5 Productivity Tools Every Student Needs!

Get on track!

Naturally, during the busy school year, it’s easy to push things off until a calmer time rolls around. With midterms coming quickly, take this opportunity to organize important parts of your life that may get neglected as your time becomes increasingly occupied. From your health to financial management, check out these 5 great tools that will help you be your best self! Achieving your goals has never been easier.

FitnessPal
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Track your steps, exercise and eating habits with this goal-centric fitness mobile application. With a simplified experience that involves searching or scanning your food items and exercise, Fitnesspal is easily the best app to stay on top of your health!

Mint: Money Manager
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Save for your future house, retirement, or even just that clothing item you’ve been dying for with Mint Money Manager. There’s no better way to achieve your financial goals than beginning to track your finances and spending.

Trello
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Track your to-do’s, commitments, and goals, by using the new application Trello. This app is perfect to map out your schedule or track your workflow, no matter where you are in life; school, work, or aspiring to/running your own venture, among others. Best of all with mobile, tablet, desktop and Mac applications, this platform is always accessible.

Last Pass
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Okay, this one isn’t exactly free – but is sure to free up space in your mind! Last Pass is a mobile and desktop application that controls all of your passwords, automatically inputting them for each platform you choose to use. This way, logging in is as simple as the click of a button, while simultaneously only requiring you to remember one password.

Cram
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Cram is hands down the best study tool available today! This web/mobile application allows you to create countless flashcards for different subjects, that are shared between your web account and mobile application. This way, you can study on-the-go, while enjoying easy creation through their web-based platform.

Did we miss your favorite productivity app? If you have any awesome life hacks or tools to help with productivity, that we’ve failed to mention, educate us in the comment section below!

9 Foods to Boost Your Brain While Studying

Eat well, achieve well.

While studying, most students reach for junk food and coffee to destress, however, these foods can lead to decreased levels of focus. Choosing healthy and brain powering foods can help you eat your way to success.

1. Avocados
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These green powerhouses contain vitamin K and folate, which help improve cognitive function, especially memory and focus. Avocado toast will boost your Instagram and studying game.

2. Blueberries
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Often referred to as the “brain berry,” this fruit is full of antioxidants. Antioxidants improve brain health, leading to improved memory and cognition. If you find yourself craving some sugar choose a natural sugar source instead.

3. Blackberries
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Similarly, these berries improve memory during long hours of studying. Blackberries contain polyphenols that encourage communication between neurons and allow the brain to be open to new things. In other words, these berries will help you remember the most boring readings while you cram.

4. Oily Fish
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Salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring contain high levels of omega-3 fats, which help decrease stress and improve serotonin. Plant alternatives include soya beans, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. If you cry during stressful studying periods (I’ve been there) then increasing your omega 3s can help boost your mood.

5. Dark Chocolate
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Need an excuse to eat chocolate all the time? Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that help regulate blood flow to the brain and heart. Increased blood flow improves memory and focus. If you want an added bonus, try chocolate covered coffee beans to boost brain activity and improve focus.

6. Broccoli
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Your parents told you to eat your vegetables, and they were right. Broccoli is a nutritious source of vitamin K, iron, and chlorine. These nutrients help keep your memory sharp. Eat your greens to fuel your brain for missed readings and cramming.

7. Green Tea
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Green tea is a smart alternative to high-caffeinated products. Energy drinks and too much coffee can overwhelm your body and cause caffeine crashes. Green tea provides antioxidants and releases caffeine slowly in the body to avoid crashing and promote concentration over long periods of time. Green tea also reduces stress, allowing students to improve their sleep and rest their brain before tests. David’s Tea also has wellness teas to increase certain moods like energy and focus.

8. Dark Leafy Greens
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When reaching for salads, spinach, kale, and romaine are dark greens that are filled with nutrients like vitamin A, B6, and B12. Eating a salad a day can make your brain 11 years younger and sharpen your memory. While eating salad is a good diet for weight loss it can also be a good diet for your brain.

