…and I’m really looking forward to it. This year is my final year of my undergrad, which is incredibly exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. There’s a number of things in the works for my final year that I’ll post about soon, but it’ll be one for the books for sure.
However, as a fourth year or senior at university, I figured I’d share some of my tips for those starting or returning to university. So, without further ado, here’s some of my advice for university:
- Don’t be afraid to try something new. Some of the best experiences I’ve had on campus have occurred because I took a leap of faith and signed myself up for activities. You may not be able to do everything, but try to get out there and do things so you have fewer “I should’ve done (x)” moments later on.
- Be open to meeting new people. It’s very easy to continue the mentality from high school that you’ll only click with certain people. I would encourage you to be open to making friends through classes, extracurriculars, or just someone you constantly run into on campus. They might just teach you some of the most important lessons during your school years.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I was like most frosh, where the last thing I wanted to do was show up to office hours and ask for help from my professors. However, I’ve learned by now that taking the time to ask the questions you have about coursework or just popping by for a quick chat with your professors can be incredibly helpful and open up new opportunities.
- Not succeeding at everything is okay. If you have to redo a course, get a bad mark on an assignment, or fail at something else during university, it’s alright. We aren’t all perfect, and sometimes circumstances in our lives can mess things up. However, the best thing to do after not succeeding is to pick yourself back up and have a game plan to make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
- Don’t be afraid to leave home. Moving somewhere completely different can be daunting after living your life in one place and having all your friends and family there. In my experience, there are ups and downs to going away to university, but I’ve been able to learn a lot more about myself by changing my environment completely. So, don’t be afraid to make that first step in leaving home.
- Get off campus. As tempting and easy as it is to always be on campus, give yourself a break from it sometimes. Sometimes you need a different perspective in order to find some peace during the hectic life at university. Plus, it’s a chance to either experience living in your own place or to explore where you’re going to university a bit more.
- Remember what you’re here for. While some of my advice is to experience the most of your years at university, remember you’re in school to study. It’s not worth paying a lot of money, all the long nights, and hours in class if you don’t get the degree at the end of the line. So, keep that mind when you’re really tempted to binge watch some Netflix instead of studying for an exam worth 40% of your final class mark.
I hope that this helps those embarking or continuing on the path of post-secondary education this year. Please pass this along to any students you know, and if you have any advice that you’d like to share, please leave a comment on this post!
Have a great school year!
I think that being an adult means you always have a couple of worries in the back of your mind. I’m sure at any point I’m worrying about work, school, the future, etc as background noise.
What I’m currently worrying about is mostly school related. I have to choose my courses fairly soon for my 4th year, which means spending a few hours sighing exasperatedly over the course timetable. It’s really hard to juggle two majors with two sets of requirements when they like to schedule things at similar times.
The other school related worry I have right now is to do with pursuing a Masters degree. I’ve been doing research about grad schools and programs recently, which is always stressful. At this point, I’m fairly certain university websites are supposed to be confusing and send you down several rabbit holes until you find the information you actually need.
However, even if I’m worrying about school, I know it will all turn out for the best in the end. After all, I’ve got a few years of university under my belt, and a great support system that will help me with whatever I need.
Are you worried about anything at the moment? Drop me a comment, and I might be able to give you some advice!
It was definitely hard to choose just one thing I’m excited for, since there are a lot of exciting things going on in my life.
But, the thing I’m most excited for right now is graduating university next year and finishing my first degree.
It’s more than just getting a piece of paper with my name on it that’s exciting. It’s also knowing that all the hard work and late nights that I’ve put into studying have paid off, and hopefully my good marks will be recognized as well. Finishing a degree is no small feat, so it’ll be nice to know I made it through the four years.
I’m also excited to get my X-ring this December. Having seen some friends get theirs this last year, I’m looking forward to getting mine even more. Of course, it might seem a bit frivolous to put so much importance on a gold ring, but it really is a symbol of how much St.F.X. becomes a sort of family.
Graduating is exciting as well because it means that I get to start a new chapter in my life. It’s both slightly terrifying and really exciting to decide where I’ll go next, and what I’ll do next. I do have a couple of plans in the works, but I’m ready to face the unknown of post-grad life.
I’m really looking forward to the next year of university, and the X-ring and degree that I’ll get during it. I’m definitely going to try and make the most of every moment I have left on campus so this last year is unforgettable.
What are you guys excited for? Leave me a comment down below!
So as my third year of university wraps up, I decided to share some of the pictures I’ve been taking during it. Hope you enjoy them, and if you’d like to know some of the stories behind the photos, please comment below!
This post is part of a series on how to survive a university course. You can read the other posts here.
