The first year of university is difficult for most student’s, mainly because the workload is heavier than we are used to and expecting. This can be extremely stressful and scary. At times it can even lead to burn out! With all this being said, I’ve made a short list with a few things that I wish someone had told me before starting my first year:
- Be ready before class. When I say this, I don’t mean that you need to understand everything 100% before going to class (if you do, that’s great!), but even just going over the assigned readings and making sure you note down what you find confusing so that you can ask questions during lectures will make a great difference!
- Ask Questions! I know raising your hand and asking questions in front of another 100+ students can be scary, but trust me when I say that asking questions on stuff you don’t understand is extremely important. If you don’t want to raise your hand you can always set up an appointment with your professor, go to office hours or even send out an email!
- Do not procrastinate. Believe me when I say that starting projects and assignments the day that they are assigned is the best habit to have! Things start to pile up very quickly and if you’re in the habit of getting things done early, the workload will seem much lighter!
- Make friends in your program. These people will be taking many of the same classes as you and having someone else to study with or even discuss difficult topics with can be extremely helpful!
- Do not overload yourself. By this I am referring to both work and extracurriculars! Do not take on too much at once, make sure you are comfortable with the workload and are getting the grades you want before picking up more work shifts or extracurricular activities!
- Don’t compare yourself to others! Comparing your grades or how much you’re doing to what other students are accomplishing can be so harmful to one’s mental health! Focus on yourself and your own accomplishments, because believe me when I say that everyone is struggling to adjust during their first year, even if they say they are not!