With the school season just around the corner, it can be a stressful time for those entering college or university – especially if it involves moving away for the first time.
It’s important to succeed in every aspect of your post-secondary career. Not just in academics, but also in caring for your mental and physical health.
We asked a few CCA members for their advice to help make your transition to post-secondary education enjoyable and successful!
Time for time management!
You will find schedules very different than in high school with varied start times, classes in different buildings, and large gaps of time between classes.
You may find that you have more free time than before and it’s important to use it wisely!
“Figure out your schedule – when to study, cook, exercise, rest, etc. Find resources to help manage stress and workload, as well as who can help you on campus, in your community, and in your family”
– Dr. Frances LeBlanc
A recent study showed that of the three-time management categories affecting academic success – time planning, time attitude, and time wasting – the most influential is time planning.1
Time planning doesn’t just mean plan when to study. It is important to plan when NOT to study. Make sure you schedule personal time, family time, sleep, exercise, and any other activity important to you. Eventually, with enough practice, your well-planned out days, and the success that comes with it will be routine.
“Some of the best advice I got was to keep a routine. This will help reduce stress and create good habits”
– Dr. Evraj Dhaliwal
Get involved in and out of school
Post-secondary schools offer many opportunities for students to get involved whether it’s jobs, clubs, sports, or study groups. These are a great way to network, meet new friends, learn a new skill, or earn some income.
“Get involved. Student unions, grad fund committee… whatever. Maintain a life outside of academia”
– Dr. Ron Latch
What better use of free time than planning some extracurriculars?
Healthy habits make a healthy future
This is especially important for those leaving home for the first time. No longer having family dinners could mean a lack of nutritional meals. Learning how to cook is a life skill that provides tons of benefits, as a student and future adult.
“People will manifest how they feel with their behaviour. Those who feel great, will perform great and have great social interactions. Create habits that make you feel great! For me, it was exercising and sleeping properly.”
– Richar Raigoza
Breakfast: According to a study on how breakfast affects memory, university students who consistently ate breakfast were shown to have improved immediate recall and spatial memory in University students 2 . Another study linked insufficient sleep with poor academic performance. Factors that contribute to sleeplessness include depression and distractions, but whatever the reason, it is important to find solutions in order to get a good night’s rest.
Sleep: The American Academy of Sleep Medicine describes a study that linked insufficient sleep with poor academic performance 3. Many factors contribute to lack of sleep. These include depression, insomnia, distractions, etc. It is important to find solutions for the issues leading to lack of sleep
Exercise: the benefits of exercise are endless. Not only will exercising affect your physical health, but it can also positively affect your mental health. Studies have shown exercise improves quality of life, improves strength, balance, and sense of well-being, which could all affect your mental well-being 4.
Set and work towards goals
If you’ve heard this tip a lot, it’s for good reason.
Having clear goals and ways to work towards them sets you up for success. Always remind yourself of where you want to be in 10 years and work towards it.
“How successful you are reflects how much dedication you put into it. Professors won’t chase after you for homework or assignments. The onus is on you”.
– Dr. Christine Rad
Razali SN, Rusiman MS, Gan WS, Arbin N. The Impact of Time Management on Students’ Academic Achievement. InJournal of Physics: Conference Series 2018 Apr (Vol. 995, No. 1, p. 012042). IOP Publishing.
Benton D, Sargent J. Breakfast, blood glucose and memory. Biological Psychology. 1992 Jul 1;33(2-3):207-10.
Lee YJ, Park J, Kim S, Cho SJ, Kim SJ. Academic performance among adolescents with behaviorally induced insufficient sleep syndrome. Journal of clinical sleep medicine. 2015 Jan 15;11(01):61-8.