Educational Skydive: Top 5 Ways Jump Right Into Any Project

I started telling people late last year I wanted to do something crazy, stupid, and adventurous.  I guess skydiving was the answer to my “problems”. Why do it? If you can find the courage to jump from 3000 ft, you can bet everything else will seem much easier. A few weeks before my grand skydive, I had to do a task that was pretty scary for me: A quick speech. Isn’t public speaking the worst? By nature I’m not a shy person but, like the rest of the world, speaking about a certain topic for more than 30 seconds in front of big crowds…ain’t my thing. Approaching my destination for the sky dive got me thinking about conquering fears. Fear is a natural part of life and an essential emotion. Nobody on this earth is fearless. From a potentially bad and daunting experience like jumping out of a plane I was able to learn some things that not only made it a wondrous experience, but could be applied to any fears we face.

//Planning Ahead//

I had to travel a little out of my way in order to get to this skydive center. I’m one who doesn’t leave the house without a google maps print out and I am always prepared with alternative directions. When you have an important project or presentation, it is great to plan ahead: Practice your speech, go over your presentation, and edit your documents. Do you home work before hand. Continue reading

You and Your Professor….Best Friends?

A professor can be one of the most terrifying people you meet during your university career. After all they are there to judge you and potentially hold your future in their hands. The truth is that most professors are not really all that scary (although there are a few!!). If you look really hard you may just find an ally who is willing to go the extra mile to help you reach your goals.

So how do you turn that unapproachable curmudgeon into your best friend? Here is some helpful information that will forever cement you and your prof as the best of friends.

After taking the above actions, you will now have a friend and ally for the rest of your scholastic career and beyond. Does that mean they should be invited to your next kegger?  Probably not. A few key things that your new friend can help with include…

  • Keeping you updated on opportunities within the school community
  • Providing you with references for your next scholarship application or job interview
  • Introducing you to people in their network that can help you achieve your goals

Now heed the advice doled out by mothers on their children’s first day of school, get out there and make some new friends!!!


Top 7 Hearty Snack Ideas For Winners

Getting breakfast, lunch, and dinner in your system isn’t always easy. Hey! Don’t get distressed at the idea of not being able to eat appropriately, not worth beating yourself up over. Realistically, not many students watch Food Network 24/7 or have the space to even cook! Instead of trying to whip up a five course meal, try these hearty snacks to curb your appetite with out sacrificing flavor. Quick and easy, you will not regret adding these recipes into your recipe box.


Why not try these snack Why not try these snack ideas instead of grabbing that bag ideas instead of grabbing of lays or those nachos you just had to buy at 7-11. Trust me, that bag of lays or those nachos you just had to buy your body and heart will thank you for your culinary efforts.


Melissa Matos

Is Your Morning Routine Slowing You Down?

Let’s be honest, not everyone is a morning person. Come on! The idea of waking up groggy, sleepy, and looking out the window saying to yourself, “So that’s what sunrise looks like…” isn’t appealing to all students.  However, some changes to your morning routine can improve your overall mental state and possibly improve your academic career. Think about it, your whole day is set by the little things you do at the beginning of your schedule. Night owls reading this might not jump right in to changing their habits but, your teachers might appreciate you more if you’re awake in class.

Try one of these 6 tips out and see if they work for you. It’s all about introducing new habits and starting better morning routines:

It’s A New Year

So you’ve survived holiday shopping, time with the family, the dreaded Doomsday apocalypse (and holiday shopping), now what? Time to start planning for the New Year! It’s that time of year again when we take the time to reflect on our current year and start preparing for the New Year that lies ahead. You’ll put the past year behind you and think of a New Year’s resolution to make 2013 the best year yet.

What will your New Year’s resolution be this year? Are you hoping to improve your grades? Are you making it a goal of yours to exercise more? Whatever your resolution is, the fact of the matter is, you must commit. It’s one thing to say you want to do something and it’s another to actually do it.

