Suddenly you are out of high school and ready to plunge into your first year of university! Freshman year is a very exciting and foundational time in your university and job career, yet the transition from high school to college can be overwhelming. It’s essential to have some winner skills and attitudes to make sure that your transition into Freshman year really counts, so read on to get yourself ready!
A successful student should always orient themselves to a new environment and materials before beginning a semester. Before your first day, you can certainly orient yourself to the campus and the curriculum content and tools.
It goes without saying that your university campus may be as much as 20 times bigger than your high school campus. Don’t get lost! An orientation day can help you know where all the key places on campus are, and after that, a refresher on the map will do a world of wonders.
Get your books and class schedules early and look through the table of contents so that you have an idea of what you will be studying in class. Additionally, online learning platforms often supplement the classwork, so be sure to get acquainted with any website or blog or learning platform required. A little time invested at the beginning will save you time and hassle later.
Practice a Balanced, Healthy lifestyle
Science shows that eating and sleeping well, exercising, fresh air and stress-reduction activities can increase mental productivity. Yet nowhere in your life will you be faced with such a variety of unhealthy lifestyle choices as the first year of university. Cafes on campus with sweets and caffeinated drinks, social distractions, alcohol, and bad study habits such as all-night cramming will set you back in the long term if you make them regular habits. If you remember the importance of starting out right, you will set your mind up for success. Juggling finances, chores, other commitments, work, and the school/social life balance is the beginning of adulthood, and it takes practice. Make sure to get the right kind of guidance from a mentor, youtube guru, or yoga instructor. Learning how to maintain balance when you have a multitude of stresses and expectations is worth practicing, as your capacity to take on new challenges in the long term will increase, as will your leadership potential.
Establish a Professional image
What images come to mind when you think of yourself as a freshman? It is possible to be friendly, social and studious, but in order to wear many hats, you’ve got to have your priorities straight. The first year of university is a prime opportunity to practice professionalism. Prioritize meetings with your teachers and academic advisor at least once during the semester. You will learn a lot about each of your teachers outside of school hours by looking at the books on their shelves, plaques on their walls, and advice they impart. In addition, visit the career centre and seek out resources such as career counselling, volunteer opportunities and career fair dates. Also consider joining a club where others are trying to achieve similar academic and professional goals as you.
The bigger your list of responsibilities are, the more important it is to use apps and tools to assist you in staying organized. Using a calendar is essential, and you may want to consider finding apps for transit/commute, time management, goal setting and group project work. Try and streamline, as more apps can often lead to more distractions. And be sure to minimize distractions on your phone. In addition, be sure to practice good note-taking habits, and any time you feel you are not successful at something or have room to improve, reach out and find the tools or advice to help.
One final piece of advice– whether it comes to registration day, internship opportunities, or scholarship applications– do not hesitate. Do everything well ahead of time, because if you wait, it may be too late. The early bird gets the worm, as they say.
Is your child graduating next year? If your child needs extra support to help him or her transition into university, our University Prep Program (UP) has been designed to meet the needs of those students who wish to become familiar with the study methods, writing formats, reading skills, and overall skills necessary to meet success in university.
Please click here to learn more about our program, or give us a call at 604-221-2363.