Strategies to Help you Succeed in 1st Year University – Part II

  1. Develop a rigorous study schedule and study plan, and constantly improve on its effectiveness. Since there is no one to supervise you, you will have to take charge of your studies yourself. Lay down GOALS for the term and develop your DAILY STUDY PLAN. Always take time to reflect how efficient your plan is, i.e. are you getting your assignments done? Can you cover all the necessary material on time? If not, why? You have to constantly think about whether your plan is working, and make necessary modifications if need be. Remember, you are graded on what you produce – so are you meeting the time requirements necessary to get that essay done? To get 80% on that test?
  2. Find a supportive academic circle of friends. This is your chance to make friends with the right group of people. A typical first year class ranges from 100-1000 students and you will not have the same one-on-one relationship you did in high school, with you university professor. You will find yourself looking to your peers for help – so pick them wisely.
  3. Take the exams seriously. You will find that some of your exams are approximately worth 50%. 50%! That’s half of your grade in a 3-hour exam-writing period! In high school, you have multiple tests to slowly build your way up. In university, you will only have 1 or 2 chances. This is why building a rigorous studying schedule is important.
  4. Build your resume beyond just your grade point average (GPA). Employers do not hire based on grades alone, so you need to start early and decide on how you want to build your resume. This is why you need to begin to distinguish yourself from others. You may decide to run for certain positions in school clubs. For example, if you’re studying finance, you may decide to run for the Finance Director for a school club. Or if you want to enter medical school, it is recommended your get to know your professors early and potentially do research for them, so you may use them as references. This is your way ahead of your competition.

These 4 tips will help smooth the transition to university and make your first less stressful. Get ready for this next exciting phase of your life! And don’t forget to enjoy your time and have fun! Some say it’s the best 4 years of your life!

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