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 strategies that worked in high school may not be as effective in university. You’ll have an increased workload and you’ll need to work more independently when planning and completing your assignments, doing research for papers, studying for tests, and attending lectures, tutorials and labs. Some courses will have participation marks for attendance, and it will be up to you to ensure you make it to class. Late or missed assignments often lead to academic penalties. This high level of independence is a great opportunity for you to learn more about how you learn best and fine tune your time management skills. While everyone has different needs and preferences here are some suggestions to help you out.
Use calendar software or an old-fashioned paper calendar to plan out your week. Your weeks will vary throughout the year but make sure to consider you’ll need time for:
- class time
- part-time jobs/volunteering
- socializing and entertainment
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.