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To learn before leaving MoM and dads

You didn t ge t in.

5 Things

Your Independent Life ity

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How over to Save M tHe B tHe SuM oney tiMe eSt PartMer ScHoJoBS wH i Stud ol Goverle in B a e n t l o n Me n

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Only Rogers gives you control and exibility when it comes to texting with these extreme features:

Send an auto-reply message to those who text you.


Just like call forwarding, except for text messaging.


Block incoming texts from unwanted sources.


Send the same text to a group of contacts.


Copy incoming texts to another number or email. Sign outgoing texts with your name, title or a favourite quote.



Use the free My Account app on your wireless phone to manage your Extreme Text Messaging features.
1 Extreme Text Messaging service is available to Rogers wireless prepaid and postpaid customers only as part of their wireless service. Visit for complete user details. Trademarks of or used under license from Rogers Communications Inc. or an afliate. 2011 Rogers Communications.

Choose a career that values who you are

What are you good at? What are your ambitions? What kind of career is going to contribute to the quality of your life? No matter what your answer, you may be surprised to learn that the insurance industry has a career path that could take you exactly where you want to go.

Insurance aects virtually everything we do in life and in business. And because insurance is all around us, the industry has a wide variety of careers to match your ambitions. One way to a great career in Canadas property & casualty insurance industry is through post-secondary education. Insurance and Risk Management programs are oered at BCIT, University of Calgary, Mount Royal, Grant MacEwan, SIAST, Wilfrid Laurier University, Fanshawe, Conestoga, Mohawk and Seneca. Your interests and your experience may add up to a great job in insurance. Visit our Web site to nd out more.

Its not too late.

We have over 250 programs to help you become what and who you always wanted to be. Check them out at

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your shiny, new independent life

It's time for you to spread your wings and fly away. It's exciting, but it's also scary. So, we thought, let's assume you're smart and know a bit about the world. But let's also realize that there are things nobody tells you about life on your own,like paying bills, the importance of roommates, and why changing your sheets is really important.

Centennial College University of Waterloo, Stratford Campus 7 Niagara College 9 Humber, School of Social & Community Services 12 Carleton University 14 Algonquin College 29 University of Guelph-Humber IBC Humber, School of Media Studies and Information Technology OBC Humber, The Business School

Mad Skillz
Trades are getting new found respect. How to turn the skill into a trade, then turn that trade into dollar bills. Yikes! School is expensive. If you're not careful, you could be digging between your crumb filled couch cushions for bus fare come Winter Break. How about you read our special Money Section instead?

& employers
IFC 1 9 19 20 23 Rogers Wireless Insurance Institute of Canada Hydro One Certified General Accountants Lipton Brisk Ontario Civil Construction Careers Institute Chartered Accountants of Ontario


4 8 Super-Important Things to
Do During Your First Year
ing Frosh Week. Like going to class. And yes, attend-

are you ready?

13 Career Centres Will Save You

Career centres can help you with

15 21 22

everything. Except your dirty laundry.

Saving Money While Savouring The Summer The Best Part-time Jobs Loans


The Great Gap Year

How a year off school could be the best decision you ever make.

23 24

25 Government Loans v. Bank 26

The Meal Card Trap... and 27 Other Ways to Burn Money on Food
Image: John Howard/ Lifesize/Thinkstock

30 Georgian College, Canadian Automotive Institute


6 Is University Right for Me?

going for the right reasons.

You Didn't Get In. Now What?

Pull your socks up! How to reset and get those grades up for next year.

There's a lot of pressure to attend university, but make sure that you're

Six Super Saver Budgeting Tips


8 The College Try

Before You Leave

A few must-know tricks before you leave mom and dad's.

Think you know what college is about? Think again. | 2011

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Nathan Laurie

associate publisher
Mark Laurie

Jason Rhyno

Take the time to add all your due dates into your calendar so you dont miss any of your assignments. During crunch time youll find that you have several assignments, tests and even Getting adjusted to first year of college or university is one of the biggest shocks youll face growing up. It doesnt matter how well you performed and what you did while in high school, post-secondary is a whole different ball game. You may have had top grades and were the class valedictorian of your high school but guess what? Chances are that the people at your current school and in your program have some pretty amazing accomplishments themselves. Youll be competing with the crme de la crme from across the country. Conversely, you may not have performed as well as you would have liked in high school dont panic. Pursuing a post-secondary education is much different than high school; here, everyone starts with a clean slate. One big difference between high school and post-secondary is the amount of freedom you get. With a few exceptions, youll probably only have about 20 hours of class per week, attending classes is not mandatory and youll be living on your own for the first time. So not only wont you have your parents around to make sure youre studying, your professors wont even notice, or care, whether youre attending classes. According to a recent Statistics Canada report, Persistence in Post-Secondary Education in Canada, about 14 percent of first-year students drop out and dont complete their studies. So, how can you make sure this isnt you? exams all at once. Its imperative to plan ahead and begin your assignments and studying for your exams well in advance so you dont feel too overwhelmed.

graphic designer
Sonya van Heyningen

web editor
Simone Castello

Use the study resources available at your school

All schools have a variety of programs in place to ensure your academic success, like peer tutors and writing labs. Find out whats available at your school and take advantage of the services. Doing so can make a significant difference in your grades.

Christine Fader, Brandon Miller, Emily Minthorn, Kevin Nelson, Panagiota Panagakos, Eleni Papavasiliou, Amy Soberano, Andrew Williams

Visit your career centre

Seek out the assistance of the career professionals at your school. Theyre a wonderful resource that can assist you to plan and map out your career and educational path.

national account managers

Sarah-Lyn Amaral, Mary Vanderpas

Vlad Omazic, Alyssa Ouellette, Andrew Williams

Eat healthy
In order to fulfill the academic expectations of university and college, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential. A healthy body is important not only to perform physical activities, its necessary in performing mentally stimulating ones. While pursuing a post-secondary education, your physical stamina is extremely important so as to be able to endure the long hours youll be spending studying. Your grades will suffer if youre not in healthy physical condition as you may not be able to complete course expectations. Which brings us to

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Attend frosh week

Not only is frosh week an opportunity for you to meet other first year students, and have lots of fun, youll also learn your way around campus. By being familiar with your campus, youll know where to go and the proper person to speak to if an issue ever arises.

Getting adjusted to your new schedule and academic expectations is stressful. Make sure to schedule exercise into your routine at least three times a week. Exercise will not only help you burn calories, it will make you feel better, allowing you to focus better on your studies.
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Go to class
Temptation to skip class is strong, especially if you were up late the night before, have a ridiculously early morning class, the weather is beautiful, or if your friends dont have class and want you to join them at the pub. Make an effort to attend your classes. In addition to learning the material being presented, youll also learn about what your professors expectations are for your upcoming essay or assignment, what to anticipate on your tests and exams as well as any possible changes in due dates.

Most post-secondary students stay up late studying, surfing the net, watching TV or socializing. Its recommended to have 8 hours of sleep every night. So make sure youre well rested for your lectures and exams. Although adjusting to life as a post-secondary student isnt easy, it can be a lot of fun. Some of my most cherished memories are from my years as an undergraduate student. And let me tell you, none of them have anything to do with studying. So while youre taking the necessary actions to make sure youre on your game, take time out for yourself and enjoy the ride.

on the cover: James Pauls

Get organized and plan ahead

Your professors will provide you with course syllabi that include all assignments and due dates for the duration of the course.

