Which position of The Concordian should you apply for?

Want to get involved but not sure where to start? Take this quiz to find out!

Have you ever wanted to get involved with student media? There’s no better place to start than right here, with The Concordian. All positions are open for next year, and we’d love to have you on the team. If you’re intrigued, take this quiz to find out what role you should go for! We got some tips from the current team, so you know that this is legit ; )

[Disclaimer: This is just for fun and not to be taken too seriously! Feel free to go for whichever role you like and keep in mind not all available positions are mentioned here—consult our masthead for the complete list.]


Pick a way to manage your stress when you have too much on your plate:

a. Just plowing through the work
b. Drawing something
c. Cooking a recipe
d. Listening to music
e. Lying on the floor
f. Over-organizing your agenda
g. Listening to a podcast or watching a show
h. Getting some exercise

What is your go-to creative outlet?

a. Notes app songwriting and poetry (that will never see the light of day)
b. Drawing, painting, making silly things!!
c. House decorating
d. Making music or DJ-ing
e. Going for long walks to reflect and ruminate
f. Reading & writing (plus a bit of everything else)
g. Anything digital… photography, film, you name it
h. Fantasy football

Choose one thing to bring to a desert island with you:

a. How to Survive on a Desert Island (For Dummies)
b. Art supplies
c. Religious texts
d. Headphones
e. A friend to chat with (and a good croissant)
f. Your diary
g. Personal photographs
h. A ball to kick around

Your preferred way to get content:

a. Getting involved with the community to find a story
b. Learning a new design program to unleash my creative side
c. Touring local museums and reading up on the exhibits
d. Attending a concert
e. Brainstorming about something you’re particularly passionate about
f. I prefer to be an extra set of eyes on the written work
g. Capturing real-time moments and the action
h. Going to a sports event/ watching a game

Pick a snack/beverage to help you work:

a. Redbull
b. Coffee
c. Fruit (specifically pineapple)
d. Tea and biscuits
e. Ice cream (perhaps with a side of brownies)
f. Chocolate and candy (specifically Reese’s Minis and Sour Patch Kids)
g. Gum
h. Snacks are for the weak… I run on pure adrenaline


If you picked mostly a’s…. News!

You are someone who is totally on top of your tasks and always in the know. You’re curious and like to get to the bottom of things with a “just get it done” mentality. If you’re searching for something fast-paced and exciting, and you have a keen eye for stories worth covering, News might just be the section for you!

If you picked mostly b’s… Graphics!

You’re super creative and always have an art project on the go…or many art projects at the same time. You’re constantly doodling and perhaps your friends say you’re on your own planet some of the time. You’re a force of fun with a great sense of humour and imagination… all things that come in handy when it comes to designing great graphics!

If you picked mostly c’s… Arts and Culture!

If you picked all c’s you might be an art history major… or you might just have a keen interest in all things arts and culture. You love gallery openings, readings, and art events, and you’re always down to meet and talk with creators. In the Arts and Culture section, you would get to learn so much about the city through its art scene and would be able to write about all your discoveries!

If you picked mostly d’s… Music!

Music might just be your whole life… you listen to whatever you can, and never know exactly what to say when people ask what your favourites are (there are too many to choose). You love attending concerts and discovering new artists and you’re always looking for recommendations (or looking to recommend). As music editor, you would get the chance to talk about what you love while putting people on to some great stuff.

If you picked mostly e’s… Ops!

Some say you’re a chatterbox, some call you opinionated: either way, you’d be a great fit for opinions. You always want to give your two cents and hot takes, and you love a good debate. Mentally you might be in a hundred places at once, but the chaos makes sense to you and there are always nuggets of gold to be found. Maybe one of those nuggets might just make a great article…

If you picked mostly f’s… Copy editing!

Chances are you’re a huge bookworm and you love all aspects of language and writing. You know the grammar rules and you stick to them, and it helps that you have a great attention to detail. You’re always ready to lend a hand and make work the best it can be, and often you have some great ideas of your own too!

If you picked mostly g’s… Podcast editing! Or maybe photo or video…

You’d be a great fit for a hands-on media role, whether that be through our podcasts, photos, or videos. You have a good ear and a great eye for the sort of content students are looking for, and you love creating with different digital media. Chances are you love seeking out new shows and podcasts and often fantasize about what you yourself can create. Through The Concordian, you could tell great stories in so many different forms of media.

If you picked mostly h’s… Sports!

