There are always ways in which navigating McGill can be made easier. Here is a list of life hacks at McGill you may find useful:
1. McGill Reddit Thread
Everything related to McGill as well as what to do around Montreal is included in this thread. You can either post any questions you have or just scroll through the posts and find information you didn’t even know you needed.
2. McGill’s Various FaceBook Groups
I suggest you immediately search whatever FaceBook groups related to McGill once you have received your McGill email address. The three groups I use the most are: ‘McGill Note Swap’, ‘McGill’s Free & For Sale’ and ‘McGill Clothing Exchange’. People sell items at a reasonable price and most of them are subject to negotiation, so take advantage of these groups!
3. Career Planning Service at McGill (CaPS)
McGill’s CaPS assists with all types of job-related things. They help you write your resume/CV, search for potential jobs or internships along with many other things.
4. Rate My Professor McGill
Rate My Professor is extremely useful in choosing your courses. Your professor could either make you hate the course or consider it one of the best choices you made in university. All in all, it’s useful to read over other people’s experience.
5. Volunteering to Improve Your Resume/CV
Easiest way to improve your resume/CV. I made the mistake of not joining any clubs or applying for any executive positions in my freshman year and didn’t have anything to add to my list of experiences.
6. Get To Know The S/U Option
The S/U option allows you to take any course without having it affect your GPA. You are only limited to a certain number of S/U courses, but it’s definitely worthwhile taking advantage of.
7. Saving Money By Buying Textbooks at a Cheap Cost
There are several websites such as Afford A Book and Chegg that find textbooks for you at a more affordable price. If you can’t find what you are looking for there, then perhaps try a few of the McGill (unofficial) FaceBook groups where students are constantly trying to sell their books at a lower price.
8. Earn Easy Money From McGill Studies For Cash
Yet another FaceBook group you can join to *earn* money this time. People post their studies in this group and ask for volunteers, usually offering to pay for their participation. So, if you’re looking to earn easy money, this is your solution!
9. Don’t Be Easily Fooled By ‘Bird Classes’
Everyone has their own criteria for what counts as an easy class. Don’t blindly follow other student’s suggestions for what courses they find to be an easy A.
10. Never Underestimate Office Hours
GO. SEE. YOUR. PROFESSORS. (or any T.A.) They are so helpful when it comes to writing essays or completing projects. Even if you’re already 100% sure with your assignment, it doesn’t hurt to just take 10 minutes out of your day to be 101% sure.
11. Download Microsoft Office For FREE
This website allows McGill students to download Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus for free. So if you haven’t already done so, I suggest you drop everything and do it now.
12. Use The Virtual Schedule Builder (VSB)
Instead of trying to manually organize your schedule for the upcoming semester, use VSB to avoid unnecessary headaches.
13. Drink At The Pregame Rather Than The Club
You already have to pay just to get into the clubs in Montreal, so buy a couple of drinks beforehand or ask your friends to chip in as well to avoid extra costs for a night out.
14. Memorize The Underground Maps Around Campus
Because who wants to trudge around in the snow during winter? If you don’t, then just memorize where McGill’s underground tunnels are.
15. Learn French
If you want a job, or to just get outside the McGill bubble, learning French would definitely be an asset. If you’re looking for places to learn French, you can find some Mini Courses at SSMU that offer it.
16. Get To Know Upper Year Students
Through whatever means possible – during Frosh, by joining a fraternity/sorority, etc. – try to get to know students in the upper years. It could be useful for sharing notes and other learning materials with each other and tips on how to study for different tests.
17. Take Advantage Of Tutorials & Conferences
Don’t skip these unless you are 100% confident with the material. The T.A.s teach differently compared to the professor and could improve your understanding of the course.
18. Free LinkedIn Photoshoots
They’re free so why not? You’ll need to use professional photos a lot, so just make sure you have these taken sooner than later.
19. Get To Know What Study Environment Works For You
Finding the right study environment for yourself is crucial. There are several places around and on campus that serve as good study spots such as many libraries, cafes and even your very own room.
20. Avoid Morning Classes
Waking up early in the morning is bad. Waking up early in the morning when it is snowing outside and you have an 8.30am class to go to is even worse. So just try to avoid any and all morning classes if possible.