2011 |





Conceptualize and create digital arts projects while collaborating with other students, faculty and industry partners from companies like OpenText and Corus Entertainment. With state-of-the-art media labs and equipment, as well as experts and guest lecturers from around the world, the Global Business & Digital Arts degree will prepare you for a global, digital economy. Get the experience and education you need to succeed. Apply for 2012.

So What s All this Talk of University?
I know theres a lot of pressure to go to university, says Paul Bowman, a career counsellor at Queens University. He stresses that despite this pressure, students really need to consider all their options and what they come with before deciding what to do after high school graduation. Along with college or trades, university is just one path you can choose towards your future. The trick is choosing the path thats right for you, and knowing when to take the initiative along the way. As Bowman explains, [Students] really have to think about what their learning style is, what their career goals and aspirations are, what their interests are, and what their aptitudes are. And choosing a post-secondary institute is just like shopping for clothes, its about finding the right fit and what best reflects your personality. That means getting out there and visiting campuses, talking to students and instructors, and learning about the programs and opportunities the school has available for you. Its really important that people do their research and not just rely on the nice, glossy brochures or the information thats on school websites, but to actually come and get a real sense of the campus environment, explains Bowman. Residence is generally home to students coming from abroad to study. However, many local undergrads choose to live in rez or at least near campus so they can get that full university experience by immersing themselves in the environment. But whether you live on campus or not, part of this comes with the vibrant campus life, the frosh weeks, the parties, all sorts of things thatll make this period in your life memorable. At the same time, its important to remember why youre there in the first place, and manage to balance these social aspects with things like studying and rest. As Bowman explains, its all about maturity. Plenty of people dont have difficulty managing [school and a social life], but some people really struggle with that because they never had to balance those things for themselves before. So for students who know why theyre here, often theyre self-motivated, and can draw those boundaries and not get carried away with the social and party side of university life. He suggests that if a student doesnt think theyre ready to handle this kind of responsibility, then they should probably take a year off before heading back to school. Indeed, serious responsibilities are what await you. [Some students] just come here because thats

what theyre told theyre supposed to do; theyve got good marks in high school, therefore you go to university, comments Bowman. And many students who dont know why theyre here drift and bounce around from program to program. And there are many students who probably would have been better off to take some time away before going to university, or perhaps considering other options, such as college programs. Class sizes can be fairly large the first couple of years, a turn-off for students that want to connect with professors more personally. Because of this, he asks students to consider college as well, which offers just as many opportunities for a professional career. Also, the integrity of the Bachelors degree is now being questioned, due to larger classes and the state of the economy. In light of this, many BA holders are complementing their degree with college programs, or simply head into a completely different career from what theyve studied for. Ive seen students whove gone into careers in advertising and marketing, but have degrees in political science. Certainly for professional programs, the employment rates are very high, says Bowman. After all, one of the key reasons why people go to university is to put themselves in demand for employment (at least now it is). For those seeking non-professional programs, like a Bachelors in Arts or History, you would want to look at internships to gain that crucial field experience, including summer positions, and community involvement. A degree is one piece of the puzzle, continues Bowman, but there are other factors as well. Whether or not university is better than college, or if its the other way around, is irrelevant. It largely depends on what youre taking, why youre taking it, and what youre doing outside the classroom to make the most of it. But the advantages that university offers are the professional programs and theoretical practices that will always be important. Its important to understand the why and the context. So the theory gives a broader framework, and also makes it possible for people to be able to see opportunities and possibilities for applications that might not otherwise be obvious. If you want to be an intensely brooding doctor like something out of Greys Anatomy, or a hotshot sophisticated lawyer, youll have to go to university. But aside from the professional programs, adds Bowman, what a good, solid university education does is broaden your horizons, challenge you personally as well as academically, and really make you prepared to be a global citizen.
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Note: watching Van Wilder does not count as post-secondary research.

not enough to know how to do something; its also

by Andrew Williams

2011 |

instinct performance science excellence substance perseverance experience condence balance prociency relevance intelligence vibrance inuence
Niagara College (NC) welcomes new students each and every year and were proud to help them achieve their dreams. At NC, student success is at the heart of everything we do, and its in all the words we use.

onwards to 1 college
by Andrew Williams To be honest, my class has become like a family, says Laura El Saheli, a second year student enrolled in the Human Resources Strategy Technology program at Seneca College. We all go to the same classes, we work together, were all friends. Thats just one of the things to consider when thinking about college the campus life and the unique relationship youd have with your peers. And for all you Lisa Simpsons thinking youre too good for college, think again. I really like my program especially because the co-op is mandatory, and youre working in the main stream that youre studying, says El Saheli. Theres a lot of team work and you have to be able to work with other people, and apply your knowledge in different situations and circumstances. You can really get that at college. El Saheli explains its the practical application of concepts, knowledge, and hands-on learning that really makes the college experience worthwhile. College programs that are particularly popular among new students include Police Foundations, Business, Community Services, and especially Arts, such as Design and Animation, according to David Agnew, president of Seneca College. We appeal to students who want to finish their post-secondary education and basically be career ready, he says. Although a university B.A. is fantastic to have, Agnew explains that it wont necessarily appeal to an employer, or it may be too general to prepare you for a specific kind of job. A good deal of students are attracted to college because of the graduate certificate programs that implement both theory and practicality into their education. Also you mustnt be disturbed by the idea of lecture halls where you disappear in a sea of faces while listening to a professors sermon. College offers a smooth transition from high school, as you get straight to the tutorials. [] you get to study in smaller classrooms where theres closer interaction with teachers and students, rather than in university where youre in a lecture hall with a thousand students and the professor doesnt really know you, says El Saheli. So I chose college especially for that reason. You get to work with the teacher and with other group members, and thats very important to any job. Expect some real world experience to be part of your curriculum as well. We know how much you love taking notes at a desk, but the great thing about college is that it sends you out to really get your hands dirty. My field requires hands-on experience and the co-op is mandatory, says El Saheli, while with [university] programs co-op isnt mandatory; its basically theory application, which I dont find very useful at all for anybody, especially in a business mainstream. College can train students with whats called soft skills, problem solving and critical thinking, but also gives you the much sought after practical skills through co-ops and internships. But some people might get it twisted, thinking college is only for people whose wallets have seen better days. This is certainly not the case. El Saheli makes it clear that some college programs, including her own, can be more expensive than the tuition for the same program at university. Nonetheless, its not a question of whether college is catching up to university in terms of prestige. As Agnew explains, I think students understand that college is a place where you get a great, sophisticated education, comprehensive offerings, and theyre places of opportunity. In the old days, you came to college, got a diploma, and that was it. Now you can come to a college and get a degree, or move from one of our programs to a university program somewhere else. Theres so much more movement now of students between institutions and among institutions that just didnt exist 20 years ago. Agnew notes that many students go to college without even finishing their university program. They go because they realized university isnt for them. College also offers the perfect environment where students can discover their true potential. Well have a student who didnt do well in high school, then just blossom when they come to college, says Agnew. Its because theyve matured or landed on

a goal that they didnt have before. Once they turn their mind to doing something, they take off like a rocket. We have students right now in masters programs at great universities who started out barely limping over the finish line coming from high school. For high school students deciding on where to go, let alone what to do after they graduate, theres always the option of college after university, vice versa, or even both at the same time. Seneca, for one, offers joint programs with York University. El Saheli says high school students should look closely at what their interests are, and which fields they wish to pursue. Agnew agrees. Part of the whole advisement process is really going back to the students and asking whats your passion? he says. The most important thing is choosing something that you love who are 16, 1 theres no shame in changing your 7, mind, for heavens sake. The last thing you want is to feel like youre trapped on a particular path and you cant move.
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and picking the right path towards it. For people

Just because it didnt work out for Kanye West, doesnt mean it wont work out for you.

