The Mentorship Spot
University: How To Be Successful
By Julia Sergi
At first, the academic leap from highschool to university may seem large and intimidating. Throughout high school, teachers always said, ‘it will not be this easy in university’ and to ‘be prepared for your average to drop’. I will admit, this was very intimidating. But a few months into my university experience, this thought completely left my mind as I created a routine that helped me achieve academic success.
The most important aspect to doing well in university is staying organized and avoiding procrastination. The semester is much shorter in university than in high school, which becomes quickly apparent as midterms and final exams begin to pile up out of nowhere. It is important to keep yourself organized to prevent work from piling up. Personally, I use a day planner and a calendar. A 4-month calendar matches the time period of the semester, so it is a great way to list out exam and assignment due dates as soon as you become aware of them. This provides a constant visual reminder of when something is due and gives you a rough estimate of when you want to begin studying or starting the assignment. The time you dedicate to each task will be dictated by other commitments and events that you have going on and the difficulty of the task itself. In addition to my calendar, I use a day planner because I like to plan my week out in advance, listing items that I would like to accomplish each day. It’s also satisfying to cross things off the to-do list!
My next piece of advice would be to find balance in your academics. In first year, I studied a lot, potentially even too much. On the other hand, I know people who didn’t study at all and never even picked up their textbooks. I would not recommend either of these strategies. University is a lot of work and it can be stressful, but you need to make time for studying as well as taking care of yourself. Allocate time to catch up on classes, but also allocate time to do something that you enjoy. It’s all about moderation. If you are able to find the ideal ratio of studying and leisure time, you are on the right track for success!
My last piece of advice would be to ask for help when you need it. This can be scary and intimidating at first, but you will be so glad that you did it. Whether it be from someone in your class, a TA or even your professor, it is always best to ask for help than to struggle with a task in silence. Your success is in your hands and your grades don’t have to drop if you don’t allow them to. University is not as scary as high school teachers make it out to be - if you put in the work, the results will show!
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