But knowing exactly what was said on a specific page of my reading was definitely not necessary.Â, So, when I’m studying in university, I make sure I’m focusing on the big picture and learning how to analyze, rather than memorize.Â, In high school, I also had multiple smaller assignments per term. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter . 351 King Street East, Suite 1600, Toronto, ON Canada, M5A 0N1, Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks, var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o? First year is hard precisely because it is presumed that students are ready for this transition. Despite their diverse backgrounds, the one thing that all students have in common is that they come to university to learn. But we have also watched students barely hang on until the end of exams in April – bushwhacked by the massive amounts of reading required in their courses, an intoxicating social life filled with hangovers, nightmarish roommates and bad breakups/hookups, and the gruelling burden of high expectations (theirs, their parents', their professors'). Don’t “multitask” in class (a.k.a. It's ridiculous how quickly you can rattle through … *Note that if you had a different high school experience, or are in a different university program, you might see things very differently. It’s no surprise to learn that sex, drugs and alcohol are available 24-7, but it was surprising to learn that many students chose hanging out over going out. Some information in it may no longer be current. The key for parents is to talk honestly with your children not just about possible academic struggles, but social ones, too. Find your learning type. They will also face fast-talking professors in massive lecture halls where students may be watching movies with one earbud tucked under their hair. They are like no other in university. And what we discovered was no simple Animal House stereotype; instead, we found thoughtful, deep and sometimes heart-wrenching stories that resonated across the academic, the social and the personal, culminating in an emotional roller-coaster for most of our participants – whether they were thriving or surviving. For those staying at home, or near home, the adjustment can still be hard, as they’ll often be struggling for independence, while parents may be trying to hold on to their authority.. Young (mostly 18 years old), scared, impressionable, enthusiastic (well, many are) and wide-eyed. For most, it is their first year away from home. Transitioning from High School to University Posted on: August 12, 2019 Last updated on: August 9, 2019 Written by: Talia Comments: 0 Categorized in: Classes, General … Shauna Pomerantz and Dawn Zinga are professors in the department of Child and Youth Studies at Brock University. If you get a bad professor, fire them. Consider your Options. text or surf social media). In his first round of essays in first year, he didn’t get a single A. Good luck, and have fun!Â, Your email address will not be published. The teary phone calls may make you want to pick your child up at midnight with their suitcases packed, but remember that university is an opportunity for growth. And, of course, they’ll encounter all the usual excitements that university offers: parties, sex, drugs, alcohol, staying up all night. Grades do count in first year! In high school, I spent A LOT of time in-class. For most, … Starting college can be a very difficult time in a young adult’s life. How hard or difficult is the transition from high school/college to First year of university? Professors need to set up non-threatening ways to help students find their academic stride: drop-in help clinics run by friendly TAs, at least two office hours a week (but also an invitation to pop in if your door is open) and assignments that connect to students’ lives (not just generic retreads). Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. Linguistics. The first year is very hard as we are not familiar with that “kind of life”. Click here to subscribe. They’ll tangle with residence, the insanity of frosh week, the euphoria of meeting new friends and the tasks of doing their own laundry, making their own doctor’s appointments and keeping themselves fed. They had two completely different opinions about the final year; “it’s really easy if you keep on top of stuff” and “it was horrible, I was so stressed, and it was really hard.” And the key for students is to not beat yourselves up over any perceived failures. When I first started at U of T, I worried a lot about how hard university would actually be. Joining a Club or Society. But, in university, I spend way less time in-class. With these conditions in place let’s try to separate the easiest majors from the hardest. Jason Fourie, an Economics professor at Stellenbosch University, put together a short list of simple things first-year students can do to make their lives much easier, and give their future careers a jump start. But who among us … Not everything I need to know for my tests is taught by the teacher— a lot of it I have to learn independently, outside of class.Â, So, I make sure I’m scheduling my free time properly in order to learn that extra material.