Affordable Places to Shop During College

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

College comes with lots of positives but it can become expensive. Especially when you have to start paying for books, car insurance, phone bills, tuition as well as basic necessities. However, there are a few stores I know, that have helped me save a lot of money during my first year at Conestoga.

Plato’s Closet I’m a clothes gal, I obsess over clothes and have a huge wardrobe that consists of clothes I hardly wear. That’s a “me” problem, but I’m sure a lot of you like fashion. Going to the mall can be super expensive. Instead of going to the mall now, I occasionally shop at Plato’s Closet.

Plato’s Closet is a barely used clothing store that consists of the styles that are most popular. You can buy brand name jeans, t-shirts, purses, shoes, jewelry, accessories and even perfume and makeup for 50%-70% off! The best thing about Plato’s Closet is that you can sell your clothes to them as well! Plato’s is super affordable and won’t burn a hole in your wallet… unless you let it.

Wal-Mart – Honestly, what store is more affordable than Wal-Mart? I bet you can’t really think of one, because I know I can’t. You can buy anything and everything at Wal-Mart. But I shop for specific things at Wal-Mart. Mostly beauty products, writing utensils, snacks and necessities for my room (hangers, laundry baskets, picture frames). Wal-Mart’s prices are unreal, and you get to price match as well.

Beauty products like makeup, soap, shampoo/conditioner and facial cleansers are far cheaper than if you were to go to other stores. There are sales that go on weekly that can save you a bunch of money. As for writing utensils and school necessities, I buy all of mine here. Pen’s, paper and binders are what I have recently purchased from Wal-Mart, and they did not break my bank account. So, I definitely suggest taking a look around Wal-Mart if you’re someone that enjoys deals.

Dollarama – Dollarama is the most affordable store on this list. A dollar for a pack of six pens… and yes, they do last longer than a few weeks. Just because things are a dollar, doesn’t mean they are terrible quality. I mean, they aren’t the best quality but they do the job well. I probably visit Dollarama once every two weeks. You can’t get more affordable than a dollar to two dollars for items.

At Dollarama normally I get hair elastics, white board markers (for my Conestoga calendar), snacks, containers to hold my makeup brushes, cards, sticky notes, dog treats… really anything! Dollarama has anything you want to buy there for clearly a super cheap price. What’s also pretty cool about Dollarama is that you see items that you don’t even see in a regular department store. If you’re working on a project, or presentation I definitely suggest going to Dollarama. They have all the project tools you might be looking for, as well as coloured cue cards – which I am obsessed with. So, I definitely suggest shopping there if you want to stay within your budget, and shop for affordable school necessities.

There are probably many other stores that are super affordable for students in college. However, these are just one’s that I catch myself at. Especially when my bank account is not where it should be, and I have crazy expenses that have to be paid. Take a look at these stores and tell me what YOU think!

By: Jasmine Marinelli

End of an Era

21037756_732254460318937_880301144_oI genuinely can’t believe that it is already March. This school year has been a lot of work, but has also flown by so fast. It’s hard to think that in two months I will be finally done my college experience and off into the workforce.

When it comes to deciding how you want to enter the workforce after college, there’s a lot of options and I am definitely having a hard time deciding. Do I want to take some time off and travel or try and find a full-time career right after school ends? I always had the plan to go straight into a full-time career after school ends, but now do I want two part-time jobs instead? So many options.

There are a lot of options available to Conestoga students if you feel as though you are unprepared for a full-time career.

  1. Career Centre – the Conestoga Career Centre is open to all students and offers a ton of services to help students attain their dream career – for free!
    • Career Advising
    • Job Search Support
    • Employment & Career Planning Workshops and more
  2. MyCareer – Located on the left side of your MyConestoga home page.
  • Resume Workshops
  • Hundreds of Job Postings – with new ones everyday
  • Job Fairs

I also check every single day. I like to stay updated with all the job postings and definitely recommend it. I would also recommend volunteering in your field of interest to add experience to your resume. It also shows that you care about your community and giving back.

Do you have any tips regarding getting prepared for the workforce and finding jobs? Let me know in the comments!


How to Prevent Gaining the “Freshman 15”

Conestoga College - Jasmine Marinelli
Jasmine – 1st year Public Relations student at Conestoga College, documenting her 1st year at college

Before we begin, I just wanted to tell you that, a little bit of weight gain is not bad. People consider the Freshman 15 to be a turning point. Just a little bit of stress eating, and having too much fun might cause some weight gain. However, there are many other reasons you could start gaining weight in college. But, we are going to be talking about how to prevent it.

College is really stressful, especially your first year since everything is fairly new. However, your first year is a lot of fun… especially when there are dorm parties on the weekend, and if you’re of age there are bars to go to. It’s really easy to get off track and start ignoring your health. However, there are so many ways to prevent you from gaining the weight.

