June 7, 2011

Hello almost-first years! This is such an exciting and nerve-racking time,trust me, I know. It seems like only yesterday I was venturing towards my first year of excitement (not that second year isn't exciting, but you'll soon understand what I mean). I don't know about you, but starting university seemed like a massive step (more like a leap)! High-school is oh-so-yesterday and it's time to start growing up, becoming more independant, study like you've never studied before and meet so many new people!

After successfully completing first year, I have come up with 5 key tips and tricks to have a smooth transition from high school to university life.

(1) Check out your classes before hand - and not just once!
Trust me; knowing where you will be going on your first day is crucial. There are tons of people and there are still events going on around campus for the Week of Welcome. If you know your way around ahead of time you will be far less stressed about getting to your classes on time - and of course, getting to the right room. It is also helpful to make a couple trips out to your classes. Get familiar with routes, Starbucks locations (haha) and all the campus bookstores. Not to mention your go-to destinations such as the library, the caf (or the "Hub" as we like to call it) and of course the Student Campus Centre on Gould Street.

(2) Don't be afriad of Professors! They ARE there to help.
I know a lot of people in high school may have told you that "your professors don't care" or "they don't talk to students outside of class". Those kinds of things were definitely the stigma in my high school. But, if you need help or just want to discuss the lecture that just passed or the one coming up next week, - GO! They have office hours for a reason and are more then happy to hear from you! Of course, it's not manditory, but definitly a good idea. Plus, it shows you really care about what you're learning about!

(3) Go to the events. Seriously, go.
Not only are they fun, they are a great way to get involved within your school community! The Ryerson Students' Union (RSU) holds many innovative events year round. If you are a communter, like I was, then you definitely want to check these out! It provides the opportunity to meet new people and have a blast while doing it!

(4) Attend you classes (even the tutorials).
I know, I know, this sounds pretty basic... obviously you are going to go to classes and tutorials. But you will see how much that 'independance' thing may get to you. You no longer have Mom and Dad making you go to school everyday (well, maybe...) but you don't have secretaries telling you to sit down by the VP's office becasue this is your 10th late slip or 10th skip. Missing lectures and tutorials will show in your marks, and if your GPA isn't high enough, you don't have Mom and Dad to bail you out of trouble. You get kicked out, simple as that. You're paying for it - so make the effort to do well and succeed!

(5) Time Management.
This is crucial! If there is something you take away from this, it should be that time management is a MASSIVE part of your education. Not only will you have more work to do, but you have to do it all on your own time. You don't get time during class to read the chapter that is being taught in the lecture you are currently in. You need to complete the readings beforehand and afterwards! They aren't all boring either, so get into what you're learning about! Like I said above, you are paying for it! You might as well enjoy it.

Hopefully the list above is enough to get your foot in the door (so to speak) for universtiy life. This is going to be a brand new and thrilling time in your life, so enjoy! Have fun and study hard! See you on campus!


2nd year, Arts and Contemporary Studies


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