Author Archive | Johnny Tran

Image by A Health Blog, Flickr

Image by A Health Blog, Flickr

2.6% and 30.3%. Those statistics represent two different factors that disrupt a university student’s academic performance: physical injury and stress. 30% is not a small number!

Mental health for students is a topic that rarely receives any more attention than the knowledge of what it is. For others, it’s something that can affect them in their studies, social interactions, or just themselves and their reality.

University students are known to be at a stage in their lives where they start to experience the most amount of stress. It’s a challenging environment, so much so that it sometimes can lead students to develop health issues. Many students are aware of this but forget about the university resources that are openly available to them – in most cases, for free.

Among stress, many students proclaim feelings of anxiety, anger, frustration, severe lack of motivation, sadness, and depression. None of these problems have to be permanent, or recurrent.

If you have reason to believe that yourself or anyone you know may be experiencing mental issue, take the step to talk to someone or contact your campus mental health resource department.

Furthermore, if you have a shred of doubt about your mental stability and want to know more, take a look at the well-informed guidebook here: Student Mental Health: Identifying Disorders and Promoting Wellness; it displays information on some of the more common problems students face as well as a means to tackle those problems.

Image by COD Newsroom, Flickr

Image by COD Newsroom, Flickr

These days, nearly everyone goes to college after high school. If you know that college is something you want to do in the future, there are many things to consider before making your ultimate decision. When figuring out which college you want to attend, try to keep these things in mind.

  1. Choose a school that best allows you to reach your end goal.
    If you already know what you want to be in the future, find a school that BEST prepares you for that. For example, McMaster Health Science in Canada is one of the best undergrad programs that places you on a solid route to medical school. If you want to become a doctor, applying for something like this could be one of your top choices.

    If you aren’t too sure what you want to do yet, apply for a school that offers flexible programs that you can taper to your own preference. Programs like these allow students to figure out what it is they really excel at, and in the end this is what counts. The best programs give you the chance to develop to your maximum potential. They train you well, have engaging and inspiring professors, and have opportunities for developing strength of character. It’s important to not just factor in the academics in your choice, but also things that will make you stand out better upon graduating. Look out for co-op and internship programs, which allow you to apply what you learned and give you real world experience. This is arguably where you do most of your learning and is something that all future employers love to see. Remember to choose a school that isn’t necessarily the easiest to excel in, but that allows for the most growth for you on an intellectual and personal level.

  2. College is about YOU and YOUR future, no one else’s.
    If all of your best friends from high school are going to Western, that doesn’t mean you have to as well. It can be daunting to have to make new friends and social groups, especially in such a new environment, but it’s not as bad as it seems. Keep in mind that everyone who goes to college is in the same boat as you. You’re all in a new place, one you’ve never experienced before, and you’ve leapt out of your hometowns in pursuit of something. If you choose your school wisely, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll meet people with the same values and ideologies as you. In terms of people, college is nothing like high school – almost everyone is more mature, open, friendly, and whole lot more sensible. Trust me when I say that some of your closest friends will be the ones you meet in college.
  3. When finding the right school, make sure to start your decision process AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
    If you start early, you’re more likely to find the school that best fits your own goals, beliefs and individuality. To do this you’ll require lots of time to figure out what you want to do, research which schools offer that, and travel to these schools to get a better idea of what it’s actually like. Try your best to start early, even if you don’t know what it is you want to do yet. Having a good idea of what prospects lay ahead may also help you decide what it is or who you want to be.

Remember to choose a school that best fits your own values and beliefs and allows you to go where YOU want to go. I chose my university because I wanted to be surrounded by people who value working diligently and who think outside the box. It’s what I wanted and what I believed was best for me – and I’m happy with my choice.

For more knowledge from admissions experts, check out this link.

Image by Matt Wynn, Flickr

Image by Matt Wynn, Flickr

What is a student? According to the definition on, a student is “any person who studies, investigates, or examines thoughtfully”. So how does a great student differentiate themselves from any other? It all comes down to a proper “student mentality”. Developing a strong student mentality gives you the ability to figure things out for yourself and learn almost anything. Nothing can stop an adept learner. By paying heed to these following qualities, believe it or not, learning becomes addicting.





  • Be humble. I can’t stress enough how important it is to be a humble learner. I’ve seen many kids grow and develop into know-it-alls. Having an ego is good, but those who remain more open and accepting to new ideas learn at a much faster rate than those who let their egos get in the way. It’s okay to be wrong or not know something, and as a student, being humble leaves room for growth. Remember, you wouldn’t be here if you already knew everything! Bill Nye once said, “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t!”
  • Develop a growth mindset. A growth mindset is understanding that intelligence and abilities CAN be developed (it’s been scientifically proven). You CAN get smarter. Too many times people are praised for their achievements more so than the work they put into it. This causes most people to shy away from challenges because they are afraid of failure. A fixed mindset is believing that smartness and talent is an innate ability – but this is not true.
  • Be curious. Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious”. I’m sure that everyone has heard at least once that the best way to learn is to ask questions. Be inquisitive! When unlocking your curiosity, try to focus on questions like why? or how? and stay away from yes or no questions (although you’ll inevitably asking a lot of these, i.e. Do I have to go to class?). When learning a new concept, ask yourself: What is the point of this? When and where do I use this? If something else happened how it does affect the concept I just learned? Ask questions, no matter what they are. The more you ask, the more insatiable your desire to learn becomes!
  • Think critically. Thinking critically can allow students to achieve massive amounts of progress. It’s the ability to think logically and clearly about what to do or believe, by assessing every possible condition deeply – without letting emotions get in the way. For example, if you failed a test or midterm, how do you assess the situation? Did you truly study as much as you could have? And if you did, was it effective? Did you have a good sleep? If you learn to consider all possibilities with a just approach, you’re most likely to find the answer so you can move forward.

Here are some habits you can implement to start developing a good student mentality:

  • Write everything down! When you’re in lecture, make sure to record as much of what the prof says as you can. I mean everything!
  • Make it a requirement to write down questions for every lecture (I’m sure you’ve got a few), then ask your professor. It can be something as simple as circling a diagrammatical component or asking deeper questions. The point is for you to feed your curiosity.
  • When faced with a very challenging problem that makes you think, “I can’t” (fixed mindset) finish it with “…yet”. Say, “How do I get better?” or, “Effort makes me smarter!”

All of these characteristics have a way of combining themselves naturally as you practice them, so don’t worry about mastering them all at once! I have never defined myself as a smart person because being smart does not mean you can learn anything – instead I’ve always thought of myself as a hard worker; a student who implements proper habits and mindsets diligently. I believe that’s all you need to achieve what you want!

Interested in the growth mindset? Watch this: