Tips to Enjoying Your First Year of College

Tips to Enjoying Your First Year of College

College is an exciting and nerve-racking time, with endless possibilities. Many are moving out on their own for the first time, and while this can be stressful, once you develop a schedule and routine, you will be more comfortable. Here are a few tips that can hopefully help you thrive and enjoy in your first year of college.

  1. If you accidentally close Microsoft without saving your work, type .asd into file explorer in “my/this pc” your work will be there.
  2. Instead of deleting a sentence you accidentally typed in all caps, highlight it and press shift and F3 at the same time.
  3. To protect your computer from viruses, avoid downloading PDF files that end in “.exe.”
  4. If you are looking for practice tests so you can quiz yourself, type in google “site: edu (the subject) exam.”
  5. I highly suggest studying your notes the same day you take them; this will give you a better chance of remembering them.
  6. Trying to find your way around the Grande Prairie Regional College campus is nearly impossible, and it will take you a while to get used to it. A little information that will hopefully help is that rooms that are in the 100s are on the first level, 200s are on the second level, and 300s are on the third level.
  7. Get organized in whatever way works best for you, because you are responsible for scheduling your classes, study time, extracurricular activities, and homework.
  8. Even though some of your teachers will not require attendance, going to class is very helpful.
  9. Become friends with people in your classes because it can be helpful if you need class notes, or if you study better in groups.
  10. People often study differently, so find the best place for you. The second level of the library at GPRC is a great location; however, if you search, you can find a few hidden gems.
  11. Use a planner!! If it tracks important dates, deadlines, and schedules, one on your phone works just fine.
  12. The academic advisers at GPRC are very helpful as they will guide you when it comes to classes. They will also advise you if you are planning to transfer to another post-secondary institution or desire to go to grad school.
  13. Last year, I devoted my time to studying and was not involved in my community or college. I learned from this mistake. While this may prove difficult at first, learn to balance social activities and schoolwork. I highly recommend you seek out the clubs and events on campus; there is something for everyone!
  14. You have access to many resources on campus. There are two places on campus where you can find free tutoring. First, there is the academic success center in the library which has writing and grammar tutor, and math and science tutor. Second, there is the on-campus friendship which offers free tutoring, plus potlucks every third Wednesday of the month and unlimited coffee for a small price!
  15. If you struggle with maintaining excellent mental health, GPRC students have access to free, confidential, and professional mental health counseling. If you would like, you can make an appointment with Dr. Katie Stabb, the on-site college psychologist. Or, with the “My SSP” app, you can get confidentiality text or talk to a licensed psychologist, whenever you need, 24/7. They advise you to set aside 30 uninterrupted, minutes to talk to the psychologist; however, I advise an hour.
  16. For my last tip, exercise is essential. I love that as a student of GPRC; you have free access to the gym on campus!

While the first couple weeks of college may be stressful and overwhelming, do not worry, almost everyone feels this way. I know I sure did. Try your best to call your family and friends from home, no matter where they are; however, be open to making new friends. In the end, be sure to use all your resources and help each other out.

Submitted by GPRC Ambassador, Heidi Benson.

Tips for Managing Reading Week

Tips for Managing Reading Week

It is almost that time of year! The time that students everywhere look forward to… Reading Week!

I have been attending GPRC for the past four years. The first two years, I was taking just a class or two, but the past two years I have been a full-time student.  As a student I have very mixed feelings about Reading Week. It’s hard to not love the break, but truth be told, I have a really hard time getting back into the swing of things after Reading Week ends.  With that in mind, if anyone else feels the same struggles as I do, I have compiled a list of a few tips to help you with managing and staying on track during your Reading Week.

  1. Take the time at the beginning of the Reading Week break to make a list of what you want to accomplish over the week. Make a list, and plan the things that you want to do with your time.
  2. Get some rest during the week.
    Our brains are so tired, we really do need some sleep. Treat yourself to some early bedtimes.
  3. During your week off give yourself some time to plan out your next two months of school. Make a schedule using your course outlines as a guide to what is coming up. There is going to be a lot to do, but with a plan in place, you are laying out the ground work for success.
  4. Use some of Reading Week to get caught up. Whether that means doing laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning your house, or maybe making some meals for the week ahead.
  5. Plan some “you-time”. For myself, this means catching up on texts and phone calls, doing some Netflix binging, and taking my dog, Richelieu (shown in picture), for some good walks. Whatever it is, do things that make you feel good, things that have been weighing on your mind when you are busy with school.

