There’s nothing quite as magical as the beginning of a new semester.
You walk into the class you spent hours on RAMMS trying to enroll in, take a seat next to your friends and excitedly read the course outline your professor neglected to upload on D2L until now. As you skim the list of due dates and deadlines, that little voice inside your head tells you that this is the semester where you finally get your act together. Gone are the days of finishing projects at 5 a.m. or walking into class one day only to find that apparently, there’s a test that everyone knew about.
This semester, you’ll take meticulous notes in class. You’ll wake up early every day to do some yoga before your commute to campus and may even pack your lunch instead of crawling to Tim Hortons every day at noon.
This charade may last a week, sometimes two. And then reality hits. You skip a class (or two). Tell yourself that it’s OK to hand that project in late and decide that binge-watching Netflix sounds like a better way to spend your time.
No matter how your semester has been going, it’s normal to need a bit of motivation around this time of year.
Heather Lane Vetere is Ryerson’s vice-provost of students (VPS). She oversees the development and engagement of students and their overall academic success.
Now that the reading week/midterm slump is in full swing, we asked Lane Vetere to share her top five tips for academic success:
1) Work Hard
Sounds simple, right? While there’s no doubt that many students are giving it their all, taking small steps towards toward self-improvement in your academic, personal or professional life will always be beneficial for you in the long run.
Lane Vetere shares the importance of applying yourself throughout the entire semester.
“Give your best performance both to (your) class assignment and other responsibilities you may have.”
2) Have fun
Whether you’ve just started your undergraduate degree or are days away from finishing your PhD, know that your time at Ryerson isn’t going to last forever. With this in mind, Lane Vetere advises students to remember to enjoy Rye High and have fun.
“You need balance,” she said. “You can’t just be working all of the time.”
Do something enjoyable each day that’s solely for your pleasure. Whether it be going for a nightly run or coffee dates with your best friend, it’s important to carve time out for fun.
3) Get Involved
Academics are important, but your course work is only one part of your post-secondary education. A big part of the university experience is becoming an active member in the Ryerson community.
“Don’t just ride the subway here, go to class and ride the subway home,” said Lane Vetere. “Get involved: join a club or volunteer.”
Taking part in extracurricular activities will make your semester that much more fulfilling. Getting involved is a great way to make contacts, meet new friends and can even be a great thing to add to your resume.
4) Stay safe
School can be extremely stressful, but it’s important to remember that no grade or class is ever more important than your health, safety and overall well-being.
“You need to make sure you sleep well. Have good nutrition. Use the fitness facilities,” said Lane Vetere.
Make both your mental and physical health your priority. Ensure that you’re surrounding yourself with healthy, supportive relationships.
5) Ask for help
“If any of these things fall apart, if you haven’t worked hard enough and you’re struggling academically, if you have too much fun and are struggling … If you’re concerned about some risk to your safety, ask for help,” she said.