How to Be Successful in School – Part 4: Decide

So it’s been fun the last few weeks shooting out these tips and tricks to you and I hope you all found them useful. To conclude this series it is time to discuss the fundamental thing that will determine if any of this will be of any use to you.


YOU HAVE TO DECIDE! Now I am not saying you should run outside in this freezing cold and shout at the top of your lungs “I’m going to do it”, but it would be an interesting thing to see. No, no you have to decide whether the you ‘now’ is the best you that can be made. If you think not than it’s time to use some of those tips and tricks to make you the best you can be, and it starts with a decision.

So here we go. Behaviour change is the most difficult and trying obstacle to overcome for any individual. Once we get set in our ways it’s hard to break them. In athletes it takes 17x the amount of work to undo a learned habit, which is why it is so important to learn a skill correctly the first time. Behaviour is often determined by three things: our environment, our social groups, and our own opinions. Our environment is made up of society around us and its perception on certain behaviours for instance if you were to walk into a restaurant forty years ago and light a cigarette it wouldn’t have been seen as unusual, but nowadays you would be fined for that behaviour. In certain countries carrying extra weight around is considered a valuable trait in women seeking a husband, but in others in is seen as unhealthy – so which is right? That is where your opinion is important.

Our social groups can be anyone from our friends and family to colleagues at work. If you’re work mates condone sneaking out of work early and you follow suit then it is likely to become a habit even if you leave that current job. Our friends and family can act as hindrances or helping hands in most regards. If you find yourself surrounded with a strong support network that wants you to succeed then you are in the right place…if not you may want to find an external social network or people who share the same values you do.

Your opinion is the most important contributor to behaviour, however it can be the most stubborn or lax to external stimulus. Some people accept a fact at face value and make the assumption it is correct depending on the source it is received from, while others are terminally stubborn in their belief that unless they find it themselves an idea isn’t true. External stimulus is what causes the most immediate change in opinion often from some sort of activity or event, however the effect is transitory. The effect we want to seek is internal change.

Internal behaviour change is one that is sparked by your own hand and this is where deciding can be your best ally. Once you make a decision, live by it and put the methods we have discussed in the last three postings in place.

“Success in anything will always come down to two things: focus and effort. We control both.”

Tune in next week when we start our new series. Hint: Bruno the Bear

Kelly Skidmore


SHERIDANtalk: Breaking Barriers on Mental Health

Sheridan’s Health and Wellness Peer Mentors are pleased to present the first-ever SHERIDANtalk: Breaking Barriers on Mental Health event, which will be held on March 12th, 2014, from 6-9:30pm in the Marquee at the Trafalgar campus. Doors will be open at 5:30pm, and a community marketplace will be open as well in the lobby out front of the Marquee to learn about local community resources and speak with local experts.

Modelled after the well-known TEDtalks, and building off of the Canada-wide “Unleash the Noise” Mental Health Innovation Summit organized through The Jack Project, SHERIDANtalk is bringing in innovators in the Mental Health world to come speak to the Sheridan community. These include Eric Windeler and Erin Hodgins from the Jack Project; Mark Henick, a speaker from TEDxToronto 2013; and Arthur Gallant, one of the ‘Faces of Mental Illness’ from the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness & Mental Health, a campaign sponsored by Bell as part of the Bell Let’s Talk initiative.

Several Sheridan students and alumni have also bravely agreed to share their story at the event, and will take the stage to help spread the word about the importance of mental health for ALL members of the Sheridan community.

SHERIDANtalk is being sponsored by the Sheridan Student Union and will have catered food and drinks available for attendees. Attendees at the event will also have an opportunity to get involved in some breakout discussion groups and brainstorm concerns, issues, and solutions to mental health barriers at Sheridan. There will also be a Q&A panel with all the speakers from the event, and attendees can address any questions they may have to our local experts in the field, as well as to our student speakers.

We invite all Sheridan staff, faculty, and students to come out to this amazing opportunity to learn, connect, and share about mental health and mental and emotional well-being on campus, and help shape the community that we all work and live in, together. A certificate of attendance will be issued for all participants of the event. Register ahead of time to ensure your seat at the event – email with your name, email, and program. Students from all campuses are welcome to attend, and instructions on how to use local transit are available upon request.

Break the Barrier – Spread the word!






How to Be Successful in School – Part 3: Resources

Good Morning! Ready for our next adventure 😀


In this weeks post we are going to continue with our theme of success in school by covering an aspect that most students don’t consider until it’s too late. Help! In most cases post-secondary institutions have measures in place that are meant to guide and aide you when you need them. Things such as tutoring services, counselling, and advisors are often key resources available for students that aren’t utilized enough.
So here are some useful resources on campus that if you haven’t considered yet may be just what you need to get that stubborn B+ up to an A.

The Learning Centre – Tutoring: Hidden in the Learning Commons on every campus is Sheridan’s tutoring service. If you are in need of a little clarification on a subject that has been nagging at you for $40 you can get a peer tutor for 10 hours of tutoring towards the subject of your choice, or utilize the free tutoring offered for English, Math, and Java courses. The tutors are experienced senior students who have taken the course before and received an A in the course. Using this resource allows you to benefit from the knowledge of a senior student with a great understanding of the material who may also be able to give you tips and tricks on how to write to the level your professor will require.