Chances are you keep up to date with what’s going on in the sports world, especially your favorite teams (which you’re always ready to defend). You’re always down for a good game or event and keen to break down the play-by-play afterward. You might even be pretty active yourself, and are looking for another way to channel your love for sports. If that’s the case, you might be a great fit for Sports!


Don’t leave the world behind

Pay attention to the world around you.

I abandoned social media a long time ago. I barely use most of the apps installed on my phone. I don’t always have my phone in front of me, although it’s almost always within my proximity. I didn’t realize how much I depend on my phone until I watched Netflix’s Leave the World Behind. This movie is about a family who rents a house outside of New York City for a little getaway. They witness unusual events that start to perturb them. Upon their expected return, the family realizes that they were on the brink of a civil war.

The movie was a wake-up call. To be honest, I didn’t immediately understand the moral of the story—I found myself with more questions than answers by the end. After perusing comments about the film’s trailer video on YouTube, it dawned on me. And I was terrified.

Leave the World Behind is about an apocalypse. I don’t watch thrillers often, but out of all the apocalyptic ones I have seen, this movie is, by far, the most realistic. Like Rosie, the protagonist’s daughter, a lot of us are consumed by our personal needs more than what is happening elsewhere in the world, like war. It is terrifying how preoccupied we are with our own affairs that we neglect what really matters. What I learned from the movie is that I don’t want to be oblivious.

I might not drive, but I still rely on Google Maps when I walk somewhere I’ve never been. Like Clay, the husband, I probably wouldn’t know how to find my way home if I had no access to public transportation. I’d most likely be lost without GPS, and that’s a fear that I didn’t even know I had before watching Leave the World Behind.

In the movie, the satellites are hacked. As far as the viewer knows, everyone within the New York state loses signal so that no one can turn to the internet or the television for news about what’s going on. The characters are confused and scared, as they don’t know the cause of the blackouts. All they know is that something is definitely wrong.

Although some events are extreme and might even be far-fetched, this type of apocalypse could happen to us. We live in a world where hacking is possible. Like in the movie, should our satellites be hacked, the Tesla cars in the world could probably drive and crash on their own. We might not all drive a Tesla, but most of us use a smartphone that can do so many things for us. Should there be a blackout, we’d have to rely on cash when some people prefer to use their debit or credit cards to make transactions. We rely heavily on smart services, but the story begs the question: Is this smart?

Despite how disturbed Leave the World Behind left me, I realized how important it is to pay attention to the world around us, especially the one outside our immediate perception. It is important that we learn to enjoy life outside of technology. It is important for us to have different monetary means in case the systems are down. It is important to have emergency supplies because you never know. And most importantly, it is important for us to be kind to one another, especially in times of crisis. I learned that we shouldn’t leave the world behind because this could very well turn into us being left behind one day. And that would be terrifying, to say the least.


The importance of the snack cupboard…

…Even if you have an ingredients-only household.

When I was growing up, my mum would keep one of the cupboards in the kitchen pantry stocked with snacks. She would grab a bag of Goldfish for me for my after-school walks to piano lessons, or cheese and crackers before my five-hour ballet class. On the days I didn’t have an after-school activity, I’d be home by 3:17 p.m., and she and I would sit with our snacks and watch something on TV until she made dinner. 

My dad also frequented the snack pantry—like clockwork, he’d gleefully get his bowl of peanuts from the cupboard, sit with whichever PG Wodehouse book he was reading, and munch away. On the rare occasion my mum and I left chip crumbs at the bottom of the bag, he’d happily nosh on those. It took him a while to realize that he’d never get to eat the actual chips unless he had the day off work.

That being said, when I moved for university, it never occurred to me to have a snack cupboard—deep down, I knew that if I had snacks in my house, I would eat all of them in one sitting. Let’s be honest: it’s hard to not sneak a few too many chocolate chips out of the Chipits bag you got on sale at Provigo. 

The amount of times that I’ve been up late writing a history paper or reviewing English sonnets, and wished that the “snack-Saskia” had done the grocery shopping instead of the “healthy ingredients-Saskia” is more than I’d like to admit. I think the older I get, the more I embody my mum; I used to whine when she would wander up and down the snack isles, and now I do that exact same thing, except I don’t pick up the snacks because the “healthy ingredients-Saskia” thinks that she can make everything at home for cheaper (spoiler alert: I can’t). 

My parents, too,now lack a snack cupboard, much to my dad’s disappointment. Whenever I’m home, it’s a little disheartening to see him shuffle to the fridge to get a morose little glass of milk, sit sadly down with just that, and scroll through his Twitter (X) feed to chuckle at his horse-racing content. More than once, I’ve caught him hopefully poking around in the former snack cupboard, just to see if maybe my mum had replenished the snacks. 

