The Benefits of the English Program

Going into university, I knew I wanted to be an English major. Writing and reading have always been two of my favourite past times, so much so that from a young age, I dreamed of writing award-winning books and making a living sharing my stories with the world. This is still a dream of mine, and it played a large part in my decision to major in English (and minor in professional writing).

I don’t know how many times people have made me feel like majoring in English is not a practical route in university. Most people assume job prospects are slim for those who choose English. They say my only options after graduation are to become a teacher or journalist. While these are important jobs, there are a number of other careers I can achieve that are rarely acknowledged. I could be a publisher, an editor, or a librarian. I could work in public relations, human resources, broadcasting, social media, film, marketing—the list goes on and on! English majors don’t just have one or two options. We develop skills that can take us in a variety of surprising directions.

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How to Beat the Cold

It’s official. We’ve transitioned from the surprisingly mild December weather into the blistering cold winds of February. I wished for snow in December, during the days of Christmas break when I had nowhere to go and just wanted to sit by the fireplace. Now that school has become an obligation again, assignments and tests are popping up, and I’m back to spending a significant amount of my time commuting on public transit, I’m wishing for that bearable December weather to come back.

Waking up to news reports of freezing temperatures can make it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. But despite the weather, life must go on. Which means getting your butt out of the house for school, work, and other obligations.

Here are some things to keep in mind while bracing yourself for the cold weather:

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January Debt



Christmas has always been my favourite holiday. I never grow tired of the twinkling lights, the abundance of chocolates, and the time spent with friends and family. The Christmas season is magical.

But as I’ve grown up, I’ve realized how consumer-driven this holiday is. As much as I enjoyed buying gifts for the people I care about, I couldn’t help but cringe every time I handed over my debit card. With every purchase, I knew my reputation as a thoughtful gift-giver was going up, but it was also painfully evident that the amount in my bank account was going down.

As university students, money is a huge deal. I’m sure many of us are recovering from the mass amounts of money we spent on gifts, food, outings, and other expenses over the holidays.

Now that we’re in the middle of January and fully in recovery mode, here are some tips to help with saving money.

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An Open Letter to Those on the “Bae” Train

It took longer than I care to admit for me to realize that “bae” stood for “before anyone else” and was not simply a shorter version of “babe”. The term “bae” has become so mainstream that it can be used to refer to almost anything that someone has a particular affection for.

That chocolate bar? Bae.

My new jacket? Bae.

That cute guy who served you at Starbucks? Bae.

But “bae” is mostly used to refer to one’s girlfriend or boyfriend. I have a boyfriend whom I have many names for, and who has many names for me, but neither of us has hopped on the “bae” train. After hearing it used so much by other people, I just find it annoyingly popular.

What happened to the classic way to address the one you love? How about “honey”, “sweetie”, or “my love”? I’d rather be called “babe” than “bae” any day.

It’s normal for new phrases like “bae” to magically become popular. It’s also normal for some to embrace it and others to despise it. I happen to fall in the latter category. And I’m not ashamed to say that maybe it’s the hopeless romantic in me that’s happy to be someone’s “love” instead of someone’s “bae”.

Nicole Arbour and her Big Fat Opinion

Nicole Arbour

I had no idea who Nicole Arbour was until her video“Dear Fat People,” popped up on my Facebook newsfeed. In the video, she talks about the issue of “fat shaming,” which she believes is not a real thing.

For about six minutes, she rants about her views on fat shaming and fat people in a comedic, satiric, and unrelentingly cruel way. As I watched the video, what was clear was that this girl had opinions that, like many others, I found pretty distasteful.

Shaming in any way can cause very negative effects for those targeted. As a result of the video, Arbour has received a lot of backlash from the public. Arbour claims that she wasn’t trying to be offensive and that the video was all in comedic fun.

In my eyes, shaming is a real problem, whether it has to do with body image, race, sexual orientation, or anything else. Unfortunately, we live in a society that has become accustomed to this type of behaviour. And now, with the Internet and social media, people have a new outlet for their bullying.

When people choose to publicly announce their adverse opinions, we may cringe in disgust. But social media has also provided a new way for us to react to these issues—we like, we share, we comment, and we publicly criticize.

Arbour’s comments came across as harsh, blunt, and ignorant of the real struggles people who have weight issues go through. Because of this, her opinion did not match with that of the majority.

How you respond is up to you. If you haven’t already, you can watch the video. Post your comment. Join in on the discussion and controversy.

Or you can choose to do something different. Ignore the noise of social media. Generate your own opinion, quietly.