Study Tips 101

Oh look, another study tips list! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE helpful tips to make long nights of cramming easier. So I will most likley keep making these types of Study Tips 101 posts until the day I die… or grauduate university- whichever comes first.

Cut out irrelevant tasks

In middle school and high school, it was instilled in you that you need to have the date and your name in the top corner. The title needed to be on its own line underlined in a different colour pen. This is not the case for your notes. Unless you are a Tumblr Study Blog your notes only need to be legible to you. No need to date them, title them, put your name on them save some time and space by only writing down the relevant information to your studying needs.

Another habit to get into is do not write down the things you already know, focus on the items you don’t understand for example:

If A+B=C and you already know what A and B are and how to get them there is no need to write in your notes A= blah blah, get it blah blah blah, just write the equation.

Highlighting without cause. If you find yourself highlighting things without even thinking STOP.  Chances are you probably don’t know it. Stop write down this information, reread it figure out the problem, say it out loud, understand it. Then the next time you study it go back and highlight it.

Speed up where you can

Besides the obvious of not making your notes look like they are going to be displayed in a museum.  Go look at your computer.  Is there anything you could be doing to it to make it run faster for you? Taking off irrelevant browser extensions, updates, using different programs to type out notes etc. Other things you can do are look at using applications on your computer to block out social media ( or websites you chose) so you only focus on studying. ( see blog post).


Figure out what is the best time for YOU to study

This is something that is different for everyone. Think about if you are a morning bird or a night owl. Now think about when you are the most productive and have the most energy. A good way to figure this out is to try studying at different times throughout the day you will be able to easily see when you are the most productive. There are tons of studies out there that show when the best time is to study but remember this is different for everyone. You might be a morning bird with tons of energy in the a.m but are the most productive at night or you could be like me and have your golden hours of productivity be in the afternoon.  I loathe studying at night.  

Another thing to factor in is if you are better at studying certain things with others. I suck at math so when I have to study for any type of math exam I try and meet up with someone so we can tackle problems together.  Also, most universities offer peer tutors in different subjects so at the beginning of the semester it’s a good idea to check in with the peer tutors to see if there is one for what you know you will need help in.

Make Studying Competitive

Ways to motivate yourself fall into two categories: motivation that acts as a reward once you’ve done something, and motivation that makes the actual doing of the thing more fun.

Majority of the studying tips you will find online will fall into the first category – which might be after 1 hour of studying you reward yourself with something, after finishing an assignment you go out and grab a beer etc. These methods accept that studying isn’t fun, and provide a way for you to make it up to yourself afterward. NO GOOD.

More effective for working harder, though, are means of motivating yourself to enjoy the work you’re doing more. This one is tricky, if you are in a course that you excel at you can ask your prof to give you the past exam averages to motivate yourself to be in the top percentile, you can motivate yourself by being so well versed in the subject you hold a study group for peers in your class.

Collect small tasks to do when you have time

Studying is time-consuming, FACT. Sometimes it works out where you have a small amount of time over a few days to sit down and study. Having a game plan for these small chunks of time is crucial. I find the easiest way to do this is to make a list of things to do while studying. This depends on the subject you are studying of course but it can be as simple as: write out 20/100 Cue Cards, Read 3 Pages from the text, Work on 2/10 Physics problems. If you have your planning done it will cut down on wasted time when studying for short periods.


That concludes this episode of Study Tips 101 for November. Be on the lookout for another Study Tips 101 next month lol.

** all photos  used in this post are off WeHeartit

5 Student Hacks

I’m a sucker for a good list of hacks, what I can’t stand is a list of 15+ hacks in which only like one of them is useful to the reader. So when I come across a good hack for a topic i stash it in a journal until I have at least 5 that I can compile and share. SInce its a few weeks into the uni semester ( at my school anyways<) I thought this might be the perfect time for some of these since papers are due and midterms might be coming up for some people.  So without further ado here is a list of 5 things that I have found super helpful- except for the last one… cause as you will read I actually haven’t done that one.

