SCLD Blog - Media & Communications Student Community & Leadership Development Wed, 21 Feb 2018 21:33:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Journey to the Heart of the YU Jungle Tue, 14 Mar 2017 19:35:12 +0000 What's up people?

A high school graduation photo of Yerro, before coming to York University.

Yerro's Graduation

This is Yerro, 4th year Political Science major, Kinesiology minor and Team Lead at the RED Zone. We are a group of student ninjas,I mean ambassadors, dedicated to student transition and community engagement. This is my second year working here and I absolutely love it! I get to work with awesome people, do amazing things and meet great people. We operate the kiosk in the middle of Vari Hall and in the summer we also have a student transition program that brings hundreds of future students through our First Year Experience programming. We are part of the Student Success Centre (formerly Student Community and Leadership Development) under the division of students, which hosts several other programs. As I edge closer to completing my York U journey I get emotional and reminisce about how I got here, the roller coaster that University was, and the apprehension/anticipation of what the future holds.

My journey to York was quite unpredictable. I was born and raised in the Gambia, but due to my dad's work in international affairs, my family would move every few years. I had already lived in six different countries before coming to Canada and York University! I didn’t always love this lifestyle. It was often difficult to be uprooted. I needed stability in those earlier years. Making new friends, going to new schools, learning a new language, and adapting to a new culture was often daunting and difficult. I eventually learned new ways of coping with my ever-changing surroundings. I would find out how to get involved with sports and arts (soccer, martial arts, music), make friends, learn about the culture, and focus on my academics. The formula was: survive the first year and continue to thrive in the next. The moving process really helped expand my mind, my worldview and my appreciation for different cultures. After about eight schools and five countries (Gambia, Senegal, Uganda, Switzerland, Togo), we landed in Ethiopia where I finished high school. When it came time to apply to universities, both my dad and counsellor (obviously Canadian) told me to accept an offer from York University. Toronto is an awesome city and multilingualism would be an asset in Canada. A degree in political science made the most sense since I liked history and didn’t mind essay writing. It didn’t really hit me that I was going to University until I boarded the flight from the airport in Addis Ababa to Toronto.

A photo of Yerro's high school graduation class before coming to York University.

Yerro's graduation class

What do you do on a 14-hour flight when your mind is racing and all you can think about is starting university? For starters, I spent the previous day charging all my electronic devices to ensure I had enough entertainment, but there were only so many movies and TV shows that my brain could handle. My mind was whirling with thoughts and questions. What does the university look like?  How am I going to handle the workload? What are the people like? Am I going to fit in? Will I even survive this?

After we landed I was expecting a straightforward trip from the airport to the University. I had Googled it and everything. So, you can imagine the look on my face when the cab driver stared blankly at me after I asked him to take me to York University. After an uncomfortable moment of silence he replied, “Ok, where at York?”

"Uhhh,the main place? The office? Maybe reception?" I stammered as I showed him the address, 4700 Keele Street.

In the end, he dropped me off at the Bennett Centre and it was from there that I began my seemingly endless process of learning to navigate the campus. It a huge place!

I asked around and visited various offices until finally happening upon the RED Zone. It was here that I was finally able to put down my heavy luggage and get the instructions I needed. The team at the RED Zone first sent me to the William Small Centre where, after quickly wiping the sweat from my brow, I had my everlasting YU card photo taken. After this, I got directions to the housing office where I was shown to my dorm room and I was finally able to settle into my new home.

The RED Zone team posing for a photo in front of Vari Hall, York University.

The RED Zone team

First year started off on a good note thanks mostly to Orientation week. It was a very busy and tiring week, but also so much fun and completely transformational for me. The Orientation Leaders were hype and very helpful. They taught me how to navigate the York U jungle and make it a place I call home. I would soon realize that this journey was truly my experience and I could make it what I wanted.  At times when I felt alone or confused, I knew I wasn’t the only person going through this journey and there were many supports and resources for me.

