Welcome to University!
Whether you just graduated from high school (congratulations!) or took a few years off and decided to return (congratulations!), you will come to understand there are many differences between secondary and post-secondary education. A different standard in what is expected of you, a different style of teaching and a different style of learning. It can tough, that first semester... first year... navigating those unknowns. BUT. There are resources at your disposal to help you. In the meantime, here are some stimulating reads that will hopefully make you feel a bit better.
Most university students struggle with time management to some extent, particularly first year students who are transitioning from a stricter high school schedule, to the more unstructured and unsupervised schedule associated with university. It is important to develop strong time management skills early, because once you gain greater control of your time, you are better organized to succeed academically and personally.
The path to success begins with setting goals and finding a way (the specific steps you will take/perform) to reach these goals. By setting specific goals, you are more likely to succeed than by simply trying your best.
The information your professor delivers in class will be the information they use to generate questions for tests and exams. Taking good notes is the first step to being prepared for these assessments and getting the grade you want.
You will do a lot of reading in university... textbook chapters, novels, articles, etc. Behind lecture material, assigned readings are the second source from which your instructors will draw test questions. How you read in university is different than reading let's say... Harry Potter. You want to read actively not passively. Active reading means you are engaged and thinking about the material as you read it. Take a look at the information below to discover how you can improve your reading to become a more effective reader.
Studying and Memory
When you study... you make memories. When you make memories... you learn. It is a process that takes place over time (no last minute cramming now!) Your goal is to learn the material deeply (long-term memory) and create well used pathways in your brain for you to easily access that information during a test or exam.
Test Taking Strategies
You will be required to write tests throughout your degree. And midterms and final exams. [Insert false cheer here.] This section addresses various strategies that will improve your performance on these tests, from what to do when you begin, to multiple choice, to writing essay questions, and what you should do when you finish.
Higher Level Thinking
We are subject to a lot of information. Commercials where companies want us to buy their products. Books whose authors want us to agree with them. Politicians whose views they want us to accept. University teaches us to think at a higher level. At the very foundation of this thinking, we ask questions such as why? What? How? What if? We dissect the information we are fed so we might form our own, well-thought opinions. Higher Level Thinking teaches us to see flaws, bias, and prejudice. Below is some information on the types of higher level thinking, how to do it, and some common mistakes to avoid.
Writing is the primary avenue you will use to communicate your ideas. Speaking, is the secondary avenue. Whether raising your hand in class to ask a question or contribute to the lecture, class discussions, and those dreaded presentations... being able to deliver your thoughts, ideas, and opinions in a clear, confident, and concise manner is important to your success as a student.