My resolution last year was to eat healthier. I tend to be a sugar addict so when it comes to chocolate and candy, it was hard for me to say no. I decided to live a healthier lifestyle and watch more closely what I was eating. I stayed on track for about three months…then after the three month mark my eating habits were back. I was back to eating junk food on a daily basis and noticed the difference in both my weight and health. As you can see, the problem I had with my resolution was commitment. I didn’t want my goal bad enough to completely turn around my lifestyle.

This brings me to TIP #1: Choose a resolution that you want desperately so that you are able to commit to it 100%. If the commitment is there, you should have an easier time accomplishing your goals. Once you have discovered what you really want to accomplish in 2013, it’s time to start planning.

TIP # 2: Outline how you will achieve your goal(s). By this I mean writing down a weekly schedule of things that you will do that will ultimately bring you closer to achieving your goal(s). For example, if your resolution is to get in shape then ask yourself this – “what am I going to do about it?” You could fit the gym into your schedule two to three times a week. Don’t make excuses, that’s what 2012 was for! Now, you may be asking how you get yourself motivated to achieve your new goals.

TIP #3: Writing down your goal(s) will actually increase your motivation. How? By writing down your goals and putting them on your bathroom mirror for instance, you’ll wake up every day and be reminded of them. By actually seeing your goals on paper, you’ll feel more inclined to achieve them. To get even more motivated, write down your progress on a monthly basis beside your goal.

2013 is a New Year which means new challenges and new opportunities lie ahead. Take advantage of them and push yourself to the limit. You might be surprised with what you can achieve.

Happy New Year!

Written By: Jessica Hooper

De-Stressing During Exam Time

It’s that time of year again - it’s the end of the semester and you’re rushing to get all of your assignments, papers, and projects finished on time. On top of that, you’re preparing to spend many hours hibernating in the library studying for your final exams. Can you say stressful!?

Procrastination will work against a student’s best efforts at this time of the year. Students must budget enough time to finish their work before the due date so they don’t go into stress overdrive. The problem is, we as students, love to leave things until the last minute, only to realize that our big end of the semester paper is due in a few days. You’re then forced to work under pressure, which may or may not work to your advantage. However, it’s very hard to write a well-written paper in a day or two. Giving yourself enough time to put your best efforts into writing a paper will distinguish the difference between an A worthy paper versus a C.

So, I’d like to ask all students this: what do you do during the end of semester to take some of this pressure and stress off your shoulders?

In my experience at university, I can offer some advice to students who are feeling this exam stress.

• Avoid leaving things until the last minute. Yes, you’re constantly reminded not to procrastinate in university and you’re told this for a reason. Your professors will likely start piling up the work near the end of the semester so make sure you’re on the ball the first week of classes. Do your work early and that way you’ll have plenty of time to perfect your end of semester assignments.

• Improve your study skills. Learn how you can become a more efficient and effective studier. You’ll be able to absorb more material and remember what you’ve studied in a shorter period of time. Equals6 is hosting an online webinar “Getting an A – Expert Study Skills” on December 4th from 8:00PM-9:00PM Atlantic. I encourage all students to attend this event to learn tips and tricks on increasing your grade point average.

To register for the online webinar, please follow the instructions below:

1. Go to

2. If requested, enter your name and email address.

3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: GettinganA 4. Click “Join”.

• Balance is key. Getting good marks is not all about putting as many hours as you can into studying. You must take breaks every now and then. When I was a student, it was difficult for me to focus for more than two hours at a time. Every hour or two, when I found myself losing focus I would put my books away and take a half hour break. I also never studied past midnight because by this time I was too tired to learn any new material. I can concentrate better if I get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.

• Exercise – this goes along with taking breaks. In the middle of the day, I would take a study break and go for a walk to get lunch or I would go to the gym with a friend. Doing about a half hour or more of exercise a day would help to clear my mind of any exam stress. After a workout I felt refreshed and ready to study again.