The good news for him, though, is that whenever I’m home, my mum buys snacks—so maybe the underlying reason he likes it when I’m home is that he knows he’ll get snacks that last long after I leave. There’s suddenly a variety of granola bars, salted cashews galore, and the occasional bag of chips. Half the time, it’s me going to Costco with my mum and persuading her to, for pity’s sake, just buy her husband some snacks so he has something. His eyes truly light up when he sees the Costco snacks I manipulated my mum into buying—there is no greater love than between a man and his Kirkland chocolate granola bars.

As finals season rolls around, I think that it’s important to have a stash of snacks—as someone who has curated an ingredients household, it’s not fun to be peckish at night and going into my kitchen to see only raw ingredients bought earlier in the week. What am I going to do? Eat a raw potato with some soya sauce? Absolutely not. 

I am truly my own worst enemy in the snacks department.


Opinions on opinions

What I’ve learned from my time as an Opinions Editor.

My first year at Concordia did not go according to plan. In September, I had the idea that I would lay low and scope out all the clubs and committees before I joined anything—a semester to get settled, and then I could think about where I wanted to get involved. However, within the first few weeks of school, I wandered into the club fair and had a conversation with The Concordian’s lovely Graphics Editor (shoutout to Carleen). The team was looking for an Opinions Editor, and I thought, Excellent—I love editing, and I have opinions. 

Eight months later, this is the last opinions piece I will write as the Opinions Editor, so it only made sense to reflect on the experience and (dare I say) share my opinion. I’ve learned so much, and this whole experience has left me with a lot to think about, both as an editor and as a writer.

Though writing has always been one of the most important parts of my life, I have always found it nerve-wracking. A piece of writing is a piece of yourself on display for people to scrutinize. I have sometimes compared writing to stripping down and announcing, Here I am! Point out all my flaws! What if people disagree? What if they misunderstand? What if they don’t like it? Writing opinions pieces is especially tough because they display your own thoughts and values.

This is particularly true because opinions evolve, sometimes so drastically and so quickly. We might receive more information, situations might develop, or we might simply grow as people. I’m sure we’ve all looked back on something we said a few years ago (maybe even a few weeks ago) and thought to ourselves, Did I really think that? Sometimes we become strangers to ourselves. With writing, however, these past versions of ourselves exist in a physical form, words frozen in the moment they were published. It’s difficult to fight the urge to double back and scrutinize every word, to agonize over what should have been worded better or what could have been said instead. It’s a constant act of moving forward. 

Editing other people’s opinions is a unique experience as well. I’m grateful for every contributor to the opinions section, and it has been interesting to engage with such a variety of perspectives. I’ve experienced the learning curve of figuring out how much to interfere in editing. To what extent do I let my own ideas influence my editing? How do I address the opinions that I disagree with? Is it even my place to decide what opinions are valid? For the most part, I try to step back and let opinions remain untampered with. 

Another question that always arises in this job is what to write about. There’s great value in light reads and fluffy articles, and I had such a fun time writing them—but everytime I did, I wondered whether I should be directing my energy toward speaking about something more important. Yet when I did try to tackle more serious issues, I went in circles wondering if I was doing the issue justice, if I was getting facts right, and if I was in a position to write what I was writing. 

Sometimes the answers only come in hindsight. I’m sure all summer I’ll jolt awake in a cold sweat with an article idea, only to remember that the days of weekly article writing are over. Mistakes, too, are only apparent when it’s too late. (A small example: Catching typos after publication, the cause of many sleepless nights.) 

Working in a position like this, it’s inevitable that there will be misunderstandings, miscommunications, and mishaps. I can only hope that I have handled these with grace, while knowing that all I can do now is learn from them. If I could start from the beginning, there are many things I would have done differently, but I’m grateful for the learning experiences I’ve gained. 

Beyond learning experiences, working at The Concordian has been a great experience in general. I couldn’t wait to pick up the paper every other Tuesday—there’s a unique joy that comes from being part of something, especially with such a dedicated team. This is why I’ll definitely try to stay a part of The Concordian in one way or another for the rest of my time at this university. I know there are more lessons to be learned, and I’ve also just had a lot of fun. I genuinely loved my treks to Loyola (the campus is so much prettier than SGW) and there’s something about the weekly pitch meetings that just kind of hit—especially when Keven brought cookies. 


Forever an overachiever

The addiction of success.

