university tips.

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School is starting up in under a month and I don’t know whether to be excited or sad. On one hand, I love the lectures and learning new things, but I really dislike assignments and midterms. First year was really hard for me but I am determined to make my second year much better. So in honour of my (not so great) first year, here are 5 tips I wish I would’ve followed right from the beginning to ensure my first year ran a little bit smoother.

1. Be Organized

This one sounds really obvious but it’s the one that I find most important. You have to be organized! Here’s the thing, university moves fast, a lot faster than high school. You’re going to have lectures, labs, quizzes and assignments all at the same time, if you can’t stay on top of all the things coming at you, you will get swamped and may forget to do things. Being organized is key because when you have a hundred things coming your way, you’re able to stay on track instead of getting overwhelmed and possibly breaking down. Finding an organization method is difficult but my best advice is to experiment and try different methods, see what others are doing and find what works best for you. (I will be making a separate blog post on how I stay organized, so stay tuned!)

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2. Take Notes from Everywhere

Now here is something that took me a really long time to figure out. When I say taking notes, I don’t just mean going to your lecture and copying down the slides your professor has put up and that’s it. I mean taking notes from everywhere. Most of my professors expected us to write our own notes from our textbooks and the extra readings they gave us. Then during the actual lecture they would expand on those notes and gives us additional information. There’s a reason professor assign textbooks and extra readings, they can only cover so much in a lecture so it’s up to you to make sure you have the maximum amount of information available to you.

3. Study/Homework

I must admit, I’m still really bad at studying. I haven’t truly figured out how to sit down with all my notes and go over all of their content to make sure I am ready for a quiz/test/midterm. I think the main reason for that is because all of my classes require different types of study methods. For example, my Introduction to Business class had no actual homework. You were expected to go over the readings and do random mini quizzes each week based on those readings, whereas in my Business Math class I had homework questions to do every night after the lecture. Every class is different and so is how you study for it. It’s okay if you don’t get the whole studying thing down in one go, but you have to stick with it and try and do your best. I truly believe that when it comes to studying you get back 100% of the effort you put it in.

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4. Talk to Someone

If adjustments are hard for you (they definitely are for me), then there may be times where you feel like you’re drowning and you don’t know what’s going on. It’s okay. First year for me was a whirlwind and it took me a long time to realize that I really needed to talk to somebody about what was going on in my life and how I was truly feeling about my adjustment. I talked to my sisters and my friends but I still felt stuck. That’s when I realized I was in a situation that wouldn’t magically fix itself. So I went on my university’s website and did some research. Most university’s acknowledge that first year students have a hard time so they make many resources available for students to reach out to. Over the course of my first year, I met up with three 4th year students (who were all apart of university groups designed to help first year students) that helped me with my adjustment, with school work, my feelings and many other things. I also talked to two program counsellors and one therapist. All of the amazing people I talked to truly helped me adjust to first year. You may only need to talk to one person or you may need to talk to fifteen different people, do what’s best for you. If you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, try and reach out and talk to someone, it may help you more than you think.

5. Take a Break

Taking a break is hard, especially when you have assignments to do and midterms to study for. I get it, school is important and you’re paying lots of money for it, but you can’t sit and do homework all day or you’ll just be miserable. Try and take a break once in a while and enjoy yourself. Whether that means going outside for a walk, watching Netflix or hanging out with your friends. Have some fun and don’t feel guilty! Grades and school are important but so is your wellbeing.

 

I hope these tips help some of you. Thank you and lots of love.

Zo. xx

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toronto.

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I love to travel and visit places. I don’t think there’s a single place I have travelled to that I didn’t like. I’ve been really blessed and fortunate to have been able to travel all over the world and as I was going over the places I’ve been to, I realized how I haven’t really explored the places close to me.

I’ve passed through and visited Toronto hundreds of times but I had never truly explored the city which seemed a bit ridiculous to me. I don’t live far from Toronto so I figured I would make it my mission to go an explore the city so many people rave about.

My sister works near Toronto so I asked her if she could drop me off early in the morning and pick me up on her way home. At first I was kind of scared to go on my own because it was technically a new city for me. I had never taken a bus or a subway before and I didn’t want to get lost.

The night before, I decided to write out an itinerary and some rough directions to all the places I wanted to visit. When Wednesday morning came around and I finally got to Union Station I was feeling confident and prepared to explore.

The first place I visited was Maman. A cute cafe located inside First Canadian Place. I loved it so much. It’s such a cute and rustic place. The staff are all really nice, the coffee was really good (so was the cookie) and I would definitely visit it again.

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I then decided to walk around Bay St. and do a little bit of exploring. After visiting Toronto and walking around the financial district it really motivated me to work harder and set realistic goals that I can achieve in the future.

I then headed to the Art Gallery of Ontario. I love art and I knew the once place I wanted to visit for sure was the AGO.