2011 |

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Turn The skill inTo a Trade. Turn ThaT Trade inTo dollar bills.

Copyright (C) 2008 pixohammer / Copyright (C) 2009 LAFKON Publishing This document is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of any of the following license: the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; either version 3.0 of license or any later version. A copy of the license is available at

The work force is a lot like high school. You have the popular careers that get all the attention, and the careers that are often overlooked but hold so much promise. The skilled trades industry is practically the latter, seeing an incredible demand for young prospects. Trades range from construction to the hospitality sector, including hair dressing and cooking nearly anything that requires a certain hands-on skill (ping-pong doesnt count, unfortunately). The beautiful thing about these professions is that theyre something you can do on the side or as a full-time career, which ever works for you. And high school is the perfect place to slide your way into this industry. Many high schools have programs that teach the necessary skills that students can apply to a trade. The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) works closely with high schools to provide co-op placements and a more intimate training experience for the field. Julian Da Silva Silveira is a grade 12 student whos been involved in OYAP while attending Central Technical School in Toronto. Hes been preparing for the electrical trade and emphasizes the importance of such a skill in day to day life. This program would be great to put on a resume, he says. An office job you cant really apply to every day life. But for trades you can work around your house and save money. Instead of hiring an electrician to come work on something, I could do it myself.

Plumbing is another important area students should look into when considering trades. Andrew De Sousa is also a graduating student at Central Tech whos studying this skill, and notes the different facets he can get into. For the first five years I plan on doing as much learning as I can, he says. From there, if you have your license, you can go into sales or you can work for big supplying companies, giving input on better products [] there are a lot of options. But like anything else, learning a trade isnt all fun and games. The most challenging part [of plumbing] would definitely be drawing the plans, says De Sousa. You have a certain amount of toilets, a certain amount of sinks. You have to put into consideration how many fixtures youre using, and figure out how big the pipes have to be so that everything runs smoothly. He explains that ensuring everything adheres to regulations and is up to code is another important aspect to perfect. Carpentry, with its aesthetic elements, has its difficulties also. Just getting the technique of all the fine detail work takes years of experience to finally get extremely good quality, says Caleb Bolychuk, an OYAP student at Central Tech. When you first start, youre completely garbage at it. But doing it numerous times, practicing and getting those fine details done, will help you out further on. Its pretty much unanimous that these students arent down for your typical Dwight Schrute office job. Many of them would rather get their hands dirty to see what forbidden dangers lie outside the cubicle. De Sousa, who had set up a basic washroom for a class, explains how successfully completing something is one of the most enjoyable things about the trades, while Da Silva Silveira admits he can never get bored of it. The satisfaction of starting Ive made this, Ive assembled this right, and its just satisfying to see what you completed instead of just a stack of papers, adds Bolychuk. According to Lucio Stavole, curriculum leader of construction at Central Tech, one skilled trade isnt necessarily in higher demand than the other. Instead, he explains that it largely depends on which stage of a project is being worked on. One employer might be busy this week, but next week itll be very slow, he says. Among the co-op placements Stovole discussed were construction, automotive, carpentry, hair dressing, and restaurant services. [The OYAP students] have graduated or are

about to graduate, they come back to school to get that specific training, and they go off to work, says Stavole. If the employers like how you work and hire you, your co-op hours may go to your apprenticeship, and from there you can get paid, putting you five steps ahead. It was different because its not like building a house where theres dirt every where, says Bolychuk about his carpentry placement at Sunnybrook Hospital. Since its a hospital, you had to be extremely clean, and everything had to be 100 percent germ free. So I got exposed to a whole different aspect of the building industry, which was extremely neat. Some people might go on to university and come out broker than they went in. Trades can make you money while youre studying what you love and give you a running start on your way to a career. As Bolychuk put it, Its like playtime with a cheque at the end.

by Andrew Williams | 2011


Images: Copyright 2008 pixohammer / 2009 LAFKON Publishing

something and seeing it finished is a reward in itself.

At Carleton we provide students with an exceptional education and outstanding experience in the most engaging ways. One day you could be building an unmanned aircraft, the next you could be travelling to Hawaii to scale active volcanoes. Its an approach to learning that makes every class an eye-opening experience. To learn more about our more than 80 exciting programs, visit us at

your ill save w life

She wore a fancy dress and carried a large bouquet of flowers wrapped in cellophane. I work in a career centre so while I do see students occasionally wearing suits for interviews, this particular students formal attire (not to mention floral sidekick) was markedly different from the standard fare of yoga pants, Uggs and sports jerseys Im used to.

Information Area/Library

Most career centres have books and computers that allow you to find out more about career options, what to do with your interests (e.g.

I need to figure out my life, she said, looking tearful. Okay, I said, have a seat and we can chat. Looking slightly agitated, she asked nervously, How long do you think this will take? I graduate at 2:00pm and my parents are waiting down in the car. During first year, you might not be inclined to think about, let alone visit, the career centre on your campus. The word career seems to conjure up images of 30 year olds in cubicles or corner offices and doesnt exactly seem to relate to anything in your life, right?

books like, Careers for Talkative Types), how to write resumes and succeed in interviews, directories to help you connect with networking and employment opportunities, education and grad school information, and program calendars from other schools. The comfy couches are a bonus.

I_need_to_figur e_out_my_ life,_she_said, _looking_ tearful._Okay, _I_said,_have_a seat_&_we_can_ch at.

How can I work or study overseas? What are employers looking for that will give me the edge when I look for work? Ive never had a real interview before. Can I practice in a mock interview? I love my program but what are my career options from it? field/geographic area?

ts evensmall information session with one education pro-

Whether its at a large career fair in an arena or a gram, these are great opportunities for first-year students to find out more about areas of interest, learn about post-grad programs and meet employers in a low-risk, friendly environment. Many career centres will run themed events that tap into students interests (e.g. eco-careers) and help you connect with information, alumni and organizations that work in those fields. Theres also usually food and swag!

Its amazingly easy to end up like the many students who unwittingly land in my office on their graduation day, shaking in their stilettos and silk ties about the
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rest of their lives. When they leave our conversation, they invariably say, I wish I had known about this earlier. They thrust their bouquet of flowers thankfully into my hands and plead with me to spread the word to junior students to START EARLY. So, here I am, on behalf of all those students in beautiful dresses and snazzy suits both the ones who know exactly where theyre going and the ones who arent sure at all. Whichever group you fall in, the career centre can help you, right from first year even if youre not ready for the cubicle or corner office just yet.

