Prepping for Success

Smart Moves

Gearing up for a year of studying at university? These tips can steer you toward success!

Be open to new friendships.

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are at uni only to study and that clubs and societies are just a frivolous optional extra”, say Patricia McLean and Arthur Tatnall. In their book Studying Business at University: Everything You Need to Know, they explain, “Learning doesn’t happen only in lectures and (tutorials): the friends you make and the experiences of some of the non-study activities will be an important part of your professional growth.”

McLean and Tatnall add that  “One of the main reasons students drop out of uni is not because they can’t do the work, but because they find the university environment too alienating and isolating—it’s hard to maintain interest and motivation when you’re lonely.”  They recommend participating in orientation week activities where “Many people meet their best friends at uni.” Also “Become a joiner” And ” If you have a quiet personality, it might make sense to join one of the smaller clubs so you are not overwhelmed.”

Don’t feel intimidated about the ramped-up learning ahead.

“The truth is,”  say Sarah Moore and Maura Murphy, in How to Be a Student: 100 Great Ideas and Practical Habits for Students Everywhere, “that you have the capacity to remember much, much more than you’ll ever be required to learn, and what is more, you can transform and play with that information, you can experiment and play with ideas you encounter, and you can come up with new and sometimes unique ways of looking at things. This is true no matter what subjects or programmes of study you have decided to tackle. This is true even when you feel that it’s not. This is true on your least motivated, least engaged, least energetic days.”

Allay “college-bound fears.”

Draw upon experiences of students quoted in Julia Johnston’s Parenting for High Potential article Real Fears of Incoming First-year College Students: What Parents Can Do – like Brandeis University student Alix Lifka-Reselman who appreciates the fact that “You get to re-invent yourself in college.”

And “Don’t overpack,”

says Family Education in Packing for College: Take It or Leave It, “There are really only a few things you’ll need at college – and many things you’ll want to bring.”  See their list of must-haves – including a computer, group games, and home reminders – as well as things to leave at home, like “twenty favorite books” and “100 pictures of your high school sweetheart.”

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