I had high hopes for the second term, but it would prove to be another challenge all together. I experienced my first ever winter blues. I felt like I had no energy and just wanted to sleep all day. Campus started to become a bit of ghost down during the dead of winter. The worst were the weekends because almost nothing was open and I felt very isolated. The meal plan money on my YU Card started running out because I developed a habit of swiping but not tracking my spending. I was feeling overwhelmed and lost in a swirl of randomness, not sure what to do. I felt like I was looking to others to see what they were doing, but none of my peers were quite sure how to handle the newfound independence and freedom either. To be honest, it was quite a burden being accountable to myself, setting my own standards, and figuring out what to do with my life. This proved to be a depressing time because I was faced with so many questions, challenges, and felt I had little guidance.

In my second year I took a lighter course load in an attempt to re-center, reflect, refocus, and gain some skills and experience. I wasn’t sure if the choices I was making were good or bad. I joined the Martial Arts Club and the York U Sports Business Association. I also started working off campus and met some people that added a lot of value in my life. When I came back for third year I was focused and energized like never before. I added kinesiology to my minor because it fell in line with my passion for sports, the human physiology and performance. I built enough momentum and finally felt like I had built an environment conducive to a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle. Things didn’t necessarily become easier overnight, but reflecting on my time at York, I realize that this experience helped me develop a compass that showed me the path I wanted to follow. I wanted to learn about my potential and myself. I set my sights on those rotating chairs behind the kiosk in the Vari Hall rotunda and learned that peer leaders like the RED Zone Ambassadors worked there. I was determined that I would apply this time. I had thought about applying the year before, but got intimidated. I took my time making the creative assignment that is a key portion of the application, put together my extra-curricular activities and resume, and pulled it all together in a presentation.

Then I waited.

Members of the RED Zone hold a team meeting in a classroom at York University.

The RED Zone team meeting

When I received the call for an interview I was ecstatic. I was nervous about the interview, but believed in myself because I knew I had decent interview experience. Starting RED Zone was, in many ways, a pivotal moment. I believe it was at this point I truly found meaning and enjoyment in what I was doing. It had a ripple effect in the other parts of my life and acted as a grounding zone.

Warm YU Fuzzies Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:02:01 +0000  

It’s February which means it’s the season of...midterms!

And M&Ms!

Okay, maybe not the second one. While chocolate is a great way to let people know you appreciate them, make sure you devote time this month to spread love, gratitude, and kindness in verbal ways. The good thing is - you don’t have to look far to find that already happening! York students, faculty and staff are spreading York love and #lionpride across social media.  I dub the following 10 posts “Warm YU Fuzzies” and I encourage you to keep passing on the positivity!

1. "Multicultural week! Love my school #YorkU"

Multicultural week! Love my school #YorkU

A video posted by Sahar Y ♡ (@saharyagh) on


2."I love #YorkU for so many reasons. Can't believe I'll be graduating next year!"


3."When you email a prof about mental health concerns and they're supportive - Just another reason to love Glendon!


4."The mascot is dabbin' because he's fired up⬆ for tonight's men's hockey game vs Ryerson! #yorku #lionpride #yorkulions #dab!"


5."The Glendon campus is so beautiful. "


6."#YorkU alumni literally are everywhere and it is amazing to see how many are governing our country. #yorkuproud"


7."We might have started off as a team, but we ended up becoming a family #jdcc16"


8."Congrats to @IISuperwomanII for making Forbes 30 under 30 list. Representing york university. #YorkU #yorkpride."


9."Today's entry for my #HashtagADay journal #proudlion #yorku #MCW16 @YFSlocal68"


10."These accomplishments make me so proud to be a part of @WorldUniService, and a member of the @yorkuniversity community."

Keep sharing those Warm YU Fuzzies on social media and don't forget to practice some self-care this month! Plus - stay tuned to read the posts from my fellow Media & Communications team members this month!

I M&MS heart YU


Renewing your passions: Developing new skills! Fri, 29 Jan 2016 16:31:54 +0000 A new year is afoot and with it comes dreams, inspiration, and resolve. With new years resolutions comes the optimism of developing good habits and learning new things.

But how do we learn new things, and more importantly, how do we stick to it? It's no secret that staying on track is what often makes or breaks our ability to develop new skills, and so we're going to take a look at learning from a lifelong sustainability standpoint.

I've always considered myself very capable of teaching myself. I have developed skills in a huge amount of design programs, supplemented my education with online research,  created resource databases (stay tuned for MediaComm's very own!) and have developed a confidence when approaching new challenges. If anything, the process of learning something new has become as fun as actually applying the skills themselves.

