Starting the Second Term Off Right

Posted by York & U on January 7, 2020

Academic Success

Welcome back, Lions! As we enter the Winter 2020 term, you may be feeling a combination of excitement and nervousness, but this #YUBlog guide will help make sure you’re ready to face the upcoming term and make the most of your new classes. There are many things to keep track of at the start of a new academic term, so here are six useful tips to starting the term off right!

Success Tip: If you haven’t already done so, take a look at our previous post, “Get a Jumpstart on January,” for even more tips to help you get ahead this term!

1. Set Goals

The new term is a fresh start with new challenges and opportunities. To make the most out of the it, set academic and personal goals following the SMART framework. In other words, ensure your goals are:

  1. Specific;
  2. Measurable;
  3. Achievable;
  4. Realistic; and
  5. Timely.

Setting goals helps you to solidify what you want to achieve over the next few months. I recommend writing down your goals on paper and keeping them within eyesight. Not only is it a great source of motivation, but your goal sheet is also a handy measure of your progress!

Photo taken from StockSnap
Follow the SMART framework for a useful guide when goal setting!

2. Prepare for Class

Before your workload piles up with assignments and tests, get a head start on your classes by preparing ahead of time! Don’t know where to start? Here are some suggestions:

  • 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.
  • Make it a habit to prepare for each class beforehand, whether that means completing pre-readings, going through the lecture’s slideshow or completing the practice questions. This way, you will be able to better follow the lectures and course material!

Success Tip: Check out our previous post, “Purchasing Your Textbooks at the York U Bookstore,” for tips and tricks when buying your 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 organizational tool to help you keep on top of everything.

A useful place to begin is the My Class Schedule page which outlines your courses along with their location and timeframe. I recommend that you print a copy and fill in the empty spaces with other commitments you have such as extracurricular activities or on-campus events. Putting your responsibilities on paper is a useful visual aidthat can help hold you accountable (and perhaps prevent too much procrastination).

Person looking at the calendar app on their iPad
For more advice on improving your time management skills, check out 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 than by joining a club? York U has more than 300 clubs featuring a range of different interests from robotics to photography!

You can use YU Connect to find a full directory of York U’s Clubs! This online platform also has information about upcoming events and your Co-Curricular Record, which you can use to track your extracurricular involvement. To find out more about the variety of clubs and student organizations available, check out one of the latest installments of the #YUBlog’s Club Spotlight Series: “Women Empowerment Club.”

Screenshot of the YU Connect homepage
YU Connect is only a few clicks away!

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. Keep the SMART-goal outline in mind as well – if your new healthy habits aren’t specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely, you probably won’t keep them around for very long! Some quick healthy habits you can try are:

  • Make sure you get enough sleep – if you don’t let your brain recharge, you won’t be working at your best.
  • Don’t skip breakfast in the morning (it’s the most important meal of the day for a reason)!
  • Stay hydrated – students often get headaches because they aren’t drinking enough water.
  • Keep your body active by exercising 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 (including Group Drop-in Fitness Classes or their Specialty Classes) that you can attend with your friends!

Overall, by making a habit of pursuing a healthy lifestyle, you will be more energized to start each new day!

Photo taken from StockSnap
Stay healthy by starting the morning with a filling breakfast.

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 us on Facebook @YorkUStudents, Twitter @YorkUStudents and with our weekly This Week @ York emails!

How are you preparing for second term? Comment below or tweet us at @YorkUStudents.