How to Get the Best Possible Start at University or College

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College can be a rite of passage. Unfortunately, it can also be a rite of passage that’s often rife with obstacles, confusion and stress. For most students, stress and confusion begins as soon as the first semester or classes begin. However, there are some ways you can alleviate this stress and confusion. Doing this, will give you a head start and help make you a successful student in the future. To start your first school year successfully:

• Find a Nice, Quiet Place to Study

• Research Your Classes and Professors

• Track Your Assignments and Exams

Find a Nice, Quiet Place to Study

It doesn’t matter if you live in a residence hall or in University of Alberta off campus housing, you should explore your new environment to find potential places to study. The most obvious and common study areas include the library and study lounges. Additionally, reading rooms or learning commons can also be quiet, less crowded places to study. However, you should be on the look out for unlikely and interesting study areas.

Research Your Classes and Professors

Before starting your courses, you should research them and your professors. This will help you get acquainted with the course material before the semester begins. It will also help you learn what to expect as a student and from each of your classes and instructors. You might need this basic preparation later, such as when you move off campus and search for apartments for rent near University of Alberta. To prepare for your classes and academic life:

• Learn your professors’ names, email addresses, phone numbers, offices hours and locations, student expectations and professional and academic expertise and backgrounds

• Obtain all textbooks and other course materials

• Find a “study buddy,” study group or someone to share notes and other course material with

• Read the syllabi for all your courses

• Consult with your advisor on potential complicated courses

• Research and record drop dates, as well as the drop procedures

• Memorise your student identification number

• Skim your student handbook and read the most important or relevant sections, such as penalties for rule violations, procedures for dropping classes or taking a hiatus, etc.

Track Your Assignments and Exams

The most prepared and successful students usually create and maintain course calendars that feature pertinent information about their classes, assignments and exams. This calendar is an effective way to map out your assignments, track project milestones or deadlines and record exam dates. It’s also a great place to record grades, track progress on assignments or papers and set academic goals. For the best results, record all due dates on your calendar at the beginning of the first semester, chart the steps and milestones that will help you complete major papers or assignments, create realistic daily, weekly and monthly goals and sync your calendar milestones with smartphone alerts (unless the calendar is stored on the phone). Creating a calendar can make you a more successful student, but it should be paired with proper time management. Try not to procrastinate, cram or begin assignments or papers at the last minute. This will help ensure your work is organised and well thoughtout.
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