What do you do to de-stress during exam time?

Written By: Jessica Hooper

Students: Leave Your Excuses Behind…It’s Time to Exercise!

Sure, students have busy lifestyles - but that’s no excuse to skip physical activity on a daily basis. I can’t stress enough the importance of staying active while in school. Committing to some sort of physical activity for 20-30 minutes (or more) a day will reap many benefits in the future.


Staying active not only improves your health, it’s also a preventative measure against obesity. If you’ve gained the dreadful freshman 15 in college, you may want to turn to exercise to take off the pounds. Regular exercise along with healthy eating will ensure your weight stays on track.

Physical health promotes academic learning, helping students to focus better in the classroom. A good cardiovascular system promotes excellent blood and oxygen circulation, which increases the amount of nutrients circulating throughout the brain. In turn, students will have longer attention spans during lectures and they’ll have an easier time absorbing the new material.

Regular exercise will help to build your self-esteem. It’s proven that students who are physically active, whether that’s playing a sport or going to the gym are more confident with themselves than students who do not engage in physical activity. This may be due to the self-discipline and dedication it takes to excel in a sport or to get your butt off the couch and go to the gym.

Last but not lease, staying active while in school will promote a physically active lifestyle. You learn the value of taking care of yourself which is important to maintain healthy long-term. After a great workout, you will feel refreshed both inside and out –any stress you may have will disappear and your mood will instantly be lifted.


All of these health benefits sound very appealing. However, working out is easier said than done. When you’re a student, you’re likely to skip the gym because either a) you are too busy with schoolwork or b) your lack of motivation. Whether you believe it or not, there is a way around these top two exercise barriers.

If you simply cannot find the time to go to the gym, don’t worry, there are other things you can do to get your 30 minutes of exercise in every day. For instance, when you walk to class make sure you take the stairs instead of the elevator. Yes, I am guilty of always taking the elevator – when it’s there it’s very tempting to take the elevator especially when you are in a rush.

Just by carrying a few of your textbooks with your arms to class will work out your upper extremities. If you’re a student, you know that some of your textbooks are very heavy!

When studying or working on an assignment, it is best to schedule in breaks to give your mind a rest. During your breaks do some exercises in your dorm room – sit-ups, jumping jacks, push-ups, you name it! You’ll be able to concentrate better after each break. If you’re unsure of what exercises to do, go on YouTube and search for work-out videos to find small routines that you can easily do on your study breaks. If you like dancing, there are tons of dance videos with routines that you can easily imitate – who said exercising couldn’t be fun?

Written By: Jessica Hooper

Model The Way - Values Are The Guiding Principles To Life

Everyone has their own philosophy of core beliefs and values in life. It is possible to determine who a person is by the values that they deem most important. Ultimately, without established values, there would be little knowledge of meaning and purpose in life as well as no basis to leadership.

For the purpose of this paper, I will clearly articulate what I believe are the guiding principles in my life, discussing only the key values that are central to who I am and what I stand for.

To begin my discussion, I will first discuss the key value which I believe has shaped the person that I am today. I strongly believe that family has been the most influential in shaping my moral landscape, and is thus the most important value that I possess. My parents were, and are the biggest influence in my life and have instilled within me some of my most upheld values today. Growing up, my parents would constantly remind me of the importance of good manners. I was always told to treat others as I would expect to be treated and to lend a helping hand to those in need. I learned to be myself and be proud of who I am and where I came from. My parents have taught me to be respectable, independent, and honest. It was through their guidance that I was able to become the well-mannered young adult that I am today. I can say without a doubt that my parents are the biggest role models in my life. I put a great deal of meaning into the relationships that I have with my family and am grateful to have such a blessing. They have not only shaped the person that I am today, but will shape the person that I am in the future. In learning what my parents have taught me, from childhood, to the present, I know that one day I will be able to act as not only a great role model for my children, but as an excellent leader as well. I believe that my valuing of family has opened my eyes to have greater respect for others who also value their families with high regards.