9. Eggs
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Last but not least, eggs are packed with vitamins B6, B12, and chlorine. Higher intakes of chlorine increase memory and mood. If you find yourself skipping breakfast and rushing to campus look for breakfast sandwiches with eggs to prepare for your day.

Switching out junk for healthy habits will improve your focus, memory, and retention. Take your study game to the next level and choose healthy over junk. Happy eating and studying, good luck!

What are your favorite #powerfoods to eat while studying? Let us know in the comment section below.

6 Ways to Motivate the #StudyGrind

It’s that time of year again! The new school year is begining, and somehow you already feel mentally drained, your motivation has completely disappeared, and you the semester will finish you before you finish it. You’re struggling with the idea of staying driven to the very end of exams. It’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel but with these 6 tricks, your motivation will be back and here to stay until the end of the semester.

1) Give yourself a break

If you’re completely burnt out, it will show in your work. You want to give the best you can possibly give and to do so, you need to be at 100%. Give yourself a break! Take a nap, watch an episode of a television show you enjoy. Remember that it is just a break, so don’t spend the entire day taking a break.

2) Airplane Mode Is Your Best Friend

It is easy to get carried away with social media apps that are available right on your phone. As exciting as it is to view photos of golden retrievers on Instagram, your schoolwork will not get done with your phone sitting on your desk. Put your phone on airplane mode and putit in a drawer. As a way to encourage yourself to get work done, place an hourly timer to use your phone for 15 minutes after every hour as a motivation mechanism!

3) Set All The Goals!

As humans, we love the feeling of accomplishment and encouragement. Think about that feeling of closing all those tabs on your laptop after finishing an assignment. Now, think about the feeling of crossing that assignment off your to-do list. There are very few things that feel as good as this! Set goals, big or small, for yourself to keep yourself motivated and encouraged to keep working.

4) Treat Your Body Like A Temple

As students, we sometimes forget that broccoli is important. Some might have not seen a piece of broccoli since they’ve started university. It is difficult to meal prep and make meals that are healthy, however, it is not hard to at least try and eat a little better. Cut back on the endless instant noodles and feed yourself some brain food so that you’re awake while you’re studying. The more energy you have, the more you will get done and feel accomplished!

5) Change Up Your Study Style

Studying can be quite boring especially if you have been studying the exact same way for as long as you can remember. Get out of your comfort zone and try group studying. It will encourage you to meet some of your classmates and will potentially benefit you as it will be numerous brains studying together as opposed to just one.

6) Don’t Over Do It

The brain can stay focused for about five to six hours. The minute you stop retaining information is the minute you should take a break. You will be wasting your own time trying to stay focused and will only result in frustration from the lack of retaining. Keep your motivation and encouragement by not overdoing it! Try to change it up with some physical activity before getting back to your studies.

What are your favorite ways to motivate yourself? Let us know in the comment section below.

7 Signs your Roommate is your Best Friend

Roommates that are absolutely wonderful are hard to come by. I am grateful enough to have found a roommate that is quite literally my other half. My roommate is not someone I had known before we moved in. In fact, we barely knew each other before we moved in. I met him once and decided that he was going to be my roommate. It was the best decision I have ever made because my roommate has become one of my best friends and one of the better stories to my university experience. Here are seven signs that you also have a roommate that is amazing.

1) Free Therapy Service

Sometimes life gets tough. Exam season is coming, the boy you’re into won’t text you back and you have three dollars in your bank account. Thankfully, your roommate is stuck with you and has no choice but to listen to you complain.

2) They Feed You

Whether it is the leftover poutine from a night out or warm nachos, they will always offer you food. If you are as lucky as me, sometimes they will even go out of their way and make you food. Just like your grandma, they will make sure you are fully fed and happy knowing you would do the same for them in a heartbeat.

