Starting the University Semester right!

Starting the Semster right

It’s that time of the year when the holiday’s are over and people go back to their regular schedules. Some might already have been back for a little while but for me university started this week. As I am writing this the first day back is tomorrow. The start back to school brings the blues to many people which is kind of sad because shouldn’t we be doing something we love enough that the idea of going back to it should be at least a teeny, tiny bit exciting or/and backed by happy emotions?

For me the start of university again comes with motivation to get ahead early so I don’t fall behind, motivation to stay organized but also a sens of dread which sinks me into a deep funk. I am blessed to be able to go to university, I know this. Some people are in places where girls are not allowed to go to school or there is too much corruption or fighting for it to be possible. Some people would sell their right leg as the saying goes to be able to make enough money or to be in a living situation that permitted them to go to higher education of school in general. I know all this and try to keep it in mind but for me university is synonym with stress, anxiety, depression etc… I am someone who does not learn well by sitting in a 300 people classroom listening to someone speak in monotone for 1h30-3 hours. Some of these classes have no visual aids or class participation as well. I am someone who strives and learns by conversation, by doing, by visual aids, by teaching others. Knowing this and what I have described as my university experience so far you can see how they don’t exactly fit. Which is why fairly often my mental health suffers.

The subject of mental health and university is a large one which I will try to do at a later date but they main thing to keep in mind with this post is that it effects a lot of people.

Now getting back to the title of this post I want to start off this semester right. I am sure I will have my down moments during the semester but as always I will do my utmost to be positive because I find that having a positive mentality can lead to great things and is beneficial in many ways.

Here are some ways I will start my semester off right.

1. Readings

University has a lot of reading. Sometimes these readings are literally the class content(ex: profs who stand in front of the class and read form the textbook) or these readings are necessary to pass the course. But there is literally almost an impossible amount of them. (See picture below of 3/4 of my readings for 3 of my 5 classes)

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Now everyone had different ways to this. I have had a prof do a whole lecture on how to skim a reading and still get the main points while I have also had professors test me on a specific word on a specific paragraph of a specific page. My way of things is a bit in the middle of these two approaches. I skim the title of the article, the opening explanation, the section titles, the first two and last two lines of a paragraph and the conclusion for some classes which gives me all the main information and some classes I read in detail as well as highlight and annotate it. It depends on the professors and if they are more like my first example of a professor or my second example.

Because of all the work involved in this my plan for this semester is to stay up to date on the reading because when you fall behind there it’s very unlikely you will catch up. I plan on reading everyday even If I am ahead so that day’s when I am sick or something I couldn’t predict happens I will not need to stress about it.

2. Organization

I spent a long time on my agenda organizing everything. I have my page with daily reminders, work, change in schedule, appointments etc… I then made a sheet on my computer for a weekly checklist of things to do. For example I have the word school readings and underneath 7 boxes so that each day I can check that I have done some school readings for the day. I did a bunch more things to get organized but again I would need another post on the subject which I might do if there is enough interest.

I think this method is really great because A) I won’t forget when to do things, which happens often for me since I am so busy. B) You can visually see what you have achieved when you are feeling low. C) You can set goals for a day and when they are achieved let yourself have some relax time for yourself, this way you won’t work until you crash because you know you are on track and can take that night off for yourself.

3.Take care of your health

This point varies for everyone. For me, I eat when I am stressed and the my body hates me and I start feeling sick and stressed. Because of this I don’t do my work, I then fall behind, feel stressed about falling behind, do nothing because I am stressed and it all goes in a viscous circle where I fall so behind I have trouble catching up or even believing it is possible.


So my goal is to eat healthy(aka limit the junk food and stress eating), drink a lot of water, exercise(which is also a great way to reduce stress).These things will come back around and help me stay on track with school and be able to keep up with a crazy schedule.