Student Services – Counselling: Whether you are completely confident in your schooling or feeling like you are close to failing a friendly and qualified ear can sometimes make the difference between a good day and a bad one. We are constantly surrounded by stressors that can tax our emotional well being so why not talk to someone about it; even if all you need to do is vent about the terrible commute you have to take everyday it can help.

Teachers: You would think it would be the most logical first step in trying to do well in your classes but many students really don’t consider asking their professors for help. It can be as simple as asking a question in class, via email, or in private by meeting with them. Remember your teachers are meant to give you the best possible chance at success in your education, however post-secondary school is supposed to test you. It’s supposed to push you to be better and you have to develop self-sufficient qualities in order to succeed. They aren’t going to spoon-feed you the material but if you ask a question they will answer it, and if you need further clarification try your classmates or the first resource on this list – a tutor.

Finally, the most important resource you have to pull from is wait for it…yourself. Students are notorious for getting in our own way with terrible study habits or a mastery of procrastination, however what everyone needs to remember is success always comes down to two things: focus and effort, and we control both.

Tune in next Wednesday when we conclude our How to Be Successful in School stream and get some hints about our new topic. See you then.

Kelly Skidmore

How to Be Successful in School: Part 2 – Make Goals

ImageSo in our last session we discussed study tips and I hope you were able to gather some valuable tools that will assist you in your next test preparation blitz. Moving on now we are going to discuss something that will help you use those study tips in a productive manner, and that is goal setting.

When you make a goal for yourself you have to consider some important variables or else you may get lost in the attempt. Goal setting is much like climbing a staircase with each small step leading to the accomplishment at the peak. There is a simple acronym which defines how you would design a plausible goal…SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely). To tell yourself “I’m going to lose 20lbs this by the end of this month” is a goal, sure, but it isn’t a SMART goal. When you set a goal for yourself you want to set yourself up to succeed, not to fail, and if you follow these guidelines you will be more likely to succeed in your endeavors.

Specific – In order to make a specific goal for yourself you need to answer as many of the “W” questions as possible (who, what, when, where and why). By doing this you are able to determine what you want to accomplish, a time frame to achieve your goal, any barriers or constraints that may stand in your way, or specific reasons or benefits why you are attempting this goal. Something like “I’m going to join Goodlife Fitness and workout 3 days per week for 1 hour.” You have set the time frame, the location, and your why can be added to the end of the phrase simply as “…in order to lose 5lbs by the end of the month.”

Measurable – You have to have a concrete way of measuring your success as you progress towards your goal. If your goal is weight loss then keeping a weigh-in log and a nutrition monitor may help you get closer to your goal. You have to be able to answer questions such as “How much…” in order for it to be a measurable goal, and think of it this way…the more you see how well you are doing the better you are going to feel, and if things don’t change as fast as you want consider where the causes are.

Attainable – Identifying goals that are important allows you to plan steps that will make them come true. You are able to develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach those goals. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

Realistic – For a goal to be realistic you must possess the will and the ability to work towards it. Setting a high goal is not foolish if you give yourself the correct motivation. Quite often higher set goals are easier to achieve than lower set goals because they force you to work at what you think is your maximum capacity, and as that capacity grows your goal becomes closer. Using our weight loss scenario as an example if someone says “I want to lose 100lbs in 3 months” it may be a high goal, but considering the human body and a healthy degree of weight loss depending on the person it is unlikely this person will reach that goal, or if they do it may be due to extreme measures which can be dangerous. When you plan a realistic goal you should do a little bit a research to make sure it is realistic for you, or seek out someone who knows more about it.

Timely – Without a firm time frame within which to complete your goal there is no sense of urgency to complete it. Make sure to apply a reasonable time limit to achieve your goal, for example “I want to lose 15lbs in 3 months” is a reasonable amount of time and it encourages you to stick to plan because it jump starts you.

Alright now here is my challenge to you. Practice. Try setting a goal for the end of the semester, and see if you can apply last weeks study tips to help you along.

Good luck! 😀

Kelly Skidmore

Sheridan Security Town Hall Meeting

Hi Everyone!
As you all are aware of the attacks happening around campus, today (Tuesday February 11th) at the Trafalgar campus there will be a Town Hall meeting held. The meeting will be held in the gymnasium from 5pm-6:30pm. Jeff Zabudsky (Sheridan President and CEO) and Jenna Pulver (Sheridan Student Union President) will be there addressing new initiatives to enhance Sheridan Security. A representative from Halton Police will also be attending speaking on regards of the police department’s efforts in order to solve the issues of the assaults happening on and near the Trafalgar campus. If you are not able to attend, the event will also be streamed on Sheridan TV and you can also view it on your phone or laptop on 

SSW/CYW Peer Mentor first ever human trafficking event


What is Human Trafficking?


Human Trafficking is the selling of humans for sexual slavery or forced labor. It’s a serious crime and violation of human rights. It has become a really huge political and legal issue. 80% of human trafficking are females in Canada, however there are an estimated 37.9 million women, children and men who are victims of Human Trafficking around the world. It is a 32 billion dollar industry. 


What can we do?


Please join us on Friday February 14th at 11:30am in the Learning Commons for a flash mob event and protest march to the McDonald Heslip Theatre in the B Wing. This event is to raise awareness, educate and to promote advocacy for those in our community at risk.