Student Speak

Shelly Kowalski

Shelly is the General Editor of the Student Speak blog and is a fourth-year Communication and Digital Media Studies student. Shelly is a part-time lifestyle and travel photographer who also freelances with Discovery Channel. When not working or in class, you can find her binge-watching the latest shows on Netflix or finding new ways to make baked Brie.

Recent Posts

University Life Hacks 101

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on August 2, 2017 at 10:04 AM

Universities are huge. There are thousands of students, hundreds of classrooms and so many little things that past students have learned. These could be things you may not have even noticed but wish you had sooner. Being a self-professed professional student who has spent a lot of time on campus, I know a thing or two about a thing or two.  

Here are six university life hacks that I’ve discovered over my years on campus. You’re probably going to want to stop what you’re doing to read about them.


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Topics: Local News and Culture, Student Life

Oshawa Food Review: Hollywood Cone

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on July 26, 2017 at 10:28 AM

Downtown Oshawa is full of amazing places to eat, from burritos and pulled pork, to heathy salads and vegan cuisine. And while grabbing a full meal between classes can be ideal, sometimes all you want is to satisfy that sweet tooth with dessert.

That’s where Hollywood Cone comes in. Previously known to locals as a dynamic ice cream truck, roving the streets of the city or parked at summertime events, Hollywood Cone is now the newest addition to the downtown core, with a storefront ready for all your frozen treat desires.

We stopped by Hollywood Cone this summer to check out what they have to offer, and there’s no doubt that we were blown away by the selection, portions and cool concept. Keeping with the Hollywood theme, this store is decked out in movie memorabilia, like comfy theatre seating and a menu reminiscent of the old-style movie poster frames, complete with flashing marquee lights. A high top table is available for street-view seating and movie-themed vanity plates line the wall.

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Topics: Food Reviews

What you don't know about the Pokéstops on campus

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on March 22, 2017 at 10:23 AM

Since Pokémon Go was officially released in Canada a few days ago, the UOIT campus has been abuzz with students and visitors scouring the grounds for all kinds of Pokémon. To give you an idea of how big this game has grown over a few short weeks, just take a look around major areas like schools, churches or businesses and you will be able to see a number of players hanging around catching Pokémon and grabbing in-game goodies from the Pokéstops. These Pokéstops tend to pop up wherever there is a public park, plaque, art installment or building, so it’s no wonder the campus has been so busy with players.

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Topics: Student Life

UOIT Spotlight: Khalidah Abubaker & FSSH Practicum

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on March 6, 2017 at 10:05 PM

Most UOIT programs have an internship, placement or practicum option for students to receive real-life, experiential learning experiences. In the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, students are able to apply for the practicum program at the end of their third year of study to potentially join the practicum class in their fourth year. Practicum allows SSH students the opportunity to work with a non-profit, community-based organization for one semester. This gives students hands-on experience, as well as something they can put on their resume before they complete their degree and venture out into the workforce.

I spoke to a Khalidah Abubaker, a fourth-year Communications and Digital Media Studies student about her experience with the practicum program, and how she feels it will help her in her future career.

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Topics: UOIT Spotlight

What I would tell my first-year self: Shelly Kowalski

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on January 27, 2017 at 5:01 PM

When I graduated high school in 2008, I was your typical overachiever, excited about the prospect of going out into the world and starting my journey towards a successful career. I had a five-year plan, I had a goal, I was ready to get my degree and get a job and be successful. That’s how the story goes, right? That’s what everyone told us to do.

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Topics: Student Life

How to stay motivated at the end of the semester

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on November 30, 2016 at 10:32 AM

Motivating yourself at the end of the semester can be tough. For me, I know that my last exam is only two weeks away and then a plane will take me far, far away from school, cold weather and responsibilities and plant me on a warm beach somewhere tropical. But until then, I have deadlines and due dates that keep tapping me on the shoulder to remind me that they’re coming up faster than I can say “adios Canada”! Reminding myself that I have work to do before I can enjoy my winter break is hard, but I’ve had practice. Here are my best tips to help you motivate yourself through the last few weeks of school. 

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Topics: Academic

Video of the week: The Periodic Table Song

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on October 5, 2016 at 11:52 AM

GMemorizing important information is not an easy task, but knowing how to do it efficiently is a great skill to have. One of the easiest ways I find I remember things is when I put them in a song. But for someone not so musically inclined like myself, creating a song that I will remember is difficult. Luckily there are amazing YouTubers out there, like AsapSCIENCE, who do it for me. 

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Topics: Video of the Week

Video of the week: AsapSCIENCE sings Science Wars

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on October 5, 2016 at 11:25 AM

Thinking about applying to a program in the Faculty of Science but not sure which program is for you? This week, let AsapSCIENCE help you decide with our video of the week and their Science Wars song. 

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Topics: Video of the Week

Video of the week: Mental Floss explains Emojis

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on October 5, 2016 at 10:27 AM

How often do you use emojis every day? Do you punctuate your sentences with the winking emoji or the dancing lady in the red dress? How do you convey emotion with tiny little pictures instead of words? Most of us use emojis in our daily digital life. For example, I'm a big fan of the cat with heart eyes emoji. I feel it really gets my point across. But emojis have a unique history, and affects our communication and even relationships (something you'll learn in our Communication & Digital Media Studies program!).

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Topics: Video of the Week

Five things you might not know about counselling at UOIT

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on September 21, 2016 at 11:03 AM

School is stressful. It’s OK to need support getting through the tough moments. As students, we’re pretty lucky that we have some great resources for mental health right here on campus.

Last year I wrote a blog post answering some questions about Student Mental Health Services that students might be too afraid to ask. In it was a lot of great information, but it’s a little bit long. Knowing how stressful the school year can be, I decided to put together a shorter post with some of the most important points from that blog.

So without further ado, here are five things you might not know about counselling with Student Mental Health Services at UOIT.

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Topics: Student Life