January 16th, 2019

Welcome New Students!

Source. www.pexels.com

By: Samara Moore, Gradlife Ambassador

If you are one of the over 300 new graduate students joining our community this term -welcome! My name is Samara. I am a first year Masters student studying at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. I am pleased to be your Grad Life Ambassador!

At Gradlife, we are here to support you through your journey at UofT! We want you to get the most out of your grad school experience! I encourage you to come out to the programs and events that we organize throughout the year.

I also encourage you to check out the School of Graduate Studies Essential Guide for Graduate Students. This booklet will provide you with key information about important dates and campus resources. You can also check out our website for more information about Grad Life programs and other graduate specific resources on campus.

We have a number of events coming up that you will not want to miss!

Once again, welcome to the University of Toronto!

I hope that these resources have been helpful! I look forward to meeting you on campus! I highly encourage you to register for our games night later this month. I will be facilitating it!

Until next time,

Samara

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 20th, 2018

5 Tips To Help You With Your Goals in 2019!

Source: www.pexels.com

By: Samara Moore, Gradlife Ambassador

Do you make it a practice to set goals for the new year? Are you someone who has an idea about what you want to achieve this year, but do not find it necessary to write it down? Do you intentionally avoid new years resolutions, and prefer to set goals for yourself throughout the year instead?

Whatever your approach is to goal setting, I am sure that we can all relate to wanting to make changes in our lives. Change is a difficult process. It is not uncommon to experience challenges, as we attempt to try new things and make adjustments. At different points in my own life, I have experienced:

  • Setting a goal for myself and not following through to achieve it
  • Struggling to stay motivated and accountable to achieve a goal that I have set
  • Feeling defeated when I have not met a goal, despite my best efforts to achieve it

I have included five tips that I have learned and implemented in my own life. I hope that they are helpful to you, as you work on your own goals this year.

1) Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Setting S.M.A.R.T goals is an incredibly useful way to set yourself up to achieve your targets. It provides a practical method to structure and evaluate your goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals are:

  • Specific
    • Well defined
    • Example
      • Not specific: To participate more often in class, to run more
      • Specific: To speak at least twice during each class discussion, to run for 30 minutes daily
  • Measurable
    • To be able to accurately measure your progress
    • To be able to measure that you have successfully completed your goal
    • Example:
      • Counting how often you speak in each class
      • timing the length of your runs, and the number of days that you run during the week
  • Attainable and Actionable 
    • Setting goals that are realistic and attainable
    • Develop a plan or outline for how you will achieve your goal
    • If needed, breaking down your goal into smaller, attainable steps (smaller goals)
    • Example:
      • Create notes about salient points from course readings, to help better organize your thoughts and build confidence to speak in class
      •  Developing endurance to run for 30 minutes, by setting subgoals. Start with a small goal to take 10 minute runs. Then, set a goal to increase your running time by 5 minutes each week.
      • Subgoals could also be applied to the frequency of your runs. For instance, a smaller goal could be to run for 30 minutes, two days a week. This could increase over time to 30 minute runs everyday.
  • Relevant and Realistic
    • Setting goals that are:
      • Important to you
      • Worth the time and effort needed to achieve them
      • Realistic, given the resources and time available to you
  • Time-based
    • Have a clear timeline for when the goal should be achieved
    • Example:
      • To be able to speak at least twice during each class discussion, by the 4th week of the semester.
      •  To be running for 30 minutes everyday, in 3 months.

Source: www.pexels.com

2) Get an accountability partner

Sharing your goals with a supportive person who can periodically check-in with you on your progress, is a great way to stay accountable to following through on your goals. I have found having accountability partners incredibly helpful, in terms of helping me to stay on track. I have also found the process of supporting each other to be mutually beneficial.