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Visiting the AGO was amazing because it inspired me to create and believe in my art and what I make. Even if somebody doesn’t like your art what matters most is that you like it and stand by it.

After my visit to the AGO I walked around downtown a bit and had a late lunch at Burger Factory.

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After lunch I did a bit more exploring and headed back to the financial district. I think my favourite part about my trip was this moment. I made my way to the closest Starbucks got a coffee, sat outside and read my book. It was calm yet busy at the same time. I think I got quite lucky with the weather because it was beautiful and I got to do a lot of exploring.

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Leaving the financial district was a bittersweet moment. I loved it so much and I know this is somewhere I want to come back to in the future (hopefully for work). Afterwards I took the subway to Yorkdale, did a little bit of shopping, met up with my sister and headed home.

I really hope I get to go back soon and visit even more places.

I made a video diary of my visit so if you all want to watch it click here. It was my first time editing a video so please don’t judge too hard if it’s bad. I also haven’t figured out the whole creative commons thing and music licensing. So I’m sorry if you don’t enjoy the music. But there are a lot more clips in the video which show the places I went to and explored.

Lots of love,

Zo. xx

learning.

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I love learning. Whether it’s learning new things or re-learning old things, I (almost) always enjoy it. So when I got a text message from a friend saying, Udemy, a site I’d never heard of before, was having a promotion for the online courses, I was over the moon!

Udemy, is an online learning platform where people can learn new skills or enhance the ones they already have. If you’ve always wanted to learn a little more about photography, drawing or even personal finance, this is the right website for you!

Udemy offers a plethora of courses that are taught by real professionals! You learn at your own pace and can choose courses you will actually enjoy. Plus, they’re much cheaper than taking a college class, especially if you just want to learn a new skill. The reason I mention this is because I was planning on taking a web-development elective next semester, but instead I’m taking one on Udemy for only $15! (Now I can use my elective for something more specific and unique to my university.)

I really wanted to write this blog post, because I feel like a lot of people may benefit from this! Udemy, is having a promotion until the end of April where almost all of their courses are $15. The amount of money I’ve saved on the 4 courses I’ve signed up for is amazing!

I really do recommend you all check out their site and do a bit of browsing. There’s something for everyone!

(This blog post is not sponsored. I’m really passionate about learning and I wanted to share this amazing opportunity with everyone!)

Talk soon,

Zo. xx

succulents.

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My second round of midterms are officially over, but unfortunately that means finals will be starting soon.

As a way to relieve some stress, me and my sisters got together and de-potted some succulents to put in our rooms.

It was a very fun activity and hopefully it inspires some of you this spring season!

First and foremost, you’re going to need some succulents. We got these from our local sporting goods store (which you wouldn’t expect, but they had a big variety and were very cheap!).

Second, you’re going to need some type of soil to place your succulents into. I would just like to insert a disclaimer here and say that I know next to nothing about plants, all the information I got, was off of the internet. I have seen some people use plain old sand depending on the succulent, so before you go about doing this, do a little bit of research.

 

Lastly, you’re going to need something to put your succulents into. We used little class jars from candles we used up. It’s totally up to you! Be careful though because if your succulents require a lot of water then you may want a pot with holes at the bottom. Since our succulents require very little water, we used glass jars but put rocks at the bottom to help the water drain.

 

The steps are pretty simple so here they are:

  1. Place gravel or rocks at the bottom of your pot
  2. Add a tiny bit of soil or sand so the gravel is covered
  3. SAFELY remove succulents from their current container and remove any excess soil it is surrounded by, be sure not to ruin its roots
  4. Place the succulent in the pot on top of the soil and gravel
  5. Use your new soil to cover the roots of the succulent, until you reach its base
  6. Voila, and now you have a cute, de-plotted succulent you can put wherever you like

(Don’t forget to read up on the type of succulent you have, some require more sunlight than others and more water than others)

The succulents turned out awesome and it was such a fun activity! I can’t wait to get more and put them all around our house.

I hope you are all inspired and try this out too!

Talk soon,

Zo. xx

welcome.

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Hello everyone!

I’m Zo and welcome to The Macro Soul.

I’m a first-year economics student from Ontario, Canada, who loves to read books, travel, watch the X-Files and procrastinate.

I have tried time and time again to start a blog but every time, something changed or school got in the way. But this time around, I am determined to create a blog and keep it!

On this blog, I hope to write about the life of a university student, organization tips, along with student finance and budgeting tips.

I also hope to write about my travels, books I’ve been reading, and the tv shows I’ve been watching.

All throughout my life, I’ve taken advice and tips from people I know, from blogs I’ve read and video’s I’ve watched. Now I want to be able to take what I’ve learned and experienced to hopefully give you all advice and tips that will help you the way they helped me.

With that being said, I also want to have a blog that’s fun and brings some happiness to your lives by talking about entertaining and enjoyable things.

I really hope you all enjoy this blog and come visit once in a while.

Talk soon,
Zo. xx