This is the system I use to stay on-track.

Step 1: Prioritize

To Do List

Make a list of the skills/programs/languages/etc. you want to learn in an easily-accessible format that you visit often. Whether this means sticky notes on your fridge, Google Keep, your calendar, or your coat pocket, make sure you are constantly aware of this list.

Now list it by what excites you the most and what is most urgent.  By ranking each skill, you can evaluate personally what you feel is most important and you can allow yourself to shift it as your needs change. By keeping constant contact with your list, you can always change your strategy to reflect your new job, lifestyle, or interests.

And remember, while prioritizing is key to learning, it is entirely possible to learn multiple skills at once! If you fancy yourself as someone who needs a lot of stimulation to get work done, perhaps learning a couple skills at once can feed off one another, providing you some insurance against burning out on one topic.

Step 2: Set short,medium, and long-term goals.


I usually define these goals as "This Week," "3 Months," and "1-2 Years." Do what suits you best. These goals should be scaled by difficulty very generously. Using the scale above, if I think it might take me 1-2 months to learn how to do something, I feel it's safer to push it into the "3 Months" category. Nothing kills inspiration like failing at the goal setting stage - so be lenient! I think the secret of skill development is incremental change, and focusing on little goals is a great way to stay positive and reward yourself. Never underestimate the power of positive feedback!

Ideally, you will be constantly adjusting the short and medium-term goals as time goes on. Many short-term goals can be extrapolated into the medium-term as a landmark development, and the long-term can always be used as a measuring stick for your progress to ensure you are on-track and to stay on track.

Step 3: Stay inspired!


For me, this step is the most important. Constantly seeing what people are capable of with the skill of interest is a great way to keep motivated and to let it seep into your daily life. But how can one develop this? With how greatly content curation and sharing has grown lately, it can become a daily ritual to experience inspiration. Applications like Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram in tandem with a well-maintained Reddit account can keep you constantly aware of your interest.

For example, I am greatly interested in animation and so searching "Animation" or "#animation" (or going on Reddit's creative boards such as r/Animation or r/Design) on any of the above social networks has proven as an entertaining way to stay focused.

The best part of this step is that it doesn't feel like work! While often it's easy to get lost in Buzzfeed articles and YouTube videos, simply tweaking our social/digital media accounts to show more of what we want to learn is a way to slowly become more immersed in our hobbies and future talents. Don't worry, Buzzfeed and YouTube will still be there, but who knew it could add so much to our ability to learn?

Don't worry if you feel so far from being able to achieve what your sources of inspiration can do! Even the best artists are still cursed with being highly critical of their own work, and part of learning is aiming high and getting there incrementally.

I hope this has been a helpful resource for you guys. I've found a lot of success in learning new skills using these three steps and as technology advances, it can only become easier to pull off!


Keys to Renewing Your Social Media! Tue, 26 Jan 2016 18:14:19 +0000  

This month the Media & Communications team members are kicking the year off talking about renewal (be sure to check out Vanessa’s, Matt’s and Jeff’s posts!).  I thought about what renewal means to me and was inspired by DJ Khaled’s “keys to success” that are taking social media by storm.

While renewal has many meanings to me, I think a new year is an excellent opportunity to do some mid-winter cleaning online. Inspired by DJ Khaled, here are 3 keys to successfully renewing your social media presence:

Key-Emoji-300x300 New Year, New Selfie?

Your social media profile photos and cover/header photos should be refreshed periodically.  Nothing says “New Year, New Me!” than an updated profile picture that features your smiling face. Or you may be like me and want to experiment with updating your Facebook photo to a Profile Video! Remember that your LinkedIn photo should be a professional-looking headshot, so try and keep your selfies for Instagram! For more information about creating a professional LinkedIn profile, check out the workshops at the Career Centre!

Key-Emoji-300x300 So tell me about 160 characters or less.


Make sure that your Twitter (or Instagram) bio accurately reflects who you are and what you are doing currently. Have problems writing a great Twitter bio? Check out this great guide on how to make your bio creative, interesting and informative! If you have a blog, you can also double check that your About Me page is up-to-date.