In the midst of finals season, I always tend to be burnt out. But even though I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted, I find myself with an asinine zeal to overachieve. Among all of the hours spent in sweatpants and oversized t-shirts with my hair coconut-oiled and tossed into a ratty looking bun, I also have that self-inflicted need to produce award-winning essays, over-study for my exams, channel my inner Rory Gilmore and declare, “Who cares if I’m pretty if I fail my finals?” 

The pressure to excel is absolutely insane. 

This is a deep-rooted issue and I’m more than aware of that. Since grade school, I got report card comments like, “Saskia is such a pleasure to have in class!” and the aftermath of parent-teacher conferences were along the lines of “Saskia is very bright and mature for her age!” Because of this, I’ve naturally wanted to maintain that standard. 

Being an overachiever means being someone who performs beyond what is expected or to a really high level, and it often goes hand in hand with academic success. Overachievers are typically perfectionists, and tend to do impressive things at a high level. They typically engage in excessive self-criticism, and sometimes even berate themselves when they don’t live up to their own high expectations. 

University students are continuously under the pressure to push themselves beyond their limits, to aim for the best—in the midst of that, it is easy to begin measuring self-worth by academic success. Especially since so much depends on post-secondary education, anything deviating from getting nothing less than a degree with flying colours can be seen as failure. 

The pursuit of success along with the sheer volume of work leaves students feeling drained, and from this emerges the lovely cycle of self-sabotage. Even though you know that you’ve got three essays due in one week, with a final around the corner, you’ll put off your work because you’ll just “get it done later.” Not only is this self-sabotage (let’s face it, will you actually get it done later?) but also procrastination, which is a pretty big evil during finals season. 

As a self-proclaimed overachiever, I focus on the future and am motivated by fear: the fear of failure, regret, embarrassment and ultimately, disappointing others and not living up to potential. While I’m obviously happy about the accomplishments I achieve in school, such as a good mark on an exam or an essay, they aren’t things I dwell for too long on. In fact, even if the grade is good I still find a way to nitpick and think that if only I’d done this better or that better, I could have gotten a higher grade.   

While the overachiever in you might just feel inescapable, let this be a reminder to take breaks and give yourself time to remember that not everything you submit and not every test you take will be the best one you do! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is okay to cut yourself some slack—it’s been a hectic semester.


An ode to student media

As my time with The Concordian comes to a close, I can’t help but think back on the journey that got me here.

In the corner of my kitchen, on the wall next to my fridge, hangs a white board that I use to keep track of my chores and deadlines. But over this last semester, I have been using that white board to countdown the days until my mandate with The Concordian ends.

If you have ever worked for a student newspaper or a campus radio station, you’ve probably heard the joke that student media is a gaping black hole that consumes all of those who cross its path. Everyone who I know  has worked for a student paper has admitted getting overwhelmed by the seemingly unending demands of the profession. As someone who has been at the centre of this black hole for the past two years, the prospect of stepping out comes as a much needed relief.

But as that countdown on my whiteboard gets smaller and smaller and I think back on what I’m leaving behind, the sense of satisfaction has slowly started to fade away.

I started writing for The Concordian in September 2020, back when I was still an English literature major and was beginning to consider pursuing a career in journalism. I still remember the night my first article, an opinion piece about the 2020 American presidential elections, was published. That article encapsulated so many firsts: my first byline, my first brush with controversy, my first missed deadline, and the first time I felt like a real journalist. 

Nearly every journalist I know started off with contributing to student media. For those of us coming from outside the tightly interconnected journalism world, student media is an important avenue to establish our presence in this daunting media landscape.

The Concordian has opened more doors for me than my lackluster GPA ever could. It was my portfolio with The Concordian that got me into the journalism department. Being on masthead has, directly and indirectly, provided me with some of the best experiences of my life, such as attending NASH 85 and the Thessaloniki International Summer Media Academy. I owe so much to this paper that I don’t think I could ever repay it, even in over a hundred years.

And yet for all the good this has brought me, any picture I paint would be incomplete without  acknowledging the bad. The stress from this job has taken a tremendous toll on my mental health and strained many important relationships. At this point, my trash folder contains more resignation letters than I could possibly count. The only thing that kept me from walking away has been the amazing support of my team. I sometimes wonder if I could go back in time knowing what I know now, both the good and the bad, would I still have gone on this journey?

As the Managing Editor, I followed in the footsteps of many great student journalists before me. Over the last year, I’ve had to grapple with so many questions: Where is my place in all of this? How will I be remembered? Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? Am I doing a good job?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. I have made more mistakes than I can possibly count. But it’s comforting to know that I’m just a small link in a much larger chain, a tradition far greater than myself. I know that my memory will quickly fade compared to the accomplishments of the greats who have come before me and the promise of those who will come after. In the face of overwhelming adversity, I was able to preserve and hand off the torch to the next generation. 