My father grew up in a small family, with little money. Not wanting to take the same route as his parents, my father decided to go university and obtain a Business degree. After graduation, he started working for a large technology company called 3M. After 35 years of service, his commitment, hard-work, and determination has helped him to become very successful within his respective field of work. In watching my father work very hard throughout the years to give his family a comfortable lifestyle, inside and outside of work, I came to value hard-work and determination as two very influential values in my life. The influence of what my father was able to accomplish as a direct result of his own efforts and dedication to his goals, has resulted in me attempting to instil those exact same values into my own life. My parents have taught me from a very young age to develop goals and I was often told that if I work hard at them and remain committed, I will one day achieve my goals. Striving for a hard-work ethic does impact my ability to lead, in a way that I will be determined to motivate and encourage my followers to achieve our common goals. Followers are also likely to follow my lead as a hard worker and develop their own hard-work ethic.

Although I believe that hard-work and determination are two very powerful values, they are certainly not the only values that I consider important. I am a strong advocate for honesty as I have great respect for people who feel compelled to tell the truth. My grandmother is a very honest and sincere woman, and because of this, she is highly respected by others around her. Having complete trust in someone you are close to is a comforting feeling. Knowing that I can talk to my grandmother about my problems at any time is very reassuring. I trust her dearly and I know that she would give me her honest opinion in any circumstance. I also feel obligated to act in an honest matter in my everyday life. I do not like the thought of lying and it’s very hard for me to unconsciously deceive others, whether they are strangers, friends, or family. Moreover, along with honesty, I also highly value how I see myself and how others perceive me. For that reason I value my own integrity as yet another significant value. I ideally would like to be thought of as a dependable and reliable individual, both by my family and friends, as well as co-workers. Being seen in the eyes of others as an honest, dependable individual boosts my social relations as well as my dignity as a leader. A reliable leader comes with the qualities of trust, honesty, and consistency. If a leader is influencing a follower, integrity is a crucial characteristic to possess. As a leader, a high degree of integrity helps to build strong personal relationships with my followers.

The final value in which I strongly believe in is equality. As a high school student I had learned through my best friend, what the true definition of equality really meant. In the early years of high school, I had met a friendly African-American student. We had clicked right away and before long we were spending most of our time together. I had noticed right away that my friend was being bullied because of her ethnicity. She was constantly bombarded with racial remarks, and although she let on that it didn’t bother her, I knew that deep down inside of her, her emotions were soaring. Because of the frequent tormenting that she experienced through most of her school days, I came to acknowledge the fact that not everyone is treated as an equal. This really inspired me to become friends with international students who were also being bullied because of their skin colour, religion, and/or cultural differences. Other students saw that I, along with many of my close friends, were welcoming of the victimized students. By inviting them into our close knit group of friends, allowed other students to view the African-American ethnicity as not just ‘a racial group’. Other students followed our lead, and began to see that these discredited students had emotions and feelings just like the rest of us. I can say in a sense that I, along with my close friends, acted as a leader. We not only stimulated social relationships with these international students, but made them feel at home at their high school. My new friends were no longer being harassed on a daily basis because of their differences. Students no longer ‘judged the book by its cover’ but rather accepted them as an equal individual.

In conclusion, I will again state that the values discussed throughout this paper were only a few key values that I consider to be central to my beliefs and guiding principles. They are however, not the only values that I feel strongly about. These values are nevertheless the values which are likely to have the biggest impact when it comes to shaping who I am today. These values will in no doubt act as the guiding principles necessary to succeed in leadership. As Stephen Covey states, “Personal leadership is the process of keeping your vision and values before you and aligning your life to be congruent with them”.

Written by: Jessica Hooper

Getting Involved: There’s More To The University Experience Than The Classroom

Looking back on my university experience, if I could give one piece of advice it would be to get involved. There’s way more to the university experience than the classroom.  Who said university is all about studying anyway?