Key-Emoji-300x300"They don’t want you to unsubscribe from their e-newsletters!"


Unsubscribe from mailing lists, newsletters, listservs and special e-offers that are taking up space in your inbox. As soon as I get an email that is of no importance to me, I have recently made a point to take an extra six seconds and unsubscribe before deleting it.

Now is also the perfect time to delete apps off your smartphone and tablet that you no longer use. Check what third-party apps have access to your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. If you no longer use certain applications or web services connected to your social media accounts, it’s good practice to remove those permissions.


Speaking of apps, I can’t wait to experiment with some new apps this year! On my "Must Try Apps" list are: Peach, Cinemagraph Pro (Cinemagraphs are my latest obsession, see the two photos below!) and Boomerang for Instagram. If you’re using any of these currently, tweet me @previlonnn and let me know what you think!

Look closely...

Cinemagraph 1: Look closely...


Wait for it...

Cinemagraph 2: Wait for it...


I hope those "keys" were helpful! Taking time to refresh your online presence ensures that you stand out from the crowd on social media. My digital identity is a big component of my personal brand. I’ve learned that it is important to take time to evaluate and renew your online brand so that is is current, accurate and authentic.

Happy renewing, retweeting and reblogging!


P.S. Instead of creating New Year’s Resolutions last year, I chose to do #OneWord365. Last year, the word I chose was INVEST. But now it’s time to renew my #OneWord365 and for 2016 the word I chose is VULNERABLE! If you have a #OneWord365, I would love to hear it!


Renewal Strategies For 2016 Thu, 21 Jan 2016 15:30:36 +0000  

Hello everyone, and welcome to the new year and another semester at York University! This year the Media team and I are kicking off 2016 with the theme of “Renewal”, which is a topic that speaks a lot to me. We all change and experience so much in a year, a week, or even one weekend away visiting family. I’m sure all of us had something planned for the holidays, either it be visiting family, spending some time with a loved one(s), or even just going away on a trip. We all had some time to step away from school and take time to find ourselves again, and remember the things that motivate us.


In this week’s blog, I’m going to go through some tips and techniques that might help you renew your strategies for managing your time.

1. Set Daily Goals

The one thing I’ve learned in my life is that there is a difference between driving and coasting, and when relating this to our lives, we are either taking control of the steering wheel, or we are just riding on cruise control hoping something magical happens. I prefer to have control and make the thoughts in my mind, which are fabrics of imagination, untouchable, and not visible to the naked eye, and then convert them into reality by simply writing the ideas or tasks I need completed down on a piece of paper making it exist and a part of the real world.


It’s much easier to look at a piece of paper and see the list of things I want to accomplish, rather than storing it all in my head, where that energy is much better used else where.

It allows you to see all the things you accomplished and the things you failed to do. Although you may not have finished some of your tasks, at least you know you didn’t complete them and strive to finish them in time, compared to not thinking about it at all.

Setting attainable goals helps you stay on top of your priorities, allowing you to feel accomplished, which will help combat the days where you felt so busy but yet didn’t really accomplish that much.

2. Schedule your appointments and don’t forget ME time!

It can be easy to be glued to your computer screen, or have your nose in the books because you’re worried about losing time being unproductive. Schedule your tasks for the times and days you’ll be working on them. You could even front load some work you have or spread them evenly among the days available to you so you’re not rushing last minute finishing assignments.


Make sure to schedule some “me” time, to get up and take a walk, stretch, watch some Netflix if that’s your thing. The Apple Watch has an application that detects when you’ve been sitting too long and gently taps you reminding you to get up and move around. Stand Up! is a similar app for the iPhone. Check out the app here:!-the-work-break-timer/id828244687?mt=8

The important thing is to give yourself time and space to breathe. Giving yourself “me” time helps ground yourself, and helps gives you balance. The one thing I’ve learnt about “me” time, is that it allows me to feed my passions, and to remember the things that make me who I am. Nothing is more distracting or frustrating than to lose a sense of yourself and your identity.

