Working hard a must in college too

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Most students are under the illusion that the importance of grades can be left behind with your high school graduation party.  After all, you’ve already been accepted into post-secondary school, so what’s the point of continuing to put in your best effort? You just need to slide through these couple of years to get that piece of paper. As long as you pass, even if it’s with the bare minimum, it’s all good, right? Employers won’t be hiring you based on the amount of 80s and 90s you have.

If you nodded your head in agreement to all of the above statements and said a loud “yes” before you realized you were talking to yourself when answering the questions, well, we have a problem.

The myth that grades don’t count in university and college are just that—a myth. They are still important and when you graduate, there is definitely a chance that your future employer may ask for a copy of your transcript. They will hardly ever want to see a physical copy of your degree or diploma, because that tells them nothing. Your transcript, on the other hand, will not only give them a list of all the courses you’ve taken, but also reveal how well you’ve done in them. Employers will definitely not be impressed with someone who’s put in the bare minimum throughout school, managing to get by with 50s and 60s.

Keeping up good grades are even rewarded in post-secondary school, not just with a fancy certificate, but with some money to feed that starving bank account of yours. Many universities and colleges offer academic scholarships based on grades that pay off for students’ hard work during the school year. If competing with your school is not enough of a challenge, having good grades will also come in handy when applying for national and out-of-school scholarships and bursaries. Money and recognition for your hard work should be enough motivation to keep your nose in your books.

What you learn in post-secondary is meant to be useful to you when you graduate. You are expected to take what you learn in the classroom and apply it to the real word.

You are paying for the classes you attend, the professors who are teaching you and the homework you are assigned, so why not get the bang for your buck and do your best in school? Take advantage of all that is offered to you. Be engaged in class, not just present. Be interested in your assignments, don’t just complete them. And get to know your professors, don’t stop at their name.

If you think going to post-secondary just for the sake of it is okay, think again.

-@Naomi_ML

4 Things To Help You Remember The New Year

It’s that time of year again. “New year, New Me” is the common slogan you’re bombarded with on twitter, facebook and instagram. It’s great and while some people might be hating and saying, “why wait for a new year to change?” well they’re right, but they should also be happy that someone’s finally got an excuse to change.

However while writing down your resolutions and looking forward to all the good things you hope will come your way in 2014, why not prepare for way to remember it all. 2014 like every other year with quickly age soon meet its end in December. The year will be full of some of the best and worst moments of your life so why not take some time to help preserve those good memories with these neat ideas.

1. A “Good Things” Jar
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Keep a notepad and pen near this and every time something significant and great happens write it down and shove it in the jar. Whether you aced an exam or got a new job, there’s nothing better than pouring all the sheets from the jar and smiling over the little things at the end of the year.

2. One Line a Day Journal
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Bring back the good old days when you had a diary. This great concept journal records your daily encounters over the period of five years. It’s far less time consuming than your average diary/journal though, as with only a couple lines, you’re only meant to summarize the most significant events of the day. 2014 is the perfect year for me to start this, as a college senior who’s about to experience a tremendous transition. The future is so uncertain for me, and it’ll be great comparing those changes over the past five years in 2019.

3. A scrapbook
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A picture may be worth 1000 words, but there are other things you’ll come across during the year that when looking at years from now will bring you back to a really awesome moment in your life. From concert ticket stubs to restaurant receipts, a scrapbook is the perfect place to bring these items together and jot down a line or two reminding you of its significance. I stumbled across this really cool Smash scrapbook that makes the whole process a lot easier with funky pages and a pen/glue stick.
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4. A Facebook album
The most easiest and convenient way to keep track of 2014′s memories is a something people have been using since 2007. Accumulating all your pictures from the year into one album will make it easy for you to chronologically flip through everything. If you don’t want everyone seeing the pictures, especially those with that solo red cup, you can make it private and viewable to “only me”.

-@Naomi_ML

Don’t be a scrooge, be cheap this Christmas season

You can hear the music and see the lights and decorations, so there’s no denying that the holiday season is near. Among the carol singing, eggnog drinking and mistletoe kissing, one of the major attractions this winter is (as always) gift exchanging! Unless you have connections with one of Santa’s elves, your poor and barely surviving wallet is going to take the hit. But have no fear, because if you take advantage of these money saving tips, the holidays can still be merry even if your wallet is starving!

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1. Don’t run from the word “clearance”:
Most people pay little or no attention to the racks located at the back of a store. You know, the ones with clothes and items that have little red tags placed over their original price? Some people even believe clothes that happen to be on the clearance rack are somehow damaged or of cheaper quality. However, that silly thought is false. Clearance items are simply clothes that have been on the floor for a while, not necessarily out of style, but not exactly one of the store’s newest arrivals. Why not save 50 per cent on that sweater for your sister? You’re still getting the same great quality as the one in the front, just maybe in last season’s colour.

2. Check out the off-price department stores:
Miraculously, there are whole stores that are dedicated to selling name brand and good quality items for discounted prices! And no, it doesn’t have to be your local thrift store. These stores usually go by the name of Winners, Labels and now Marshalls, which recently arrived to Canada from the States.

3. Constantly read those flyers:
Remember how back in the day, inside your local newspaper, came those colourful and vibrant flyers highlighting store’s weekly deals? That still happens! So keep a look out for flyers and take the time to flip through them. You never know, that camera your dad badly wanted might be on sale!