3) Check-in on your progress quarterly

When I set goals for the year, I have found it very helpful to check-in on my progress every three months. It has given me the opportunity to pause and evaluate whether I am working toward my targets. I am able to consider if any adjustments need to be made, or new action steps implemented. This can be done individually and/or with your accountability partner. I find it useful to review and reflect on my progress on my own, and then meet with my accountability partner. If you have a more short term goal, you may want to check-in on your progress halfway through.

4) Leverage Campus Resources

As students at the largest university in the country, we have many resources available to help us meet our goals! I have included links to some campus resources that may be helpful to you, including our Gradlife website.

5) Be Self-Compassionate

Self-compassion is a critical and often neglected component of working toward any goal. I will admit that it is something that I struggle with at times. It is important to remember that change is not a linear process. There may be mistakes and setbacks along the way, but try to show yourself kindness as you forge ahead. Terry and Leary (2011) found that self-compassionate people were actually better able to meet their goals, partially because:

  1. They tend to set realistic goals for themselves
  2. They tend to persevere when they backslide

While the tips provided here are certainly useful for goal setting, they do not guarantee that we will achieve every goal all of the time. Sometimes despite our best efforts, we are not able to meet our goals. I think that it’s important  to remember that our success in life is not just measured by whether we succeed in meeting all of our targets. Our success is also measured by what we learn from failure, and how we respond to it. I came across a quote about setbacks that really resonated with me. I have included it below, in hopes that it may encourage you.

“What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning – and some of them many times over – what do you find? That you can swim? Well – life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes” -Alfred Adler

It has been a pleasure to be your Gradlife Ambassador this term! I hope that you will join us at our upcoming Grad Talk on Staying Motivated as a Graduate Student.

I wish you a happy and safe holiday season! See you in the new year.

Samara

 

Work Cited

Terry, M. L., & Leary, M. R. (2011). Self-compassion, self-regulation, and health. Self and Identity, 10(3), 352-362. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2011.

December 11th, 2018

Learning to Write Freely and Other Life Lessons From a Writing Workshop

Source: www.pexels.com

By: Samara Moore, Gradlife Ambassador

Do you long to reconnect with interests and activities that used to bring you joy? Has the process of academic writing stifled your love for the craft? At times, do you feel divided in the multiple spaces, or worlds, that you occupy? These were some of the themes that emerged at a recent Grad Connection event that I attended. The event was led by Ronna Bloom, U of T’s very own Poet in Community.

Grad Connections are bi-weekly informal meet-ups for graduate students. It is a space where we can engage in an honest dialogue with other graduate students about our experiences. We discuss our struggles, celebrate our triumphs, and support each other in a nonjudgmental environment.

While I learned tips at this Grad Connect that have been invaluable, in terms of supporting me with my writing, my key takeaways from the experience were about life. I am pleased to share three life lessons from the workshop that resonated with me.

Lesson 1: Perfectionism is a Trap 

One key barrier that I identified in my writing process, is the desire for what I write to be perfect right away. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with wanting to have my thoughts communicated ‘just right’ the first time, that it can make it incredibly difficult to start writing anything. I have now decided that I will give myself permission to write as freely and terribly as I can, the first time around. I will try to take comfort in knowing that the first draft is only for me. It is not for my professor, supervisor, literary critics, or the grammar police.

While this lesson is certainly applicable to the writing process, it is also useful in life. If you have struggled with perfectionism at any point in your life, you may know what I mean. Just like with writing, sometimes our concerns about not being good at something, or things not going “perfectly,” can hold us back from taking opportunities or trying new things. Just like with writing, we have to give ourselves the space to try things and the grace to make mistakes. It is only when we make that space, that we can learn, improve and grow. We cannot do any of those things if we do not give ourselves the freedom to try, fail, and try again.

Lesson 2: The Importance of Keeping Expressive Space

Ronna really emphasized the importance of having our own space to express ourselves. She recommended that we keep notebooks for this purpose. I have always kept journals. I have found that writing in them has helped me to process my thoughts and emotions over the years. I also recognize that some people process non-verbally. If non-verbal processing works better for you, perhaps keeping expressive space means carving out a time and place to make something. It could also involve engaging in self-reflective processing through dance and movement, or by going on a thoughtful nature walk.