3) They Don’t Judge You For Your Quarter Life Crisis

A roommate will look past the fact that you haven’t washed your hair in about a week and won’t judge you for never wearing pants around the house. They won’t even judge the fact that you definitely do not have your life together. Instead, they’ll provide love, unconditional support and maybe kindly gift you some shampoo and conditioner.

4) My Closet + Their Closet = Our Closet

I may not have had the luxury of sharing cute dresses because my roommate was a male, but I still managed to get a pair of Minion pajama pants and a pretty sick Levi’s shirt. Your roommate will become a savior when it comes to clothes especially when we’re all too broke to buy anything new.

5) Separation Anxiety

With such busy class and work schedules, it is sometimes impossible to see your roommate. It is perfectly fine to miss them because you hate being apart even if it is only for about half an hour. When you both are not together, you end up texting, Snapchatting and tagging each other in memes to remind them that you’re thinking about them.

6) They’re Mr. Clean

Cleaning is usually the most common argument between roommates, however, your roommate likes the home just as clean as you do. They leave rooms semi presentable, they take out the trash, and they clean up after themselves. Bonus points if you don’t even need to ask them! This is all clear signs that you are truly blessed with a good roommate.

7) You Wouldn’t Want To Change Roommates

Your roommate may irritate you sometimes, but realistically, there is no one else who would deal with your nonsense. They’re the person you will share everything with while transitioning in and out of university and there is no one else you would rather share the experience with.

What do you love about your roommate? Have you become best friends with your roommate at St Cathy’s Montreal Student Residence? Let us know in the comment section below!

5 Must-Do Activities this March in Montreal

Spring is in the air!

With the month of March quickly approaching, we’re starting to get over the winter blues and ready to begin

 

Check out to Bal en Blanc

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Ready to ring in the spring with an awesome party? Then grab your favorite white festival attire and head to New City Gas’ Bal en Blanc this March.

 

Try a Sugar Shack

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In true Canadian-fashion, check out one of the many sugar shacks surrounding the city. What better way to enjoy the mild end-of-winter weather than with a tasty treat?

 

Spring Skiing

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Get some friends together and head out to Mont Tremblant for a spring skiing trip. With the snow quickly melting, this will be your last chance to hit the slopes until next winter.

 

Enjoy the St. Patricks Day Parade

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Montreal’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade is lit! On Saturday March 17th, Saint Catherine street will turn into a celebration of all things Irish. Between the bagpipes and the floats, this is the perfect daytime event to get you into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit!

 

Take a Road Trip

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Now that the icy roads have finally melted seize this opportunity to take a road trip to one of Canada’s great cities. Looking for something close? Check out the nation’s capital city, Ottawa,  and all the fun that comes with it. If you’re ready for a longer drive, Toronto is calling your name!

 

What will you be doing during the month of March in Montreal? Let us know in the comment section below or by tagging @stcathys on social media.

5 Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day in Montreal

Love is in the air!

Valentine’s Day is around the corner (literally, it’s tomorrow)! Did it sneak up on you? Don’t worry, if you haven’t quite gotten around to planning something mind-blowing for your special someone, it’s not too late – check out our list of 5 exciting things to do in Montreal this Valentine’s Day.

Carriage Ride

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Take your date on a romantic excursion in Old Montreal! The city has horse-drawn carriage rides every 60 minutes that take you on a scenic tour of Old Port for two!

 

Doggy/Cat Cafe

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Dating an animal lover? Take your s/o to either Le Doggy Cafe or the Cat Cafe based on their animal preferences (of course).

 

Le Blossom

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Not only will your s/o absolutely love the ambiance and giant pink blossom tree inside the restaurant setting the perfect scene for romance, but Le Blossom’s sushi and sake are absolute to die for!

 

Bota Bota

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If you really want to spice it up and surprise your s/o, try booking a romantic spa day or evening for two at Bota Bota. From the view to the service, the Old Port staple will surely blow you and your date away!

