Academic Advising: Preparing for the Winter Term

Posted by Janet Nguyen on January 19, 2021

Academic Success

Now that you’re settled into the winter term let’s all take a minute to breathe! Be proud of yourselves for making it through 2020. What a ride that was. I’m here to write about the superheroes that are the Academic Advisors at York University. Check out this video featuring the LA&PS Advisors and how they adapted to the virtual world.

LA&PS Academic Advising is now virtual!

Academic Advisors are your go-to resource if you have any questions about your academic pathway, from your general education courses to degree requirements. Advisors work with their colleagues to create a web of support where students can ask for advice or guidance about York’s programs or Faculties and their own academic progress.  

I spoke with two Academic Advisors, Min Eng from the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) Econ and Nitzie Savdie, at the Office of Student and Academic Services in the Faculty of Health, about what students should know as we head into the winter term. Here are some of their great insights.  

York University Keele Campus signboard with the campus in the background
Welcome to York!

Words of Wisdom

When I asked Min Eng, an LA&PS Econ advisor what advice she had for students for the Winter term, I received more than I expected! Min was passionate about what she does and wants to help students achieve their goals.

For newer students, “you have a lot to get used to. Be gentle on yourself, get used to the transition as post-secondary is very different from high school,” she said. “There’s a different culture and environment, and different expectations.”

Nitzie, from the Faculty of Health also mentioned that it is a good idea to “review your timetable and make sure there are no conflicts, monitor your degree progress report and contact your academic advising office if you have any questions about your degree requirements or courses you need to take.”

If you’re looking for help with the university transition, the Centre for Student Community and Leadership Development (SCLD) has a YouTube Channel that can help answer many questions, check out their York 101 Video!

A clock showing time
Get time management and more tips from your Advisors!

More words of wisdom from our Academic Advisors

  1. Time Management:

    University is great because you get to make your own course schedule, “There is a lot of agency and autonomy in what you can do,” Min said. “Knowing this in advance means you can look ahead to what needs to be done and what you want to accomplish.”

    They also recommended using the Visual Schedule Builder and the York Courses website to figure out a timetable. “Don’t only look at your courses, look at how you’re spending your out-of-class time and include studying, readings, assignments, and of course, rest! Are you able to handle your schedule? For new and returning students: can you make a schedule and stick to it?”

    Nitzie said that “you should check the important dates on the Registrar’s Office website (bookmark it!) and keep track of the sessional dates, add/drop and refund deadlines for Winter.” Did you know that you can sync these calendars to your own devices? 

    Is anyone else seeing a pattern here regarding time management? I am!

    For new students joining us this term, make sure you check out the Remote Learning 101 post about the Learning Commons.

    A woman typing on a laptop with a notebook and coffee mug on the side
    Learn how to create a work-life balance!
  2. School/Life Balance

    Balancing life and school can be a difficult task. “This year, there are many layers to consider: we’re online and with winter, it’s harder to get out. You have to think of your personal and mental health and school/life balance,” Min said. “. Think of yourself in a holistic way. Ask yourself, have you taken online classes before? Look at your timelines and due dates, know your professor’s expectations, know your own abilities!”

    Don’t forget to make time for being social while social distancing and to eat healthy.

     Min acknowledged that if you’re a new student, this year is special since we are all relatively new to remote learning. “Know what to expect in your classes.”

    “Look back at yourself and see what you can do,” Min said. “Remember that we’ve all been through school! You should be looking ahead, as a lot of your courses that you take in third and fourth year end up being what you do after university.”

    Nitzie added that you should “monitor the YU Better Together Website for regular updates from the University regarding the Winter 2021 Term and other important information.”

  3. Look at Past You and Future You

    Min acknowledged that if you’re a new student, this year is special since we are all relatively new to remote learning. “Know what to expect in your classes.”

    “Look back at yourself and see what you can do,” Min said. “Remember that we’ve all been through school! You should be looking ahead, as a lot of your courses that you take in third and fourth year end up being what you do after university.”

    Hands reaching out to each other
    Reach out and stay in touch!

    Nitzie added that you should “monitor the YU Better Together Website for regular updates from the University regarding the Winter 2021 Term and other important information.”

  4. Reach Out

    Use online learning resources and workshops offered to York students! Each college at York has their own workshops. Learning Skills Services also holds workshops and sessions for students.  

    “This year is online and it’s easy to feel lost in a large Zoom classroom. Reach out to your instructor or other students, create Zoom study sessions and look for study groups. Be aware of your passion and love for your classes as this will reflect in your marks,” Min said.

“Remember, a student needs to take a hold of their own success and they are completely capable of that!”

Min Eng

Graduating in June 2021

Student wearing her graduation cap and gown
Graduating soon? Get in touch with your Academic Advisor to ensure that you are on the right track.

“For those planning to graduate in June,” Nitzie said, “make sure you are enrolled into the correct courses for your final term and contact your Faculty advising office if you have any questions.”

I had a great time chatting with both advisors! Don’t be shy to reach out to your advisor because they can really help guide you into making your time at York the best it can be.

Make sure you book your academic advising appointment early. No matter what program you’re in there’s an advisor for you! Check the Academic Advising page to find the correct contact information.

Was this helpful? If so, leave a comment below and let us know!

To stay up to date on campus life and events, connect with York on social media. You can follow us on Facebook @YorkUStudents, Twitter @YorkUStudents, Instagram @studentlifeyu and with our weekly This Week @ York emails.

Janet Nguyen
Janet Nguyen

Janet Nguyen is a third-year Creative Writing and Screenwriting double major at York University. She loves to spend time playing with her kitten, Bean; cook vegetarian food; read all kinds of books, play Animal Crossing, and of course, write. She hopes her blog posts can help students navigate their way through this school year!

See other posts by Janet Nguyen

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