1a. Slide for That
If you find that you are having a hard time reading 50+ pages of text to try and understand a concept try typing your SUBJECT + “filetype:ppt” into google instead. This will bring up free lecture slides online.

Screenshot 2017-09-27 at 8.45.40 AM


1b. Online Textbooks?
Not going to lie, I have only had success with this around 50% of the time. You can google the name of your class textbook + “filetype:pdf” and it might come up. This can save you some money, or if the full textbook isn’t online but some chapters are it can save you lugging around a huge book.

Screenshot 2017-09-27 at 8.49.15 AM


2. Citations
Citations are a b*tch, let’s just come out and say it. I am one of those people who will do a bunch of research and just copy and paste links into a blank doc, then when I am done I will go back and cite my paper off those links. I found out the hard way that that sometimes does not work. So I had to take get help with citations a few semesters ago, and one kind loving soul told me about these to help:

CiteThisForMe: this site allows for many different types of citations, as well as offers an add-on for your browser + word add-on + PLAGIARISM checker!!!

CitationMachine : this site allows you to make your own citations by simply plugging in the information you used. Example: If you used an article online you plug in the web address and it takes all the relevant information and makes your citation… It’s magic.


3. Scholar
Google Scholar saved my sanity! It’s the easiest database to use EVER. What is is you ask? Its google but when you search for it, it only brings up published papers and articles that you can actually use in your papers. As well as when you click on one of the links that come up you can get the citations from it + find related articles + quote it. AMAZING.


4. Focus Child
Sometimes it’s hard to sit at a computer for a few hours and really buckle down on homework when you would rather be scouring the internet for cute kitten photos. Thankfully there are many in-browser add-ons you can get to allow you to actually stay focused:

Chrome: StayFocused
Firefox: LeechBlock
Safari: Mindful Browsing.


5. Pocket Points

Ok, so this one is new to me. It’s an app that allows you to earn points for major retailers by keeping your phone locked during class time? If you are in University in the USA this is readily available to you already if you are one of the listed schools. Unfortunately, my school isn’t there but I have submitted it to take part.


Screenshot 2017-09-27 at 9.07.32 AM


There are tons of different hack lists out there, but these are some hacks that I used almost daily. So I hope that they are helpful to someone out there. Also, if anyone has had success with Pocket Points, please let me know about your experience with it!

Course Selection & Major Realizations

sC7Lw1505238442Being a General Studies student has opened my eyes to so many different educational experiences and paths that one can take. To get a sense of where I am coming from I have been in university now off and on for around 5 years in 4 different cities. To some, this seems like I am wasting my time and money, but for me, this is what I need to do to get myself on the path that is right for me. In the time I have been in university I have been in many different courses ranging all over the educational spectrum. I didn’t always know what I wanted to do with my life and that ok. Since I have taken such a wide range of courses I have had the pleasure of meeting so many different types of people, I thought this blog could be about what courses one can take based on the type of person they see themselves as, or who they strive to be. This blog is almost fully taken from a project I did last year about freshman picking their courses while enrolled in General Studies ( major reference:

Earth Enthusiast🌎

⠂Environmental Science
⠂Marine Biology
⠂Animal Science
⠂Natural Resources and Conservation
⠂Bioenvironmental Engineering
⠂Environmental and Business Economics


Analytical Thinkers💡

⠂Classical Humanities
⠂Women and Gender Studies
⠂Foreign Language
⠂Media Studies



Health and Fitness💪

⠂Public Health
⠂Exercise Science
⠂Sports Nutrition
⠂Holistic Psychology
⠂Physical Therapy




Creative Geniuses 🎨

⠂Computer Science
⠂Visual Arts
⠂Foreign Language
⠂Creative Writing
⠂Landscape Architecture

Business Gurus👔

⠂Business (duh)
⠂Supply Chain Management
⠂International Business
⠂Information Technology


Policy Pushers✍️

⠂Political Science
⠂Environmental Policy
⠂Urban Planning
⠂Public Policy Analysis
⠂Criminal Justice
⠂Labour Studies & Employment Relations
⠂Human Resource Management
⠂Public Administration
⠂Education Policy Analysis

