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It’s time to get personal. University across Canada has been in full force for about two months now, and many students are likely getting ready for their second round of midterms. The stress of school is almost at its max as everyone knows those final exams are right around the corner.
I’ve been out of university for almost three years. When I look back at the five and a half years I did at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, there are many aspects of being a student that I would do differently. Now, I did enjoy my time there. I didn’t finish with a 95 in every class, but I did well and had a lot of fun. But, there are definitely things I would do differently if I went back and did it all over again.
Seriously, never underestimate how important a good night sleep is, especially in university. I learnt the hard way right off the start with this one. Within my first month, I came down with mono, and it was tough. It put me behind in everything, and I ended up dropping two classes because of it. The lack of sleep from adjusting to university undoubtedly contributed to this.
The amount of sleep, or lack thereof, that you get at night will contribute to your performance at school. The average person should get eight hours of sleep per night to function at their highest capacity. So, all those late nights spent on cramming and finishing assignments, losing sleep made it even worse.
Procrastination was my worst enemy in university. There was always a reason to put off studying or to start an assignment later. If I could change only one thing, it would be to procrastinate less because it contributed to everything else I would do differently.
The more you do to stop yourself from procrastinating, trust me, the better off you’ll be. Every time I told myself that I would do something later, it made school that much more stressful.
I was never great at exams which made it harder to stay motivated to study. However since final exams significantly contribute to your overall grade, studying is crucial to pass university. If I were to redo my schooling, changing my study habits would be near the top of that list.
Do what you can to stay on top of your studying and to remove any distractions. University tests can be very challenging. The more prepared you are, the better you will be.
Get More Involved on Campus
At the time, I didn’t see the big deal about getting involved with campus. I lived on campus for the first two years, so there were many opportunities to get involved. But at that point, campus involvement was not a top priority for me.
If you have the options to be involved in groups and events at your university, take advantage of those opportunities. Being involved with your school will only benefit you.
It’s tough not to worry when you’re a university student. Especially when you get close to the end of your program, the stress of everything around you continues to grow. The hard part is to try and stay relaxed.
My third year of schooling I went and got a part-time job. I’m glad I did this, and I wouldn't change it, but it did add to my stress levels. But when I look back now, there was no reason to worry so much. You’ll survive - it will all be okay.
Step Outside of My Box
I went into university as a shy girl. The thought of going to class alone and not knowing anyone made me anxious. That stopped me from getting more involved in things that I would likely have enjoyed.
If I could go back and give advice to myself, it would be to step outside of my shelf and do things that made me nervous. There’s a good chance you won’t see many of the people you went to school with, so what is there to lose?
Don’t get me wrong, there are many things I did in university that I wouldn’t change. I enjoyed most of my classes, picked classes that interested me, did some travelling for school, loved my part-time job, and made life-long friends. With that said, there are those things I would do differently that would have made life a bit easier (and likely healthier).
Kailey graduated with a degree in Journalism and Religious Studies from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. Now she lives a double life in Manitoba – writer by day and dance teacher by night. When she’s not at her computer, you’ll find her curled up with a glass of red wine and knitting, or obsessively taking photos of her puppy.🐶🐾
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