Welcome back, Lions! It’s always exciting to start the new year off with the second term of university, or for some York U students, your first! You may be feeling a combination of excitement and nerves, but you’re ready to meet new people and learn new subjects in class. There are many things to keep track of at the start of a new term. If you haven’t already done so, take a look at our previous post “Get a Jumpstart on January,” which is a useful guide that highlights a few things you should do to transition to school.
The best way to begin the term is to plan ahead! York U’s Current Students home page is a good starting point: the Current Students website is temporarily featuring a directory of resources that are especially relevant to new and returning students at the start of the term. You can find useful information and an overview of every resource you may need during this time of year, from OSAP support to course enrollment. If this is your first term as a York U student, you can find information about getting your YU-card, finding your Faculty advising office and more! In addition, here are six useful tips to starting the term right.
1. Set Goals
The new term is a fresh start with new challenges and opportunities. To make the most out of the term, set academic and personal goals following the SMART framework. In other words, ensure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Setting goals helps you to solidify what you want to achieve this term. I recommend writing down your goals on paper and keeping them within eyesight. Not only is it a source of motivation, but your goal sheet is also a handy measure of your progress.
2. Prepare for Class
Before your workload piles up with assignments and tests, get a head start by preparing for class ahead of time! Read your course syllabus to gain a good understanding of the grading structure and major projects. Take note of important deadlines by writing them down in a planner. Also, make it a habit to prepare for each class beforehand whether that means completing pre-readings or practice questions. This way, you will be able to better follow the lectures and course material!
If you haven’t already done so, it’s a good idea to start the search for textbooks as soon as possible. It’s easy to fall behind without the required readings on hand, especially when you have to visit a busy bookstore. Check out our post “Getting Your Textbooks on a Student Budget” for tips on saving money on textbooks.
3. Create a Schedule
One of the most important life skills I’ve learned from university is time management. Balancing your academics, social life and personal health is a challenge! Creating a schedule is a great time management tool to help you keep on top of everything. A useful place to begin is the Plot My Timetable page which outlines your courses, their location and timeframe. Print out a copy and fill in the empty spaces with other commitments you have such as extracurricular activities and on-campus events. Putting your responsibilities on paper is a useful visual aid which holds you accountable. If you would like more advice on improving your time management skills, refer to our previous post, “Time Management Tips for York U Students.”
4. Get Involved in Something New
The university experience is much more than simply going to class every day and completing school work. It’s a time to try different things and meet new people, and what better way to do so then by joining a club? York U has 300+ clubs featuring a range of different interests from robotics to photography. A full directory of York Clubs can be found on YU Connect, which includes information about all the clubs on campus, the dates of upcoming events and the Co-Curricular Record which can be used to track your extracurricular involvement. To find out more about the variety of clubs and student organizations available, check out the #YUBlog’s Club Spotlight Series and one of our latest posts, “Club Spotlight: Las Nubes Student Association.”
5. Start Healthy Habits
University can get very hectic and while your grades are important, so is your health! It’s all about finding a balance and sticking to a routine. Don’t skip breakfast in the morning (it’s the most important meal of the day for a reason), stay hydrated and make sure you get enough sleep. Keep your body active by getting exercise at the Tait Mackenzie Centre or consider joining an intramural team. The Basic Student Membership is free for York U students and the Tait Mackenzie Centre hosts a range of fun fitness classes that you can attend with your friends! You can find more information about sports and recreation options on the Tait Mackenzie website and Membership page. Overall, by making a habit of pursuing a healthy lifestyle, you will be more energized to start each new day!
6. Stay Connected with York U
To stay up-to-date on campus life and events, connect with York U on social media. You can follow York University on Facebook @YorkUStudents and on Instagram @yorkuofficial. York University’s main Twitter account @YorkUniversity has been newly renamed @YorkUStudents to better reflect the focus on student information. To ensure you don’t miss the name change, follow @YorkUStudents on Twitter now.
How are you preparing for second term? Comment below or tweet us on Twitter at @YorkUStudents.