Can you believe that we’re just a couple days away from starting the new semester? I’m so ready for class to start, and I want you to be ready too! So I wrote down three simple tips that should help you hit the ground running this year. These are tips that I wish someone had given me when I started my first year, and if you follow them you will be far better off than I was!
First, get at least some of your textbooks early and get acquainted with them. I bought two of my textbooks last week and I’ve already started reading them. If you have a full course load it is easy to fall behind on readings later on in the semester, so I like to get ahead whenever I get the chance. I just found out that a friend of mine emailed her prof to find out which of the readings they were starting first so she could get started. What a great idea! I suspect that most profs would be supportive of such enthusiasm for the course.
The second one is a SUPER important tip: get a calendar. Most computers have a calendar template so you can print one off for free. Then as soon as you get home from your first day of class, bring out your syllabus for each class and write out EVERY deadline onto your calendar. It really helps you keep track of what’s due and when so you can properly prioritize your time. I didn’t do this for my first year and I actually ended up missing a midterm – the prof let me make up for it by doing an extra assignment. But believe me, that is an embarrassment you want to avoid at all costs.
Along the same lines, get a piece of paper and write down the hours for the Testing Centre. Some tests and midterms (like the one I missed in my first year) are conducted on your own time in the Testing Centre. You typically have a few days to go in and do the test. But if for some reason it’s left to the last minute, you need to know when the Testing Centre closes so that you don’t get there with ten minutes to spare. I have heard of that happening to some people, and if you don’t plan right it is really easy to end up missing an exam. It’s worth it to write the hours down and put it on your fridge or next to your calendar. The hours can be found here: http://fusion.uleth.ca/crdc/testcenter/testcenter_student_info.htm.
Enjoy your first week of classes! Maybe I’ll see you in the halls.