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Five Podcasts for Post-Secondary Students

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It’s the start of a new chapter for students beginning post-secondary studies in the fall. While this school year may look different than previous years and you may not be marking this new chapter with a physical change of scenery, it’s important to find other ways to signify the shift. Since there’s so much advice out there about how to launch this new phase of life, we decided to collect some resources to get you going! Regardless of whether your studies will take place remotely from home or on campus, here are five podcasts to guide your transition from high school to post-secondary.

Life Kit

How do you create a budget? How do you approach difficult conversations with friends or family? The journey into adulthood can raise many questions. “Here to help you get it together,” NPR’s Life Kit covers a range of topics in well-articulated and well-researched episodes that are delivered in digestible 15 to 20-minute chunks. From financial planning to advice on beneficial mental and physical health practices to how to keep a house plant alive and make an easy cold brew, this podcast delivers insights into how to tackle new challenges – both big and small. Start off with these episodes on how to ace your first year and how to do well in post-secondary.

Note to Self

What does it mean to be a responsible digital citizen? If this is your first time considering how your online presence can impact your future, or if you want to evaluate how you navigate your digital world, this episode of Note to Self, a podcast that explores how technology is changing and affecting our everyday lives, discusses the five core competencies around how to be a good digital citizen. Next, listen to this episode about two long-distance friends who transformed data collected from their daily lives into weekly illustrated postcards to get to know each other better. 

The Big Story

What are some of the important current issues for Canadians to understand? There are dozens of podcasts that act as daily news briefings on current world events, but The Big Story focuses on highlighting an important story of the day to help listeners be better informed on specific issues that affect Canadians. The podcast covers various social, economic, and political issues, but timely episodes include this one about how contact tracing for COVID-19 works and why it’s important and this powerful episode about the experiences and accomplishments of the first solo Black female valedictorian at the University of Toronto medical school.

The Happiness Lab

How does the way we think about things affect our happiness – and what can we do to shift our thinking? The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos, a professor at Yale, introduces listeners to the latest scientific research and offers some surprising takeaways about how our happiness can be impacted by the way we think. Jump in with this episode that explains how the reference points we chose for comparisons (in life, in school, in work) can affect our happiness – and how we can learn to reframe our experiences to help sustain a healthier mental state. Or take a listen to this thought-provoking episode about how focusing on achieving specific metrics in school – like grades – can cause anxiety and counter the objective of enjoyable learning.

Great Big Story

Looking for some feel-good inspiration? The newly created companion podcast to its existing YouTube channel Great Big Story showcases delightful, unexpected, and curious stories from around the globe. Listen to this episode about Eugene Shoemaker, a geologist and planetary scientist whose dream was to go to the moon – and who arrived there in a very unique way. Or try this one about a couple who lives off the coast of Vancouver Island on a floating island compound that’s the size of two city blocks and was all built by hand.

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