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to savour this journey. I would tell myself that the stakes aren’t as high as you think they are, the mistakes you will make along the way are to be learned from, and that you can do this work without getting sucked into that black hole because once it’s over, you have to be ready to move on. And yet, I’ve dedicated so much of myself to this paper that it’s hard to picture what my life might look like without it. 

Scientists aren’t quite sure what lies beyond a black hole, and neither am I. As I approach the threshold, I can’t help but stand back in awe of all the beautiful memories that encompass me. 


An ode to spring (in all of its forms)

Spring may be unpredictable, but it’s still my favourite season.

Is it sundress season yet? I thought it was, until that glorious snowstorm we all woke up to on Thursday. Before that, I had set out to write an ode to spring in honour of the frost finally thawing, but the weather reports laughed in my face. “Is spring still your favourite season?” they wondered, cackling and rubbing their hands together. Despite the unpredictability of the season, I will defend spring to the end. 

Okay, so maybe the haters of the season have a point. Even once the snow finally melts (and stays away for good) it isn’t the easy-breezy sunshine and green grass transformation we see in cartoons. It’s more like brown slush, ground littered with ancient cigarette butts, and fossilized dog sh—well, I think we all know what I’m talking about. 

The springs of my childhood outside of the city weren’t much prettier, to be fair. The snow piles sometimes didn’t fully disappear until June, and I have vivid memories of flooded roads and the soccer field turning into a swamp.

Where is the glamorized version of spring we desperately need, the one with bees and flowers and blooming buds that all the poets are so obsessed with? That version of the season often doesn’t fully come around until May or June, by the time we’re already a couple of months deep into spring. March and April are really more of an awkward transition, an uncomfortable dance between winter and the vague promises of summer. 

Still, the glimpses of sunlight make it all worth it. What I love about spring is the chase: the exhaustion of winter and the tension of constantly checking the weather, followed by the thrill of finally being able to stash the winter coats. There truly is no better feeling than the first true feeling of spring air. Not only can you breathe better, but also the joy is palpable. Everyone can attest to the weight that gets lifted when winter finally passes. There’s an undeniable mood boost that hits at the end of seasonal blues and brings droves of hibernators out into the thawing parks.

Not only that, but we also get to witness the days get longer and longer. The joy of not being plunged into darkness at 4 p.m.! More sunlight means more Vitamin D and overall health improvements—both physical and mental. 

And sure it might be a little while until the flowers bloom, but the snow right now will only make the wait more worth it. Soon the icicles will melt from the trees, and you know what comes next. There’s nothing cuter than buds on the trees—sure they aren’t proper leaves, but they’re trying to be, and I think that should be enough. 

My strongest case for spring though is absolutely indisputable, no matter what anyone else says: the best concerto in Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons is Spring. I will not be taking arguments; this is a fact, not an opinion. So here’s my advice to you: to fully embrace the beauty of spring, throw open your windows (when the weather permits), blast some Vivaldi, and trust that the spring is here for real. 


Reflections on grief

Why grief is nothing like I thought it would be.

My cousin once compared living with grief to a butter croissant. The grief is butter being folded into the pastry; at first you don’t know what to do with it, but gradually it becomes a part of you in a way that makes a little more sense. 

I’ve been thinking about grief a lot lately. This spring will mark 2 years since I lost my sister, my closest friend. She was 22 years old when she lost her battle with depression. 

Before I experienced loss, I had a preconceived notion of what it would be like. In the days and weeks that followed her death, I kept waiting for the “real” grief to hit, that wave of despair that they show you in movies. But instead of an acute pain, it was more of a constant stomach ache. I started wondering what was wrong with me—why wasn’t I able to feel as deeply as I thought I should?

As the months went on, I realized that maybe I would never feel the way I expected I should feel. I began thinking about how grief can look different for everyone, and how your own personal experience is not invalid just because it isn’t the exact same as someone else’s. Some people pull away from work and friends following a loss; other people throw themselves back into their usual routine in order to distract themselves. One isn’t more legitimate than the other. 

For me, grief looks like avoidance. I go months without saying my sister’s name—not because I don’t want to talk about her, but because I’m not sure how. When I tell stories that involve her (as so many of my stories do), it’s become a reflex to omit her. When someone asks me how many siblings I have, I almost always lie. 