Where can I find work in my preferred

Whats it like to work in job X? Whats do the future prospects look like in job Y? How much money does someone in job Z usually make?

Advice & support

Through all their programs, but particularly workshops or individual counselling/advising sessions, the career centre helps first-year students find answers to these questions and more:
I thought Id like my program but I hate it. Now what? I know exactly what I want to do. How do I get from here to there? If I change my program, what are the career implications? What pre-requisites do I need to take now to get into program X in the future?

Youre paying a lot for your program, and sweating buckets on assignments and exams to boot. Right from first year, career centres help you make your education work for YOU and they will help you finesse the high school version of yourself into the newly-sophisticated post-secondary you. So when youre thinking I need to figure out my life, drop by your campus career centre. Were here to help no fancy dress or flowers required. by Christine Fader

ally have Career centres usuchoose from: of services to the following menu
Employment programs

Image: Marili Forastieri/Photodisc/Thinkstock

Career centres post part-time, summer, internship/ placement and after-graduate jobs on their website, host employers on campus, collect job applications on behalf of companies, and try to recruit more employers to hire students from your school and program. They might also be able to connect you with volunteer opportunities.

Where can I find a part-time, summer, internship or after-graduation job?

Where can I volunteer? Whats a good job for the summer?

Christine Fader works as a career counsellor at Queens University and is co-author of the forthcoming book, Teen to Tuition. Visit her website at:
13 | 2011

GO to Algonquin College and CHANGE your life for the better.

Whether you want to GO EXPLORE, GO CREATE, GO BUILD, or to simply GO FURTHER, Algonquin College will give you the guidance, skills and hands-on experience you need to get you on your way. Like thousands of graduates, youll discover that Algonquin College is the place where you can learn, practice, connect and be inspired by professors who are passionate about your success. So dont waitGO FOR IT today always been dreaming about. Learn more about the programs and create your own personalized Viewbook at

by Emily Minthorn

Your Shiny, New Independent Lifethe ground avoid hitting

by spreading
This oNE is For All ThosE suPErsTArs sTriKiNg ouT solo This sEPTEMbEr. its not that we dont love you, parents basement dwellers. Theres a lot to be said for the wisdom of sticking around the nest a bit longer to save money on living expenses while youre in school. but sometimes, your dream school calls you from across the province or the country and staying at home just isnt an option. so you spread your wings and you fly away. its exciting, but also a bit (a lot) scary. | 2011





Luckily for you little birds, a lot of people have done this before. G2G talked to a bunch of them, and took what they said, and wrote this piece for you. Because as you have likely already discovered, theres a lot of useless advice out there for newly independent people like you. For our part, were going to assume that youre not stupid, that you already know the basics of life in the big wide world: look both ways before you cross the street, dont take candy from strangers, use the buddy system, eat your vegetables. But then there are the things no one tells you until now. Do you know where youre living yet? Residence life will be step one for many of you a great way to live on your own with a bit of a safety net. This beast has its own ins and outs, depending on the form it takes. If youll be living the suite life this fall, youll learn all kinds of valuable lessons, like how to share a kitchen and bathroom with several other people, and how to deal with four dorm roomies four different sleep schedules. Youll also have a built in brat pack for pub night and study group. Your roomies will be your windows into other departments and faculties, new and exciting avenues of exploration you maybe didnt even know about when you first applied to school. Likewise, theyll be looking to you for cool new ideas as well. Do you have amazing taste in music and film, books, whatever? Of course you do! Share stuff with each other. Maybe youll have just one roommate. You must be nervous; they could turn out to be completely awful! But then again, they might be your new best friend. The best way to go about this is to not have too many expectations, and to be willing to re-orient but not lower your standards of living.

Image: John Howard/ Lifesize/Thinkstock

2011 |

Or are you the kid who likes her space and opted to bunk alone? You know who you are. Single dorms are neat because no one can see your dirty undies all over the floor. But beware the creep of hermitage. Make friends with that girl across the hall, keep your door open often, and youll have the best of both residence worlds. Regardless, you rezzies are about to enjoy some pretty sweet perks. For every loud guy down the hall and gross communal bathroom, there is a silver lining: on-campus services out the wazoo. Youve got your cafeteria and pubs and fast food close by, your entire school at your finger-tips, and you can go to class in your pajamas. Youve got walk-home services, libraries full of free books and movies, campus art galleries, student theatre, student newspapers, student clubs, you name it. Take the time to get to know your residence life coordinator or don its their job to know the stuff you dont, to point you in the right direction and make your first year as awesome as possible. And even if youre not really into it, try to attend at least a couple of those organized residence activities. You know the ones: the third-floor potluck, the C-hall movie night. This whole grown-up thing is way better if youre open to new experiences, new friends, and new ways of looking at things. One way to really jump into your shiny, new, independent life with both feet (and your whole wallet) is to set up house off campus. Find some new friends to split rent with, and then get to know your landlord. Talk to them, read your lease throughly, and attempt to start your life as a renter off on the right foot. Students have a reputation for being terrible tenants; you dont want to be that guy. You have all summer to get your crap together, so now is the time to arrange for things like your internet provider, hydro, utilities, and other stuff that youve probably never had to worry about before. This next bit is actually really fun. Spend part of your summer hunting down a few awesome garage sale furniture finds, and combing the basements, attics, and garages of your friends and family for cool, unique, and useful cast-offs. Later in the year youll definitely want to head to Ikea too, because youll still be needing all kinds of stuff! Budget for this last-minute shopping trip. Getting your first apartment is super expensive even when youve got people to split it with, so learn to maximize your dollar. Learn also to live with a bit less. And this is very important learn to cook. There is no student ghetto meal plan and your budget and pants-size will thank you. Take this last summer at home as an opportunity to pick up some kitchen tips from your family. Get really good at cooking a few key dishes and diversify from there. If you can learn to make a meal for many, even better. The best place to make new friends is over a bowl of steaming hot homemade whatever. Sharing is caring, and the favor will certainly be returned (and then some). If nothing else, remember: the cook never has to wash the dishes! Grocery shopping is an art unto itself that youll be perfecting long after youve got your degree or diploma, but start practicing now. Make friends with the store brands, with coupons and discount stores and day-old bread. See that rack full of overripe vegetables and fruit thats so cheap its almost free? You can nearly always find enough variety there to make tonights meal, and since youll be cooking it right away, it doesnt matter that it has a few spots. Waste not, want not. Dust once in a while, please. Your lungs will be happier. Change your sheets at least monthly.

Youll also have a built in brat pack for pub night and s t u d y group. | 2011


There is no shame in taking a hamper full of dirty clothes on the train or bus with you at Thanksgiving.

