Crunch Time

Spring 2014

Magdalena Richardson

Schulich Leader at University of Ottawa

This semester was a lot harder than first semester, but I still really enjoyed what I was learning in my classes as a whole. I felt fortunate that I had picked the major that made doing homework genuinely interesting and fun.
One of the biggest things I learned this semester was to ask for help right away in my classes. I'm a pretty stubborn person (especially academically) , so when I started not understanding concepts in calculus, I was convinced that I would teach myself on my own using only Youtube and my textbook. When I finally accepted help from a tutor, I realized how many resources the university offers us that we have at our disposal and don't use. I'm not going to be embarrassed to ask for help in the future.
The research group that I volunteer in would soon be moving into the university's brand-new advanced research building, so a lot of time was spent taking down equipment and creating lists of equipment we would need.
In my career path to becoming an astronaut, I made the decision to start applying for a position in the Canadian Reserve Forces. I thought that this would allow me to approach my dream from two different angles, both from a science background and from a military background. The unit I'm applying to still does not have any openings, so although it's slow, I'm excited to hear back!
Overall, the second semester was pretty stressful, and I'd say that the most important thing I learned during those four months was the infinite importance of balance. Towards the end of the semester, I took more time to eat properly, exercise regularly and spend time with friends, (even if we were just doing homework together), and I found it made a big difference on my well-being and motivation to learn.