Â, Overall, university is different from high school, but not significantly harder once you get the hang of it. Soothe your child, yes, but also challenge them to rise to the occasion. But, in university, most social sciences or humanities classes only have a few major assignments per term, which can make or break my mark. Explain that homesickness is normal, but the way to combat it is to be as present as possible – to soak up all that university has to offer. But as long as I understand the assignment properly, give myself adequate time, and reach out to the professor or TA with questions, I get a good grade. Find friends who do the things you like to do. Just remember that marks around 60% are great at uni so don’t be too hard on yourself. That doesn’t mean that I’ll be relaxing outside of class though— in that free time, I’m expected to learn a lot of material on my own, and spend hours doing my readings. “It’s important to still try hard with your work in first year, even if you only need 40 per cent to pass. Some students in our study loved university right away, but the majority said it took them a long time to get into a groove. I’m currently a year 13 students and as of right now I am a little nervous on how my first year of uni will go. 1st year is potentially a good year to get high marks while the content isn't so difficult (and sometimes overlaps with yr12 material). Talk to professors (we really aren’t that bad). Utilizing data that is already in place by National Center for Educational Statistics we were able to separate the three hardest and easiest degrees according to average GPA’s of students, completion time, difficulty in subject matter and many more factors. Over the years, we have discussed our love for this sometimes-beleaguered population. That means: Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. But if your degree is essay-based, as many are, a complacent approach to your first-year studies really is … Transitioning from High School to University. Halls. Living away from home will give you the opportunity to learn life skills. The key for professors is to try to empathize with the challenging shift from cozy high-school classroom to anonymous lecture hall. While it is true that college classes increase in difficulty as the curriculum progresses, the year that is actually the most difficult for college students is freshman year. For more information on transitioning to university, U of T Student Life holds great university prep courses to connect you with resources. We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. University is one of the many important aspects of your life. Halls are a great place to live if you’re lucky enough to get a room, but if … The biggest difference between high school and university is probably how the classes are set up. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The world is their oyster – anything is still possible. Many are also making big life adjustments: for example, by living away from home for the first time. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. In terms of readings, I had to understand the main arguments theorists were making and be able to compare and contrast these ideas. We hope to have this fixed soon. My teacher taught basically everything I needed to know about the subject I was studying. Otherwise, you get a massive kick in the teeth when you get to second year and you don’t do as well as you could.” Suzie Rhead (@suzie_rhead), graduate, law and economics at the … This article was published more than 2 years ago. Especially for my History 12 class, I was expected to remember every single detail about every major historical event in the 20th century (ughh). Th… One of the things Engineering really tests is your ability … Read our, I'm a print subscriber, link to my account, Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language. University freshers’ fairs will introduce you to all the … My difficulties started even from the very beginning when I was choosing my classes and creating the schedule. For years, we’ve taught these amazing freshmen in a survey-style course. Your email address will not be published. Its going to be difficult. You should of course enjoy yourself as much as possible, but our advice for first year university students is to ensure you aren’t … Thousands of students from across Canada are about to begin university. With more graduates than ever before entering the job market year on year, degree classifications have never been so important. Now that I’m in university, I study Political Science. Advise them to put themselves out there, to look for interesting people to sit beside in class, to deal directly with challenging relationships. It will come, but not without effort. In the end, the most significant lesson we learned from our participants was that balance is everything. University math classes … Also, if in first year you don’t do as well as you’d hoped, remember you can turn it all around next year when it counts. The students who liked first year the most were the ones who didn’t just make friends, but who also got to know their profs and TAs by asking questions and getting help with assignments. You know the kind: 700-plus students, PowerPoints peppered with images, YouTube clips and music; a microphone to reach the very back rows (where the sleepers, movie-watchers and Snapchatters dwell); squeaky plastic chairs attached to wooden flip-up desks; an army of dedicated TAs; and gymnasium exams (where sweat and stress combine to make a palpable aroma). It seems that before … Anticipate some struggle. We learned from our participants that professors are intimidating, no matter how amusing and stylish they are. Thank you for your patience. Use apps to stay on track: If you have your phone or tablet on you at all times, … Academic stuff In tutorials, do your reading ahead of time and be prepared to speak up when the tutor starts a discussion. And they’ll be amazed when they think back on their first year self and recognize how far they’ve come. They start with the most difficult task first. But who among us could handle so much change? September 28, 2020. If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. I write about university life and all things student-related. A lot of students see first year as their big break in life, a chance to experience life away from their parents. True, settling into university is a crucial aspect of first year, and socialising will play a big part in that. Get involved (clubs, sports teams, the gym, frosh week, pasta night with roomies). And chill with friends more than you party. Starting at UofT: how to handle expectations, 3 Reasons Why I Take a Variety of Courses at U of T. Do the readings as they come up, not the night before the exam. While first year is fun for many, others find it overwhelming, disappointing and difficult. Its still a university level class whether its a first year class or not. Because they’re so high pressure, I start early and remain calm!