Source: www.pexels.com

Lesson 3: Showing up whole

One point that Ronna made that I deeply connected with, had to do with the importance of bringing our whole selves to our academic writing and work. Oftentimes in life when we inhabit particular spaces, we may be made to feel like we have to fragment ourselves. Have you ever felt like there was a disconnect between your academic and artistic self, or your professional and spiritual self? While there are certainly reasonable boundaries in school and work, this workshop reminded me that it is important to be intentional about bringing all of who we are to the places that we occupy. For me personally, as a social work student, a part of showing up whole involves exploring new ways to integrate my love for photography and creative writing into my social work practice. For others, it may involve allowing the issues that you are genuinely passionate about to guide your research interests. It could also involve being more open with people in your academic or professional circles, about some of your interests outside of the academy that you may not freely share.

I hope that these takeaways have been helpful! I would love to learn more about your experiences with writing, and your journeys as graduate students. Feel free to leave your comments on either this post, Facebook or Twitter.

Until next time,

Samara

December 3rd, 2018

Getting The Most Out Of The Winter Break: 8 Things To Do In Toronto This December!

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-blue-zip-up-hooded-jacket-standing-on-snow-879415/

By: Samara Moore, Gradlife Ambassador

December is finally here and the semester is winding down! If you are anything like me, you are eagerly awaiting that moment when you submit your final assignment, write your last exam, or finish grading that last paper for the term.

We will all have a bit of extra time on our hands very soon. If you are staying in the city and looking for things to do, I have got you covered! I have compiled a list of 8 free and affordable things to do in Toronto this December! I hope that it is helpful to you, as you plan out your own winter break.

On Campus/University of Toronto Related 

  • Robert Library Holiday Market
    • Date: Tuesday, December 4th
    • Time: 11am to 2pm
    • Location: Robarts Library, 2nd Floor
    • Click here for more information
    • Free Admission
  • Grad Escape: Gingerbread Houses at Loblaws Cooking School
    • Date: Wednesday, December 5th
    • Time: 6-7:30pm
    • Location: the Loblaws Cooking School
    • Click here to register and for more information

Christmas/Holiday Markets

  • Holiday Fair in the Square
    • Date: December 1-23rd
    • Time: See website for details
    • Location: Nathan Phillips Square
    • Click here for more information
    • Free Admission
  • Toronto Christmas Market
    • Date: November 15- December 23rd
    • Time: See website for details
    • Location: The Distillery Historic District
    • Click here for more information
    • Free on weekdays until 5pm on Friday, $6.00 weekend admission

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-ice-glacier-86730/

Nature Lovers

  • Allan Garden’s Winter Flower Show
    • Date: December 2nd 2018- January 9th 2019
    • Time: 10am to 5pm
    • Location: Allan Gardens
    • Click here for more information
    • Free Admission
  • Ontario Ice Caves
    • Visiting an ice cave will require you to venture outside of the GTA
    • Popular locations

Art & Culture Lovers

  • Sun Life Financial MAP Pass
    • Visit 11 museums and attractions for free with a Sun Life Financial MAP Pass. You can sign out this pass with an adult Toronto Public Library card
    • Click here for more information
    • A MAP Pass provides free admission to the following attractions:
      •  The Aga Khan Museum
      • AGO- Art Gallery of Ontario
      • The Bata Show Museum
      • Black Creek Pioneer Village
      • Gardiner Museum
      • Museum of Contemporary Art
      • Ontario Science Centre
      • ROM- Royal Ontario Museum
      • Textile Museum of Canada
      • Toronto History Museums
      • The Toronto Zoo
  • Sun Life Financial MAP Performing Arts Pass
    • Visit film, music, and theatre events for free. You can sign out this pass with an adult Toronto Public Library card.
    • Click here for more information
    • A MAP Performing Arts Pass provides free admission to the following art events:
      • CanStage
      • Factory Theatre
      • Harbourfront Centre
      • HotDocs Ted Rogers Cinema
      • The Royal Conservatory of Music
      • Tafelmusik

I hope that this list has been helpful to you, as you plan your winter break! Please let me know if you check out one of these events. I would love to hear about your experience.