 

Keməstrē Bar Gourmet

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Feel like indulging in some drinks and delicious food? Keməstrē is your place to be! Try their excellent mixology drinks created by luxury vodka brand Grey Goose and the delectable bites from a menu curated by one of North America’s top Chef; Joe Mercuri. Oh, not to mention it’s right next door!

 

What will you and your Valentine do on this special day in Montreal? Share your experience with us in the comment section below or by tagging @stcathys on social media.

We’ve Just Made Your Weekend Plans!

It’s time for an unforgettable experience.

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As Thursday rolls around, you’re likely starting to think about the weekend. Do you have plans already? Well, cancel them. – because this weekend is the last weekend of Montreal’s famous winter music festival Igloofest. Attracting some of the world’s best DJs and music producers, Igloofest is a highlight of any young Montrealers winter. Check out our schedule below to find out when (and why) you need to be at this festival this weekend in Montreal!

Thursday

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The fun starts tonight! Kannibalen Records – the label behind Snails, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Apashe, and many more, shows the city what home-made talent really is with some of their biggest names performing this evening. From DJ ESCO and Vnce Carter Dabin on one stage to Apashe and Black Tiger Sex Machine, tonight will surely set the tone for Igloofest’s final weekend. Get tickets here.

Friday

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Day 2 of Igloofest’s final weekend promises to be just as entertaining, especially for those like deeper styles of electronic music. Tone Depth, Sasha & John Digweed, and Pulses, promise to deliver the ambiance and funk (and vibe) you’re looking for on a Friday night. Don’t forget to check out the awesome winter ice slides! Get tickets here. 

Saturday

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What better way to end the day after the St Cathy’s Olympics games by heading to Old Port for an unmatched dance music show. Finish up your weekend and Igloofest at the festival’s final event. Sure to have many surprises in store, Igloofest’s closing night will feature shows from 14 artists, including renowned producers Worakls and Mike Laz. This will surely be an unforgettable show – and definitely something you won’t want to wait another year to experience. Don’t miss out; get your tickets here.

Are you ready for the best winter weekend of the year? Share your Igloofest experience with us by tagging @stcathys on social media. We can’t wait to see how you braved a Montreal winter for the love of music!

15 Ways to Spend a Cold Day in Montreal

Ah, Canadian Winters.

As we ring in mid-January in Montreal, it’s no surprise that there’s been some seriously frigid weather and large snowfalls. As we know all too well, it won’t stop here – the coldest days are upon us with some that have yet to come. With such weather, signature Montreal activities often become limited. Instead, next time you’re ~basically too cold to move~,  try one of these 15 fun things to do in city’s cold, cold weather.

Dance it off at Montreal’s premier winter festival; Igloofest.

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Warm your insides with a hot coffee from downtown’s newest cafe, Cafe Jouney.

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Sweat it out at one of Montreal’s premier spas … but be sure to stay in the warm baths!

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Go shopping for an absurdly over-sized blanket scarf, and then wear it.

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Stage a Staycation at a Montreal hotel or Air BnB.

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Whip out your warm socks and hot cocoa, and binge-watch your favorite Netflix show.

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Don’t be constrained just because it’s too cold (and snowy) to enjoy a real picnic, create yourself an indoor picnic!

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Get liquid warmth at Montreal’s newest mixology bistro Kemestre Gourmet Bar.

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Hangout in tropic-assimilated weather at Montreal’s Biodome.

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Take a cute photo in your favorite winter wear.

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Grab your favorite friends/family and make a board game day/night!

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Brace the cold and going skiing at Parc Mont Royale.

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Culture always beats cold! Spend the day at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art.

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Grab your bestie and try making one of these awesome (and healthy-ish) recipes.

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When all else fails, curl up with some tea and one of these great books.

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We’re ready to brace the cold! How will you beat the cold this winter in Montreal? Share your experience and photos with us on Instagram.

