7 More Tips to Succeed in Your First Year

As a first-year student, you get a lot of advice on how to manage the start of this new chapter of your life. From student handbooks to online resources, many places offer tips and tricks that you can carry on with you throughout your studies and later in life. Things like ‘don’t procrastinate’, ‘eat well’, and ‘get involved on campus’ often make up part of the list of things you can do to both enjoy your university years and be successful, but there’s more!

Here are seven more ways to do well during your first year (and beyond!):

1) Go to class

I know, I know, this doesn’t sound like revolutionary, novel advice. However, it is so SO easy to be tempted into skipping lectures altogether when there’s nobody there to make sure you’re attending, and once you’ve done it a few times, it can quickly become a bad habit. Opting to miss class puts you at risk of falling behind on material and makes studying for exams harder, so do yourself a favor and go to class. (Also, you benefit from questions asked by other students and further explanations that you may not find on lecture slides!)

2) But it’s okay to miss class now and again if you really have to

With that being said, it’s okay to not go to class now and again if you feel like your mental or physical health needs it. Sometimes you won’t feel well, you’ll have an off-day or simply need a break. Just make sure this doesn’t become a habit, and that you catch up as soon as possible!

3) Space out your work

You’ll be getting work to do from all your classes. A lot of it. And it tends to pile up quickly. Take all the advice you’ve received on managing your time and organizing your schedule to help you space out your work and your studying, so that it’s not so hard to finish assignments and have time to do other things.

4) Find a group to study with

Okay, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t personally prefer studying on my own rather than with a group, but I’d also be lying if I said studying with others hasn’t been beneficial to me. You’ll find that working with others will both help you check to see if you understand main concepts, and allow you to get answers to questions on topics you may not fully grasp. What’s a plus is that you’ll meet people and make friends along the way!

5) Don’t commit yourself to too many things at once

It’s always exciting seeing all the clubs McGill has to offer, exploring internship opportunities, experimenting with leadership positions, and even applying for first jobs. It’s easy to get carried away (I’ve been there!). Settle yourself into a routine, study, and try a few new activities first. After you’ve found how much is too much for you handle at once, you’ll have a better idea of what you can commit to without being overwhelmed.

6) Ask for help

When in doubt, ask for help. Don’t be afraid to talk to classmates, TA’s and professors if you’re struggling with the material or have any questions. I know it can seem slightly intimidating, but they are people too and they’d be happy to help.

7) Take time to do things you enjoy

Learn new skills, take fun classes, get coffee, watch a sports game, go to a concert. Whatever it is you love doing, find time for it in between studying. Both great to relieve some stress and for memory making, the university experience would not be complete without it.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.

Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.