The Little Things


University life in today’s day and age is known to be way more stressful than when our parents and grandparents were completing their education. The peer pressure, the level of competition, and the risk of unemployment, have reached new heights and has placed a lot of unnecessary strain on university students. In trying to escape the hellish workload, we hunt through our imaginations for a grand escape, or a de-stressor that could help lighten our loads. One crucial point that’s often overlooked though, is that life’s biggest pleasures can be found in some of the littlest things. There’s no need to pile on the stress while trying to find ways to cool off because the answer is sitting at the tips of our noses…


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10 Tips for Surviving Essay Season



For you lovely readers who are humanities students like me, I know you feel my pain during this time of the semester. Our essays pile up, half of them are due on the same day and must be 8 pages long, include outside sources, contain a bibliography, have a super amazing thesis and

Okay everyone, breathe! Take a moment to absorb the sunny (but freezing and snow-covered) day and just keep breathing.

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Broke Student to Broke Student: Textbooks



The semester is already well in session, but some of us have yet to set foot in the library or the bookstore. Thanks to this thing called the syllabus – a piece of paper that gives us a list of required textbooks for a particular course – entering the library or the bookstore may just trigger a hypo-glycemic panic attack. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only thing students have to worry about. Checking the U of T bookstore only to see the amount of money your text books are going to cost you can make you go Macaulay-Culkin-Home-Alone-panicky.

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How to Stay Motivated During School

It’s the middle of midterm season, I’m drowning in a sea of loose papers and textbooks, and Teen Wolf is on TV. Despite all of this, I’m still going to pause it all so I can tell you guys how to stay on track.

Pretty generous, I know.


In all seriousness, it could just be me (though I’m pretty sure it’s not), but this semester seems almost twice as busy as the last. Everyone I talk to seems swamped – waist-deep – with schoolwork, and it can definitely be difficult to find encouragement when you feel trapped by your workload.

The dark side may have cookies, but the Internet has Facebook, Tumblr AND Netflix waiting for you.


So, for those of us that are experts of the Web, but are still motivationally-challenged, I present to you three ways to beat your procrastination issues:


This extension is available to almost all types of browsers (yes, even those of you on Internet Explorer). It blocks websites (of your choice) for a specified amount of time so you can focus only what is absolutely necessary –  that you hand your paper before that 9am deadline. I can’t even recall how many times this has helped me in the past.


A lot of people gawk at me when I say I read better with music playing, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. For those of you that are musically inclined but know how much time/effort making a ‘study’ playlist takes, here’s a website with pre-made playlists that are based largely on moods. Hit ‘Explore’ and type in ‘study’ + whatever genre floats your boat, and voila! You’re good to go.

The Pomodoro Technique

Someone in high school suggested this to me. In the simplest terms, The Pomodoro Technique breaks up your time so that you can a) work efficiently and b) prevent a burnout from happening. This particular method suggests creating time slots of 25 minutes in which you work intensely, then take a short break, and then resume your next 25 minutes of productivity. Reminder: your ‘short break’ should ideally be less than 25 minutes long.

And as a special bonus…

You can click here and here!


Go get ‘em, tiger!

Some Thoughts During My Third Year Crisis

Kimberly Johnson

I had a conversation with an adult recently that just got on my nerves. If I’m honest, I wasn’t mad at him – I was mad that I couldn’t answer him.  This was his question:

“Oh, you’re an English major. What do you want to do with that?”

I responded with something like:

“Oh, uh…I’m not too sure yet.”

And I was pissed… and pretty disappointed. See, I actually want to be a writer – a novelist specifically – but I am crap out of my mind scared to mention that to “practical minded adults with real jobs.”

I feel like as a culture, we tell others:

       “Do what you love!”

When what we really mean is:

“Do what you love as long as you make some serious money.   Otherwise, do other things.”

This worries me. I don’t ever want to work a dead end job. I really (call me juvenile) want to be one of those people that actually love what they do. I just don’t want to be stuck. Now I realize as I write this, it’s not like people wanted their dead end jobs…actually the term ‘dead end’ is pretty judgmental.

I am saying this though: I want to do something with my life that makes me happy. I just don’t want to wake up thirty years from now, dissatisfied with life.

So what’s my point? I guess I’m honestly saying, my future makes me nervous… And I don’t know how to be cool about that, but maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be. If I’m looking for some kind of lesson out of this feeling, it’s this: the first step is to unapologetically say what you want out of life. So…

Dear man at the beginning of this post,

Hi! My name is Kim. I want to be a writer…novelist specifically. I want to write something that matters someday to someone. That’s pretty risky financially – I get that – but I want a crack at it. Why? Because I want more out of my life than stability.

School Plus Work: A Student’s Nightmare


In high school, when life was simpler, I knew kids whose parents didn’t allow them to even think about getting jobs. They feared their kids would lose precious study time, and it would lead to bad grades and rejection letters from universities. Thing is, now that we’re accepted and have been forced into the new world of tough marking and teachers who could care less about whether you did well or not (and rightfully so!), many of us are getting jobs to help pay for our tuition. Some of us are also getting jobs so we can fell free and independent, especially those who are now living alone without the influence of overbearing parents.

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