  1. Don’t stop doing school work for the whole week. This is a big one. It is so hard to get back at it once you have completely stopped. I give myself a few days totally off, but then I start slowly getting back into the school routine.
  1. Use the weekend before school starts as a regular weekend. Meaning, use your weekend as you normally would during the school year.
    For me, that means coming to the college to study for a few hours, especially on Saturday, because that is what I do most weekends.

It definitely would be easy to take the whole week off, and I have done that… but the fact is, I’m way more successful at handling the after break blues when I follow these tips.

Have a great Reading Week everyone!

Submitted by Jessica Fontaine Gwin, Student Ambassador

Here’s to the Kids!

Here’s to the Kids!

Finding balance as a student and parent is a tough gig. For those who must balance work on top, it can be overwhelming to say the least. We often talk about the struggle of working-student-parents, but there’s a group that is often overlooked in this journey; the kids. Our kids are on the same journey we are, and while we all hope to build them a better future, in the meantime, they feel the effects of our hard work and dream chasing. So, here’s to the kids…

Photo submitted by Casey Caines.

To the babies who grow up being rocked to sleep with lullabies of Plato and Organic Chemistry.

To the kids who learned to fall asleep on the floors of the library during exam week.

To the children who never complained about cereal for dinner too many nights in a row.

To the little ones who are the first at daycare in the morning so their parents can go to school, and the last ones to leave at night so their parents can go to work.

To the toddlers who learned to walk down the corridors of an empty school.

To the kids who had to share their family time with textbooks and laptops.

And to all the children who missed a good morning and, also a goodnight, because when you are a working student, sometimes 24-hours just isn’t enough.

I know it can’t be easy being the child of a working, student, parent. One day, there will be more time, and less studying. There will be less cereal, and more suppers at the kitchen table. You will walk this path together, even when its difficult, because you need to finish, and they need to see you do it. So, here’s to the kids who will grow strong, resilient, and educated because their first example was their parents.

Submitted by GPRC Education Ambassador, Casey Caines. 

Crackin’ Cases

Crackin’ Cases

This past weekend, your GPRC Deans of Business Case Team competed in the 13th annual Alberta Deans of Business Case Competition in Edmonton. This year’s competition was co-hosted by Grant MacEwan and Norquest, which took place between March 22 and 24. Every spring the top business and commerce students in the province gather to solve a case regarding a specific company and it’s potential problems, with the focus being on accounting, marketing, business strategy, and finance areas of the company. The teams only get 9 hours to read, analyze, crunch numbers, prepare a PowerPoint, and present a solution to the business’ problems. It’s a fast paced, high stakes day with a cash reward of $4,000 for the first-place team that creates the winning presentation – and if that doesn’t sound intense enough, the following day you must present your PowerPoint to a panel of judges. That’s right- it also includes public speaking (gasps of horror come from all the terrified students that public speaking claims victim to).

This year’s team consisted of (from left to right in the featured picture)

  • Riley Kjemhus– Second year Business Admin., Accounting Major
  • Mykel Lewsaw– Second year Business Admin., Accounting Major
  • Alexis Nellis (captain)- Second year Business Admin., Accounting Major
  • Brittney Commet– Second year Business Admin., Accounting Major
  • Kiersten Giesbrecht– Third year BBA SAIT collaboration, Accounting Major
  • Josh Hrushka– First year Business Admin., Marketing Major

Sound interesting? Well you’re in luck! If you read on, you’ll be walked through a summarized day-by-day play of how this weekends events unfolded, and at the end I’ll tell you how you can be a part of this prestigious event for 2019’s team.

On Thursday, the team met at GPRC and travelled to Edmonton in one of the college’s luxurious vans (thanks GPRC!). The team’s coaches rallied their husbands to be designated drivers for the weekend (thanks husbands!) and they got us there safe and sound with plenty of stops for Timmies on the way. Once in Edmonton, the first stop was the closest grocery store to gather provisions for the following day, tons of fruit and veggies were purchased to keep the team full and energized for the weekends activities. After the grocery store escapades, we made our way to the hotel where we got nice and festive for the opening ceremonies. The theme this year was Mardi Gras (interesting theme for a business competition) so on top of our business attire we donned the traditional green, purple, and gold beads and headed off to Norquest. The dinner was a delicious Cajun inspired dish of chicken, gumbo, and beignets for dessert. Following the dinner, the duo of Earth Group gave an inspiring presentation about their company and how they help children all over the world (google them, they’re amazing!) with the captains of each team picking presentation time slots to wrap up the evening. Ours was the lucky team to pick the first time slot at 7:30 a.m., which meant less time to practice and even less sleep- so back to the hotel we went to prepare for Friday’s war room.

