October is drawing to a steady close, which also means that midterms are ending for many. As a first-year student at U of T, term tests seemingly came out of nowhere, just as I was struggling to adjust to the flow of things around here. I realized that the things that seemed to work so well in high school just didn’t cut it anymore, and that I learned best from my mistakes. From one first year, here are the things that I did, and what I would change for the next midterm.
- What I did: Pull an all nighter What I would do next time: Schedule studying across many days, so that my brain has time to digest the information. I learned that cramming and skipping out on sleep is not only useless, but prevents me from being productive the next day.
- What I did: Didn’t go to Office Hours What I would do next time: Make time to go to office hours, and work out any topics that I don’t understand before they wreck havoc on the exam. I would also attend more study sessions and speak to my tutorial TAs, as they are very helpful and are happy to guide you through any questions you may have.
- What I did: Repeated my high school study formula What I would do next time: Reshape my study habits to suit university life. In high school, I found that a rigid review style was enough to get high grades, as the teachers would go over what was on the exam in class. In University, however, professors will only go over important information and expect all prior reading and homework to be done at home. Adjusting to this change is important for academic success, and does indeed take some time to get used to. A good study location is also important, as I have been making increased use of the libraries at U of T and have found them very beneficial to my productivity.
For many incoming first years, the first midterm is a shock to the system. Personally, I think realizing the areas where you can improve is the key to success. Small changes in my study habits can end up making a big difference, and the earlier these changes are implemented, the sooner I’ll begin to adjust. It’s all about learning from my mistakes!