Workshops to turn the semester around
October is a month which seems to fit an awful lot in just 31 days. For students, especially those who are still adjusting to the university life and course load, it can be quite overwhelming. This is why there are a number of tools designed to help students remain on track in their academic curriculum and, as an added benefit, manage to have a healthy and fulfilling personal life.
Students, having for the most part completed their midterms, now have a better sense of whether they have succeeded in staying ahead of the game or if they’ve fallen behind. Falling behind doesn’t necessarily imply a lack of responsibility, it can sometimes be the result of a few details combining to create a larger problem, such as a tougher than expected transition to an increased amount of work or responsibilities, difficulty adjusting to a new environment or living situation, an unexpected illness or other bump in the road that is making it harder to stay on track.
Luckily, here at McGill, there are a number of workshops offered to help students acquire or polish the skills that will enable them to regain control and better manage their agenda. These workshops are free, open to all McGill students and some don’t even require pre-registration. Here are a few that will be taking place within the next few weeks:
University Success Series – In Essays and Term Papers, students are taken through the process of writing essays step by step, enabling them to develop a method and become more efficient essay writers. The Multiple Choice Exams workshop helps students prepare and study for such exams while also teaching them how to better manage their time during the exam. Both workshops have sessions taking place in November; check out the full schedule on the First-Year Office’s website.
Leadership Skills Development – Also offered by the First-Year Office, these workshops give students the opportunity to build and further develop their leadership skills. Upcoming workshops include Balancing Act of School, Work & Social Life, Dealing with Different Personalities in Your Organization and Knowing, Being & Doing: Improving Your Leadership. Students register via Minerva.
Counselling Services Workshops – The Counselling Services workshops are also offered free of charge but require pre-registration, which students can do easily by dropping by their office, calling or contacting them via email. Workshops cover a broad spectrum of skills and themes, from Overcoming Procrastination to Assertiveness Training and Public Speaking to Self Esteem. Visit their website to see the full range of workshops offered and schedule.
Career Planning Service Workshops – Students who are well settled into university life and now thinking of planning for their career will be glad to know that the Career Planning Service, also known as CaPS, has thought of them. They offer a wide range of career-related workshops such as Build your Job Search Tools, Discover the Hidden Job Market, Perfect your Professional Image, Where to Find Internships and a whole lot more. To register, students need to log-in to myFuture and click on the “Events” tab.
Deadline to renew reduced-fare privileges for public transit users
The end of the month of October marks the conclusion of the period students have to obtain or renew their reduced-fare privilege with the STM, the Montreal (Public) Transport Society. Those who have not taken advantage of the on-site photo sessions held at McGill in September have until October 31 to go to the STM Photo Studio, conveniently located next to campus at 2020 University, and have their card made or existing one extended for another year. This is a must for students who are using public transportation on a regular basis as otherwise they pay the full adult fare when taking the bus or metro.
To know whether this is worthwhile for your student, the math is pretty simple. Here are the fees:
Regular fare: $2.75
6 trips: $13.25, or $2.21 per ticket
Student (reduced-fare) monthly pass: $38.75
Just as a reference, the adult (regular fare) monthly pass: $70
In other words, students buying single tickets each time they travel would benefit from the reduced-fare monthly pass as of the 15th trip, whereas wiser shoppers buying 6 tickets at a time will start saving as of the 18th trip. The card comes with an initial fee of $15 but is then valid for the whole year and reduces the need to scramble for tickets or change each time. And, better yet for students who pay taxes in Canada, the federal government offers a non-refundable tax credit on the cost of monthly public transit passes. In 2009, that credit was of 15%, which this year would mean an extra monthly saving of $5.81.