I wish you well as you finish out the semester!

Until next time,

Samara

November 13th, 2018

Grad Escapes: Why you should go!

By: Samara Moore, Gradlife Ambassador

Since I started grad school this fall, I have participated in a riveting game of The Resistance over unicorn inspired tea. I have held a medieval manuscript and rubbed my fingers against its ancient parchment pages. I have taken a courageous leap into improv, and have enjoyed the peaceful calm of jewelry making. I also attended my first cooking class, where I helped prepare a meal that I am proud of. I have engaged in a number of relaxing, joy filled and exhilarating experiences, over the past few months, because of my participation in Grad Escapes!

Grad Escapes are an excellent way to take a break from the demands of Graduate School and connect with other students, while having fun! I have had the privilege of meeting a number of my peers from different disciplines through Grad Escapes. Attending these events have helped me to feel more connected with students beyond my faculty. Grad Escapes have also given me the opportunity to explore places in the city and on campus, that I would have never thought to visit otherwise.

We have 3 more Grad Escapes scheduled for this semester! I strongly encourage you to come out to them!

  • Trivia Night
    • Thursday, November 15th, 7-8pm
    • There will be prizes, fun, and refreshments!
  • Escape Room Game at Robarts Library 
    • Tuesday, November 20th, 5-7pm
    • Game Description: “When Robarts Library comes under a ransomware attack, UofT grad students will have 60 minutes to fight for the survival of one of the world’s great library collections.  Join UofT Libraries for this fun and challenging escape room game. Dive into the dark corners of our brutalist maze and be sure not to lose your way. Time is running out. Presented in partnership with U of T Libraries.”
  • Gingerbread Houses at the Loblaws Cooking School
    • Wednesday, December 5th, 6-7:30pm
    • We will be decorating tasty gingerbread houses! Bring a friend or join us with your family! Did I mention that there will be an informal contest for the best gingerbread house?

I will be hosting all of our Grad Escapes this term. I would be thrilled to meet and welcome you, if you decide to join us at an upcoming event. I hope to see you soon!

Wishing you a fantastic week!

Best,

Samara

November 6th, 2018

A Foodie’s Guide: 10 Restaurants, 4 Parts of the City

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-iphone-6-744780/

By: Samara Moore, Gradlife Ambassador

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love to eat! What better way to spend the day, than to share a meal with friends? If you are a food lover like me, I have got you covered! I’ve compiled a list of my ten favourite restaurants in four parts of the city. Whether you are a commuter like me, or interested in exploring cuisine in different parts of Toronto, I hope that you find these suggestions helpful!

Downtown

  • If you love sushi and Korean barbeque, then Arisu is the restaurant for you! Nestled in the heart of the Annex, you can walk to this spot from campus or get off of the subway at Bathurst station. Whether you opt for takeout or decide to dine in, the service at this restaurant is exceptional! If you are not sure about what to order, the team at Arisu are always happy to make great recommendations!
    • Student discount: 15%
  • This restaurant caters to vegans, vegetarians, meat lovers, and people with gluten-sensitivity alike! Their vision is to have a restaurant where people with different diets can all have options when they dine together! When I think about Harvest Kitchen, I think about how welcomed I feel when I’m there. Fun fact about Harvest Kitchen: they use local and organic products as much as possible. Also, all of their meat is ethically sourced.
  • If you are craving soul food then look no further than the Harlem Underground! They serve delectable meals inspired by African-American and Caribbean cuisine. They also have great live music! Fun fact: I tried fried chicken and waffles for the first time at this restaurant! It was the absolute best!
  • Fresh is a vegan and vegetarian restaurant that I frequent. They have five locations in the city, including a restaurant next to Spadina station and a midtown location off of Yonge and Eglinton. I am a huge fan of their crispy cauliflower tacos, flying cashew burger, and quinoa onion rings. They also have a gluten allergy friendly menu. Tasty suggestion: for an energy boost, try one of their green smoothies or power shakes. They also have a great dessert menu!
    • Student discount: 10%
  •  I first discovered Insomnia when I was an undergraduate student at UofT. It has since become a go-to restaurant for me in the annex. Insomnia is a great place to visit for brunch! They also have a great selection of dinner items and a cozy atmosphere. Fun fact: they use the delivery App Ritual for pickup orders.
    • Student discount: 20% (not applicable on weekends or holidays)