Depending on what school you go to will factor in if these majors, minors, or courses are available to you. This is just a list that I find easy to read to establish what courses you could be interested in. This is by no means a list of the courses you need to take to get a degree, it’s just my observation on what certain types of people take. If anyone wants to read the report I did I am more than happy to email it out. Anyways, I currently attend the University of the Fraser Valley. I am enrolled in the General Studies Bachelor program with an Aviation theme and a double minor in Business and Geography. It took me a long time to narrow down what I wanted to do, I didn’t even think twice about adding on another minor until I took a random Geography class as an elective one semester. It opened the flood gate to all the things I loved about how countries work, and why. The nice thing about university is you can always take 100 level courses to see if it’s something that interests you. I like to describe 100 level courses as buffets. You get to see first hand what the field is about. I have my major and minors figured out but I am currently taking Sociology 100 just to be curious. There is never any harm in learning.


How to Utilize your Syllabus


Sitting in the first week of classes every semester is torture. There are numerous ice breaking games, seat anxiety, and days filled with syllabuses. Let me tell you a little story; I used to be that super unorganized girl that would throw my syllabus in my binder somewhere and that was that. I would only pull it out when I either needed my teacher’s email address, or the date of the exam ( which was conveniently the day of, usually). Until about 2 semesters ago, I read an article that went over how to actually utilize the syllabus. Boy oh boy, that article changed my life. Now I don’t follow that girls 600 step syllabus situation, but I have made my own 4 step process that works very nice for me.

First off, while in class.
Dates- assignments, tests, projects, class cancellations, exam
Contact- Prof information, email, office hours
Percentages- the breakdown of assignments/projects/tests/exam

*Make notes of anything the prof says while going over it so things like if the textbook is needed, any changes to the syllabus etc.*

Secondly, put that bad boy front and center baby.
Depending on how you divide your binder or if you even use a binder. Keep this baby in the front. So you can always reference it in a time of crisis lol.

Third, actually take it out when you get home.
So I use a couple sheets to record the vital information and make a checklist.

Paper #1 -write down all the contact information for your profs. So every prof for one semester is on one sheet like so… SONY DSC

Paper #2- Next dates, on a blank piece of paper, write down all the dates of assignments/projects ( I normally write down 3 days prior, so I have them all done on time with a day or so to reread/proofread and or get help) write each class in a different colour, and cross those bad boys off each time you complete or hand one in.
Paper #3 ( or continue on paper 2)- write down exam dates-times-rooms


I have a file on my phone that is specifically for school things. So I take photos of all the papers we just did ( contact info, assignment dates, exam dates), and any schedule I think will be important…. Like bus schedules, admin hours, library hours, cafeteria hours etc.

(All of these photos have made up information on them.)


Student Discounts


SHOCKER, University is expensive. We all know this, this is not news. Here I have made a list of discounts that you qualify for if you are a student!

SPC cards
So this card is not free- bummer I know, but it’s around $11.00 and you get hooked up with some rad deals. Ok, so I was going to write out all the rad deals but I didn’t realize how flipping long it was… so the link is HERE.

International Student Card ( ISIC)
So this is a globally accepted student card. The way you go about getting on of these cards is by either your school having a table set up for it at frosh week, or go online ( link here for Canada)  The card online is 20$, but I swear to god I got mine for free at frosh week. The discounts you can save are from all around the world so the link to that is HERE.

Your School Card!
OK so I know that all schools are different. Some schools include transit passes, rec center passes, and rink passes etc. with their student fees. Which is AWESOME, but did you know that just having that valid student card can give you discounts at an INSANE amount of places? Here is a list of what stores that I know of that you can save at:

Banana Republic: Save 15% on full-priced, in-store purchases only.
Bulk Barn: Students receive 10% off on Wednesdays with valid ID.
Club Monaco: Both full-priced and sale items are 20% off with your valid student ID.
H&M: Valid ID must be presented to receive 15% off entire in-store purchases.
Kate Spade: Show your student ID and receive 15% off your purchase.
Levi’s: This store offers 15% off for students.
Roots: Students save 20% with their student discount on regular-priced items. You can purchase anything on sale and you’ll still be able to receive 10% off.
Sally Beauty Supply: Save on products with your Beauty Student Card from Sally Beauty Supply. You’ll get monthly specials and special email offers.
TOMS: Students can get free shipping on all orders of TOMS Shoes; the company donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you buy.
TopShop: Students get 10% off.
Urban Outfitters: Save 10% off on specific days with your Student ID. 