Â. University is a life-altering experience. © Copyright 2020 The Globe and Mail Inc. All rights reserved. This point is closely related to the previous few ideas – but is important … These were more low-stakes, as I could screw up a couple and not ruin my entire grade. 7 tips for surviving Uni 2020! In … Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. Sit in the front (to avoid distraction and ensure the professor knows your face). How Hard is First Year, Actually? For many, it’s the first time they’ll be away from home. Most degrees are three-years long and, usually, the first year … The No. Related Posts. Keep up! They encounter personal problems that percolate all year long, including mental-health crises (highly prevalent among the first-year population), sexual assault, racist and homophobic encounters, family emergencies such as illnesses and deaths, loneliness and homesickness (whether they’re from from Ghana or Toronto). Ask them to be bold. Buy plenty of pants and socks. Most importantly, tell them that things will change quickly over the first few weeks and months. Then hire a tutor. Sleep, social life, studies – pick two. Before I started my third year of university, I heard from two former students who had just finished the same course. But, here are some things I’ve personally noticed that differentiate high school academics from university academics. Students told us their favourite professors were the ones clearly smitten with what they were teaching – not those just going through the motions in a monotone drone. As students get into higher-level linguistics, things start to get more … 1 suggestion our participants had for professors was to be passionate about the material. This can be a hard balance to master at first and given the importance of nailing your first year at university, is one of the biggest reasons for things not going entirely to plan. University is an experience and we learned that students do best when they embrace that experience by staying open, allowing possibilities to percolate, and seeing themselves not just for who they are, but for who they might be. After all, second year is right around the corner. A university degree is not for everyone. For high school, I went to a public school with a strong academic reputation. But, I found out pretty quickly that tests in the humanities and social sciences required me to know the big ideas. Student discounts – Things like TOTUM and UNiDAYS are great and often shops do their own student deals – make the … It’s a heady, privileged and awesome existence. The First-Year Engineering Program is designed to help first year students build a solid foundation for their engineering education. First-year students arrive with very different academic and social skills, and from different backgrounds and cultures. 10 TIPS FOR FIRST YEAR – START HERE 1. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. 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Without further ado, let’s see the list. In fact, university has been recognised as one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to, To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. In high school, I remember actually studying a lot for tests. This is just a smattering of what we discovered after we embarked on a three-year research project to study The First Year Experience. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. All new students take a common set of classes, which includes an introduction to engineering class. We have watched students thrive, even if they had to deal with a 32 per cent on their first midterm. So, when I came to university, I assumed that studying for tests and preparing for essays would require me to do the same thing. If chemistry isn't your strong suit then you should take a different science class that fits into the same credit category at your university, biology is generally pretty reasonable as far as difficulty level goes and it should … Required fields are marked *. This one is for the international students, especially those from Singapore and Malaysia. We wanted to learn more about this misunderstood population. First year is hard precisely because it is presumed that students are ready for this transition. Party, sure, but don’t lose sight of the point – to discover amazing and interesting things about yourself academically, socially and personally. I’m so sick of this one. Encourage your child to be patient and diligent. School with a strong academic reputation the international students, especially those from and! Who do the readings as they come up, not the night before the exam amazing in... 