Getting Started in Your Classes

Top 5 differences between High School and University

  1. Class sizes are often much bigger in university.
  2. Freedom, but responsibility: no one will be making sure you are getting your work done.
  3. Another face in the crowd: Professors don’t go out of their way to get to know you; it’s up to you to make the lasting impression on them.
  4. You are not in Watson, SK. anymore: many students are on their own in a big city and away from family and friends for the first time, which means they have to do their own laundry, grocery shopping, and setting their own curfews (that’s right, curfews!)
  5. You may have classes at opposite ends of campus, right after each other and it may be quite a challenge to get from one to the other and not be late.

5 Reasons to Attend Lectures

  1. Professors hint at what will be on the midterms and finals.
  2. Professors will teach more than what is posted on the online notes, and those extra bits will be tested.
  3. Stay up-to-date on important dates for the class. Exam and paper due dates may change and you’ll only find out if you are at your lectures.
  4. You are exposed to the material in visual and auditory (and kinesthetic if you write the notes out) ways before you start studying. Studies have shown that we remember information better if we use several senses to experience it.
  5. It is an effective use of your time. You will require less time for studying and reviewing outside of class time, which frees up your time for assignments, reading, research, or fun.

Important Information You Get Out Of A Syllabus

  • How to get a hold of your Prof & T.A.
  • Dates for quizzes, midterms, and papers
  • Course objectives (...an outline for your study notes)
  • Textbook names and authors

Top 10 Tips on How to Succeed in University

  1. Attend Lectures

  2. Get started early

    Get going on your readings and assignments ASAP so you have time for fun things along the way and you don’t have to complete everything in a short period of time.

  3. Set goals

    Write down what you would like to accomplish every day, week, month and term. Make these your priorities and acknowledge your accomplishments by checking things off when you complete them.

  4. Make a routine

    Schedule time for classes, studying, shopping, and socializing each week and stick to your time allotments. You will focus on your studies better knowing that you get to have fun later.
    Use the “be here now” technique when you find your mind drifting off. Simply repeat the words to yourself and bring your attention back to the material you are studying.

  5. Get involved

    University isn’t just about getting the marks to get your degree. There are many opportunities to get applicable experience for your future career through volunteering on campus and in the community and through the various clubs and student societies.

  6. Talk to your professors

    They aren’t as scary as they first appear! Most actually like talking to students especially if you talk to them about their field. It’s a great way to find out about career possibilities for you as well as getting great references!

  7. Eat right, exercise, and sleep well

    A healthy, well-rested body allows your brain to work at its best. A well-balanced lifestyle leads to higher efficiency when studying.

  8. Study what interests you & challenge yourself to be interested in what you study

    If you find that the program that you’ve started just isn’t inspiring you, try something else. Many students switch their major a few times before they find the one that suits them best. Make sure you talk to an academic advisor when switching your major to ensure you are taking the appropriate classes for your program of studies.
    You may have to take some classes that aren’t exactly what you are interested in as a requirement of your degree. This is a clever ploy by the university to make you a well rounded person who has been exposed to disciplines and ideas beyond your major. Take advantage of this opportunity to expand your mind and look at these “less interesting subjects” as a chance to show how versatile you really are.

  9. Believe in yourself

    You have been accepted into university, which already means that you are a very intelligent person. You have ability to succeed in university and in life, but you need to believe that you can do it and then take the necessary steps to do it well.

  10. Have fun

    Participate in events and opportunities available at university and enjoy having time to meet new and interesting people. You will likely never have the freedom to do whatever you want again in your life as you do during your undergraduate degree. Make the most of it!