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/spinach-chicken-pomegranate-salad-5938/

Midtown

  • I have an unwavering love for Italian food! This love has led me to one of my all-time favourite restaurants in the city- Grazie! Whether you are craving pizza or pasta made from scratch, or are in the mood for some tasty salmon, you will not be disappointed at Grazie. Helpful tip: there can be a bit of a wait for a table at this restaurant at dinner time. If you go there between 3pm to 5:30pm, you can beat the dinner rush!
  • If you enjoy dining in an artistic atmosphere, then check out La Carnita! It is my favourite place to go, in the city, for some great tacos! Tasty suggestion: Try their Cod and Achiote Chicken tacos. They also have a great selection of vegetarian tacos!

Scarborough

  • Frederick Restaurant is one of Scarborough’s best kept secrets! It is, in my opinion, the best Hakka restaurant in the city. Not only is the food tasty, but the cost is affordable and the value unmatched. Tasty suggestion: My go-to order at this restaurant is their Cantonese chow mien, and Manchurian chicken with friend rice.
  • I have a special affinity for the Spice is Right. If you are craving authentic Jamaican Caribbean food and find yourself in Wexford Heights, give this restaurant a try! Fun fact: the walls of Spice is Right are filled with Caribbean art and photographs of influential Jamaicans. The owners of the restaurant have a good sense of humour, so it’s a great place to for a good laugh along with your food!

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-and-brown-cooked-dish-on-white-ceramic-bowls-958545/

North York

  • If you are a sushi lover and have never tried torched pressed sushi, then I highly recommend this restaurant. You can dine in or order from 10 different online food delivery apps. A complete list of the delivery companies are included on the Torched Pressed Sushi website.

Have you tried any of these restaurants yourself? What do you think of them? I would love to hear from you! Let me know what your favourite restaurants are? What restaurant suggestions do you have for areas in the city that were not included on this list?

Have a great day & bon appetite!

Samara

 

October 30th, 2018

Surviving the Midterm Slump!

Photo Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/grayscale-photo-of-computer-laptop-near-white-notebook-and-ceramic-mug-on-table-169573/

By: Samara Moore, Gradlife Ambassador

It is one of the most dreaded periods on the calendar of a university student –midterms! Whether we welcome it or not, midterm season is upon us at the University of Toronto.

It is the time of year when we are tasked with working through an onslaught of assignments. Would it be presumptuous for me to assume that, if you are a Teaching Assistant, you find yourself spending your Friday nights, curled up on your couch, with endless assignments to mark? Is it safe to wonder if any of us have been operating on a sufficient amount of sleep, over the past few weeks? How are you managing the pressure and demands of midterms?

If I am honest, then I must admit that midterm season has been challenging for me. I have been feeling stressed and overwhelmed with assignments. I feel guilty when I am not able to spend time with friends, or fulfill all of my commitments because of school. I feel ashamed when I struggle to manage my time efficiently. I also hate to admit this, but I struggle with trying to release myself from my inclination to measure my success, as a graduate student, by my grades.

If you are struggling during this period –you are not alone. I don’t have solutions, as I am still trying to figure out how to navigate this process myself. I would like to share some points to keep in mind, as I am finding them helpful.