Just a few days after I got the news, I went back to work and pretended that nothing had happened. Heavy emotions never suited the image I projected of myself, so I just didn’t express them. There’s only so much I can run from this, though, and I have had to learn to be more comfortable with discomfort.  

Discomfort and grief are intrinsically tied. This is apparent in the fact that following a loss, nobody can say the right thing. Sometimes I felt cloyed by people’s sympathies; conversely, I made hit lists of people who didn’t reach out. People don’t know what to say—some people have reassured me with, “Don’t worry, I won’t ask,” when really, I desperately wish they would. 

The best response was the most honest one: a close friend said to me “I don’t know what to say—what do you need from me?” Hearing that was like a pressure being lifted. People often claw at the right answer, and don’t realize that the answer might change from person to person, and day by day. Or that there often is no right answer, and it’s okay to acknowledge that.

On the note of acknowledgement, here’s something else I’ve learned: It’s okay for it to not be okay. Talking with my cousin that night of the croissant analogy, I was making verbal lists of everything I’d learned from grief when she stopped me.“You don’t always have to do that, you know,” she said. She said that although it’s positive to find wisdom in bad experiences, we’re also allowed to admit that it just sucks. 

I find myself guilty of that a lot—of spinning the tale in a way that will make the listener more comfortable. I have started to work on this a little bit. I mention my sister a little more these days, and I have been trying to talk more about loss.

I think in the beginning, I was afraid of grief. I remember saying to a friend, “I don’t want to feel like this for my whole life.” The idea of that permanence—the permanence of her absence, the indefinite nature of missing her—seemed so ominous. I heard so many people say that grief never goes away, and that terrified me. 

It turns out they were right, but not in the way I thought. I still think about her every day, but it isn’t all-consuming. My life has continued; the new experiences and other people in my life don’t fill the hole she left, but they build around it. Grief never does go away, but as you sit with it, you begin to understand it a little bit more. Like butter in a pastry, it becomes a part of you in a way that feels more manageable.

In the same way, my sister Hannah will always be a huge part of me. Every time I write an article, I think about the ones she would write for McGill’s Bull & Bear, her commitment to serious issues juxtaposed with a wry sense of humour and a fantastically terrible taste in pop culture. So many aspects of my personality, my values, and the things I love are the result of growing up beside her. In many ways, I am her. Similarly, grief will always be a part of me—this is something I have learned to live with.


Why well-being initiatives are companies’ imperatives

Prioritizing employees’ well-being reshapes organizational culture and drives long-term prosperity.

Regarding workplace mental health, Mental Health Research Canada reported in 2019 that one in five Canadians lives with mental health challenges. Additionally, the organization highlights a concerning trend: employed Canadians in their early and prime working years are disproportionately affected. 

Dialogue, a prominent mental health service provider in Canada, underscores this by revealing that 87 per cent of human resources leaders acknowledge the potential for proactive mental health support in averting or addressing mental health issues before they escalate.

Well-being offerings can encompass a wide range of programs and initiatives aimed at supporting the mental, physical, emotional and social health of employees. Some common examples include access to counseling services, mental health hotlines, mindfulness training and workshops on stress management and resilience-building. Recognizing employees’ contributions and celebrating achievements through rewards, bonuses, appreciation events and employee recognition programs that can positively impact morale and well-being are also great examples.

These are not seen as a mere bonus anymore; they became essential not only for employees seeking jobs, but for companies requiring long-term hires. This is a win-win relationship.  Companies and leaders are investing in well-structured well-being programs to reshape their organizational culture. This prioritizes employee well-being as well as improves recruitment and retains talent. 

The benefits are multiple. Corporate Wellness Magazine states that such programs can enhance employee morale and job satisfaction. This may foster a positive work culture where individuals feel valued and supported.

As employees are better equipped to manage stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance, investing in it enhances job satisfaction and reduces burnout, resulting in improved productivity and loyalty.

Embracing these programs is also a strategic imperative. By proactively investing in the health and happiness of their workforce, companies reap tangible benefits. They are investing in their workforce and in their own long-term achievement, too. 

Recognizing the intrinsic value of cultivating a supportive and healthy work environment elevates companies’ reputation and attractiveness as employers but also lays the groundwork for sustained success. To foster a workforce that is healthier, more optimistic and resilient, it is essential to prioritize all aspects of well-being, encompassing emotional, environmental, physical, social, and financial health. 

Having resources and training is extremely important to establish new employees—or the veterans ones—in an environment where it is possible (and accessible) to seek support, share challenges, and promote a stronger synergy between company and employee. 