I am a victim of the Freshman 15, so my advice would be good to listen to haha.

Drink Water. Water is great for you, there is really nothing better. Water boosts your metabolism and cleanses your body of waste. Water is not only good for helping to lose weight, it is also good for many other things, such as: improving skin complexion, reducing acne, preventing cramps, boosting your immune system and relieving fatigue.

The average person should consume at least 8 glasses per day. So, bring a water bottle to school, there are many water stations around the college so you can fill up there. You can actually can get a water bottle at the dollar store that is big enough to contain 8 cups. Water will definitely help prevent weight increase, especially if you drink enough of it every day.

Eat Healthy. This is one of the most important things to do, and will do wonders for reducing the risk of the Freshman 15. Don’t get me wrong a Big Mac is a wonderful dinner, chips and ice cream taste delicious with a 2,000 word essay. But, they are obviously not good for your body. If you make poor eating choices, your body will start to suffer. Stress eating is one of the main weight gain. If eating helps you stop stressing then try changing what you eat into something healthier.

There are lots of great choices in our café, but some might not be the healthiest (Smokes Poutinerie, Pizza Pizza), if you’re looking for something healthy try Subway, or the stir fry station. Unhealthy food tastes good, if it didn’t no one would eat it. But unhealthy food is not good for you, so if you’re worried about the Freshman 15, don’t eat unhealthy.

Leave Some Room for Exercising. Another basic prevention of gaining weight is exercising. There are many ways to exercise and Conestoga gives you lots of options to help do so. The Rec Centre is a great place to exercise. There is a gym upstairs, as well as a track. You can also go to Zumba and fitness classes to help you exercise. If the gym isn’t your thing then go for a walk or a jog outside, maybe even once a day. This will help burn a few calories and help you lose weight. If you start to plan your walks/runs and make it into a routine you will become healthier, and your body will definitely be happy.

The Freshman 15 is not something everyone has to worry about nor is it a bad thing, like I stated. But your health is something that should be monitored. Being healthy is great, and feeling good about yourself is great as well. You don’t need to necessarily take my advice but the Freshman 15 is out there, so let’s prevent him from making you his next target.

By: Jasmine Marinelli

Volunteering at Conestoga

ICSI Shirt Photof you were ever interested in volunteering, Conestoga makes it extremely easy to do since there are so many options and positions. You are able to get recognized for your volunteer positions through the CCR (Co-Curricular Record). The CCR is an official document that recognizes learning/volunteer positions that you have achieved through approved co-curricular experiences at Conestoga! It is a great piece to add to any portfolio or resume to show to employers.

There are so many ways to volunteer at Conestoga and different positions for every interest! Here are some volunteer opportunities that are typically always open:

Student Ambassador – Represent Conestoga at events, student panels and campus tours! Important as they promote the school to prospective students.

Student Panelists – Sit on a panel and tell your story to prospective students. You only have to speak for 5-7 minutes about why you chose Conestoga and your program, the process of applying, highlights and graduation plans!

Event Volunteers – Some events that need volunteers are the College Fairs, and Fall & Spring Open Houses. You will be in charge of greeting and directing guests, giving tours, assisting with set up and help with vendors. These are incredibly important because I know I would have gotten lost when I went to the Open House if it wasn’t for the volunteers.

The CCR (which can be accessed through MyConestoga) has even more opportunities! Make sure to keep updated on all the possible opportunities and consider volunteering at Conestoga!

Chrissy –

How to Survive an Early Morning Class

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

The first thing you have to realize about college is your school schedule could be something you love, or something you don’t love, at all. There could be a mixture of late classes, early classes or free days! And who doesn’t like free days?

Unfortunately, you can be stuck with a bunch of early classes that clash with your sleep schedule. Believe me, I know… I have two classes this semester that run from 8am until 11am.

At first it was really hard for me to get used to waking up at 6am, preparing myself for the day, and driving to school when it is still dark out. I often forgot something at home because my alarm didn’t go off and I was late, or I wasn’t able to drink my morning coffee and was grumpy. These are all things I felt a month into first semester when I had my early Monday class. I got the hang of waking up and learning how to survive them by doing various things…

You can’t wake up early on your own, especially if you’re not used to it. Make sure you set an alarm almost two hours before your class. The reason I say two hours is because it gives you time to prepare yourself mentally, and physically for class. If you take a bit longer to get ready or if you need time to drive there, it is crucial you are up early. If you start to realize you’re a heavy sleeper and end up sleeping through your alarm. Why not add another one? Ten minutes after your first. For example, what I normally do is add five different alarm times. One at 5:45, one at 6:00, and then the rest in between 6:00 and 6:30. I have never slept through another alarm again.