Speaking of losing things, sometimes we waste precious time looking for things we’ve lost or misplaced. Searching for your phone, wallet, keys, or even a pen can be very inconvenient and can really throw a kink in your productivity and cause stress. “Tile,” a product I’ve recently been using, allows you to search for items it is attach to via your phone, or the Tile product itself. It’s a great way to find your stuff quickly by listening to the sounds it emits.


Stress can creep into our daily lives because of all of the tasks that can pile on top of each other over time. I think keeping on top of your responsibilities and prioritizing is important, but sometimes it’s not enough and we’re left in a difficult position with the unexpected. If you’re feeling like your stuck, unable to talk to anyone, just remember the Bennett Centre provides personal counselling to help provide professional assistance and a supportive environment for York students. Glendon also provides counselling and disability services as well.

3. Get your answers

If you’re still unsure about the path you are taking right now, I’d recommend taking a short stop to visit an advisor. This can help you figure out if the program you are in is really for you, and if you’re worried about the requirements for graduating, you can benefit from seeing an advisor as well. Nothing is worse than being in the dark and not knowing all of your options, and having so many questions with no answers. Whether it be advising, or connecting with a peer/ mentor about some questions they could help answer for you, I say go and get out there and do it, even if you’re afraid about what the answers could be. The one quote I’ve come across this holiday is one from a little green friend: “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”  -Yoda


4. Enjoy the ride

In the end, this is your life, and this is your journey. No matter the situation, or trials and tribulations we come across, we need to enjoy the ride. It’s a new year, which in most cases means it’s an opportunity for a new start; to be a better you. To get a little more out of your school year, and a little more out of yourselves. So take chances, and make some commitments that you’ll follow through.  I believe we all have a path, something we’re destined to do, something we’ll be passionate and good at, and can be happy making a living out of, we just need to take the leap of faith and do it.

Make sure to check out my fellow teammate’s upcoming blogs as they will have tips and stories that will give you other perspectives and alternatives to help you.




Renew Yourself: Apps For a Healthier You! Mon, 18 Jan 2016 16:19:45 +0000 New Year New Me





It is very common that we make new year resolution revolving around a better, healthier you - whether it be exercising, balancing your diet, or trying out a new activity. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I am very much like this - making the same resolution every year and never sticking to it. But, this year is different! I really want to take better care of myself physically and mentally. In order to stick to my plan I've found these apps that help push me to be healthier. I'd like to share them with you.

Check out these really helpful apps that are effective and efficient:

30 Day Challenge Apps

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 1.17.39 PMI currently use the Ab Challenge and Butt Challenge as those are parts of the body I want to work on. There are several apps by the same company that tackle different challenges and skill levels that fit for you. I love how it always pushes me to do more sets of the workout as they always increase the number of exercises everyday!

Check out the 30 Day Ab Challenge APP here.

Stop Breath Think Meditation App

Stop+breathe+and+think+appI absolutely love this app. I used to have a lot of trouble clearing my mind from negative events that have occurred. I discovered this app (which is also a website) and the many meditation sessions that ask you to check in with yourself, how your feeling, and provide you with meditation sessions to fit your needs.

Check out the website here.

Sleep Meditation App

SleepIn general, I have a very difficult time sleeping at night and one night I got fed up and tried to see if there was some sort of sleep meditation app that can guide me through a session to relax my mind (as I think about a lot of things at night) and calm me down enough to fall asleep. I found this app and tried it and let me tell you, it felt like I was taken to another parallel universe. I was relaxed as I was listening through a session and all of a sudden, 20 minutes into the meditation session it felt as if my body was spinning in circles but I knew I was grounded to my bed. It was an experience I have never felt before. I suggested the app to a colleague of mine and it turns out he uses it very often and can fall asleep in seconds.

Check out the app here.

Health App (iPhone users only)

For all you iPhone users, definitely take advantage of this app. It comes automatically on your phone! I love checking it everyday to get an idea of my progress daily - especially the step count feature. When I notice I have about 80 steps half way through the day, it's a nice wake up call that I need to get out from behind my desk and take a walk around my street or possibly go to the mall for a nice stroll (and maybe buy some things...maybe).

That's all for now! If you try these apps, let me know how they went by commenting below! ALL THE BEST!


Let's Get Organized! Fri, 27 Nov 2015 21:39:46 +0000  

Do you ever feel you have too much to do with so little time? Do you feel you have way too many tasks and can’t keep up or remember what to do? Don’t worry; you’re not alone.