Dont dismiss the power of the trip home to recharge your batteries, make some free longdistance calls, pet your pets, and do your laundry. There is no shame in taking a hamper full of dirty clothes on the train or bus with you at Thanksgiving. Theres absolutely nothing wrong with calling your mom for a recipe, or with telling yourself youre calling for a recipe but what youre really doing is calling just to say hi or to ask for advice. And its not just your family that wants to see you succeed at living on your own. Almost everywhere you look, there are people who are dying to help you settle in to your new life. At school,

the best place to start is in the Student Services department. Theyve got workshops for help with everything from time management and budgeting courses, to healthy cooking classes, to addiction and substance abuse counselling, to safer-sex seminars. It doesnt stop there. Depending on your town or city, help may be as close as your nearest community centre or public library. Try the local YMCA. Try talking to your neighbors. Google it, but then also, call home. Moving out is a huge step, maybe the closest thing to an actual rite of passage that Canadian culture has. Bad stuff might happen. Your parents

will probably be weird about it for at least the first six months. But youre extremely mature and intelligent, right? Smart and savvy enough to avoid the common pitfalls of binge-drinking and skipping class and playing video games for three days straight, no shower, existing on a steady diet of Doritos and pure willpower? No? Thats okay. No time to start getting better at it, and that starts with making a certain amount of mistakes. And then learning from them. Either way, weve got your back. Good luck out there, and have fun!
Images: John Howard/ Lifesize/Thinkstock

one is that good at life right away. But nows the

2011 |

Show the way to an exciting future

For high school students today, the future

is unlimited unpredictable
Even as it brims with opportunities, it promises to keep shifting and reinventing itself. Thats why its a great time general accountant (CGA). Visit

Unilever Canada Inc. Used under license.

After completing four intense years of high school with flying colors, Alexa Garrison assumed that continuing her education, as an environmental science undergrad, would be the obvious next step in her life. There was never any question of whether or not Id go, she says of starting university. I never even considered taking time off after I graduated. That is until she found herself locked in her dorm room, buried under a pile of overdue assignments for a crop of classes she wasnt even interested in. Basically I woke up at midterms and realized that I didnt even know why I was there. It was incredibly lame. Alexas story is a familiar one to guidance offices across Canada. Here, as in the United States, most students go straight from high school to their first year of post-secondary. But in much of Europe its normal for students to take a hiatus from school, called a gap year. Now the ideas gaining popularity here at home, and research is showing that a breather between school and school is good for you in more ways than one. I wouldnt hesitate to recommend that a student take a gap year especially if theres uncertainty about what they want to study, says Paul Bowman, manager of Career and Education and a career counsellor at Queens University. We certainly see plenty of students who are motivated and have a clear direction who havent taken a gap year, but we also see a lot of students who arent really sure why theyre here. Theyre basically just
Image: MM Productions/ Lifesize/Thinkstock

what to study, not really sure about what career outcome theyre interested in. Theyre the people who would benefit most from a gap year. Alexa isnt an environmental science student anymore; after those brutal midterms, she dropped out of her program, joining a full one third of Canadian students who leave school after their first year. It sucks to be part of that drop-out statistic, but it would suck worse to waste more money on a second year of a program I wasnt into, she explains over the phone from her parents place. Shes getting ready to travel to northern Ontario on a three-month stint tree planting this summer, and while she still wants to go to school, I just need some time off to figure out what I actually want to do. A gap year is exactly what many students need to find clarity, agrees Bowman. Most people who take a gap year do return to school. Its a fear from parents, but as from all the data Ive seen, its not a credible fear. All the evidence suggests that people will come back to school. Keep in mind that a gap year is very different from the victory lap thats become common since the elimination of grade thirteen from Ontario high schools. Staying in your same high school and being around the same people is not likely going to lead to the sort of growth and change that a year in a different environment, around different people, doing different things is likely to give you, warns Bowman. So what exactly should you do with your gap year? Travel is cool, but its expensive,

so a year working abroad makes financial sense and there are tons of resources, online and off, to help gappers find a position working

she laughs. Itll depend on who I meet up north. At this point Im not even 20. Im lucky because all my options are still open.


how a year off of school could be the best decision you ever make
or volunteering overseas. Even if youve already been accepted to a post-secondary program, universities are more than willing to work around your gap year and some even have bridging programs that involve a year abroad before resuming school. Successful students who request a deferral for the purposes of a gap year always present the Registrars office with a game plan, says Bowman. Universities support students doing that, because they know that students likely to have a better academic outcome. There is growing evidence that a gap year does correlate with increased motivation for students. With that increased motivation comes greater focus and, Bowman believes, a more fulfilling career. Which is kind of the point of this whole thing anyway, right? Then again, you could get a job or internship close to home and test-drive a career youre really interested in risk-free. The positions you can land right out of high school might not pay that well or at all but since youre still living a rent-free existence, they wont have to. In any scenario, a gap year is only worth taking if you spend it doing something productive: gaining work experience and self-knowledge, for example, rather than gaining levels on your night-elf warlock. If you do take a gap year, make some plans, advises Bowman. Get out the door, meet people, get involved, try new things, learn, network. Get out of your comfort zone. Alexa plans to use the money she earns tree planting to go do some humanitarian work overseas, probably in Rwanda. But who knows! by Emily Minthorn

putting in time. Typically, those are the students who have come straight out of high school, not really sure | 2011

After months of anticipation, the dreaded letter arrives and you didnt make the cut. Although it may feel like the end of the world, it really isnt. Before you go into panic mode, speak to an academic advisor at the institution you applied to. Figure out why you were denied; was it due to a low GPA? Maybe it was an incomplete or late application? Keep in mind advisors are there to get you in, not to hold you back. Most students are too bummed out to even try, but the truth is, talking to an advisor after being denied can increase your chances of getting in; if not for this semester, than the next one. Applicants are often rejected because there werent enough seats left. Typically, when this happens it usually means you will be added to a waitlist and if a student drops out, you are next in line. This happens more often than people think, so dont rule it out.

get in. Now what?

by Eleni Papavasiliou


Meeting with an advisor

Come prepared. If you want the advisor to work hard for you, this is the absolute best thing you can do. Your goal is to demonstrate your interest and commitment to furthering your education. Bring copies of your transcripts, student number, and a resume. Everyone knows most people apply to more than one institution, so if this school is your first choice, make a point out of saying so. Most importantly, show enthusiasm during your meeting.

Go to college first then transfer to university

If you didnt get into your first choice, consider going to a local college first. Colleges are a great way to start your postsecondary education. Many boast smaller classrooms, less expensive tuition fees, an easier commute, and youll save money living at home than living in campus dorms. Many colleges act as feeders to universities so most of their courses will transfer for credit. However, its your responsibility to verify its transferability so check before you take any course. Taking this route also means making sure your grades are in order, so confirm the universitys entrance requirements before you apply.

Repeating a course
If you dont get through by way of the wait-list, an academic advisor can develop an action plan with you to get in for the next semester by determining which courses you need to increase your grade point average. Maybe you didnt do so well in Math 12, and that C- is holding you back. Most colleges and universities have programs in place to allow you to redo the course on campus. Make sure you know how your institution of choice calculates your GPA with repeated courses as some schools will use the higher grade while others take an average of the two.

Consider schools in other provinces

According to Statistics Canada, Quebec has the lowest tuition fees across the country. Following in second and third place is Newfoundland / Labrador and Manitoba, respectively. This is a great opportunity to see what Canada has to offer, meet new people and venture out on your own.

