The change between high school and university is dramatic, no matter where you go to school. Many high school students feel a mix of excitement, stress, and fear in the months leading up to post-secondary.
Ease your anxiety by preparing for university with these five strategies:
Get a calendar or an agenda and start using it, daily. Incorporate it into your daily routine. Check your calendar when you wake up and when you hit the hay. Add appointments, dates with friends, and upcoming trips or events. That way, when you get your syllabuses for your classes you can easily enter that information into an existing calendar.
If you don’t like using the antiquated method of paper and pen, look into calendar apps for your smart phone. The teachers at RRLS are fond of iCal and Google Calendar.
Keep your thought-box in tip-top condition by reading a lot – all summer. Definitely pick books that pique your interest, but remember to challenge yourself by reading books with some unfamiliar vocabulary — it’s good exercise for that brain!
If you are taking classes in the humanities, try to find last year’s reading list. Professors usually choose a lot of the same books from year to year, so check it out and get a head start! It’ll save you a lot of time during the school year and your future self will definitely thank you.
Don’t let those writing skills of yours wane over the summer break — you will need them when September comes, no matter what your discipline of study is. We encourage you to journal about anything that interests you, blog about new movies, apps, or games, or write short annotations or opinion pieces about articles you’ve read recently. If you’re feeling really ambitious, write essays!
Take a day and honestly reflect on what you want to get out of your university experience. Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) and that you set a plan for how to achieve them. A good goal might be to improve your study habits, but unless you know how to do that, it’ll be frustratingly unattainable.
Taking the summer to fine-tune and foster important academic skills is smart. When you get to university, professors will expect you to already know how to research and write papers without being provided with scaffolding or graphic organizers. If you feel your skills aren’t up to snuff, or if you feel instant anxiety when you hear the phrase, 2000 word essay, find a program that will help you foster your writing skills before the school year begins!
The Essay Coach is a fantastic, online essay writing course designed to strengthen your essay-writing skills. You work with a certified teacher one-on-one and leave with new strategies, skills, resources to use in the future, and a finished, polished essay! We are also offering group classes this summer. Contact us for more information.