(Unfortunate) Member of the Procrastination Nation

Hi, my name’s Liana and…I’m a member of the Procrastination Nation. It’s a magical nation where I go to avoid all of life’s responsibilities and PROCRASTINATE. I discovered the Procrastination Nation fatefully in the 9th grade when I said to a friend, “There’s a whole group of us that procrastinate. It’s like we’re in our own world,” and thus, the Procrastination Nation was born.

Picture of Liana covering her face with her hand
Me when I see that I have too many things to do…

In all seriousness, it was just a silly term that I used to describe moments when I was procrastinating school work and was off to the “Procrastination Nation”, meaning that I would do anything to avoid actually working. But the funny thing is…I’m a “planned” procrastinator. I know what you’re thinking, “Liana, please stop throwing all these random, weird terms you’ve come up with at me.” Okay, okay, I promise I’m done. But really, I’m a planned procrastinator which means I actually PLAN when and how I’m going to procrastinate, instead of doing what I actually need to do.

In which learning is great

ALT="The 11th floor of Robarts and the study view"
One of the places where I learn

A long time ago, back in grade 12 when I was young, impressionable and unburdened by readings on readings, I was deliberating between which university offers to accept. The websites, while useful in terms of information, were not very much help when I was trying to decide which university I would be happy at. Naturally, I decided to visit the campuses of the universities that had accepted me. While the story obviously ends with me choosing U of T, there were so many factors why I ultimately went with it. Sure, I loved the history and architecture and how U of T is both isolated from downtown Toronto yet just a quick 10 minute walk away from the core. However, what cinched it for me was something I’d like to call the ‘atmosphere of learning’ that was prevalent everywhere I visited – from the lecture halls to the greenspace to the lineup at Tim Hortons – there was an infectious hum in the air.

And every year after summer vacation ends and the first month flies by, I am always still in awe of that atmosphere.

How to Approach Professors like a Pro

Confession time: I used to be deathly afraid of my professors (and teachers). What?

I also used to be one of those kids that thought teachers lived at school all the time and didn’t do anything else. What a shock it was when 6-year-old me saw a teacher outside of school for the first time and realized that teachers are human beings just like me.

Life Sciences Undergraduate Research: How do I even?

As a Life Sciences student, I understand the pressure and trepidation you feel when someone in class goes “So in my research lab…” Meanwhile, you’re screaming internally about how you can barely fold laundry properly let alone have your life so put together as to be in a research lab.

Meme of shiba-inu and the caption
(Source: memegenerator.net)

Whether you plan on pursuing a career in healthcare or science research itself, having research experience on your CV and learning lab skills are a bonus when you apply to professional or graduate programs. But where does one even start? It’s daunting trying to maneuver the Interwebs to find viable and worthwhile positions. I’ve compiled a list of possible scientific/medical research opportunities by the year you might think of applying. But first, a few preliminary questions to ask yourself:

Aerobics for the Brain: Research Opportunities in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Ever received a text saying something along the lines of: “smh srsly w/ever idc anywho ttyl g2g $ [insert pizza emoji here] rn”? I have, and let me just say, trying to decode those texts gave my brain a bigger workout than trying to understand my friend’s first-year calc homework.

When I first heard acronyms such as “ROP” and “ICM” tossed around in a couple of upper-years’ conversation about research opportunities, my brain had to work even harder to comprehend what they were saying. So I decided to go to a panel organized by Trinity College on research opportunities in the Humanities and Social Sciences to de-mystify this fog-ridden realm. The event had a wide variety of speakers, including two undergrad students, two Academic Dons, and a U of T rep for the Research Opportunity Program.

A cookie on a plate.
Yes, I did take a picture of this cookie real close and got questioning looks. No, I do not regret it.