University can be tough. Here are my 5 tips for surviving university:
1. Plan out your weeks at the beginning of the semester
Every professor should be giving you a detailed syllabus at the beginning of the semester with dates for your assignments, midterms, and eventually exams. Spending time to build a calendar to include these dates is so key to our success throughout the semester.
2. Know the weight of each assignment or midterm
The weight of each assignment and midterm in your courses is different. Maybe in our sociology class we have a paper due on Tuesday worth 20% of our final grade, but our psychology midterm is 35% and taken on Wednesday of the same week. Prioritizing your agenda each day so that you spend more time on studying for that midterm is going to make that 35% a lot less daunting after you’ve spent 90% of your Monday and Tuesday writing your paper. We have to be able to focus on what has the most weight and allocate our time—and priorities—appropriately.
3. Practice self-care
This is a word that is now overused in my vocabulary, but unfortunately I had no idea what it meant until my third year of undergrad. We don't function well unless we take time away for ourselves to do something to away from our studies. Take a bubble bath, go for a run, go to a yoga class, grab a tea with a friend. Make sure you make time for yourself or your friends—however you re-energize yourself is key.
4. Catching enough zzz’s
It’s definitely not easy to prioritize sleep, but this is an absolute must. Studies show that sleep has a major impact on our ability to learn and retain information. Having a good night’s sleep as regularly as possible can help us to improve our grades. In fact, a study conducted just this year showed that irregular sleeping patterns directly links to having lower grades and poorer academic performance.
5. Access campus resources
A great way to help yourself learn study skills on things like taking multiple choice tests, writing effective papers, and how to stress less for tests; are all things that can be found for free on your campus. Try looking on your institution's search for "writing help," or "study skills" and see what comes up. I went to the University of Guelph for my undergrad and found the multiple choice test taking workshop in the library so helpful.
These things considered, there are so many other things that can help us to achieve academic success throughout the tough and stressful times of the year. After being a student for eight years myself (unreal, right?!)—I’ve learned a couple tricks along the way. You can now book with me to learn study strategies and skills to help yourself improve your wellbeing to achieve academic success now at Shift.