 Did you know? In Ontario, 57.9% students felt overwhelming anxiety over the past 12 months.

That is a shockingly high percentage and we all may have faced it once in a while, especially now – a time where exams and project and papers start piling up.

To help you stay balanced during this exam season, I highly recommend trying out what has saved me. TO DO LISTS!

I can’t stress how much these have helped me. I do one every day and it helps me keep on top of my work and juggle the several extra curriculars I have, work and school.

Here are some tips on how to do to do lists and some apps that can help you stayed organized!

 1. Organization – The traditional Paper & Pen

When making one, there are 2 ways you can categorize it by:

a) Either by most important tasks

b) Simple tasks first and then most important (when crossing off the simply easy tasks at the beginning of the day, it motivates you to accomplish more).


2. IPHONE USERS – “Reminders” app

The beauty of this is that you can create several different lists & reminders, and schedule them to have a date and time of when it should be done by. Notifications keep you on top of your task, especially at times when you are overwhelmed with work and forget to check your list.

[Image: tumblr_m8s3gkdMXM1r4qo34.gif]


How to recharge your batteries after a BUSY midterm season Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:30:13 +0000  

OVO Owl charged up

As university students, midterm season can be super stressful. After four months away from school, midterms can hit some of us pretty hard. For others, it feels like summer school has just wrapped up and the high wave is back already.

Personally, for me, this week has been anything but relaxing. I’ve been hard at work trying to manage my academics, work schedule, and social life along with the often forgotten part in my life -- my sleep.

As students, it can almost feel next to impossible to turn off our eager brains and simply relax. There will always be another exam to study for, another assignment to complete or another study group session to attend. This is where we can sometimes find our energy falling deep into a hole, struggling to find a way back up into our busy schedules. When everything starts feeling overwhelming it is essential that we work to recharge our batteries so we are better prepared to handle life.

So, here are a couple of my tips on how I work to take care of myself:

Be kind to yourself.

Aziz Ansari throwing scarf around his neck and saying treat yo self

In the midst of the 50 thousand things we’ve got going on in our lives it doesn’t take too long before we can become hard on ourselves. After a long week I like to sit back and reflect on what my hectic week has been like. This is where I choose the top three things that I am proud of myself for accomplishing. It can be as simple as drinking more than 2L of water everyday to getting a stellar grade on an assignment. Why look for others to acknowledge your awesomeness when you can do it yourself?

Step outside.

It’s amazing to see how a couple of trees and blocks of fresh air can have you feeling awake and revived. Take a walk outside as you absorb the final few moments of the warm weather we’ve got left. If getting away from your house is too much for you, I also often find myself grabbing my iPOD and taking a seat in my backyard and just hanging out with my own thoughts for a while. Key, don’t over think anything. Just let you mind wander and see where it takes you.

Sandra Bullock says


Phone a friend/journal.

We often overlook the power of talking. For me, the best way to de-stress is to sit back and simply vent about all the things I had to go through after my hectic week(s). Now, there’s a couple of methods for doing this. You can either call up a friend and just vent or you can open up a journal and write away your vents. Once I’ve spilled my guts, I can put it all behind me and start looking forward to some relaxation.

Dogs barking at each other through a phone


Disconnect and relieve your brain.

Our brain is the busiest part of our body, constantly working and controlling just about everything whether we’re awake or asleep. So, it’s important to make sure we give it a break. Engaging activities such as yoga, meditating and even colouring helps relieve the brain and provide it with some peace and space. My favourite is ‘Mindfulness of Breathing’ meditation which uses the breath as an object of concentration. This really helps my mind stay focussed since it’s usually jumping from one thing to another.

Man closes his eyes and meditatesShakira peeking through her eyes while meditating


These are only a few things that I’ve found work for me. Play around and see what fits for you. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you find something you enjoy. Take care of yourself and the rest will follow.

Happy rechargin!’

Pikachu charging his ears in a power socket


Keep Calm & Keep Learning Tue, 24 Nov 2015 17:45:59 +0000  

One of the Five Ways to Well-being is "Keep Learning." This means that when you learn something new, try a new activity, or take on a challenge, you are improving your overall mental health and well-being!  