This journey of prioritizing and investing in mental health is not just a challenge; it is a goal worth pursuing with dedication. When companies make the decision to place employee well-being at the forefront of their agenda, it becomes a beneficial achievement that may bring unexpected milestones. Prioritizing mental health is about embracing a fundamental aspect of humanity and flourishing as a community of individuals united in a shared pursuit of well-being and fulfillment.


Twenty lessons I’ve learned in 20 years…

…In no particular order

At the ripe age of 20, I definitely don’t have a lot of “life experience.”

However, I am proud to say that I have learned a few lessons, several of which come from observing family members and friends. In honour of my approaching 21st (oh no) rotation around the sun, I decided to reflect on some of said lessons, in the hope that these small slices of wisdom may be even slightly applicable to you. 

In no particular order…

  1. It is okay, if you financially can afford to do so, to stay at a job only until you can no longer learn anything from it. Wise words from my late Opa.
  1. It is completely natural for highschool friendships to fizzle out. The people who you have known for over 10 years tend to stick around for another 10.
  1. Moving out alone (and to a new city) is exciting yet ultimately terrifying. But you do get bragging rights.
  1. If you are not receptive to learning from something that continues to come up repeatedly, life will simply ram it down your throat. Some things you really have to learn.
  1. Watching a loved one slowly fade away is gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking, especially when you know it’s happening but you’re too far away to witness it. As much as you try to prepare for the inevitable, that pit in your stomach won’t fully disappear. 
  1. You will never be “home” again if you move for university; home is where you make it. On the upside, you’ll have a few places to call “home.”
  1. Spend time with your grandparents; it makes them so happy. Talk to them about anything, they’re excited to listen.
  1. It isn’t too late to turn a situation around if you really set your mind to it and it is in your power to do so. Do with that what you will.
  1. Lego is great no matter how old you are. And if you have never accidentally stepped on a Lego brick and been in agony, then I don’t know what to tell you.
  1. Changing yourself specifically for someone else will likely cause complete unhappiness. But don’t shy away from personal growth.
  1. Your grandmother will always give you second helpings of food, so don’t try to refuse.  You won’t leave her house feeling hungry, that’s for certain. 
  1. Listening to your parents will get you to the moon and back if you want it to. I know my parents are reading this and giggling gleefully.
  1. In some situations, people are powerless; never judge someone in a bad situation because leaving it can be easier said than done. Sometimes you just need to stand by and offer what you can. 
  1. Formulate your own opinions and personal values. You are a skilled and reasonable individual, trust your gut.
  1. If your mum says your outfit doesn’t look good, listen—she’s likely right, and you’ll save yourself the haunting pictures. Considering my mum dressed me up in some pretty stellar outfits as a kid, I’m still not sure why she let me out of the house in that outfit I wore for my 18th birthday party.
  1. If you have feelings for someone, shoot your shot, the worst they can say is no. Speaking from personal experience… It’ll take a bit of time, but you’ll get over it eventually. 
  1. There’s a fine line between whether the bad situation you’re in is actually someone else’s fault or your own. You cannot play the blame game for everything.
  1. Your pet will be your best friend. They’re great to vent to as well. 
  1. Be cautious about who you open up to about your past; unfortunately, some will use it against you. Not everyone wants to see you succeed.
  1. Only keep a precious few people privy to your private life. It is a privilege to know what is going on in the life of someone else, should they choose to share it with you.

The eternal drive toward Montreal

I always joke that half my personality is that I grew up in the Laurentians. I never shut up about the commute to school—it’s nearly four hours out of my day. Some might say I’m basically a superhero for it (nobody says that). I most definitely am not. People literally live in this city and spend the same amount of time crossing it as I do fleeing it.

My mother sometimes says it would have made my life easier if we hadn’t moved so far from the city. My dad often spends his days on the road for work. But they came here to find peace: the comfort of the fields that hug sinuous roads, stars we can actually see, silence. I’ve never been a city girl and I can now confirm that I never will be. Montreal is too fast-paced for my little heart.

I would be closer to school and my future dream job if I moved to Montreal. But I don’t want to narrow my world down to a single island, however great it may be. I would rather spend hours of my life in traffic or in the train if it means I get to escape the endless buzz of the city in my downtime.

If you live within a 50 km radius of a major city, you probably have already felt the pressure to escape your small town for bigger things. Maybe that stems from the American Dream concept. To me, Montreal has always felt like the ultimate goal, the ultimate success—get a fancy university degree, get a “good job,” get a house that costs much more than it’s worth. Some people might dream of Montreal like others dream of New York City.

