10 Tips for First Year University Students

By StudentAwards

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The following tips, originally posted at StudentAwards Conversations, were contributed by students in our membership.



1.  Don't Overcommit

Start with school and a couple ECs. Add more if you have the time for it but don't start September with school, 10 ECs and a job. (posted by: inthemaking)

2.  Buy Used Textbooks

Buy used textbooks (from previous students…) or find them online for free (Google Scholar, torrents, etc). (posted by: inthemaking)

3.  Drag Yourself to Class

Yes, some profs post all of their notes online (although most of my profs only included outlines, you actually had to go to class to get the full notes) and yes, you can get notes from your friends/classmates. But reading the notes is not the same as actually going to class. Many profs will give subtle hints about what they will test in exams during class. For example, if a prof repeats something several times, you can bet it is important, and will likely show up on the exam. Similarly, you can often pick up on a prof's body language, as to what they consider important. Those types of things you can't get from notes. Other profs will do more examples of problems in class than will appear in the posted notes. (posted by: CatRunner)

4.  Take Notes

If you have profs that post notes online, I recommend printing them and writing over them during lectures. (posted by: aimango)

Review the lecture notes that you have made. It doesn't have to be right after, but try and do it before you have the next lecture for the particular classes. (posted by: MargaretClaire)

5.  Find Someone Worse Off Than You Are

I teach prep sessions … I tell my students that they should find a friend who's in the same class as they are and who is horribly horrible screwed for the test and say "hey, let's study together". The friend who is screwed will probably have lots and lots of questions. And your success (or not) in explaining them will be a good indication of how well you understand the material. (posted by: jplank)

6.  Don't Wait

As soon as you feel yourself falling behind, do something about it immediately. Reread lecture notes, ask a friend, read the textbook, do extra practice, go to office hours/tutorials etc. Don't wait till right before the midterm/exam to deal with it. (posted by: inthemaking)

7.  Beware of the Lost Hours

Try not to schedule 1 hour breaks in between classes (too little time to go home but not enough time to actually do anything productive unless it's for a lunch break). Better to get them done all at once (but not more than 3-4 consecutive classes) or have bigger breaks in between. (posted by: inthemaking)

8.  Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Make use of all the services that your university offers. Most universities have centres that help students with time management, study skills, writing skills, etc. Make use of these resources! (posted by: CatRunner)

9.  Sleep

Make sure you get the hours you need, and set a consistent time to wake up every day to maintain a routine. It will keep your energy up so you can get more out of your studying and classes. This can be really challenging in rez, where a lot of people stay up past 2 most nights, but you've got to do what's best for your health and school. (posted by: freebird)

10. Don't Live on Junk Food

Try to eat healthy, even if you are living in rez. It can be tough, but it will help you to stay healthy and give you energy for all your studies. Also try to get some exercise in - schedule it in like anything else. That will also help keep you healthy and energized. (posted by: CatRunner)

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JohnFarrell wrote: This is a good list of advice for the upcoming university freshmen out there. But before doing these advices, upcoming freshmen need first to know there universities to enroll to. Here are some of the university profiles: http://www.studentportals.net/category/university-profiles/

Posted by JohnFarrell on Jan. 19, 2014 at 10:09AM

hbiruk wrote: that was very useful advise thanks

Posted by hbiruk on Nov. 08, 2013 at 02:33AM

hbiruk wrote: that was very useful advise thanks

Posted by hbiruk on Nov. 08, 2013 at 02:15AM

toby123 wrote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6T2JojACqQ

Short Youtube video with advice for starting uni, from 2 students! Very helpful :)

Posted by toby123 on Sep. 10, 2013 at 07:30AM

FirstYearUniversitydotCom wrote: These are some great advice to help first year students thrive, not just survive in their first year at university! The main thing I would like to add is to make sure to keep things balanced with this formula: 1 part fun, but 2 parts school! ;)

Posted by FirstYearUniversitydotCom on Dec. 05, 2012 at 11:32PM

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