Looking Back at 2017: My First Semester at Conestoga College

Conestoga College - Jasmine Marinelli
Jasmine – 1st year Public Relations student at Conestoga College

It’s sad having to say goodbye to 2017, but exciting to start a new one. Saying goodbye to all of the memories is hard, whether they were good or bad, will be hard. But I can finally say, that I have survived my very first semester of college. No, it wasn’t the easiest, but it was a great experience.

In September I was scared to be honest, excited but scared. It was like I was at the top in grade 12 at my school, familiar with everything, in my prime and then I had to start all over again. I felt like I was the new kid in school, the niner, starting from the beginning. Not knowing where my classes were, being late because I was lost, parking in the furthest parking lot that wasn’t even my assigned parking lot… nevertheless September was a stepping stone for where I am now.

Now, I can proudly say that the blue parking lot is my designated one. I’m always five minutes early to my classes, and I don’t have to read off my schedule to find them. Yay for not being a college dummy anymore! I made lots of friends in my program throughout September, some that will be staying with me for the next four years of my life… and counting.

I joined the school’s soccer team and made even more friends. Being involved in an extra-curricular activity was one of the reasons why I enjoyed my first semester so much. Without being on the team I wouldn’t have met so many new people that play a huge role in my life now. Playing soccer helped me learn how to balance my time efficiently, and juggle all of the new things that have starting to begin in my life. Our 2017 Conestoga women’s soccer team won five games in our season, which hasn’t happened in twelve years. Now that is something I am very proud to be apart of.

At the beginning of the semester I was not accustomed to the heavy workload that was being thrown at me. Especially the difference of high school marking and college marking. I started off receiving marks in the low seventies – which is not something I was used to. But as I started to get familiar with my courses, my marks started to improve and I started to feel more motivated to get better grades. There were countless all-nighters, cramming assignments in, and lots of stress but I can still say it was a great year for academics; and I am finishing off the year with an eighty average – which was my goal.

My schedule from first semester is probably the best schedule I have had for school. Partially because I had Friday’s off. It was nice being able to have an extra day to add to my work schedule. However, I used Friday mornings to my advantage and was able to get a lot of my assignments handed in early, and my homework finished all in one day. I finally learned how to stop procrastinating and get my work done in 2017. It may not be a huge accomplishment to you guys reading but boy was that something I have never been good at.

First semester was a wild ride. It was filled with many ups and downs, memorable experiences and many opportunities to better myself in 2018. My progression from September to now is very visible. I am not the same unexperienced college girl I was in September… I am now a semi-experienced college girl who is ready to tackle on my second semester of college.

I’m truly excited to see what 2018 has in store for me, and I’m going to make sure it is my best year yet.

By: Jasmine Marinelli

Why You Should Go to Conestoga College’s Open House…

Dear future students,

Conestoga College - Jasmine Marinelli
Jasmine – 1st year Public Relations student at Conestoga College

Last year I was sitting in the same position as you. I wasn’t sure which schools to apply for, what programs would best fit me, and what type of requirements I would need for the programs.

It’s all coming very fast and you may feel overwhelmed, I know I did last year at this time. You’re thinking, I have to choose what I have to do for the rest of my life… right? And that is very scary. But listen, you have plenty of opportunities to figure out what programs you want to apply for, and which schools offer those programs.

If you are interested in Conestoga, or just browsing around still not sure what you’re even interested in, the Open House would be a great start.

One of the main reasons why I chose Conestoga was because of that Open House. I spoke to a variety of recruiters, spoke to teachers that were in the field I was interested in (Public Relations) and got a feel of what the program would be like. There is nothing better than stepping into a room full of people, that are in the same boat as you.

At the open house I was given more of an in-depth explanation of what the program ‘Bachelor of Public Relations’ would be like. The best part was that I got to speak to present teachers, third year students and alumni’s. I asked all of the questions I needed, and got all of them answered. I was given examples of co-op placements, future job positions, and what my salary may be starting as. It was everything I expected and more.

Coming out of the open house, I realized that I wasn’t lost anymore. I knew what I wanted to do and was set on applying for the program… along with a few others at Conestoga.

Conestoga’s Open House is great for anyone and everyone who is looking at starting a post-secondary education. It’s not just a recruitment, it’s an experience to get to know more about the programs you are interested in.  There is no such thing as too much information, especially when it comes to YOUR FUTURE.

There are a variety of things other than just the programs and course requirements that you learn when attending the Open House. I learned that we actually had a residence on campus… which I didn’t know until then. I also learned about the athletic programs, the services Conestoga has to offer their students. As well as the bookstore, Conestoga SWAG, and the rec centre. I found out the great deals you can get with the ONE Card, and the amazing food stops you can visit in the cafeteria.

It was described to be a much more advanced high-school, with a slight bit of changes. This got me excited for what the future holds, and what amazing opportunities you can have at Conestoga. After the open house I couldn’t wait to finish off high-school, graduate and start a new beginning at Conestoga College.

As a future student, anywhere, I encourage you to attend the Conestoga College Open House  on Saturday, January 20th. This open house helped me choose and narrow down my options for post-secondary, leading me to decide that Conestoga College is the college for me. Take this opportunity to learn how to make your future a great one.

See you there! 😊

 

How to Prevent Yourself from Being Stressed in College

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It’s that time of the year when everything starts to get busy. You have Christmas shopping to do, work shifts to attend, and LOADS of schoolwork. College is not a walk in the park, let me tell you that. Highschool was nothing compared to this… and I definitely didn’t find myself gaining 8342745 pounds from stress eating. But don’t worry, don’t get nervous. I have found a few things that have helped me deal with the stress of college.

