School is starting up in under a month and I don’t know whether to be excited or sad. On one hand, I love the lectures and learning new things, but I really dislike assignments and midterms. First year was really hard for me but I am determined to make my second year much better. So in honour of my (not so great) first year, here are 5 tips I wish I would’ve followed right from the beginning to ensure my first year ran a little bit smoother.
1. Be Organized
This one sounds really obvious but it’s the one that I find most important. You have to be organized! Here’s the thing, university moves fast, a lot faster than high school. You’re going to have lectures, labs, quizzes and assignments all at the same time, if you can’t stay on top of all the things coming at you, you will get swamped and may forget to do things. Being organized is key because when you have a hundred things coming your way, you’re able to stay on track instead of getting overwhelmed and possibly breaking down. Finding an organization method is difficult but my best advice is to experiment and try different methods, see what others are doing and find what works best for you. (I will be making a separate blog post on how I stay organized, so stay tuned!)
2. Take Notes from Everywhere
Now here is something that took me a really long time to figure out. When I say taking notes, I don’t just mean going to your lecture and copying down the slides your professor has put up and that’s it. I mean taking notes from everywhere. Most of my professors expected us to write our own notes from our textbooks and the extra readings they gave us. Then during the actual lecture they would expand on those notes and gives us additional information. There’s a reason professor assign textbooks and extra readings, they can only cover so much in a lecture so it’s up to you to make sure you have the maximum amount of information available to you.
I must admit, I’m still really bad at studying. I haven’t truly figured out how to sit down with all my notes and go over all of their content to make sure I am ready for a quiz/test/midterm. I think the main reason for that is because all of my classes require different types of study methods. For example, my Introduction to Business class had no actual homework. You were expected to go over the readings and do random mini quizzes each week based on those readings, whereas in my Business Math class I had homework questions to do every night after the lecture. Every class is different and so is how you study for it. It’s okay if you don’t get the whole studying thing down in one go, but you have to stick with it and try and do your best. I truly believe that when it comes to studying you get back 100% of the effort you put it in.
4. Talk to Someone
If adjustments are hard for you (they definitely are for me), then there may be times where you feel like you’re drowning and you don’t know what’s going on. It’s okay. First year for me was a whirlwind and it took me a long time to realize that I really needed to talk to somebody about what was going on in my life and how I was truly feeling about my adjustment. I talked to my sisters and my friends but I still felt stuck. That’s when I realized I was in a situation that wouldn’t magically fix itself. So I went on my university’s website and did some research. Most university’s acknowledge that first year students have a hard time so they make many resources available for students to reach out to. Over the course of my first year, I met up with three 4th year students (who were all apart of university groups designed to help first year students) that helped me with my adjustment, with school work, my feelings and many other things. I also talked to two program counsellors and one therapist. All of the amazing people I talked to truly helped me adjust to first year. You may only need to talk to one person or you may need to talk to fifteen different people, do what’s best for you. If you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, try and reach out and talk to someone, it may help you more than you think.
5. Take a Break
Taking a break is hard, especially when you have assignments to do and midterms to study for. I get it, school is important and you’re paying lots of money for it, but you can’t sit and do homework all day or you’ll just be miserable. Try and take a break once in a while and enjoy yourself. Whether that means going outside for a walk, watching Netflix or hanging out with your friends. Have some fun and don’t feel guilty! Grades and school are important but so is your wellbeing.
I hope these tips help some of you. Thank you and lots of love.
<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/19064795/?claim=emgd6rzehen”> Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>