Get help with your homework

When repeating a course, getting a better grade after one attempt is preferred. Having to redo a course more than once can be expensive, time consuming and may be a sign the program is not right for you. Make the second shot worthwhile by hiring a tutor or taking advantage of the institutions free resources for extra help. Most schools have learning centres to provide assistance, and chances are the extra effort you put in will pay off. To find a tutor, ask the advisor if they have a list, go to the Student Union, or scan notice boards on campus for advertisements.

Take a year off

Next to buying a house or a car, a post-secondary education will be one the largest investments you will ever make in your life, so dont take it lightly. Take the time off to work, save money and research all the possibilities. Booking an appointment with a career advisor can be beneficial too. Selecting a career which suits your personality before you commit to a program will save you time and money in the long run.


2011 |








WHATS THIS CRAZY LOOKING BLACK BOX ? Its called a QR Code and it tells your Smartphone what web page to visit.


by the dime
Saving Money while Savouring the Summer
by Amy soberano

barista, working as a camp counsellor, or doing odd jobs around your neighborhood. Now that you dont have to spend five days a week in school, youre free to work either part-time or full-time, depending on your goals. Not only will your job provide you with a paycheque, but it can also be a place to meet new friends, learn outside the classroom, and explore life beyond your old routine. Once the money starts coming in, it can be tempting to let it all slide right back out. Set a firm rule: before you pay others from your hard-earned cash, pay yourself first. If you dont have one already, set up a savings account and commit to depositing a fixed percentage of every paycheque. Many banks have discounted plans available for students, and over time youll even make a little extra on interest! With this system in place, you can worry less about saving money for a rainy day and more about enjoying yourself in the sun. Theres a whole new world out there to explore in the summer but, without a magic carpet, transportation can get pricey. Put the old adage into practice and make your journey into the destination dont waste money on gas, parking, or public transit. Walk instead. Slow down, maybe even literally to smell the flowers, and enjoy areas of your hometown you may never have passed through on foot. For longer trips, ride your bike. If you dont have one, it may be worth the investment. With all this exercise on a beautiful day, you could get thirsty. Bring a reusable water bottle and refill it

along the way youll be saving your dollars and the environment too. There will always be someone who seems freer with his or her cash than you are, and there can be tons of pressure to spend. Get creative. There are plenty of inexpensive ways to socialize, especially in the summer. Instead of going out to eat, spread a blanket in a nearby park or backyard and suggest a potluck picnic. Not only is this a great way to cut down on costs, but it can make for an awesome afternoon! Or, if youre feeling entrepreneurial, team up with a friend for some summer cleaning and host a garage sale in your neighborhood. Whatever you choose, make sure to find a healthy balance between work and play thats right for you. Dont forget summer can be a time to earn, but youve also earned your summer.

As the school year crawls to a close, and the sunshine outside your classroom window is all but dragging you out the door, the countdown to that final bell can grow as rowdy as the last seconds of an overtime sports game. But while you might be on the edge of your seat waiting for the summer, you may also be clutching its armrests a little tightly at the thought of budgeting your money. July and August are your months off, and after a long school year of homework and exams, the summer deserves to feel like a vacation. At the same time, liberation from your desk can quickly become a huge drain on the wallet, often before you even realize where your dollars have disappeared to. But heres the good news: if you play it right, play being the key word, the summer months can just as quickly become a tremendous opportunity to earn, without robbing you of the holiday you deserve. Whether youre saving for tuition, helping out at home, or just need some extra pocket cash, putting money aside and developing an awareness of your spending habits are important practices to adopt early. Of course, the first step to saving is earning an income. There are plenty of great and flexible summer jobs available for students, such as lifeguarding at a community pool, serving at a restaurant or as a

The Best Part-Time Jobs

by Amy soberano

Image: Hemera/Thinkstock

As most high school students in the workforce can attest to, finding that perfect balance between school, a job, and a social life can be a tricky juggling act to maintain. To help you avoid dropping the ball in any one of these areas, weve compiled a list of part-time jobs that maximize your income while minimizing your time spent in the office. | 2011

an is to supply count rpose of a student lo The pu so dont only what is truly needed, on extra money for beer.
Order up!
Believe it or not, there are many ways to earn money without paying the price in the classroom or with your group of friends. The food industry, for example, is ripe with opportunities for teens looking for part-time work. Serving is often the most fruitful option for filling your pockets with cash, especially at higher end restaurants where a good work ethic and positive demeanor can translate to great tips by the end of the night. However, in most cases youll have to climb your way up the food chain before landing a sweet serving gig. Working as a barista in a caf, bussing tables at a restaurant, or trying your hand at a fast food joint are all great ways to gain experience in the industry, build your resume, and hone your customer service skills while still making a decent paycheque. Other great ways to make some extra cash while still in school are babysitting, pet sitting, and dog walking. If you love caring for kids or for animals, this could be the kind of job that doesnt even feel like work. Like tutoring, these positions pay well by the hour, have the potential for meaningful one-on-one interactions (including canine companions), and allow you to virtually create your own hours. The flipside to this flexibility is that unless youve got regular clients, consistency can be an issue. Depending on your financial situation and your clientele, this type of work could either be an ideal source for pocket money, or simply not guarantee enough hours. An important thing to remember is that youll not only be making money but creating experiences that will help you to grow both personally and professionally. Dont sweat it if you dont know exactly what you want to be when you grow up just yet. For now, building your resume, making connections and trying new things are all really great places to start. Whatever you choose, heres some advice: although it can be tempting to cash your grades in for more time at work, it may not be your greatest investment in the long run. More power to you for chipping away by the hour at that ominous university or college tuition, but if thats the route you want to go, another strategy to consider is the application to community leadership or academic scholarships. If you play your cards right, boosting your marks could actually lead to that very financial boost youve been striving for. Of course, being realistic about your options and responsibilities is a must, but working for money at the expense of your grades may often lead to only a short-term payout. As always, its about finding that balance thats right for you.

Government Student Loans vs. Bank Loans

by Eleni Papavasiliou

Being handed a chunk of money may seem great at first, but before you sign on the dotted line, do your homework. Government loans vary significantly from bank loans and confusing the two can have serious consequences. When borrowing money from the government, it comes from two different sources: the federal government and the provincial government. The federal component is administered by the National Student Loans Service Centre, and lends up to 60 percent of required financing. The remaining 40 percent comes from your provincial government.

Totally tutor
If youre earning straight As in any of your subjects, you may find stepping over to the other side of the classroom and working as a tutor to be extremely rewarding and not just financially. Put up flyers in your school or around your neighborhood. If you have younger siblings or friends at other schools, ask them to spread your name around word of mouth is huge for this type of work. Although you might earn more per hour if you go at it on your own, applying to work for a tutoring service could ensure a steadier income, especially if youre uncomfortable or struggling with self-promotion.