When it comes to midterms and finals, studying for them can be quite stressful. Since it is that time of year when exams are creeping up, I figured I would share some of my tips.
So, without further ado, here are my tips for studying for exams and midterms:
- Study!!! Don’t go completely blind into exam or midterm, at the very least look over your notes a few times.
- If you get any topics for essays or exams beforehand, prepare them well. It’ll give you more time to focus on writing instead of content, and might give you more time to go over the exam at the end to catch any mistakes.
- Know when and where your exams are since they might be in different places or times than the class is. As well, most universities release exam schedules pretty early, so keep out an eye for any changes too.
- Know what you can and can’t bring to exams. Your prof will tell you in class usually what they will allow you to bring into the exam, including cheat sheets or books. Most universities should also post what you’re allowed in exams on campus or online.
- Make sure you get some sleep, are eating well, are exercising, and stay healthy during midterms and finals. Neglecting any of these things can drastically affect how well you perform on your exams.
- Go to the exam review or midterm review for your classes. You can ask any questions about content you have, and profs sometimes give hints about things that will appear on exams. If you can’t make the review, ask friends in class for information or go to the prof’s office hours.
- Find a friend to study with! Sometimes it’s better to study with another person so they can catch what you’re missing in the content or so you can brainstorm ideas.
- Remember to take breaks. Studying for hours on end is not productive, so take a little walk or watch an episode of your favorite show every now and then.
- Have some confidence in yourself. Remember to take a deep breath, tell yourself you’ve studied and worked hard, and that you’re going to kick this exam’s butt.
- Look at your marks if you can before going into the exam. Knowing how you’re doing so far in the course and the weight of your exams or midterms is always a good thing and can give you some peace of mind.
- If you’re really worried about exams, there may be some tutors or free courses on campus that can help you out. Don’t be afraid to ask upper year students or profs what resources they recommend as well!
What are some of your study tips for midterms and exams? Leave them in the comments below!
As you know, I’m writing for my university’s newspaper this year, which is partially why I’m not writing on here as much. I’m a staff writer, which means I’ve been writing an article for each issue of the newspaper.
I figured to make up for the lack of posts on here, I’d make a master post of all my newspaper articles so that you can read them when the blog is quiet. A quick word of warning; since I write for my university’s newspaper, the articles are geared more towards those that go to or have gone to my university. However, I hope my articles are relevant to any university students out there.
Also, it should go without saying, that all the articles belong to the Xaverian Weekly, and not to myself personally. They have all been edited and reviewed by my fantastic editors and the co-editors-in-chief (round of applause for all the hard work they do).
So, without further ado, here are links to my articles I’ve written so far!
This post is part of a series about surviving a university course. You can find the rest of the posts here.
Since the busy crunch time is coming up for most university students, I figured I’d share a few of my study tips to help make it more manageable.
So, without further ado, here they are!
- Make your notes work for your learning style. Rewrite them, highlight them, draw giant information webs, whatever works best for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different methods!
- Don’t over study, since it can be just as bad as understudying. This is when it’s crucial to know if your professor only needs you to know certain course material, or if you’re expected to know everything from the course and more.
- Have a good study space or workspace. Either off or on campus, find a quiet space that lets you get your work done with the least distractions.
- Take breaks and reward yourself during long study sessions. No matter if it’s a walk, stretching, a food or coffee break, it’ll help you retain facts in the long run.
- Eat and drink things to keep you going during study time. Hopefully, you choose healthy food, but sometimes you need some chocolate or comfort food.
- Keep your things organized to make studying easier and avoid losing important papers. If you take a few minutes every day to put papers from class where they belong, you’ll be so much better off for the stressful times of the semester.
- Find an interactive way to study. Flash cards, fill-in-the-blanks, or practice tests are very useful. Remember, studying with friends might be interactive if you’re quizzing each other, but it can be distracting as well.
- Try to limit distractions like texting, social media, and Netflix. Study times should be only study time. I also recommend listening to instrumental music so you’re not distracted by lyrics in songs.
- Take a night off every once and a while to charge your batteries. You’ll need it later during the semester, and going out or some Netflix is good for you.
What are your best study tips to succeed in university? Leave them down below!
This is part of a series of posts about surviving a university course. You can find the first two posts here.
As the semester progresses, it can sometimes be a bit of juggling act to get everything done, and done well. Not to mention, early classes start to feel even earlier as the semester progresses…
Here are some of my tips for things you should try and do during the semester so that things go as smoothly as possible!
- Try to be on time and with all your materials. Don’t be that annoying constantly late person or pen borrower.
- Come to class with a mindset to work. Even if you don’t really like the course, you’ll get more out of it if you put in an effort.
