Chaise’s Declassified School Survival Guide

Date Posted: September 5, 2017

So you’re new to post-secondary — maybe you’re even new to Red Deer. You’re asking yourself, “how do I succeed in this novel environment?”

Well, you’re in luck – I was in the same boat last year and somehow or another, I survived my first year of college and so can you. I’ve recently been asked to write about the experience of coming to a new school and lay out some survival tips to help students like yourself get through their first year. Follow these tips and you can’t go wrong.

To begin, let’s talk about the first few weeks of school. I’m not going to sugar coat it, they can be hectic. You’re going to have a lot of information coming your way and it can be hard at times to prioritize what you need to focus on. My advice would be to focus on getting your books, class schedule, and friends in order. It won’t take many classes before you start recognizing familiar faces. You’ll be able to tell who is serious about their schooling and who you want on your team. Good classmates are an important key to your success in post-secondary.

My second piece of advice is the most important. Get involved. Immerse yourself in the college experience. Sure, you could go directly to and from class, study quietly in the library, and generally keep to yourself. On the other hand, why pass up the countless opportunities that exist in advanced education to better yourself? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should skip class and refuse to study.

I am saying, however, join a student group, start one, find a study group, volunteer, take time after class to talk to your professors, make friends, and go to parties! Make the most of your time here. These are the things that will get you through college mentally and emotionally intact. Sleep also helps, I guess.

Now on to a major cause of stress for students — exams. “What if I haven’t found a study group yet?” Don’t panic! This is where those classmates are going to come in handy. Meet up with a few select classmates and spend a couple hours comparing notes.

Trust me. This REALLY helps. Quizzing each other is a good way to learn and reinforce those tricky concepts.

If I’m being honest, this next tip is something I had to learn the hard way. Keep up with your assigned readings. Don’t be the person at the end of the semester trying to read three textbooks over a weekend. I’ve tried it myself and it doesn’t really work out that well.

College is a unique and exciting time for all of us. We’re here to study, to get our diplomas and our degrees, but that’s not all. Most importantly, we are here to become who we are going to be in life.

Do what makes you happy but also do what makes you uncomfortable. Really, it’s all about finding a balance. None of us really knows where this journey will take us. I have a feeling though, that when we get there, we’ll understand.

Article Author: Chaise Combs, Vice President Student Life

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