It’s the most wonderful time of the year…..
Okay, but seriously. Let’s tune out those Staples commercials we all couldn’t stand to hear as a kid, and embrace the current semester. As a senior student in my last semester, I feel like I’ve learned the tricks of the trade when it comes to preparing myself for when the semester gets tough. Here are my best tips for when the assignments hit hard, and how to survive the term post-syllabus week:
1. Plan it out
I bet you’ve heard this all before from every workshop you’ve attended – “plan your time wisely”. Believe me, as much as this sounds cliche, it works. Having one calendar schedule is handy, especially when you’re involved in extracurriculars or working. I’ve found that the busier I am, the more I find myself relying on my planner to keep on track.
Here’s my best tip: though school comes first, write out your extracurriculars in your planner first. This includes set meeting times, scheduled work shifts, and deadlines.Then, schedule your class time in – yes, all of your classes. Placing set times in your calendar helps to give you an idea of what you’re working with, and will help you remember meetings and shifts in the whirlwind of school. Next, go through your Assignments Calendar on Canvas, and note all of your important due dates. Once all of these un-changeable times are set in your planner, schedule time – little by little – to get all of your tasks done surrounding your set lecture and meeting times.
2. Your instructors are your friends
It’s common misconception that’s been planted in our heads since high school – you don’t want to be teacher’s pet. In the case of a university student, this isn’t the case (though sucking up won’t get you the grades, your initiative will). Putting a face to your name will help the prof and TAs familiarize themselves with you and your work. Going to office hours is a great way to get clarification on what your TA specifically wants to see done on your papers, so you can adjust the paper to their direction. The TA can also often provide helpful tips and tricks to writing a killer paper, and you’ll get great pieces of advice straight from the person evaluating you.
3. The advisors are too!
Whether you’re a first year or a fourth year, check in with your academic and co-op advisors to see where you’re at with your degree. They’ll help to keep you on track, and determine what courses are best fit for the streams you’re interested in. Your co-op advisors will also ensure that you’re prepped to land a job and are ready for busy work term. The School of Communication is blessed to have so many wonderful advisors – give them a visit, they’re lovely people!
4. It’s all about balance.
The first two weeks back at school can be a blur – with Clubs Days and welcome activities happening, there’s always something happening on campus. To keep your social life rolling, join clubs, get to know people, and for you first years – attend FROSH. Throughout the year, keep your eye on The Schedule – SFU Party Calendar on Facebook. They’ll keep you updated on all SFU events. University is more than just academics, so enjoy yourself get involved on campus.
Another great way to socialize is to volunteer! You’ll meet amazing people with similar interests to yours. Visit this SFU Webpage for volunteer opportunities on campus.
Best of luck this semester, and may the curve be in your favour!