Heading off to university is a really exciting (and scary) process. However, with a few tips and tricks, you’ll be on the right track to a smooth transition. Keep reading for 20 tips for frosh at the University of Alberta!
1. Do your research.
Talk to friends, peers, or check out ratemyprofessors.com to choose good professors. For consolidated classes, it doesn’t matter which lecture you sit in, but for the non-consolidated ones, having a good professor will save your life, a.k.a. your GPA!
2. Get organized.
This is not high-school anymore, and frankly, professors do not care if you don’t submit your assignments on time. There are no extensions (with some exceptions). Buy an organizer, use an app, do whatever it takes for you to know when assignments are due.
3. Too much socializing = bad grades.
Balance is key.
4. ALWAYS back up your files.
5. See how your first semester goes before you consider getting a job.
6. Make study groups that have 3 to 4 members.
More than that will become a social event. For group assignments/labs, pick your group members or lab partners wisely.
7. Ask for help when you need it.
There are people willing to help you with anything. All you have to do is ask. If you ever feel alone, or just wanna talk to somebody, just say hi! Everyone on campus is very friendly, and will make you feel more comfortable.
8. Find the ideal place for you to study.
It may be a cozy corner of the library, but find a place that works best for you to get your work done. A little afternoon nap never hurt nobody!
9. ALWAYS have at least one person to contact from each of your classes.
It’s so important to have a person that you can trust to provide you with class notes in case you get sick or an emergency comes up.
10. University is all about learning.
Procrastination and cramming are no-gos, so plan ahead. Give yourself deadlines, and stick to them. Also, don’t EVER think about copying assignments from anyone. It might seem like a small thing, but the consequences are serious. Your profs will tell you more about this on the first day of classes.
11. Coffee is a lifesaver. But don’t get addicted.
Know your limits. Have a cup every day or two, but don’t go ham.
12. Work out!
Exercising reduces stress, and makes you feel more confident about yourself. In all that studying, don’t forget to give yourself some time to relax and breathe. Try and get 7 or more hours of sleep every day, even before exams.
13. Get involved on campus.
There are more than 100 student groups and clubs on our campus, the more people you know, the merrier you will be!
14. Go to all orientations.
Your student group leader will give you tips and show you shortcuts to get from one place to another. These shortcuts will become crucial in winter, so pay attention! You will also meet some of your future classmates.
15. Be confident, get out of your comfort zone, and try new things.
University is the greatest opportunity you’ll ever have for personal development.
16. Take smart notes.
Find a note-taking system that works well for you, and focus on learning rather than simply recording the information with your phone.
17. Find out when you can register for classes and do it ASAP.
You’ll thank yourself later when your friends are stuck with bad profs.
18. Buy discounted textbooks.
Ask your professor before buying any, for most courses. Buying the older edition usually will not make a difference, and most professors will be okay with it. You can go on the SU registry to look for old books, or join the Facebook group “U of A Used Books for Sale.” Used textbooks are much cheaper and can sometimes save you upwards of $100, which is great compared to buying a brand new textbook. There are a lot of Facebook groups, so join the ones you find useful. This is also a really great site to find discounted textbooks!
19. You will most likely find your first semester overwhelming.
Don’t worry, everyone does. High school to university is a big leap. You don’t know what to expect on exams, or the level of difficulty in general. So know that if you get a bad grade, it does not mean that you are dumb or stupid. It just means that you need to work a little harder. Buckle up – you are in for a ride my friend!
20. Do as many practise exams as you can.
Most of the midterms/final exams are very similar to the ones provided by your prof. Extra practise exams can be found on the SU registry. And honestly, just google it, you will most likely find A LOT of practise exams. You can thank me later.