How to apply
Speak to a financial aid officer at your college or university first. They provide guidance through the process and can answer any questions about filling out the complicated forms. Since government loans are based on what is often referred to as demonstrated financial need, its possible not all of your expenses will be covered. When calculating your loan, other sources of financing are factored in, including personal savings or money from a Registered Education Savings Plan. The purpose of a student loan is to supply only what is truly needed, so dont count on extra money for beer. A good way to ensure you receive the maximum amount is to get rid of your car too. Taking into consideration the cost of gas, insurance and maintenance, lenders see a vehicle as an unnecessary expense and will deduct it from your application. Ditching your wheels is financially responsible and good for the environment, too. To apply for a bank loan, speak to a financial representative at your bank; financial aid officers at your school cannot help you.

Reap the rewards of retail

If youre looking for something more stable, retail could be the option for you. While your hourly wage will likely start out at the minimum or close to it, the predictability of a set schedule might actually provide just that type of freedom you need to feel on track. Of course, putting in your time will not only earn you a steady paycheque, but it could also lead to a promotion or a raise.

2011 |


by the dime
Whats a Guarantor and why do I need one?
When applying for a loan, applicants typically have to qualify for it by proving they earn enough income to cover day to day expenses and make loan payments on top of them. Good credit history is also required to show a pattern of making payments on time. Full-time students however, are given a break with government loans. To qualify for both federal and provincial loans, proof of enrollment in a full-time program is enough. British Columbia is the only exception; a guarantor has to sign if you are under the age of 19. By signing, the guarantor agrees to repay the loan if you cant. When applying for a bank loan, being the age of majority in your province is mandatory to apply, and its likely a guarantor will be needed since most new students dont have enough credit history to qualify on their own. On the contrary, bank loans are approved based on a combination of three factors: your personal credit history, the credit history of the guarantor, and the type of program you are enrolled in. Students enrolled in medical school or certain Master degree programs are considered a lower risk from a lenders perspective, because they are more likely to find work upon graduation and pay back their loans on time. As a result, loans from banks are more accessible to them.

What if I dont find a job after I graduate?

The government is more flexible if you run into trouble after completing you studies. They offer repayment assistance, meaning they will make payments on your behalf. Banks are stricter and may not be able to offer other arrangements. Keep in mind late or missing payments will affect your credit history negatively. A blemish on your record will create barriers for getting credit when you want to buy a house or car in the future. Dont forget that once a loan is signed for, the responsibility of paying it off rests on your shoulders.

students get student loans, and heres the scary part: they get it in chunks in September and January. Theyve got to learn to spread that out, says Campbell. When a student sets their budget, they have to figure out their fixed costs: rent, tuition, books, the cost of food and transport.

2. Get a job!
If your budget is in the red, working part-time might help you get on track. While working a couple shifts a week on top of going to school full-time might not sound so appealing, there could be benefits. It really sets you up for what life can be like, agrees Campbell. If you learn to balance your life in that way, thats a great skill!

3. No charge
These days, it seems like credit card companies dole out cards as if they were candy. If you can

Budgeting Tips
by Kevin Nelson

When I first left home for university, I had no idea the cost of things, and I spent accordingly. With student loan in hand, I bought whatever I laid eyes on: fast food, beer, music. In the process, I accumulated a gargantuan amount of debt that Im only now in a position to be paying off. Debt is the last thing you want to have hanging over your head after years of hard work in postsecondary. Together with Laurie Campbell, executive director of Credit Canada, a not for profit charity thats helped people deal with debt for over 40 years through financial literacy and money management education, weve compiled some indispensable tips to help you get the most bang for your buck during your first year away.

avoid this classic trap, itll help you in the long run. We see far too many young people ruin their credit rating before theyre 25, says Campbell. If youre tempted to get one, and feel that its necessary, stick to one card with a limit of no more than $1000. Another option might be to get a preloaded credit card for emergencies. At least then you know when the partys over.

4. Keep em separated
If your money arrives in lump sums, try to keep your expenses funds in an account separate from your fun funds. This makes it easier to monitor your expenses and ensures you wont come up short on rent day.

What is interest?
Interest is the cost of borrowing money, which means loans are not free. When a lender issues a loan, an interest rate is charged. Interest is a percentage of the original loan amount (also known as the principal, in financial lingo), and is applied over the course of the repayment period. With government loans, full-time students are given an interest free grace period for six months after leaving school. Most bank loans on the other hand, require you to start making interest payments as soon as you draw money, whether you are still in school or not.

5. Campus living: on or off?

This is an article unto itself, but simply put there are pros and cons to each. Its going to be cheaper living off-campus if you can live with roommates and youre careful with your money, says Campbell. However, theres a bit of a safety factor to living on campus: tuition fees and meal plans are usually paid in advance and you dont have any transportation issues.

1. Take stock
Simply put, figure out where youre getting money from and where that money will be going. Some

by the dime
6. Buy the book?
Everyone has a horror story or two about buying textbooks. In my second year I bought a $200 history text for an elective that I couldnt sell back because they werent teaching it the following year. This taught me a valuable lesson: only buy the books that you absolutely need. I saved myself $500 one year because I used the books set aside in the reserve section of the school library. Of course, this isnt ideal for everyone. Often, buying books brand new isnt the best way to go. Scour the school bulletin boards for used books, or even try online. ping meals for the rest of the week. Not a good idea if you have exams and assignments due for which youll need all your mental agility to answer those multi-layered, stress-inducing questions. During his first year at the University of Guelph as a political science major, Thom Weresch, like many students living in residence, was given a meal card. I ate it all in the first month, he says, laughing. Having that card doesnt make you appreciative; its like a Visa. Youre just swiping... you dont think about it until you try to order a poutine and they say Sorry, you have thirty cents on your card. Do a little food court reconnaissance before you get a greasy meal card trigger finger, recommends Shauna Lindzon, a registered dietitian in Toronto. Go through the cafeteria, ask to see the meal plan, check the prices. This way you now what you can afford daily, which will extend the life of your meal card. Sudden weight gain, as in the dreaded Freshman 15, is a clear indicator that you may be spending too much money on the wrong kind of food. Grab some fresh fruit for a snack and put it your bag, suggests Lindzon, which will help top up your gut throughout the day. Grab a few nuts, grab a yogurt container and stop the feeling of starvation. would be I want twenty cheeseburgers made like Big Macs. It was a habit he developed out of laziness, he admits. In order to help tap into your inner Jamie Oliver, Lindzon recommends students open cookbooks, read recipes on the internet, have people over, start learning different techniques in terms of cooking, talk to your foodie friends, and, she says, talk to a dietitian, which every campus has on staff. Weresch only started cooking at home after he graduated, but his budget was still tight. I remember I was so broke the only thing I had left was pasta, and gravy in this can. Mother Hubbards cupboard. And all of a sudden this muse came to me and said Why dont you put them together? So I cooked the pasta, put in the gravy and ate pasta and gravy. Lindzon isnt a fan of The Thom Weresch Diet. You can put canned lentils in tomato sauce and you have the benefits of the protein. So rinse the kidney beans off, put it in the tomato sauce, and have that with pasta. That would be a more balanced choice than just the pasta with the gravy. If your budget is really tight, Lindzon says that above all else, eat breakfast. Start by eating a healthy, balanced breakfast that is high in fibre, with a healthy protein and fat added into the equation. That boosts your metabolic rate, gets your metabolism going, gets your brain thinking and gets your energy rolling. Then snack every the bathroom, you have time to have a snack.
Image: Getty Images/Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Thinkstock

7. Food for thought

Even as a student with a meal plan, I still managed to eat out 2 or 3 times a week. Ordering late-night food, eating fast food multiple times a week can really add up, cautions Campbell. Think ahead and make sure you have groceries at home. If your fridge is empty, youre going to go out and grab something. Hopefully these nuggets of knowledge have given you a little insight into making that first year on your own a little easier on the wallet.

