In many ways, your university studies will be a continuation of what you did in high school. There will be some adjustments to make, however, as you may find that some of the methods that worked for you in high school may not be as effective in university. You’ll have an increased workload and you’ll find that greater responsibility is placed on you to acquire your education by planning and completing your assignments, doing independent research and attending lectures, tutorials and labs. If you don’t show up for classes, or fail to turn in an assignment, “the office” will not phone your home to check up on you. This freedom is generally a positive thing, something you’re ready for, but it can take some getting used to. It may impact your academics if you haven’t learned how to manage your time effectively.
Take Control of Your Time
Take stock of your week. Each week has 168 hours and you should learn how to effectively plan this time.
Make sure to assign time for:
- sleeping (56 hours),
- eating (17 hours),
- travelling/commuting (10 hours),
- class time (15–20 hours, depending on the type of courses you are in),
This still leaves close to 60 hours for other activities. This should allow enough time for studying and extra- curricular/part-time job commitments. For each hour of class, you should allow approximately 2–3 hours of study time.
Know Your Timetable
Make up a weekly timetable:
- Fill in lectures, tutorials, labs, part-time job hours.
- Fill in your planned study time.
Create a Term Timetable
- Know your course requirements (usually outlined by the instructor in the first week of classes).
- You will find that your courses tend to have tests, assignments, etc., scheduled in roughly the same weeks in the school year. Properly pacing your study time is vital.
- Work back from your deadlines and plan when you will do what.
Find Out about Campus Services and Other Resources
There are many sources of help on campus—e.g., Writing Centres, Math Aid centres, the Academic Success Centre, and the Registrar’s Office. Don’t be shy about seeking help.