That’s how I ended up attending university in Montreal, which made me very anxious very fast. My therapist suggested taking with me some of the things that make me feel safe. He might’ve meant something physical, but I took memories: listening to a wailing loon with my dad from our tent, befriending ducks on the lake with my mom, nodding to the stars that listen, watching the silver maples dance when it’s going to rain.

I went to Gaspésie last summer for the first time. Out by those mountains and shores, I was so far from the usual breakneck Greater Montreal ecosystem that Montreal felt like a hazy concept. For a second there, I envied the simplicity of being far, far away from the pressures of city life.

I’m just starting to adapt to the rhythm of Montreal and Concordia, but now I’m graduating. I’m standing at the edge of a cliff, windswept and awed as I stare out at the ever-changing landscape of my future. I don’t know what life is without school. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. But my time here has taught me to better identify the people, the places and the things that make me feel happy and like myself; and my therapist has taught me to keep those close to my heart wherever I go, like a portable safe space.

The Laurentians are half of my personality probably because they’re a collection of memories and people who have shaped me into who I am. While university has fiercely chipped at me like a diamond, the Laurentians have polished me with love and kind intentions. No matter where I go, I know I will always circle back here even if it seems counter-intuitive toward my “success.” 

But really, what is success without bliss? There’s something admirable about respecting your boundaries and keeping sight of what makes you happy, even if it doesn’t make sense on paper. My parents moving out to the Laurentians might have complicated a few things, but it was also the greatest gift they could’ve offered me.

I’m happy for those who found a home, a dream or a haven of anonymity in Montreal. Meanwhile, I might as well spend my whole life with one foot in the city, looking for success and creative opportunities, and the other foot in the Laurentians, looking for peace—just like my dad did, and he turned out just fine.


Dive into summer with these five easy reads

There is nothing better than sitting by the pool with a cold drink, sunshine and a good book.

With the semester slowly coming to a close and the summer heat (hopefully) approaching, readers are looking for fluffy romances to ease their minds after the stressful school year. 

While rifling through the romance section and summer tables at Indigo, I compiled recommendations ranging from coming-of-age to fluffy romances—there’s truly a book for everyone!

Now what doesn’t scream summer like a romance by the lake? Every Summer After by Canadian author Carley Fortune is the perfect book to sit by the pool with. Persephone spent every summer lounging by the lake gazing at Sam, but after one mistake that ruined everything, she hasn’t returned in 10 years. When she receives a call prompting her to go back home, it’s her chance to make things right. Told over the span of six years and one weekend in the present, Every Summer After is a dazzling romance highlighting themes of teenage regret and everlasting love. 

Visiting Cape Cod this summer? Do I have the book for you. Elle Bishop is a 50-year-old woman happily settled with her husband Peter. But after being reunited with Jonah, her childhood best friend whom she spent every summer running around the cabin with, she must decide if she is happy in the life she has chosen or is ready to go back in time. A Reese’s Book Club pick, The Paper Palace is a coming-of-age story that jumps from past to present and will have you hooked the moment you crack the cover. 

Reading Malibu Rising almost convinced me to buy a surfboard and join four famous siblings on their next surf trip (unfortunately, that was unrealistic). Set in 1983, the four Riva siblings are getting ready to host their annual party at their sister Nina’s mansion. Over the course of one evening, secrets will be told and relationships ruined, making it a night they will never forget. By morning, the house will be burnt to the ground. Taylor Jenkins Reid paints an unforgettable story highlighting the consequences that come with family dynamics and unwanted fame. 

Lizzy Dent’s laugh-out-loud rom-com The Summer Job is the perfect combination for lovers of both Beach Read by Emily Henry and the movie The Holiday. Have you ever wanted to be someone else just for the summer? When her best friend Heather runs off to Italy to find love, destitute Birdy takes Heather’s job at a world-class hotel in the Scottish Highlands and pretends to be her wine-expert friend. The problem is, she hasn’t told Heather, and she knows nothing about wine. The Summer Job is a hilarious tale with a hint of romance centred around a woman on a quest to find herself, even in the strangest of circumstances.

It wouldn’t be a summer book recommendation list without the mention of Emily Henry now would it? Harriet and Wyn broke up months ago, but with their yearly getaway accompanied by all their best friends just around the corner, they make a pact to pretend to be together. After years of dating, how hard could it be? Shifting away from Emily Henry’s usual grumpy/sunshine tropes, Happy Place presents readers with an unconventional romance featuring fake dating and second chance romance tropes, a story that will pull at any reader’s heartstrings. 

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