Apple: Get wireless Beats headphones when you buy an eligible computer, tablet or smartphone with a valid student ID. Apple also offers special education pricing on Apple computers, select software and third party products to post-secondary students, parents buying for a post-secondary student, or faculty and teachers.
Adobe: Full-time students can receive discounts on software, such as 60% on Creative Cloud.
Best Buy: Check out the Students Savings program for exclusive deals on laptops, tablets, desktops and small appliances.
Dell: Dell offers discounts on laptops, desktops and more. You can check out these deals online.
Microsoft: Students can save up to $194 on a Surface Pro 3, or save 10% on accessories. They also get special pricing on software. Visit the Microsoft Store website for more information.
Shaw: Keep your student budget balanced with Shaw. Students get internet for just $35 per month for eight months.

Cellphone Companies
Rogers: This phone company has a student offer available called “split them into offers” which can vary. One offers a Samsung Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S7 for $0.05 on a two-year Premium + Tab Share Everything plan. Another takes $10 off a monthly bill for each new number added to a Share Everything plan. A data-focused offer adds 2GB for $5 on select Share Everything plans.
Bell: The company is offering students the same thing as Rogers, namely the 2GB extra on plans that start with 5GB. Until Sept. 30, there is also a 1GB bonus for tablets on a two-year Tablet Flex or Share plan.
Telus: This mobile provider is offering a 2GB monthly bonus for $5 for any student activating or upgrading a premium smartphone on a two-year Your Choice plan.

Travel and Transportation
Air Canada: Air Canada and StudentUniverse teamed up to provide the best student discounts on airfare. Check out their website for the features of flying Air Canada, as well as baggage information.
GO Transit: You can get a GO-approved Student ID card through GO Transit or at your school, then pick up a re-loadable PRESTO card wherever you buy GO tickets.
Greyhound: A student ID will save you 10% and an ISIC card will save you 25% on a regular adult fare.
VIA Rail: Travel between major Canadian cities with an Unlimited Semester Pass starting at $499.

GoodLife Fitness: Student memberships are offered with valid student ID.

Tickets and Admission
Canadian Opera Company: With valid student ID you can buy opera tickets for only $22 Cineplex: Students can pay $8 for admission to a movie every Thursday.

Buffalo Wild Wings: At many locations across Canada you can receive 10% off your meal. Just ask your server to see if the deal is available at your location.
Burger King: Students can receive 10% off their meal by showing their student card.
Chipotle: Students receive a free soft drink after the purchase of food, when they show their ID.
Dairy Queen: Students receive a discount of 10% off their purchase.
Subway: Students receive a discount of 10% with valid ID.

9 Ways to Save Money in University


I won’t bore you with an intro on this one. University is expensive, living while in university is expensive here is a list of things I do to save money.

Whether you bought a new laptop for university or are bringing your own, you might have been harassed by a salesperson to buy Microsoft ( I say this with nothing but respect for salespeople, as I am also a sales person) But let me tell you, you don’t need to pay for Microsoft!!! If you have a Gmail account you can use Google for pretty much anything! Google offers “ Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides” etc. These are the 3 I use the most and they work just as good if not better than Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. I know that most schools/professors only allow you to hand work in using Microsoft, but luckily you on google you are able to save as Microsoft documents!

If you were like me and were on your parent’s medical/dental plan until you are 21 opt out of the ones they offer you at your college ( your parents are normally a lot better and cover a lot more) If you work full-time check to see if you qualify for benefits thru your work as they can also be better than what your school can provide. If you do qualify check to see if you are allowed double coverage thru work and school, if yes you’re golden ponyboy. If no, compare work vs. school and see which one covers you better and opt into it.