So there you have it my main three goals to start the semester right with a healthy mental health and physical health. The main thing to know is that university can be though for everyone in different ways but making the time for yourself and your health is important. On that note when it comes to physical or mental health it can be easy to try and ignore it until you finish that midterm or, finish that essay etc. In reality there is never a good time to go see that doctor, talk to a friend, get some help. There will always be something going on that seems more fun or more urgent. If you need help, don’t wait, go get it there is a ton of resources on almost all university campus’s if not help lines and walk in clinics and more. A google search will bring you some online resources as well or international numbers to talk to someone on the phone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Of course I hope no one will need to get help and that everyone will have a fantabulous semester but the reality is that’s not the case for a lot of people. I am sending out encouraging thoughts to all of you out there going back to school, work, daily life.

Let me know any goals, tips or how you are starting the semester right if you’re re in university in the comments below or on social media using the #poweredcrowd .

Remember be part of a Powered Crowd and aim to make positive change in both your life and other people’s lives. Take time for yourself, be there for a friend and have a great first part of 2018!


A day at the Canada Science and Technology Museum

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The Canada Science and Technology museum is very known in the town of Ottawa Canada. Having opened in 1967 people who are in their 20’s like me have not only grown up going to this museum but out parent’s have as well. Needless to say it is pretty well known, not unlike most of Ottawa’s museums.

Unfortunately the museum had a nasty case of mould and it was forced to shut down. The museum seeing the extent of the mould problem decided to update the whole museum at the same time. It was closed for three years where it was pushed to the back of my mind as life went on. But now it is once again recently open, so of course I needed to check it out! It was one of favourite museums as a child that and the kids section of the Museum of civilization (Now known as the museum of Canadian History) so I couldn’t wait to see what the new museum looked like, especially since it was advertised that the only two things that where the same was the crazy kitchen and the antique trains (don’t worry I will expand on that below).

When I got there I was already loving the exterior. They have some cool projections and sound effects on the side of the building.

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Inside it’s drastically different but also very nice. There is so much to see it’s almost hard to know where to start. When I went it was very busy, a long line up was almost to the doors. (see my Youtube video which will be on the bottom of the page) When I got ot the front I saw the prices and my wallet cried a bit. It’s 17 dollars for an adult which isn’t too bad but as a student it’s a a bit hard to afford. However did they have student prices, membership prices and a family deal all worth while. On top of that my sister who is a teacher got in for free after showing her teacher’s card. So there is definitely ways to save money on the entrance fee.

The first thing we went to see was some old cars and modes of transportation. All around there was a million other things to look at. You could easily spend a whole day there with lot’s of activities for young children and adults alike. We spent 2 and a half hours but like I said we could have spent more time.



So not to make this an endless post I will highlight some favorite parts of the museum. Firstly the Crazy Kitchen. This is one of the two original exhibits. For those who have never heard of it (which is basically anyone outside of Ottawa) it’s an old style kitchen that looks like it’s straight but it’s actually on a 12 degree slant. As soon as you step in it makes a cool effect. I used to spend a lot of time in there as a child and while they literally kept it exactly the same as a 21 year old I got too dizzy to even walk in. So embarrassing but I am not the only one as they have a huge poster warning people of that possibility outside the crazy kitchen.

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The next part to highlight was the trains. It also is pretty much unchanged except they added some more features around it. You can take some awesome selfies outside the trains and go inside one of the trains as well. There isn’t much to see except the engine rooms. For some reason my childhood memories remembered it to have more than that but I might be imagining things.

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We also caught the pyro show. There was zero seats and we had to stand at the back. The girl who was doing the show announced it was her first show and she did a really good job for her first solo show. It is of course very geared towards children and the parts where she explained things I zoned out a bit but it’s definitely worth it as an adult to to see someone playing with fire quite literally. She had three main experiments which were all interesting to see. ( see my Youtube video at the end of the post)

A last example I will give is the energy use section. They had a bunch of light up images which showed how water and or electricity household items used. It was made in a way that you had to press a button to see the answer and kids where having a blast trying to guess. It’s such a good way to teach young and old how our consumption of daily products and our choices in keeping a tap on or flushing multiple times or even starting a dishwasher for one dish effects energy consumption and in return our planet, climate change and even more.

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Here are some extra honorable mentions, the Tiny house demo (I am honestly seriously considering that as my first house), the cool hands on activities like the sound exhibit where they had this awesome sound proof cube (see video below) and the concussion visual demonstration (see video).

