PART I: University is a Strange New World
Congratulations! You’ve finally graduated and are about to start a new chapter of your life. There are exciting times ahead, so what’s next? First off, don’t fall into the impression that your success in high school will translate into university. The hard truth is that 9 times out of 10, it doesn’t. University is a completely different beast, and as such, you need to treat it likewise. This article will describe a few strategies to help you succeed in your first year, and help you adapt to this strange new world.
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How do high school and university differ?
1) Other students in your program are going to be just as smart as you, as universities tend to weed out the undesirables. For them to get into your program, they would have had to achieve a similar cut off average as you did (ie 80%+). What does this mean? Essentially, the stakes are HIGHER and the university curriculum is designed to be much more DIFFICULT in order to distinguish the successful students.
2) There is a lot MORE MATERIAL to master in each course. Last-minute cramming may have worked in high school but it is more often times than not a recipe for failure in university! In university, it is CRITICAL for you to learn as much as possible in every lecture, have a rigorous study schedule, and plan ahead. This is the exact reason why you must build your study habits early. You need to be able to plan and remove distractions, because rest assured, there will be plenty of those!
3) YOU ARE OWN YOUR OWN. University is your next step to the ‘real world’ and what matters is what you produce. To put it abruptly, no one cares what you do with your time or if you even go to class. Although it all sounds intimidating, this is the time to grow your independence and become self-efficient!
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Read the next post (PART II) to find out critical strategies to help you succeed in your first year in university!