Put money on your card at the beginning of the semester
This may seem counterproductive to this post, but let me tell you this will save you. In the first week of classes go put on around 50$ on your student card.  This will be good for printing papers on campus, late night coffees, forgotten supplies from the bookstore. I can’t stress how much this saved me my first year. Check where you are able to use your card, at my university we can use it at all services on campus ( Tim Hortons, Library, campus restaurant etc.) If your university is anything like mine it can be hard to actually load money on your card, at one of my school campuses you can only load with a credit card, or in person from the most insane hours. So be prepared. BE PREPARED. This should be your mantra for the next however many years you are staying at uni.

Ask for gift cards/ money on your student card
Most universities allow student card money to be put on directly from the campus website. If not, find out if this kind of thing is available thru your school and print/save the instructions and when family member asks what you want for your Birthday/Christmas etc. ask for money to be put on this card.

Don’t buy the top of the line everything ( you don’t need the logo to be cool)
This one may seem annoying, but you can save a lot of money by buying last year’s models and by bargain hunting. A couple things I recommend this on are laptops and basic school supplies. When buying my laptop I had a hard time, mostly because I wanted to make sure I was buying a device that I would be utilizing the most. I didn’t want to buy a device that I would only use a couple of the features on. I went back and forth from Asus, HP, and Chromebooks. In the end, I decided on a Chromebook ( there will be a blog about how to choose the devices that are right for you soon). Paper, Pens, Highlighters etc. can all be bought at dollar stores or Winners for a fraction of the price of the bookstore or Staples.

Share Netflix/Spotify/HBOGO etc.
Sharing is caring, right? I currently use Netflix and Spotify which should be around twenty-something dollars a month, but instead, I have a joint Netflix account with my ex ( I know, I know cliche) but we are on a super old plan which is 7.99 a month which we take turns paying for. As for Spotify, I am on a 9.99 a month plan with 3 of my friends so we each pay like 3.50 a month. When I want to use HBOGO I give my neighbour 5 bucks and use it for the month. This is a great way to do things, since no one pays for cable anymore and majority of these subscription services you can watch while offline ( BONUS)

this might sound super annoying, and time-consuming.. It is, but ultimately it can save you a good amount of money. Figure out how good the transit system is in your town, and then look at what your school offers. My university has bus passes included in our student cards we can use them in all the cities that we have campuses in. We also have a shuttle service that takes us to and from the campuses, so I use the transit system to get to and from school and the shuttle bus to get between campuses. It takes some planning and some getting used to but once you have a good schedule down it gets easier. If I add up how much my car takes to get JUST to and from school 5 days a week for 1 month it’s around $200, that’s just campus to campus. So this is a money saver, FOR SURE.

Try buying textbooks EVERYWHERE but the bookstore
You will find that it is cheaper to buy a house than it is to purchase university textbooks. For this DO YOUR RESEARCH. Get a list of your class textbooks, go online and check if your prof will actually use the books-use rate my prof for this, check if they allow you to use online books or earlier edition books( find them online by just typing in the title into google). Once you have researched what you actually need go to thrift stores ( granted this has only worked for me like once it was a MIRACLE a 100$ book for 4$) check Facebook groups for textbooks in your area ( we have one called “Fraser Valley Used Textbooks”) look to see if your school has an online marketplace ( our uni and ones around the area use Books2Go, which is AMAZING) lastly email your prof and check if they have a list of people from previous classes who want to sell.

Utilize rec center activities 
They are normally covered by your student card. Your student card is your ticket to HEAVEN… ok so not actually but close. Most schools partner with rec centers, who have SO MUCH for you to do. You can sign up for different classes like cooking, Pilates, kickboxing etc. Rec centers are the perfect place to go and relax and depending on your city also normally have GREAT hours. I am a super morning person, so I opt in for a morning sauna once or twice a week to just relax and get my mind off of school. Joining sports nights can also be fun too… also FREE. YAY.