- Take notes! Even if they’re messy, they might contain an important test answer later on.
- Do your assignments, on time preferably. That way you’ll know the material better and you won’t lose marks for handing things in late. If you do need an extension for any reason, try to ask for one sooner rather than later from your prof.
- If you miss a class, try to get notes from friends to catch up. Only ask your prof for notes if you missed a lot of classes or have tried friends and online notes first.
- GO TO OFFICE HOURS. Your prof is there to help you with questions or to help you out with assignments. Plus if they know you, it’ll be easier to ask for references or extensions later on.
- Try to keep up with course material. You’ll probably fall a bit behind at some point, but try your best to keep up or set aside time to catch up if you’re really behind.
- Keep an eye on your grades so you know how you’re doing. This will help you going into midterms or finals and with deciding if you might want to drop a course.
- If your course load is too heavy or you’re doing really badly in a course, don’t be afraid to drop classes. However, it’s better to decide that before course drop deadlines.
- Take a break. Sometimes, the best thing to do when you’re overwhelmed by work is to take a hour or two for yourself. An episode of your favourite series or a nap might be the special ingredient to boost your productivity sky high.
What do you guys do during the semester to keep your grades up? Leave a comment down below!
This post is a continuation of surviving a university course series. You can find the first post here, and more posts about university here.
Congratulations! You’ve managed to register for courses, and now that you’re all moved in, it’s time for the first day of class. But before you go to your first class, here are the things you should remember to do:
- Find out what textbooks you’ll need for each course. However, unless you’re 100% sure they won’t get changed by the prof, wait until after the first class to buy them.
- Get your university ID and any paperwork you need to do before the first day.
- Find out where your classes are on campus. Especially if you’re in first year or new to campus, find time to explore your campus to get a sense of where things are.
- Buy school supplies! Find yourself some cute notebooks, binders, and lots of writing supplies. And, if you’re using a laptop, get all the tech gear you’ll need for the year.
- Get everything ready the night before the first day of class, and get a good nights rest to have plenty of energy for it.
Since you’ve got all the prep work done for the first day of class, here’s what you should do when it actually arrives:
- Get to classes a bit early, to find a good seat for your learning needs.
- Listen very carefully to the syllabus. Profs usually go over important deadlines, textbook information, and mark breakdown the first class.
- Introduce yourself to some of your seatmates or classmates. Making friends in class will save your grades later during crunch time.
- Ask questions if you have any! It’ll help you be clear on class expectations and might help you decide if you want to stay in the class.
- Go and buy your textbooks after your first classes. There are usually textbook buy and sell groups on Facebook as well, so you might be able to get your textbooks for cheaper.
- Put all the important dates for assignments and tests in your calendar, as well as professor contact information and office hours. I really like using the iStudiez Pro app for this, since it also allows you to track marks.
What do you guys do to prepare for the first day of class? Let me know down below!
Since it’s that time of year when I start wearing a backpack everywhere, I decided to make a post on what I keep in it!
So, without further ado, here’s what I keep in my backpack!
- A pencil case full of beautiful pens. I love having a lot of different coloured and fancy pens since I write a lot. I’d also recommend keeping pencils, highlighters, a USB, and sticky notes in your pencil case.
- A water bottle, full to the brim. It never ever hurts to be hydrated! And, if you’re not so keen on plain water, grab something like MiO to mix in.
- My laptop or tablet! Since I’m writing for the school paper this year, having either is essential for writing and research. I recommend anyone looking for a laptop to get something compatible with the software the campus uses, and something that’s lightweight.
- Snacks! When the study sessions or back to back classes prevent you from running to meal hall, these will save you. Try and take healthy items as well!
- Notebooks, the three subject ones from Hilroy. I carry these around for notes, as I learn things better from lectures when I write them down.
- A power bank, or phone chargers. Somehow either my iPod or phone always starts dying, so I carry around a power bank with small charging cables for both of my devices. It’s also useful if your university campus is short on power outlets.
- A jacket or a sweater. Study spaces have a magical ability to be too warm or too cold, so it’s best to have an extra layer. Plus, with wacky weather in Canada, a jacket is always a good idea.
- Pins or anything to decorate your backpack. I’m a huge fan of putting far too many fandom pins on my backpack to stand out from the crowd. Why have the same backpack as everyone else when you can have the Tardis on yours?
- My textbooks as needed. I don’t usually carry around textbooks, just since mine are usually as heavy as bricks. I will carry around small novels for classes, like Frankenstein or the Book Thief.
- Some money or my wallet. Chances are, I’ll make a food or coffee run, so it’s best to be prepared for those breaks.
What do you guys keep in your backpack that I’ve missed? Let me know down below!