Author Archives: inderbir

Afraid of math? It may not be your fault…

Source: google images

I am sure through our many years of schooling most people can agree that one of their most feared or hated subject is math. Most people link this hatred or fear with bad experiences when they’ve sat there for hours trying to figure out a math problem with no result. But what if I told you it wasn’t your fault that you do not understand these problems and it has something to do with your genes.

Researchers have found that some people are more likely to have a fear towards math due to genetic factors and not just previous bad experiences.1 Although this study explains how genetics may have something to do with math anxiety it states that genetics can’t be solely blamed for problems people have with math.1 Instead this study states that genetic factors explain about 40% of the differences in math anxiety and the rest is explained by difference in learning environments.1

The study examined both identical and fraternal twins who participated in the Western Reserve Reading and Math Projects where they completed a variety of assignments to test for math anxiety and comprehension skills.1 To study the effect of genetics the researchers used statistical methods to see how anxiety and comprehension differed among identical and fraternal twins. From this study the researchers found that “Math anxiety is related to both the cognitive side and the affective side of general anxiety.”1

Even though some of a person’s anxiety towards math may be due to genetics it is also a good idea to learn how to deal with anxiety as a whole. Anxiety can be due to many things and even making the most subtle change to your lifestyle can help get rid of your anxiety. Some simple steps about how to deal with anxiety can range from changing your diet to using new approaches to solve a problem.

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A video by Dr. Sandra Parker explaining ways to deal with anxiety.

In conclusion, the researchers from Ohio State University are still working on determining a concrete link between math anxiety and genetics and will further add to their findings in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

– Inderbir Bhullar


[1] Ohio State University. (2014, March 17). Who’s afraid of math? Study finds some genetic factors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 17, 2014 from


Source: flickr

Remember that kid that use to sit by themselves at lunch in a corner? The kid who everyone thought was weird and nobody ever talked to. Odds are that kid was bullied and now because of that suffers from self esteem issues. One in every three kids in Canada has reported being bullied at one time throughout their time at school or through cyber bullying according to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.  According to the Government of Canada bullying is defined as one person taking power over another and abusing them either physically or psychology through name-calling or insults. In turn this effects a person’s self esteem which is defined as the way one thinks of themselves.1 A person being bullied can begin to see themselves as less valuable compared to others around them.

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Youtube video from Watch Well Cast explaining how to boost your self esteem.

Some people may just think they’re just words that someone is saying, so how can it possibly hurt someone? But the effects of bullying can be very dangerous to a person and their self esteem. According to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development students who are bullied can suffer from many things like feeling like they don’t belong among peers, being depressed, being really emotional, start to suffer from nightmares and the list goes on. Often times the person who’s doing the bullying is often a victim of these actions themselves and as a way to vent their frustrations they lash out the same actions on others. But whatever the reason is behind the bullying, it still doesn’t make it right to make someone suffer.

The hardest part with any problem a person faces is coming up with a solution. A person who is being bullied may think there is nothing they can do and they just have to learn to deal with it but there’s actually a lot that can be done. Some solutions to stopping bullying from are treating everyone the way you want to treated, learning to stand up for yourself plus others and not being afraid to ask for help. Parents can also help their kids by teaching them what to do in bullying situations and also let their kids know they always have them as an outlet to talk to.

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Youtube video from Watch Well Cast explaining how to stop bullying.

Ultimately, to put a stop to bullying it starts with yourself. Know that you’re never alone when facing a problem, there will always be someone around you who can help. Don’t treat someone in a way you wouldn’t want to be treated. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and imagine how they feel about your actions. Lastly, don’t be afraid, everyone is unique and everyone should be able to embrace it without being scared.

-Inderbir Bhullar


[1] Robinson, J.P., Shaver, P.R., & Wrightsman, L.S. Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes. Measures of Social Psychological Attitudes Series, 1, 1991.


Sleep? Who has time for that?

Image: Clipart

For university students, balancing studies with time spent with your significant other can be fairly difficult. However, it is not the most prohibitive task they endure. Balancing school work with your sleep can be one of the most difficult things, as a student, to manage. It is suffice to say that through the progression from elementary to secondary school, and now to university, a vast majority of students can attest to the decrease in the amount of sleep they get each night. Most students’ can admit to falling asleep during lectures or even dozing off while studying. The matter in question is; how much of an effect does this lack of sleep have on grades? Studies show that the less sleep students get, the more their academic performance suffers.

One of the more recurring opinions regarding the lack of sleep university students get is, “I just don’t have the time”. Taking into account that most students wake up early for lectures, commute to and from campus, stay up late doing assignments and studying for a number of exams is reason enough to blame time constraints. Add in a part time job to pay for their tuition, along with a modest social life, these claims undoubtedly justify that they simply don’t have enough time to get the sleep required to sustain quality academic performance.

According to Medical News Today , only 30% of students get the required 8 hours of sleep a night, 20% of students pull an all-nighter once a month, 30% stay up past 3:00am and 12% of these students miss class three or more times a month. The main cause for students staying up late is the stress of having to do well in school. This stress can then affect their sleep, more so than relying on drugs such as  alcohol and caffeine.

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Youtube video from a BBC article explaining how lack of sleep impairs learning.

Ultimately, it comes down to a student’s preparedness regarding how much sleep they’ll get in a given night. As outlined in this article from the UBC website, students must rid themselves of the notion that less than eight hours of sleep is sufficient enough to perform well in school. Focusing on getting a healthy sleep and to keep the mind fresh should be a primary concern for all students. Developing  a consistent and healthy sleep schedule, mapping out your day, while avoiding drugs like caffeine and alcohol, should help with falling asleep comfortably and lessen any chance of facing academic repercussions.

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Youtube video from Watch Well Cast explaining ways to sleep better.

– Inderbir Bhullar