There are plenty of clubs and associations for students to join at university, each tailored to the interests of the students, so there’s absolutely no excuse for students not to get involved. Four years of university may seem like plenty of time to get involved but trust me, it goes by in a blink of an eye!

I recommend joining any clubs or organizations that are of interest to you, whether that be your school’s chess club, debate society, or even running for your university’s student government. Most universities have a wide range of on campus clubs and societies to choose from. To find out about how to get involved at your university, visit your school’s Student Union building or talk to other students who are involved in these associations.

I’ve compiled together a list of the top five reasons why you should get involved. Remember, you’re only a university student once so have fun and get involved in as much as you can!

1. Meet New People: Getting involved on campus is a great way to meet other students. If you’re a new student to the school, joining a club will offer you the chance to meet new friends with similar interests as you.

2. Explore Your Interests:  So you’re interested in photography? Why not join a photography club! It doesn’t matter if you’re a Fine Arts major or a Biology major, if you have a passion for photography then every student is welcome to join. Who knows, you might even reconsider your major at the end of it!

3. Build Connection With School: A student who is involved on campus is more likely to feel a sense of belonging to their school. Getting involved will allow students to feel a strong connection with their school and thus they will feel the need to explore their university further and check out all of the resources it has to offer.

4. Resumé Builder: Let’s face it, being a part of any club or organization at your school looks great on the resume! Your freshman year is not too early to start thinking about positioning yourself for future employment.

5. Time Management:  Being involved will force a student to build good organization and time management skills.

So, what are you waiting for? Make it a goal to join at least one club, association, or society this academic year. It will be the best thing you ever did!

By: Jessica Hooper

6 Tip for Frosh from

by Findlay Hilchie and Hannah Chapple
University is a big change for many young adults. You will meet new people in a new and somewhat intimidating place. For some students, university also means being away from home for the first time. I want to pass on some advice that I wish someone had told me when I was a Frosh.

  1. Get to know your Campus:  Don’t wait for the first day to find your classes and important offices. When you first arrive at university, your campus can feel very imposing. It doesn’t have to be. Take a tour, or just explore on your own. Take your time and don’t be afraid to ask for directions.
  2. Get Involved:  Clubs and Societies will be recruiting around campus during the first few weeks of school, so go and check them out! They are a great way to meet new people with different backgrounds, and they are also good ways to make the topics you learn in class come alive and learn how meaningful the lessons are.  I know you may not have bought in to the whole school pride thing in high school, but trust me that it will make your whole university experience much more meaningful.
  3. Use your Computer:  Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, or Equals6, keep track of all the people you find and build your networks. You will meet so many new people and it can seem overwhelming. Let a computer remember everyone’s last names and hometowns for you and then you can review when you get a chance to breath.
  4. Keep your head on your shoulders: This is a time of new experiences and new people. You are away from your parents and that gives you a lot of freedom, but don’t abuse it or yourself. Just because you can drink/smoke/eat poorly doesn’t mean you have to or should. Take care of yourself!
  5. Don’t spend what you don’t have:  This goes for both money and time. You have to learn how to balance work, sleep, and a social life correctly. I know you might be about to operate on lack of sleep, take a lower grade, or stay in your room for extended periods, but university is about learning about multiple things and moving forward in life. Do it right. Also do not spend your student loan or all your summer savings foolishly. Yes, you can go out and get a few fun things, and have a dinner or two with your new friends but remember to balance it all. That money needs to last you all year.
  6. Apply for Scholarships: Looking back, this is one of my largest regrets. I was smart and got decent grades but never applied for scholarships (working for a site that gives out scholarships seems poetic now).  I could have graduated with less debt and my parents would have not have had to help me out as they did if I took advantage of what was being offered. Check Equals6, Student Awards or Scholarships Canada and apply for anything you qualify for. You will thank me later.