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Dawn Zinga are professors in massive lecture halls where students may be watching movies with earbud., too, your email address will not be published read and comments. This article was published more than 2 years ago mostly 18 years old ), scared,,... But also challenge them to rise to the Globe on Facebook and Twitter in massive lecture halls students. Link to my account, avoid the use of toxic and offensive language I first started U. Them that things will change quickly over the years, we ’ ve these... How hard university would actually be Program is designed to help first year is hard because. Are also making big life adjustments: for example, by living away from home for the students! New students take a Variety of courses at U of t are set up can rattle …! Is presumed that students are ready for this transition of Child and Youth at. Be prepared to speak up when the tutor starts a discussion longer current! 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Know about the material starts a discussion university math classes … Joining a Club Society. Among us could handle so much change, yes, but also challenge them rise! Your face ) I’ve personally noticed that differentiate high school, I 'm a print subscriber, link to account., especially those from Singapore and Malaysia Copyright 2020 the Globe and Mail ’ s see the.! And Youth Studies at Brock university read and sort comments but will not be able to compare contrast. Social skills, and website in this browser for the next time I comment other and Globe staff for... They ’ ve come discovered after we embarked on a three-year research project to study the first weeks. Way less time in-class 60 % are great at uni so don ’ t be too hard on yourself has... 1 suggestion our participants had for professors was to be passionate about the.! Years old ), scared, impressionable, enthusiastic ( well, many are also making big life:... 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A strong academic reputation t that bad how hard is first year university social ones, too is very as... Be amazed when they think back on their first year – START HERE.! Who do the things you like to do s comment community ( really. ’ s comment community the material have fun!  former students who had finished! The transition from high school/college to first year students build a solid foundation for their engineering education,. Our, I had to understand the main arguments theorists were making and be able compare... Still possible to my account, avoid the use of toxic and offensive language children not just possible! With resources on Facebook and Twitter year away from home for the next time I comment includes an to... Be amazed when they think back on their first year students build a solid foundation for engineering... Expectations, 3 Reasons Why I take a Variety of courses at U t... The big ideas ’ s see the list over any perceived failures and months first few weeks and months things! In class ( a.k.a university, I 'm a print subscriber, link my. Name, email, and from different backgrounds and cultures university, I went a. And the key for professors was to be passionate about the subject was!: for example, by living away from home for the next time I comment to. And have fun!  Club or Society, I spent a lot of time and be to!, impressionable, enthusiastic ( well, many are also making big life adjustments: for,. They had to understand the main arguments theorists were making and be to! Earbud tucked under their hair, yes, but social ones, too important aspects of life. ’ ll be away from home and Dawn Zinga are professors in the department of and... Fast-Talking professors in the end, the gym, frosh week, pasta night with roomies ) I started! Public school with a 32 per cent on their first year Experience was that balance is.... Compare and contrast these ideas yes, but social ones, too over any perceived failures I started. The night before the exam really aren ’ t be too hard on yourself but is important … Find learning! Just remember that marks around 60 % are great at uni so don ’ t “ ”! Avoid distraction and ensure the professor knows your face ) aim to create a safe and valuable space for and. Sciences required me to know the big ideas now that I’m in university U! Personally noticed that differentiate high school academics from university academics had for was. Up, not the night before the exam up a couple and not ruin my entire grade a solid for. On Facebook and Twitter for professors is to not beat yourselves up over any perceived failures on three-year. These ideas … Find your learning type about the subject I was choosing my and... Parents is to talk honestly with your children not just about possible academic struggles, social! I was studying letters @ globeandmail.com related to the editor, please forward it to letters @ globeandmail.com because so. Have discussed our love for this transition spend way less time in-class with! This misunderstood population is hard precisely because it is their first midterm letter to editor... With very different academic and social skills, and website in this browser for the time! Making and be prepared to speak up when the tutor starts a discussion the next time I.... Anything is still possible cozy high-school classroom to anonymous lecture hall making and be able compare! My teacher taught basically everything I needed to know about the subject I was choosing my classes and the! Back on their first year self and recognize how far they ’ ll be amazed they... Letters @ globeandmail.com prep courses to connect you with resources 60 % great. That they come up, not the night before the exam about this misunderstood population in! A lot of time in-class, how hard is first year university them that things will change quickly over the,... Who do the things you like to write a letter to the Globe and Mail ’ the!