Yesterday I had a conversation with one of my classmates that really inspired me. She said that when she is feeling discouraged in grad school, she thinks back to that moment when she received her UofT acceptance letter. She remembers the hard work that brought her to this point, and her hopes for how she will use her education to make a difference in the future. Listening to her really lifted my spirits! It encouraged me to shift my focus from ruminating on my perceived shortcomings, to reflecting upon my strengths and the blessing of being a student!

Midterms are tough! We all have unique challenges. If you are experiencing the struggle of your own midterm slump, I encourage you to show yourself some compassion and grace. You will make it through!

Until next time,

Samara

October 19th, 2018

Imposter Syndrome -You are not alone!

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-sitting-next-to-table-and-right-hand-on-ear-1326946/

By: Samara Moore, Gradlife Ambassador

Do you frequently dismiss your achievements? Find yourself feeling extremely uncomfortable when you are recognized for your work? Do you have an underlying belief that you are not as intelligent or capable as people think that you are? Fear that you will be exposed as a fraud, who does not really belong in graduate school?

The statements that I listed all describe imposter syndrome. If you are experiencing it –you are not alone. This way of thinking is actually quite common among graduate students.

If you are struggling with imposter syndrome, I strongly encourage you to come out to our upcoming Grad Connection event, Feeling like an Imposter. Grad Connections are a great way for students to share experiences and support each other. We have a staff member from the Academic Success Centre who will be facilitating the event.

Some other helpful resources on campus are:

I would like to leave you with a quote from Marianne Williamson, as it often comes to mind when I think about imposter syndrome.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure… We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

One thing that I know for sure is that we all have something of value to offer. As a dear friend gently reminded me once, we do not come into our academic programs, or anything in life, as perfect, all-knowing, experts who should never make mistakes. We come into our respective programs as ourselves -curious, imperfect, and worthy of this opportunity that we have to learn.

October 9th, 2018

Balance and Self-Care in Graduate School

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/group-of-people-sitting-on-white-mat-on-grass-field-745045/

By Samara Moore, Gradlife Ambassador

When you feel the pressure of school demands, what are the first things that you give up? Sleep? Meals? Gym time? Breaks? Hobbies? Social engagements? Religious meetings or practices? Time to sit with your thoughts and reflect?

For the past couple of years, I have made self-care a priority. I figured out a care routine that worked for me and committed to it. I was confident that I would be able to continue my self-care practices in this new phase of my life as a grad student.

Now that I am almost one month into my masters program, I realize that maintaining balance in grad school is more challenging than I thought it would be. I am embarrassed to admit that I have skipped meals to read. I have cut sleep to meet a deadline. I have substituted cooking nutritious meals, for quick and convenient fast food. I have also focused so intensely on my studies, that I have neglected quiet time to be still, meaningfully reflect, and pray.

If you are struggling with balance, like I am, there is encouraging news! Every day brings with it a new opportunity to make adjustments in our lives. Recognizing that we are having difficulty with self-care is the first step forward.

As I work on a routine to better achieve balance in this stage of my life, I would like to share some tips that I am learning along the way. My hope is that they will be helpful to you, as you develop your own self-care routine.

Listen to your body

  • Pay attention to how you are feeling in your body. If your body is telling you that you are tired and need to rest -listen. Be cautious about pushing yourself to work through exhaustion.

Nurture your body

  • There is truth to the saying, “we are what we eat.” I find that I am more energized and alert when I eat nutrient rich food. Eating healthy has been difficult for me lately, but I am hoping that planning ahead and packing healthy snacks will help me to better nurture my body in this season.
  • I would like to acknowledge that there are real challenges to accessing healthy food. Eating healthy can be expensive. I have included links to accessible food sources on campus below. Also, there are still spots available for our upcoming Grad Escape, Cooking on a Student Budget.

Move your body

  • Staying active is central to our health and well-being! Check out Hart House fitness programs and MoveU, an initiative on campus that helps student maintain an active lifestyle.