5 Things to Do This Holiday Season in Montreal

‘Tis the Season

The holiday spirit is officially in the air in Montreal! With the end of finals nearing, free time will soon become abundant. With that in mind, there are a few signature activities that absolutely must be packed into your time off this year, ensuring you get to experience the best of Montreal holiday affairs. Below, we recount our favorite winter-based activities that are this season’s Montreal must-sees.

Atwater Market

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Atwater Market, a Montreal staple, is being transformed into the official Montreal Christmas village complete with holiday goods for purchase, free activities for adults and kids alike, a fire for roasting marshmallows, and charming chalet-style kiosks. This is one market you won’t want to miss!

Verdun Holiday Lights

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Check out the way in which the town of Verdun has lit up the popular Wellington Street for on any gorgeous winter evening outing. This site is truly magical, but remember to dress warmly as this is an outdoor

Skating in Old Port

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Old Montreal is just as charming in the winter as it is in the summer! Embody your winter holiday spirit by skating with your bestie and/or loved ones of any ages on the beautiful Old Port skating rink. Once again, be sure to bundle up for warmth throughout this activity (and take a #instapic of the gorgeous ferris wheel).

Montreal’s Christmas Tree

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Check out the city’s official Christmas tree to get yourself and friends in the holiday spirit. This tree, although on the tall and skinny side of things, is a balsam fir – a tree that originated in Quebec. How special!

See the Nutcracker

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Feeling like something more original? Check out the Nutcracker at Place des Arts. This is sure to be an enjoyable evening full of culture and class!

What are you waiting for! Finals are over and it’s time to get into the holiday spirit! Share your experience with us via Instagram.

 

5 Ways to get A’s this Semester

Back to the grind…

Guys, we have some bad news … as you’ve probably noticed, school is about to start back up once again. Instead of crying over the end of everyone’s favorite season and the omnipresent workload, we’ve decided to go into it with a positive frame of mind this year. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of 5 tactics to ensure you get the best grades yet in all of your classes this semester.

 

Stay Organized

Whether your organizational weapon of choice is a giant calendar, iPhone, or agenda, staying organized is crucial for a successful semester. Not only will you be able to track important dates and schedule studying time, but with a standardized scheduling system, you will have peace of mind due to a direct overview of all of your tasks, commitments, and due dates.

 

Find your Workflow

One of the hardest parts of getting your semester in order is finding your workflow. From in-lecture reviews, reading, writing assignments, and studying for tests/quizzes/exams, it’s no secret that students are bombarded with work. However, figuring out which ways you work best make tackling this workload a breeze. Map out your workflow, and stick with it! Need some extra guidance? Try using Trello.

 

Schedule Studying Time

This goes without saying, the more you study, the better you will do on exams and tests. Even if it’s once a week to review the notes you’ve taken and concepts you’ve covered in your lecture, scheduling study time is an inherently critical activity when aiming for high grades. You’ll be thanking yourself when you no longer feel the need to stay up all night, cramming for the next morning’s midterm. No matter how many classes you’re taking on this semester, scheduling study time will help you get that A! Do you prefer studying on-the-go? Check out Cram (thank us later).

 

Live Healthily

This probably isn’t the first you’re hearing of a healthy lifestyle being relative to good grades. This is because proper sleep and healthy food ensure your brain is in an optimal state to learn and retain information, and your energy levels are where they should be. Nothing’s worse than feeling drained and still having a 3-hour lecture to attend before going home…

 

Attend your Classes

Ok, this one goes without saying, yet may be the hardest of them all. Attendance and good grades are inextricable from one another. Despite cold wintery mornings, getting out of bed and to class is guaranteed to improve your grades. Feeling like skipping out on some readings? All the more reasons to get your butt to classes! You won’t regret it.

 

What are your favorite tricks to ensure good grades in your classes? Let us know in the comment section below or by tagging @stcathys on social media.