Organize yourself –  This means you could buy an agenda, use your online calendar, a white board calendar; or if you don’t want to spend any money there are pre-made calendar’s online that you can print. I chose to use a Conestoga’s own white-board calendar. Which I bought for only $10 at the bookstore (very good investment). If it wasn’t for this calendar I would definitely have missed a couple of important dates, forgot what time my classes were and completely disorganize myself. Using a calendar or a planner of some sort, will help you organize the specific due dates you have, and even important dates you think you might forget about. This way you will always have your dates organized.

stress2Another way to organize yourself is to create a task list. A task list helped me remember what homework was assigned for which class, what readings I needed to complete, and when they needed to be completed by. The way I did this was by using a Microsoft Word “task list” template, and add in my own tasks. Throughout the day while I was in class, and was assigned something I would automatically add it to my task list. The most satisfying feeling is looking at your task list when it has check marks in ALL of the boxes. Creating a task list not only motivates me to complete everything, as well as helps me prioritize what needs to be done first.

Prioritize / Manage your time – Everyone forgets what managing their time means now and then. At least I know sometimes I forget, especially when there is so many things going on at once. This is something that is tricky to master and speaking for myself I haven’t mastered it yet. But, I’ve learned quickly that it’s one of the most important things to grasp during college. A way you can prioritize/manage your time is by giving yourself enough time to complete things, meaning you could start it early and complete it ahead of the due date. Do you really need to watch the new Riverdale on Thursday? Or can you leave that time for completing your readings? I think going to your friend’s house on Friday can wait until Saturday since you have an essay due at 12am? Am I right? Yes. These are just a few things that can get in the way with completing your work. But, if you’re able to manage your time, and prioritize what to do first, then you won’t feel stressed to complete an essay due in an hour because you’ve already completed it. Procrastination doesn’t arise when you’re able to successfully manage your time and prioritize your work – which lowers your stress levels.

A Week Full of “Firsts”
Jasmine – 1st year Public Relations student at Conestoga College

Nevertheless, you’re going to experience a bit of stress throughout college, which you might not have experienced throughout high-school. However, there are ways to get through it and there are ways to prevent it. It’s not easy but motivate yourself to want to organize your life, plan out assignments, hand things in early and prioritize your time. Life will be a lot easier that way.

8 Student Survival Tips to Eating Well

CSI Shirt Photo
Chrissy – Event Management – 3rd Year student

Let’s be honest, eating well is one of the hardest things to do, especially as a student. Life is so busy that it feels overwhelming to also have to try and eat well. Here are some tips to help guide your eating habits into a healthier pattern.

  1. Try to always pack a lunch and snacks – this will help you to not eat the fast food on or around campus.
  2. Meal prep – this is seriously a life saver. Devote a day of the week to do all of your meal prep for the entire week, then you will not have to worry about lunches for the entire week!
  3. Pack fulfilling lunches and snacks – sandwiches, salads, granola bars, fruit, etc. Pack stuff you know you will eat, but are still healthy. Try not to pack any junk like chips, chocolate and candy.
  4. Eat breakfast – breakfast is the most important meal of the day and fuels your body for the rest of your day, so please do not skip it! A healthy, fast breakfast is oats or granola, berries and yogurt.
  5. Skip the coffee – instead of coffee, try making a tea in the morning. It will save you money and time because you can skip the Tim Horton’s line!
  6. Smoothies – smoothies are incredibly filling and nutritious. Try finding different recipes online and you could have a different one every morning!
  7. Farmer’s Market – try and buy your vegetables and fruits from the Farmer’s Market. You can often find great deals. There are lots of different options such as the St. Jacob’s Market, the Kitchener Market and the Uptown Market to name a few.
  8. Balance – it is completely fine to treat yourself every once in a while, but just realize that every once in a while should not be every day, even though I know that is what I want to do most times!

 

How to Save Money during College

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How to save money during college – Chrissy (3rd year Event Management)

Saving money is probably one of the hardest things to do, especially during college. Luckily, I have found some tips and tricks to make saving money easier.

  1. Textbooks – One easy way to save money is to not buy new textbooks. Textbooks are surprisingly expensive, but there are some things you can do to get them cheaper. One option would be to buy them used from the bookstore. Textbooks are also sold used on Kijiji and Facebook Buy and Sell groups. If you do end up buying textbooks brand new, the bookstore offers to buy back textbooks for up to 50% of the retail purchase price. Watch out for posters around the campuses stating when the buyback periods are.
  2. Eating out – During college, it is very hard to find time to cook homemade meals and takeout becomes a much faster option. If you did not know, you can actually load money onto your OneCard and use it as payment at the different restaurants in Conestoga and some select off campus locations. Not only that, but you also receive 5% off any non-branded item at Chartwells locations, Pita Pit, Pizza Pizza & The Venue during the Fall 2017 semester.
  3. CSI Health and Dental Plan – A lot of students do not realize that a health and dental plan is automatically included in their tuition. If you are already covered under another insurance, you can actually drop out of that plan and get your money back. That is a whole $286 for the full year return!
  4. Awards, grants, scholarships and bursaries – Conestoga offers so many awards that can help greatly with the price of tuition. A lot of the time, if you qualify for an award, you will need to write out an essay. Although this sounds like it might take a lot of time, it is worth it to take that time out of your day if you end up receiving the award. Check under the financial tab on Student Portal and Conestoga Student Inc.’s website under scholarships for all of the opportunities.

Hopefully some of these tips can help you save up money during your years at college as I know they have come in handy for me! The smarter you become about saving your money and finding some deals, the easier it will be to navigate college!

-Chrissy