This is of course a Powered Crowd post so I will now be giving it my Powered Crowd Rating.

  • As far as addressing some important issues such as climate change, the importance of being safe (in science and sports and more), supporting women in sciences and stem etc. I would give it a 3.5-4 out of 5 star rating. I of course didn’t have time to fully see the whole museum or read everything in detail since I was there with my younger cousins and only stayed 2:30 hours so this rating is affected by that. I did however see women doing science activities such as the show and exhibits talking of important issues that our world face. I would have just liked to see a bit more of it. Maybe a women in science exhibit or a lesser know science and technology hero’s exhibit where we could see some diversity which was lacking from what I saw.

  • Accessibility: There was not really any stairs leading to exhibit (exception of the trains and the show viewing space) I also saw some ramps(crazy kitchen, going down to the train area etc..). Everything seemed accessible for the most part as far I could see. Rating 4 out of 5 stars. *Disclaimer I do not have a physical disability, if you do and want to contribute to this rating let me know!

Youtube Video to come.

So that’s it for this post today! What is your favorite museum as a child? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you enjoyed until next time be part of a Powered Crowd for positive change!



Breadwinner contest entry – We are girls, We are Strong.

I wrote this story for a contest ( see details here http://stories.thebreadwinner.com/#signup1 ) but also because I think it’s a great movement to share our stories and encourage one another. I hope it can inspire someone.

We are Girls, We are Strong.

Sixth grade is a though year for a lot of people. Being the oldest students, you are told that you rule the school but in reality, it’s only those with enough influence, those on the top of the popularity pyramid that are the holders of this power. If you are unfortunate enough to be on the bottom of the pyramid, things can be very though indeed.

Like this girl, for example. She is a normal girl of normal size, blond hair and blue eyes but she is different. She likes to read and suffers from anxiety. These traits and other differences which are currently unseen to her eyes, but seem very apparent to her peers who mock and poke at these imaginary flaws makes her feel sad and lonely. When these feelings come, this girls picks up a book and loses herself in the pages. She loses herself in stories of girls who are different and go on big adventures, solving the problems that they and their society face. This girl learns through these stories to see through other eyes and her heart learns to love and she manages to forgive what has been done to her that day. As the year comes to and end and her yearbook lies almost empty with a few generic lines scribbled from people of her class, she feels a sadness rush over her. She can’t understand why she feels this way, everyone around her are laughing and running, hugging and crying, teachers are handing out sweets and treats. Yet she can’t seem to be grateful for the insincere words written in front of her or for her one dear friend she has had since grade two who is playing not too far away. All she can think of is the consuming want to belong.

As the summer starts, dark slithering doubts start creeping into the girls mind. Maybe something was wrong with her. Maybe she wasn’t good enough. There had to be a reason why people hated her and picked on her. Now she was starting to see what those people on the top of the popularity pyramid saw. Now she saw her flaws, her overweight body, her cumbersome habits, her strong opinions which no one agrees with. She should be more like them she thought. No, she absolutely needed to be more like them she thought. Not another year would she let pass on the bottom of the social ladder. Not another year would she let pass being ridiculed and sad. She would change. She would be more like those girls on TV. She would be thin and she would be fashionable and after this summer she would start a new year, at a new school where not one knew of her past. She would have friends and she would finally fit in.

Unfortunately things never go as planned. The girl, a mere 11 years old, stuck to her goals but they consumed her. These thoughts and this pressure to change who she was ate at her. She soon lost herself and fell into a dark place. She didn’t eat. She developed severe OCD. She became violent and aggressive and her own mind turned on her until she was so lost that those close to her brought her to stay in the hospital in the hopes that the girl they knew would find her way back from the battle she was slowly losing in her mind.

As always, there is a hero to most stories and in this story one of the main heroes was the girl’s mother. Her mother had always been there. Like most adult women she had survived a childhood of almost identical pressures to those of her daughter to change who she was in order to fit in, to change who she was in order to be successful and loved. She had survived and become the amazing woman she is today, uniquely herself. It was this girl’s mother who eventually saved the day, planting her feet and refusing to budge from her daughter’s side, getting back up even when she thought she had lost all hope. A breadwinner for the family, she still made time for her lost daughter and even when this girl lashed out and screamed, the mother held on tight and new that her girl was still there, somewhere in this whole mess of a situation.

