Freshman Prep: Getting Ready for University
Post-secondary is a big step, and definitely a big change from high school – which is why it’s more important than ever that you start your first year prepared and ready to learn. The transition to university can be daunting, but you can bridge the gap by putting in a little extra work before your first day of class. Whether you’ve been planning all summer or are just getting started, it’s never too late to get in the right mindset for another productive and successful year.
Here are some things you can do to prepare for your first year in university:
Get to know your routine.
You’re going to need to revise some of your old habits to adjust to a brand-new university schedule. Maybe you have night classes, or have to factor in travel time to and from class as a commuter student. Maybe you have to make sure you grab lunch between lectures, or figure out just where that seminar is being held each week. Get out an agenda and write out a weekly schedule (include study time, meal breaks and whatever else you think might come up). Once classes start, you can revise your ready-made schedule as needed to suit your new routine.
Refresh your memory.
Chances are you’re taking some courses you’ve already completed the high school prerequisites for – and chances are you may have forgotten a couple of things over the summer. It never hurts to crack open your old schoolbooks and review previous material. Try some of those old algebra problems, or see if you can remember how to conjugate a few French tenses. You may be just a bit out of practice: consider making some review notes to bring to your lectures in the fall if you really feel you need the help.
Do your research.
You chose this university for a reason (and are paying hefty tuition fees for it!), so why not make the most out of your experience? Check out events happening on campus, clubs that fall in line with your interests or upperclassmen who can offer a second opinion about the school’s programs. Got some tough classes? See if you can contact your professors and shoot them an email about how to prepare for the semester ahead. Most importantly, make sure you’re on the mailing list for any newsletters your school sends out (whether they’re for academics, events, sports, etc.) – that way you’ll always be in the loop.
University is a difficult transition for most, but if you get yourself properly ready for it your first year might go over easier than you expected. Keep these tips in mind and show up for your first class confident and prepared for what lies ahead. Let’s make this your best year yet.