The Meal Card Trap

by Jason rhyno

Save your money and your health.

When youre short on dough, eating can be like walking a tightrope. Any one slip deciding to order a $1 pizza for movie night, or dropping $30 on 7 nachos and chicken wings can have you skip-

Wereschs dietary habits changed when he moved off campus during his second year and was forced to fend for himself, minus a meal card. You start looking for the cheapest things ever. Like looking for ketchup; instead of buying Heinz, you buy PC or the No Name brand. Its actually a good trick as paying for name brands can add serious dollars to your food bill. However, Weresch says he and his roommates were eating out more often than not. Instead of going to a supermarket where we could pool our money, we would order pizza. On Sundays at McDonalds it was cheeseburger day, and you could get those made like Big Macs, so it

few hours. I always say, if you have time to go to

~ end ~


2011 |

Jeremy Wyant, 24 Internet Web Specialist at PFAFF. Canadian Automotive Institute (CAI) graduate, 2009

When did you first start thinking about a career in the automotive industry?
I was focused on business in high school and I knew I wanted to get into marketing. My business teacher took us to the 2004 Georgian College Auto Show, where I found out all about the CAI. I spoke to some students there, and ended up falling in love with the college.

So, clearly the college left an impact on you. What program did you end up choosing?
I chose Georgian because I wanted to get into the automotive industry and its the only school in all of Canada that offers the program. So its unique. I did the three-year diploma in automotive marketing, along with the oneyear degree completion right after.

Looking back, what was the best aspect of the program for you?
I loved every day in the program! The co-op consultants are fantastic. They got me involved with a lot of different volunteer and leadership experiences outside of school. I learned to network with different people as well. This was definitely a huge part of my positive experience in the program at Georgian.

How big were your classes?

The largest class I had was probably 35 to 40 students. Its pretty great because your teacher learns your name within the first week, so its fantastic.

Thats a good thing! Can you tell us a little bit about your co-op experiences?
You have to do three co-op placements throughout the program, and they alternate semesters. By the end of the diploma, youve done a full 12 months. My first was with a financing company, and I did my second one with a marketing agency that represents Ford Canada at the auto shows. My last one was done at the school itself.

Your second co-op at the marketing agency sounds interesting. What was that experience like?
This was an amazing opportunity. I got to travel across Canada to do auto shows for four months. My expenses were paid and I received an hourly, too. I also made lots of contacts through networking. The teachers are really helpful. If they see youre working within the industry, they want to help. If I had tests when I was on the road, they made the effort to have me come in on weekends or do them online so I didnt miss opportunities to work and make connections.

A Speedy Path Towards a Secure Career!

Georgian College graduate credits career success to his experiences at the Canadian Automotive Institute.

What was the biggest misconception you had about the industry before you began the program?
A lot of people think of the automotive industry and assume its huge. But when you get into the program, you find its one of the smallest industries around, where everybody knows each other. This can help you a lot if you do a great job at your co-op or at an auto show.

Whats it like being an alumnus now?

Theres a lot of perks to being in the alumni. You get invited to different alumni/social nights. And then everyone gets together for the Georgian College Auto Show. Id say probably 30 to 40 percent of the people I work with have taken the program. It was great when I started at PFAFF, because as soon as you say youre from CAI, its a sense of familiarity.

Any final thoughts?

The automotive industry isnt just sales and manufacturing. Theres a lot more sectors you can branch into. And while youre in school, get involved as much as you can. It will improve your overall experience and networking options.

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Bills, bills, bills. And other things that suck.

The worst part of growing up is the part where people start asking you for money. Not people you know, of course, but creditors. You will have cell phone payments, cable bills, and meal plans. And lets not forget the fact that you cant walk ten steps on a university campus without being offered your own credit card. It will seem like a good idea until you realize youre five grand in debt. Create a spreadsheet with your expected expenses and develop a realistic budget. It doesnt mean that you wont overspend here and there, but it will allow you to track your purchases and pay attention to the due dates on your bills. Your parents might be paying that tuition check (if youre lucky), but the day-to-day stuff will be on your shoulders. And if its not, it should be, because establishing good credit is essential for future things like buying a car, renting an apartment, or getting a loan.

to make the right decisions if you want to avoid the dreaded Freshman 15. A little junk in the tummy leads to a lot of junk in the trunk. Indulge yourself every once in a while, but dont go overboard.

It is finally time. Youve gotten your acceptance letters, decided on a school, and made the decision to leave the nest. But before you fly the coop, there are some things that every co-ed needs to know. Here are a handful of them.

Forget the Fergie song, big girls (and boys) do cry.

You are bound to get homesick, especially at the beginning of your first semester, when everything is new and very overwhelming. There is no shame in shedding a tear or two when your parents pull away and you are left alone for the first time in your life. What you have to remember is that everybody is in the same boat. Making new friends can be daunting, but you arent the only one trying to find their footing. Before you move out, you should prepare a bag of reminders of home that you want to bring to school. This might mean buying an address book for important phone numbers or taking a couple of photos of you and your best friends. Or it might mean packing that quilt your grandma knitted for you but you have always hated. Pack your favourite poster from your bedroom wall, a high school trophy, or anything else that will make your new space seem more familiar. Just try and avoid packing your little brother and youre all set. by brandon Miller
Image: Martin Poole/ Lifesize/Thinkstock

Do your research. Yes, more studying.

You dont have to study a map of each building like youre planning an escape route, but you should be familiar with the campus before your arrival. If possible, do a tour and familiarize yourself with the main layout. Pay special attention to things like where to find good food or common areas that might be useful for studying when you have a short break

Your underwear wont clean itself.

Living with your parents, you may not think about the fact that you have a consistent supply of finely bleached socks and nicely starched shirts. Well, thats about to change. Learn how to do laundry now and save yourself the embarrassment of having to wander around your residence laundry room asking for help. If youre like most students, you will probably wait until you use your last pair of good underwear before confronting the laundry basket, but at least youll know what to do once you finally get around to it. Also, warn your mom in advance before bringing home a months worth of laundry during a long weekend visit. Sorry, mom.

Lay off the late night pizza.

You are not going to like this. Remember when you were young and your parents forced you to eat your vegetables? They werent torturing you, but following good nutritional guidelines. But who wants to listen to parents, right? College or university often shakes up the good food patterns that exist at mom and dads house. No one is going to cook you a balanced dinner and serve it to you in the dining hall. You decide when and what you want to eat, and its crucial

If possible, buy your books online so that you can avoid the line-ups that will inevitably take over the bookstore the first week of school. The more prepared you are when you arrive, the less of a shock it will be when youre left alone in a residence room the size of a shoebox. Not having to worry about buying books or finding buildings leaves more time for making friends and attending frosh events.


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