Fully wake yourself up. I know getting out of your warm, soft, comfy bed is hard in the morning. Particularly, around this season because everything around you feel’s so cold. The best thing to do is get out of bed and quickly run to the shower. A nice hot shower will immediately wake you up. If that is something that doesn’t wake you up then try music. Have your stereo on in your room, and listen to some upbeat pop, or hip hop to help get your day started. Lastly, if you’re a coffee person like I am, and absolutely need it to help you feel alive and awake. Make yourself a coffee, and if you woke up and have some time to spare… take a trip to Conestoga’s on-site Tim Hortons! There’s nothing a good coffee can’t fix.

Lastly, prepare yourself. This is applied to many different, situations because preparing yourself benefits you in many different ways. Make sure you pack your bag the night before, print off any papers that are needed the night before and finish up any last minute homework. You don’t want to feel rushed in the morning especially that early. So, preparing yourself the night before will help alleviate any feeling of being rushed. Partially because you know that you completed everything you needed to the night before.  Feeling rushed can lead to all sorts of things… the most common thing is forgetting something important. Now that is something you don’t want to do, because then it adds stress and unnecessary actions can take place after (driving all the way home to get that one thing you forgot, showing up to class without it, being late, stress).

I can proudly say that I’m able to survive a morning class, without stress and being tired. If you follow these steps and create a routine for yourself you will be able to as well. Good Luck!

By: Jasmine Marinelli




Getting Ready for the Workforce

CSI Shirt PhotoTo get prepared for the workforce there are a couple of different strategies to use. These strategies are beneficial to enhancing skills, introducing new connections and enhancing confidence.

LinkedIn – This website is great for showing potential employers what you have to offer. I recommend everyone create one. Remember, it needs to be professional. Ensure your profile picture is not a selfie. Connect with everyone! Although you may have not met people in “real life”, if they are related to the field you are interested in, there is no harm in sending an invitation to connect.

Job Boards – Some boards that I check on a daily basis are MyCareer (Located in your MyConestoga tabs) and Indeed. These boards are full of job postings and offer new ones every single day. When it comes to potential employers, Indeed has an area where employees can review and leave helpful information about the company or organization. I highly recommend reading these!

Job Preparation – Conestoga offers so many different events and programs to prepare students for the workforce. Job searches, career fairs and career fair preps, the leadership conference, connect workshops, employment advising, drop-in sessions, resume essentials, fake interviews, recruiting sessions and so many more. Be on the lookout for these events on MyCareer’s calendar and Conestoga Student Inc.’s calendar. These events and programs are so great for developing skills and preparing students for the workforce.

Those are some of my tips, let me know if you have any other strategies to becoming prepared for the workforce!


5 Pieces of Advice for New Students at Conestoga

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

Congratulations! Welcome to Conestoga College! You must be really excited… I know I was when I started in September ’17.

I know exactly how it feels stepping into your class for the first time, sitting beside someone you don’t know, preparing yourself for class to start. Don’t fret, Conestoga is the school for you; why else did you choose it?

Let me tell you, it’s okay to be nervous your first day. I learned that it’s every new student’s first day, so you’re never alone. It’s intimidating having a bunch of upper year student’s roaming around the halls, talking to their friends, and looking like they know exactly what they’re doing

The first piece of advice I’m going to give you is breathe. Take a few deep breaths and just relax. Like I said you’re in the same boat as everyone else, you are not alone. Regardless how long your class is you’ll start to warm up to it and things will feel more comfortable. Once you tackle your first classes your second classes will be much easier.

The second piece of advice I will give you is to: ask lots of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Especially when it comes to navigating around the college. If you don’t know where your class is use the upper year students as an advantage. They most likely will be able to guide you in the right direction. There are also many open services around campus that can also help you out with whatever you need.

The third piece of advice I’m going to give you is: pay attention. Any of your professors for your first classes will give you an introduction to the course, and introduce themselves during that period. You will be given your instructional plan, specific and important due dates so you have to make sure you record them in an agenda, on your phone, or whatever works best for you to remember. Paying attention is key because you wouldn’t want to come unprepared for your next class.

The fourth piece of advice I’m going to give you is: talk to fellow classmates. It’s always nice to get to know the other people in your classes. Exchange numbers or social media handles so you can get in touch with them outside of just school. Talking to people is the first step to making friends. Friends make college even more fun especially if they are in some of your classes. It’s never a bad thing to make conversation with others.

The last and final fifth piece of advice I’m going to give you is: make a good first impression. This is an important piece of advice. If it’s your first time attending a class that means there are a set of first impressions you have to make. How you can make a good first impression is, arriving to class 5-10 minutes early, put your phone away, mentally and physically prepare yourself, be awake and alert, and make sure you have all the tools needed for your first class.

It’s scary stepping into a new school. It’s like a whole new world for you and believe me, I’ve been there, done that and survived it all. I have faith that you can do. You’re a condor now, set goals and explore new opportunities. You got this.

Welcome Condor!

By: Jasmine Marinelli