This past month, I have taken some time aside from my academic learning to do some extra-curricular learning. Here’s the best part – when I learn about something that sparks my interest or passion, it doesn’t feel like work! Let me share with you 3 ways I have embraced learning this month!


1. Learn something new!

As an avid social media user, I love learning about new features, strategies and creative ways of connecting with people through social media. In September, Hootsuite introduced a free online education platform called Podium. I am currently taking a free course called Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing.

Hootsuite Social Media Marketing Courses

Each 30-40 minute course features videos, quizzes and a community forum. I really appreciate that I can go my own pace and that the information is easy to understand. Once the six courses are complete, you have the option to take a Social Media Marketing exam and get officially certified for $199.  Or...I can be content with learning some new social media marketing skills.

But it doesn’t have to be social media! You can learn to all your heart’s content on Coursera, Khan Academy, the Toronto Public Library, Ted Ed, and Code Academy.


2. Try a new activity.

Wendo Self Defence Poster

Did you know that SASSL along with the Centre for Human Rights at York offers free self-defence classes for cis and trans* women, as well as non-gender conforming folks? Guess who signed up…and guess who loves it?! After just one class, I found that Wendo self-defence is the most incredibly empowering and educational skill I have acquired in my life so far. In fact, I plan to continue on with Intermediate classes because I like learning Wendo so much!

Whether it be Zumba , yoga or cooking lessons, learning a new physical activity contributes to Be Active - another one of the Five Ways to Well-being!





3. Take on a new challenge!


Challenge Accepted

When you wake up in the morning what is the very first thing you do?

I used to grab my phone to check my emails and social media. But over the past 2 weeks I have challenged myself to not open my social media and ignore the unread emails for an entire hour. It has been challenging, but also extremely rewarding. I feel more relaxed, focused and happier when starting my day.

Happy baby

Learning self-defence, challenging myself to live in the moment and brushing up on my social media skills are all helping to keep me balanced during this chaotic month of final assignments and presentations.

Have you set some time aside lately to learn something new or rediscover an old interest? Share with us by tweeting @yorkuscld with the hashtag #YUMentalHealth!

I’ll leave you with this final thought from John F. Kennedy:

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other."


5 Tips For a Healthier Lifestyle Mon, 23 Nov 2015 18:00:45 +0000  

Being constantly swamped with classes and assignments and exams, we often end up neglecting our own health. Not only do we sacrifice sleep, but we skip meals or eat whatever is easily available (Popeye’s), and ultimately fall into an unhealthy lifestyle. As a result, our physical well-being suffers. So in order to stay physically healthy, here is a list of 5 different ways to keep yourself active throughout the school year!

1. When given the choice, take the stairs instead of using the elevator.

This is quite simple but try to challenge yourself every day. This way you can stay active without going out of your way!

Homer Simpson running up the stairs


2. Play a sport. 

York has an awesome intramural program and you don’t need to be a varsity athlete to play! Come out to represent your college and meet others for a guaranteed good time. The added bonus is you get to stay active while having some competitive fun!

Women playing basketball


3. Try dancing!

Being active doesn’t have to be a chore, make it interesting and enjoyable! Step outside your comfort zone and try a new dance style with the many clubs that York offers, such as the Salsa Club, the Hip Hop Dance Club, the Bollywood Dance Club, the Latin Fusion Dance Club, and Dance Energy (just to name a few). You can also join a dance class at the Tait McKenzie Centre!

Find out more on YU Connect (Login using Passport York and use the search bar to find the clubs you’re interested in!)

3 male dancers doing aerobics


4. If you live close enough, walk or bike to school instead of taking the bus.

Yes, it may take you a little longer, but you‘ll be able to enjoy the fresh air and feel good about yourself. (With the winter upon us, you may have a limited amount of time to do this before the snow falls so take advantage of it now!)

Person riding a bike


5. Go to the gym!

York has its very own gym, the Tait McKenzie Centre, which includes a fitness centre, squash courts, studios, and a swimming pool. Best of all, the membership is only $15 for the entire school year! Plus, that 2-3 hour break in between class is a perfect fit for a quick workout!

Man running on treadmill falls after a girl walks by