Transitioning to College

Starting College or University is a big change. Luckily, there are some handy tips that can help you cope with your first few months.

  • Remember, while you may never be the best, you are awesome at a combination of things that is totally unique to you.
  • Your friends still love you, and although university is a time for exploration and change, they are still your friends.
  • Schools are full of resources but don’t advertise them well. Find the resources (many of which are free of charge).
  • Remember who you are and who you want to be. Change is fine, as long as you become someone you want to be.
  • Make new friends! You will get to meet these amazing new people, but don’t forget those back home!
  • Study! Classes might be optional, but you need to prep yourself for the increasing workload.
  • Get involved; it’s a great way to meet people who share your interests (and who will make fast friends).
  • Don’t forget to take care of yourself! An A average isn’t good if it lands you in a hospital. Take the time to relax.
  • If someone brings more negativity to your life, it might be time to have a little chat with them or cut them out of your life.
  • Study with someone. It gives you someone to compete with. If they read ahead, you'll want to beat them.
  • Don't overdo it. There are lots of things to do when you start school but know how many is too many.
  • Set three levels of priorities: things I must do, should do (but it can wait) and ones that can wait indefinitely.
  • Start off the semester by making a huge calendar featuring all your due dates and the value of assignments.
  • Allot about two hours of study for each hour of class. That works out to six hours of study per course, per week.
  • Look to the future. If you have a test coming up, you should know about it and be prepping weeks in advance.
  • Schedule yourself time for review and to add to your notes as soon after a lecture as possible.
  • Look for apps to help you. Transit, time management, course directories-- you'll be surprised what your options are.
  • Keep applying for scholarships. Just because you've started doesn't mean you can't get some help along the way.
  • Take short breaks from studying whenever you need them (and even when you think you don't). Plan for them.
  • Visit your discipline librarian. They were trained for exactly what you're studying and can save you a ton of time.
  • Check out academic support options. Even if you just need an editor you can trust, they can help!
  • Time your breaks. If you need 15 minutes to rest your mind, set your phone to notify you when they're up.
  • Take advantage of the gym on campus (if you have one). Move your body and your mind will be more productive.
  • Don't let yourself start skipping classes. Once you start doing so, it can be nearly impossible to stop.
  • Pace yourself, especially if you're working and going to school. Take a lighter course load if you have the option.
  • Talk to an academic advisor about your graduation requirements so you're not missing something last semester.
  • Take courses based on what you want to specialize in, not just what will be easy or fun.
  • Sign up for one more class per semester than you need. After the first week, drop the one you find the least engaging.
  • Look up your professors online. See what their teaching and grading is like before you commit to a course with them.
  • It's okay to be nervous but don't fear starting school. It’s different and it’s big, but it’s waiting for you to conquer it.