When the girl was released from the hospital, still thin as a stick, she had already missed the first two weeks at her new school. She arrived there on the first day of the third week and found that all the cliques had already been made. Her efforts to fit in had backfired and now not only was she alone at school and on an even lower position on the social pyramid, but she was also fractured in both body and mind trying to reconnect the puzzle pieces of who she once was. This was no easy feat. She then had to contend with the mental and physical abuse from her peers as they picked up on her broken self and ridiculed the strangeness of her ticks and odd ways of acting.

This girl is me. This girl represents girls all around the world facing social pressures that dictate what they should be, how they should act, what they should do, who they should love, and like most of those girls, this girl pulled through. This girl surpassed those obstacles and trials even though they seemed like an Everest that she would never surmount. She persevered and is now stronger than ever. We are all unique in our own way and that is our real source of beauty, it is also our source strength. We are girls, we are strong!

New Years Resolutions 2017 – Thoughts and Goals

It’s Officially 2018! 2017 was an eventful year for me. I have so many achievements I am super proud of that I accomplished in 2017, of course there was some low times but I have decided to focus on the good and how far I have come in one year! Today’s post will be a bit on what to expect from me and this blog in the upcoming year and some tips I recommend to do as the new year starts.

So firstly what I did yesterday on New Years Eve is write down my accomplishments from 2017 and my goals for 2018. When I took the time to sit down and do this I saw just how much I accomplished in the last year, I also could visualize what I wanted to achieve in this next year and writing it down gives me some drive to achieve these goals in the next year!



One of the things I wrote on my goal list is expanding my blog topic. By this I mean that I want it to be about more than doing acts of kindness but also about being a powered crowd of people who not only are kind to others but themselves as well. A crowd of self empowered people has more impact to make positive change than a normal crowd of people who are sad and low on their life and situation. So they way I am going to go about this is share my experiences and more of the things I like in a way that will hopefully encourage others to make time for self care and for embracing who they are in order to reach their full potential.

Much like my bracelet’s and their message “You are not alone” I hope that by sharing more of my struggles and daily life adventures I can show not only some cool experiences other people can have(travel, products etc…) but also show people how everyone has their ups and downs and it’s about the effort you put into your dreams and the drive to share positivity wherever you go.

Examples of posts you might see will include reviews with positivy, kindness, sustainability or moral ratings. My experiences and adventures and of course the usual opinion pieces. I also hope to do more collaborations with other bloggers this year so we will see how that goes!

I will leave you with this picture of me on New Years eve, mostly as a reminder to myself of where I started and where I want to go this year in achievements! Feel free to share your pictures on social media so you can look back in a year and remember the moment you committed yourself to a good year!

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Last Day of Blogmas – 25 days of kindness

Hello everyone.

You might see that title and be a bit confused considering we are the 21st and it says 25 days of kindness why is this the last day? Well, you are right it is a bit early. I have had some events happen in my life this month and I feel like I really need time to de-stress and get better ( I have been feeling unwell almost all month) as well as spend time with family. So because of this reason I will continue to post acts of kindness on social media for the last 4 days but I will not be doing a blog post for them.

Thank you to everyone who who followed these 25 acts of kindness. This is something that should we all should strive to do everyday even if it’s the smallest thing (like a smile). I will definitely keep working on spreading kindness and I hope you join me in doing that too.

Follow me on my blog and social media for more amazing content coming in the new year!

Until then, be part of a Powered Crowd for positive change. 🙂


Day 19 – 25 days of kindness

Today’s goal is to comment, like or retweet someones social media to help them out. Pretty simple but it can mean a lot to someone especially if they are just starting out. It can also spread some positive messages in the social media world.

Here is how I did:

For today I will be doing this a bit differently. Instead of writing how I did here I will encourage you to follow me on social media (twitter: @mayalemaire and Instagram:@poweredcrowd ) to see in real time what I did for today’s goal. The reason I am doing this is in order to be able to post tomorrow’s goal now and because I will having a very busy day today. Please get involved and use the #poweredcrowd for a retweet(as long as it has to do with acts of kindness).