Be in community

  • There are a number of clubs and ways to stay connected to other students on campus. Come out to one our Grad Escapes or Grad Connections events. I recently attended these events and appreciate the opportunity that they gave me to connect with other grad students. I also encourage you to spend some time at the Grad Room, a drop-in space for grad students and the host site of our Grad Talks.

Connect with nature/ spend time outside

  • The University of Toronto is a beautiful campus! Sometimes when I need a break or want to clear my head, I go for a stroll through philosophers walk or sit out on the lawn in front of Convocation Hall. There are many beautiful places to explore on campus and throughout the city.

If faith and spirituality are important to you, nurture your spiritual life

Make time for what you love

  • Being a student is only one facet of who we are. Make some time to explore something that you are passionate about! For me, that may look like going on a photography walk or attending a guitar group at my church. For you, it may look like signing up for intramural sports, getting involved with Hart House Theatre, joining an advocacy or social justice group on campus, or something entirely different. Whatever it is that you are passionate about, try to make time for it.

Be kind to yourself

  • One of the things that was emphasized early on in my social work program, is the importance of self-compassion. Our graduate school journey will have it’s ups and downs. As human beings, we will inevitably make mistakes. Despite errors and disappointments, always remember to be kind to yourself. Show yourself grace. Research shows that self-compassionate people are actually better able to practice self-care (Terry & Leary, 2011).

I wish you well on your journey to achieve better balance!

Until next time,

Samara

 

Work Cited

Terry, M. L., & Leary, M. R. (2011). Self-compassion, self-regulation, and health. Self and Identity, 10(3), 352-362. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2011.

October 1st, 2018

10 Things Every U of T Grad Student Needs to Know (VIDEO + Transcript)

In this Facebook LIVE video, grad students Sarah and Amika share their top 10 things that U of T grad students should know. Check out the video below as well as a transcript of the key points & links from the video!

10 Things Every U of T Grad Student Needs to Know

And we’re #LIVE with Sarah and Amika talking about 10 Things Every University of Toronto Grad Student Should Know. Happy to answer your Qs! #uoftPlease NOTE: We'll be sharing the full transcript of today's LIVE in the comments below after the broadcast.

Posted by U of T Gradlife on Wednesday, September 26, 2018

KEY POINTS

Tip 1: Being a Grad Student Is a Profession, Not an Identity
  • Think of yourself as an apprentice – critiques and failures are an important part of the learning process! Approach roadblocks or conflict with curiosity.
Tip 2: Figure out and Honour Your Working Style
  • Experiment with different days and times to get work done. Be flexible, but also honour your boundaries.
Tip 3: Determine Your Methods of Organization
  • Consider a digital planner (great to set in reminders) or a physical one (screen-free, get creative). Build in self-care activities.
Tip 4: Know Where to Get Cheap Groceries
  • Metro student discount days are on Tues/Wed; Loblaws discount days are on Tues/Wed/Thurs. Buying produce at smaller markets (e.g., Kensington) and meal prepping are great ways to save.
Tip 5: Look into TTC Student Pass
Tip 6: Remember That You Have More Skills Than You Think
  • Consider your transferable skills and look into ways to use the skills you’ve learned in grad school outside of grad school.
Tip 7: Find a Balance Between Too Much and Too Little
  • Usually when we think we’re doing too much, we’re doing too much – and often when we think we’re doing too little, we’re doing enough. It’s OK to say no, even after we’ve already said yes.
Tip 8: Prioritize Mental Health
Tip 9: Recognize That Impostor Syndrome Is Incredibly Common
  • So many of us feel like we’re inadequate, that we don’t belong in grad school. Remember that you are here because you deserve to be, and that you’re not alone in feeling this way!
Tip 10: Reach Out When You Need Support
  • If you don’t know where to go, the Grad CRC can help you. We can help you figure out which resources will best support you.

Click the “read more” below for the full script with links!

Keep reading →

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