out who they are outside of high school and their respective towns. I for one was ready to dive into the full university experience, knowing I was living with a couple of friends from high school, I wasn't too worried about living arrangements. It was myself and three other girls living in a suite divided into four small rooms with a small kitchen, dining area, and living space with two bathrooms. I have to say we got pretty lucky with our living arrangement, as we never went through the experiences of sharing communal bathrooms or living off a meal plan exclusively since we had a kitchen. We were also in a fairly new dorm so it was cleaner, but also one of the few that included A/C so we could stay cool during the first few weeks of September. I thoroughly enjoyed the space and was grateful we got the privacy that other dorms didn't exactly have, but there were definitely a few downsides to the dorm as well. 1) Privacy - I know I stated this as a positive, as it was more quiet than other dorms available at the university, but it also took away from the socialization aspect of the "college experience". To elaborate, each room in our building was its own suite, meaning that you were mostly surrounded by the other three roommates that you had. Unless you actually made an effort to go out and meet the other people living on the floor... you were pretty isolated. Sadly for us, most of the people on our floor kept to themselves, so we didn't get much of a chance to make new friends. 2) THIN WALLS - As someone who is a light sleeper, accustomed to the quiet suburban lifestyle with minimum noises and distractions at night... let's just say I didn't sleep much for the first couple of months. 3) Chores - Splitting up chores is not always easy when it comes to living with a new group of people. Sometimes you need to have difficult conversations about how someone might be slacking in one department, or how you feel like you're doing most of the work. To be honest, I was guilty of slacking in some of my duties as well. University is hard and your schedule gets turned upside down when you have to balance not only your studies, but also cooking for yourself, cleaning, grocery shopping, and finding time to unwind and enjoy the hobbies and extra curricular activities you like to do. My only advice is give yourself time to adjust and hopefully you can figure out a routine that works for you! Those are just some of my experiences living away from home from the first time. Although it wasn't perfect, I still had a great time in first year learning how to live on my own and meeting a lot of new friends in the process. It taught me how to be more independent, balance my schedule, and figure out how to communicate with others about things that bothered me. Living OFF campus is a whole other area I will get into for another post.
  13. Hi everyone! If you are reading this post it means you could be interested in a degree in psychology! I am here to help you figure out whether this is the best path for yourself and will hopefully provide a little bit of information that I wish I knew when I was making my career decision. I am 29 years old and finished my degree in Honours psychology in 2014. Growing up, I can remember fondly wanting to be a therapist, one that is depicted in movies with the beautiful office and outfits, supporting individuals and families with their experiences and problems. Truthfully, I wanted to be a psychologist, however, I did not know what this actually meant and really how long the process would take or whether there were other options out there. I picked a university that I ended up loving, but I chose it because my friend’s mom who was a psychologist did her schooling there. I thought well if she did it there it must have an excellent psychology program and quite frankly, it was fine but I did not know what to expect. Although my psychology degree did lay a foundation for my career, it took a college program and now my master’s in social work to get to where I really want to be. Questions I wish I knew prior to going into my psychology degree What can you do with a psychology degree? You can absolutely do many things with a psychology degree, but many will require additional training and education, including a psychologist, social worker, psychotherapist, researcher, or teacher. What’s the difference between a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science psychology degree? A bachelor of arts focuses more on the humanities and community work including social justice, whereas a bachelor of science focuses more on math and science. This distinction can be very helpful if you are interested in pursuing a psychology degree, specifically in what schools offer which programs. How long does it take to become a trained and licensed psychologist? After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you will need to obtain at least a master’s degree if not your Ph.D. and a year of supervised interning prior to becoming a psychologist. According to the Canadian Psychological Association website, it can take between 5-8 years after completing your bachelor’s degree to obtain a Ph.D. in psychology. What does a master’s and Ph.D. require? Although I cannot speak to this completely, I do understand that a master’s and Ph.D. require conducting research. This personally was not something I cared to complete as I did not thrive in a research setting. However- I STRONGLY encourage you to explore what you are interested in. My experience definitely was not what I expected when I went to university. However, I also did not do the research that I should have done. I knew I wanted to do some sort of therapy but I did not understand even the different options that were out there, including a child and youth worker, residential counsellors at local shelters, community organizers among so many more. I hope for you as you explore your next steps is to really reflect and take time to figure out what you really want, utilizing journaling to explore your goals and figure out what that could look like. Have conversations with people who are in that field, ask them how they got there, who inspired them, what courses they found most interesting. Research the different programs at different schools. I can tell you that not every program is the same so figure out what best aligns with your values and goals. Lastly, I know that this time is very confusing but I want to let you know that it is totally OKAY for you not to know what you want to do. Everyone has their own journey and own timeline. However, I would encourage you also to figure out what you want to study prior to committing your valuable time and money to something you hate. Happy exploring!
  14. What is your profession/industry? Guidance Counsellor/Education What do you do in your position? Counsel Students and Parents with respect to preparation for post-secondary, and connecting families with community supports. What education, skills, and experience do you need? Bachelors and Masters Degrees, EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH YOUTH, DEMONSTRATED COMMITMENT TO THE PROFESSION. What inspires you about your work? I sincerely enjoy working with our students, helping them unlock their unique talents and skills, thereby preparing them to participate in the future of our country. What kind of person do you think it takes to do what you do? Dedicated; sincere; detail oriented; love for people; passion to see young people success in their desired ambition.
  15. Hi everyone, Recently, Dr. Simone reached out to us to offer a description of her career as an Educational Psychologist. Hope you all find this informative! "Personally, I was always curious about learning and learners so it made sense to me that I would become an educational psychologist. Educational psychologists are interested in how people (children and adults) learn, the difficulties they might have learning, how the learning environment might hinder or foster learning and what can be done to modify the learning environment so that people can be successful in their learning. Because I also wanted to work in a university environment where I could teach and do research I pursued my doctorate or Ph.D. in Educational Psychology which I received from Michigan State University. As a doctoral student in Educational Psychology, I took courses in statistics, research design, human development, cognition, and instruction. My minor was developmental psychopathology where I studied areas pertaining to mental illness. With respect to my degrees, after 11 years of elementary and high school, I obtained a B.A. in Social Psychology at McGill University which was a three-year program. Then I pursued a two year M.A. with thesis in Educational Psychology (McGill University), and subsequently another four years for my doctoral degree or Ph.D. (Michigan State University). Although I decided to become a professor educational psychologists can also work as consultants outside the domain of academia."
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