Here is tomorrows goal:

help someone with a chore or something they need done

See you tomorrow! Until then be part of a Powered Crowd.


Blogmas day 16 – 25 days of kindness

Day 16! Today is the day where we do an act of kindness for a special someone in our life. This one is very flexible, you can do something for you wife, husband, life partner, boyfriend, girlfriend or even the guy or girl you are talking to on a dating site. If none of these apply to you you can do it for a special friend or even your mom or dad or another family member.

Here is how I did:

So something that goes against the image most people have of girls, I do not like shopping (unless it’s at a bookstore or a thrift shop). So today my act of kindness was to go shopping with my dad who also hates shopping. We got a lot done but not everything. I am fighting this really weird flu like thing, one minute I am fine and then it hits me and I get dizzy and feel really weak. So that happened again today so we had to cut the shopping short so I could go home, were I proceeded to sleep for 4 hours!

How did today go for you?

Here is tomorrows goal!:

Today’s kindness challenge is to do something with someone that you hate but they love.

Until tomorrow be part of a Powered Crowd!


Blogmas day 15 – 25 days of kindness

Day 15! 10 days until Christmas. We can do this! I hope everyone who is following me and participating the 25 days of kindness are well rested after the self care day! Today’s act of kindness is to use your social media to spread good messages. Whether you have thousands of followers or ten we can all use some more positivity in the media. Remember if you tag me in your 25 days of kindness posts I will retweet!

Here is how my day went:

You might have noticed that I didn’t post any Blogmas post for the last two days. I have been feeling under the weather and not in the right space to write but I am back! I don’t want to stress about what I missed so I will do a fresh start starting now with how today’s goal went.

I did my best to comment some nice things on as many blogs as possible my count so far is 6.  I also tweeted some nice things on Twitter and Instagram. So overall I think I did well!

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Tomorrows challenge is:

To do an act of kindness for a special someone in our life

See you tomorrow!


Blogmas day 11- 25 days of kindness

As it is getting colder(at least here in Ottawa) it’s a time of year I start to really feel sad for homeless people begging on the streets. I don’t really get myself involved in that much because I don’t have the training and resources to really help. But I do donate and try to help in ways that are in my control. So today the goal is to give food to a homeless person or donate to a local food bank.

Here is how it went:

So as I mentioned in my last post because I missed yesterday’s challenge I did it today. Yesterday’s challenge was to leave nice notes for people in public places so here is some examples of notes I wrote. I will drop them off tomorrow but today I stayed home all day because I was feeling sick and we had a lot of snow so I didn’t want to drive if I didn’t need to.

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As for today’s challenge I had already completed it a couple days ago here is a picture.

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All right I am all caught up with my challenges!

Here is tomorrows challenge:

If you are taking a trip to any store for groceries or anything else put away three things that you see there.

I hope you had a great day!

See you tomorrow!


Blogmas day 11 – 25 Days of Kindness

Day 11! I got this idea from someone a long time ago but I still think it’s brilliant! Leave feel good post it notes in public places, on a bus seat, in a library book, in the mirror or a girls or boys bathroom. It can be completely anonymous!

Here is how it went for me:

As you might see this post is a bit late. I had a really busy day yesterday and I was trying really hard to finish one of my final exams for university(it was a take home exam) I succeeded in doing that goal and my next goal was to go for a workout and then do my act of kindness. I got as far as the gym and 10 minutes on the treadmill when I was hit with a wave of dizziness. I tried to keep working out but it just wasn’t happening I felt like I would fall down. So I went home and rested and then fell asleep and here we are the next morning. So in short day 11 wasn’t a success but I will try to do this goal today as well as today’s goal which is to donate to a homeless person or donate to a local food bank. This one will be tricky today as in my hometown we are expecting 15-20 cm of snow and driving probably isn’t the best Idea so I might just make a pile of food to donate and drop it off another day. Safety first!

Picture of my readings for schools

Picture of my readings for schools

I will see you again later today when I post today’s Blogmas post and tomorrows kindness goal!

Until then be part of a Powered Crowd for positive change.