Saturday 28 January 2017

Things I learned at University | Raquel


Time Management

One thing I learned that I found to be extremely important was time management. Now I know everyone says this but it is not as easy as you think. For anyone who knows me personally (like Faith) they will say I am super plan pro. I use a combination of a book agenda and my phone to constantly plan everyday. Even then I still found it hard sometimes. There is just no way you have the time to study for everything 100%. You need to learn how to prioritize and be able to study more focused areas, as well as be able to study in a bunch of smaller amounts of time. I found the key to doing this was for example using those 1 hour between class times to do some work instead of being on my phone and or eating during this time. Another thing for me was doing my textbook readings on my way to the campus. It takes me 40 minutes to get to campus which is plenty of time to get through a chapter.

Take Care of Yourself

Again this is another thing that everyone says, but it for sure it probably the most important. If you don't take care of yourself physically and mentally there is no way you can expect you to work or learn at your best. For me that meant taking time out to go to the gym once a week, and to make sure I had one break day per week to just do minimal study and relax. Something to expect is to have distance from your friends, especially if your like me and am an avid studier. I really only saw my few friends that went to my university and even then none of them were in my classes so I just saw them on and off if we went for lunch. I found it really really nice to make new friends at university who are taking similar classes to you. A lot of times you and your friends won't be interested in pursuing the same career, which is fine but finding people who have similar interests is really nice. One thing for me was I always had someone to give me notes if I wasn't able to make it to class, or help me if I was confused. In summary, make time to take care of yourself, and let yourself have a life, school isn't everything.

University is not as Scary as People Tell You

I had heard lots of university stories from people and honestly they freaked me out a lot. At first they even seemed completely true to me, I was having more trouble than I had ever had, I felt like I had no one to help me and I really wasn't sure what to do. However as time passed I made friends who helped me, but I also was able to get into the rhythm of how things worked. I personally think that is the hardest part, is getting use to this weird system that's so different than you're use too. I go to a canadian university and I for sure would say I think university would have been easier if I had gone to a private school. I feel this way purely because it generally better prepares you, but that doesn't mean you can't get good grades in university just because you went to public school. I went to a public school and especially if you take an advance placement program, you are just as prepared. I always thought university would be really hard, but I think it's more that it is fast. Each term is only 3 months, whereas for high school it was more like 5 months. That means you are learning a lot more material and constantly being tested at a continuous pace. However as I said before once you get into the rhythm of it, it really isn't that bad.

There are Lots of Resources

University is definitely different in that its not as easy to just go see your teacher for help, and for me I found it hard to get help with simple things just because I didn't feel it was worthy of asking a professor. However part way through the term I discovered my university's help centers! They have help centers for like every first and second year science and math course as well as tutors (some free) available. I didn't realize how helpful these centers actually are. After I discovered them I went weekly and found my understanding of the courses significantly increased. I personally didn't take a written course but in my university there is also writing tutors available which for when I have to take a written course will for sure come in handy. Away from academic things they also have many different services as well, some even free. Everything from the multiple clubs and groups to things like free counselling and group therapy sessions. I personally have not attended any but I have heard how helpful they can be for some students.

Don't Jump the Gun

My last point of my weird little post is that DO NOT JUMP THE GUN. By this I just mean don't get so crazy excited like me and just buy a bunch of random things you don't need. As I said before I am a crazy  planner so when I was going to university I decided to do a huge supplies shopping. Everything from new binders and ALL my textbooks. I have completely regretted it. I learned that you should always wait until after the first class or two to get your textbooks since sometimes you don't actually require them. That would have saved me some money if I knew that. (Though DO buy your lab books ahead of time). Also yeah I bought waay too many supplies. There are like no assignments or paper anything really so notebooks are really all you need. Maybe one binder too keep some of the papers you get but definitely do buy 4 (*cough* me). Something that did surprise me is that for all the math courses I have had to take all were non-calculator. So yeah its more in sciences that you need calculators. The message of this mess of a rant is maybe don't buy everything you think you need right away, kind of ease into it and see what you actually will need.

That's the end of my weird rant thing, hope you enjoyed it!

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