4. Sign up for online newsletters sent straight to your email:
If hard copies aren’t your thing anymore, then visit the websites of stores and scroll right to the bottom. There you should find a box where you can insert your email address to receive emails in your area of interest. These emails not only illustrate the latest fashion and newest items available but also mention insider sales and possibly coupons!

5. Use social networking sites to find out the latest and greatest deals:
If you don’t want your inbox being flooded with newsletters, there is still a chance to find out about the latest deals. Facebook and Twitter are some of the sites that not only offer you a chance to creep your ex, but also let you “like” and follow your favourite stores that constantly post exclusive coupons and information on sales. Twitter accounts such as @RedFlagDeals have deals conveniently displayed on your newsfeed. By following one, if not all, of these shopping tips, you’ll be able to save a whole lot of money when buying gifts. And with all that extra cash, you can buy yourself the gift you really wanted, but nobody thought of. It’s a win-win for everyone!

-@Naomi_ML

Christmas Countdown: Tech Gift Guide

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For the technology fiend in your life, it’s not always necessary to spend hundreds of dollars. From smart phones to tablets to gaming systems, this year the choices are endless.

Fitbit Flex, $99.99
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Support your New Years resolution of getting healthy and in shape with this cool device that tracks how many steps you take in a day, total distance travelled and calories burned, as well as how much sleep you get at night. Using bluetooth technology it syncs to iOS and Android devices and even PCs and Macs. A simple and sleek design and lightweight and comfortable fit, the Fitbit Flex offers data that’s both informative and motivating.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, $119
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When it comes to e-readers you either love them or you don’t. Some people appreciate the ability to carry hundreds of books around while others prefer the feeling of turning physical page after page. However, there’s no denying that e-readers come with plenty of cons and the new 2013 kindle offers up a faster processor, more responsive touch screen, and a better integrated light that’s brighter and whiter and displays more evenly across the screen.

iPad Mini with Retina Display, $419
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With the iPad Air being released this same year, Apple fans are given a choice. But with a great high-resolution display, faster processor and better and improved battery life, the iPad Mini with Retina Display might just be your best, and cheapest bet. According to CNET: “This is not only the best version of the iPad so far but, thanks to its incredible apps options and robust media ecosystem, it’s the best small tablet, period.” Well that sure says a lot.

Vintage Polaroid 600, $180
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With smart phones offering up high quality photos, there’s hardly a need to carry around a separate camera, unless it’s a vintage Polaroid. Take a trip back in time and ride the wave of nostalgia that’ll come with every white bordered photo that pops out of it.

Casio Slim Series Projector, $999
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Hey big spender! This might be something cool to get for the person who has it all. Why limit yourself to watching movies and TV shows on a 90 inch LED television when you could fill your entire living room wall with video. Offering up Wi-Fi, with light bulbds that last longer than the traditional lamps you’ll find in most projectors, it also is more ecologically friendly by being mercury free.

HTC Desire 601, $0 on a 2-year plan from Rogers or $300 outright

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I’ve coined the saying “once you go android, you never go back” ever since I switched over with my Moto X, and testing out this new device from HTC (which runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean) reinforced it. The sleek and ridiculously good looking (simple and clean is best) phone is targeted to “first time smartphone users” with a just-the-right-size 4.5 inch screen, 1.4GHz dual-core processor and a 5MP camera that captures 1080p HD amongst its long list of impressive features. Meaning it’d be a great transition phone for those cavemen in your life who are still using an old BlackBerry curve or heaven forbid a flip phone. Grandparents, dads and moms will love it.

But don’t be quick to categorize this phone as an “old people” device, because it’s far from it. Social media addicts will especially love the HTC BlinkFeed™ which combines all social media updates and news sources into one convenient stream. No need to open up a dozen apps and check different newsfeeds and dashboards; talk about convenience! And for those music lovers who appreciate good bass, they’ll love the BoomSound audio set-up. The phone has dual front-facing bass-friendly speakers. With Beats by Dr. Dre audio enhancement, you’ll hear nothing but the best and most crisp quality in sound. It’s perfect to blast those Christmas tunes during your holiday parties or for those karaoke sessions in the shower.  (Note: it’s NOT waterproof, keep it out of the shower and on the counter.)

Last but not least, one of the most attractive features that has your wallet breathing a huge sigh of relief is the incredible price tag. At just $300 with no contract, this mid-range phone is a steal compared to what most premium smart phones are selling at ($450 to $700; I’m looking at you iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy Note 3). There may be a difference in the specs like less RAM, but it’s still a phone that gives you quality for a great price.

GIVEAWAY: Your very own HTC Desire 601 (Just like good ol’ Saint Nick you can use nothing but the best and latest tech)
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Wish you could run to your closest Rogers Wireless store and grab an HTC Desire 601 immediately, but have a bank account telling you now’s not the right time? Well luckily for you, Rogers, HTC Canada and I have a brand spankin’ new one ready for a home. Thanks to Rogers and HTC Canada, one lucky reader receive their very own HTC Desire 601. To keep it or gift it, that will be up to you. Contest open to Canadian residents only, no purchase necessary, enter below: (Extra bonus entry if you retweet this tweet on Twitter).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

[email protected]_ML