From First Year to Second Year

So I’m a third year student. Now I was never really fond of math, but I believe that means I’ve been through two years of university. Looking back, there were many differences between my first year and second year. Some of those differences were actual changes of something that I did in first year. Not all of these were good things, but they did help me learn a lot about how to survive a year’s worth of university (technically it’s only 8 months, but it feels longer). Hopefully they can prove useful to you!

  1. I started sleeping on time. In first year, my sleeping habits were just horrific. I would either get 3 hours of sleep or 10 hours of sleep, and there was no pattern at all. Needless to say, it was not really that good – I just didn’t realize how bad it was until I started sleeping on time. It shouldn’t be a surprise, but suddenly I understood what was happening in my 8:30 lectures much better and I could finish my readings so much faster.
  2. Probably related to #1, but I registered for 8:30am lectures. I know, it sounds like the end of the world to the average university student. But having 8:30am lectures that are unrecorded actually forces you to sleep on time and wake up on time, and then also ensures that you have a full day. Because, let’s face it, if we aren’t forced to wake up in the morning, we’d probably be waking up at 2pm.
  3. I started studying in the library. When I first got to university, I believed I would be able to study at home the way I would in high school. That didn’t work for me, and for good reason: me, alone, with a kitchen and snacks and then a couch and TV all within the same 4 feet? Needless to say, I found myself getting easily distracted. Studying in an environment where there are so many other students who are also being productive just makes getting things done so much easier.
  4. Except for that the library can get dull after going there so much. So I also started going to cafes! I had been meaning to get out and explore the city, since Montreal is so beautiful. Yet during the school year, there’s barely any time. This was like getting two birds with one stone: I explore the wonderful cafes Montreal has to offer while also getting some schoolwork done.
  5. I scheduled some me-time. I was far from the ideal student when I was in my first year of university, but I always felt like I should be doing something, whether that be schoolwork or hanging out with friends or extracurricular activities. Then, when I realized I need some time to just chill by myself, I would do so without a time limit and then spend too much time doing absolutely nothing. So I actually started scheduling it in my agenda: that’s right, my agenda included phrases like “do two readings, write essay, watch two episodes of Friends, do assignment”. School can get to be a bit much, so I found these weekly me-times to be incredibly helpful!
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