Now the war-room is just as terrifying as it sounds. You are “locked” in a room from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. with just your team, two school-provided laptops, writing utensils, food, and the case. No cellphones, no access to communications like email or Facebook, nothing but internet access for research and PowerPoint. This all took place on Friday, where the teams all gathered at MacEwan University to have a healthy, hearty breakfast and then escorted to their respected rooms by their hosts. Once in the room, the magic happens. You must identify the problem and essentially “solve” the case and have your PowerPoint presentation completed and handed in at 6 p.m. sharp- if you’re not done by 6, you must submit what you have- no extensions or exceptions! After we finished in the war room, we headed back to the hotel to start practicing the speeches for the presentation to the judges the next day. Full of Subway and adrenaline, we started preparing our speeches and presentations late into the night.

Saturday morning came far too early and fast, as we met in one of the hotel rooms at 4 a.m. for more practicing. And let met tell you- 4 a.m. is a hard time to sound excited and confident in your presentation, but our coaches kept us on our toes and eventually dragged the excitement out of us. Once we had a few more rounds of practice in, we went back to our rooms to get prim and proper in our best business attire to address the judges. 7:30 a.m. came, and your team did your College proud as we not only executed a flawless presentation but answered ALL of the judge’s questions to the point where they ran out! (did I mention the judges also have 5 minutes to ask you ANYTHING about the case, and you get marked on how you answer? Yeah, this just keeps getting better).

Feeling like kings and queens, we went straight to the closest Tim Horton’s for a victory coffee and to talk about the thrill and rush from achieving what we just did. 9-weeks of practise with nine different cases, on an average of 9-hours a week spent on these cases, and one final case being presented to the Business Department faculty the day before we left, had all lead up to this. Each one of us had poured our heart and souls into this team on-top of part time work and full course loads, and it was over in 15 minutes.

Although we didn’t place this year, the feelings we all had and the sense of family and devotion we developed towards each other made us feel like the true winners. We didn’t mind that we didn’t place, we knew that what we had just accomplished was more than most students got to experience, and we were thankful for every bit of the journey we got to participate in. We did some serious Storming, Forming, Norming this semester and although the team is officially done for another season, we realized friendships and bonds that will last much longer.

Try-outs for next years time will take place this upcoming November/December, and although you need to be nominated by faculty- I encourage all Business and Commerce students to inquire about the team and how you can go above and beyond to receive a nomination to try-out. I guarantee the extra time and effort you put out will reward you with skills, abilities, and friendships that will last a life time.

Submitted by Case Team Captain and Student Ambassador- Alexis Nellis

Neos the GPRC Fairview Library Cat

Neos the GPRC Fairview Library Cat

Yesterday, was National Pet Day, so naturally we honoured Neos. The adorable orange ball of fur that hangs out at our GPRC Fairview Library. 

17554484_1540017649376124_8349831075005444593_n

National Pet Day is a chance for those of us who own pets to show them how much we love them. So here’s some love to our beloved kitty, Neos. 

16904812_1508134239231132_6246863809808886225_o        12496360_1152479094796650_7592823737529781975_o 13007111_1195833903794502_812389907269270936_n     13782071_1275420139169211_5486672740246029785_n    12974340_1190402197671006_5573585889226558839_n

Neos has been in the library for 14 years and is named after the library computer system. He was abandoned and found on our GPRC Fairview campus before being brought in to our Animal Health Department to get cleaned up. His personality led quickly to the decision that he should become a permanent resident at the library.

15304563_1405915682786322_8217268354589140923_o

Neos loves hanging out with the students, many of whom are missing pets at home. Neos gets the most visits around exam time, as he’s the perfect companion for some stress relief.

13308301_1233263596718199_5331780603274619765_o

Stop by our GPRC Fairview Library and say hi to our favourite kitty. You can also follow his Facebook page!