Get the most out of your first semester with these helpful tips!
As summer unfolds and the woes of high school come to an end, students find themselves in the restless, yet exciting limbo of the months before going to college, university or a trades school. During this time, a bucket list of experiences are crammed into 8 short weeks and in the blink of an eye, it’s Labour Day weekend! Vacations are important and taking a break is needed, but making the transition from high school to post-secondary education requires more preparation than simply registering for classes. That is – if you want to get the most from your experience! So, instead of waiting until September, we’ve listed 6 things students can do to get a head start on preparing for their first post-secondary experience!
Figure out transit/transportation
Whether you’re planning to live on campus or commute, finding the best route to get to classes is very important. If you drive, make sure you figure out the best roads to take for the time of day your classes will be. Additionally, you’ll likely need to purchase a parking pass. With the price of gas these days, transit is a smart alternative. Some schools offer transit passes at a discounted rate to students. Make sure you get an updated bus/skytrain schedule and load up your transit card.
Write out a budget
From tuition and books to rent and food, being a student can be expensive! Planning out your budget for the semester and then for the year will help you find places you can save and where you can afford to splurge. Purchasing used books and living with a roommate are great ways to save some money. When it comes to fun, leave some wiggle room in your budget for activities that will help you blow off steam during the stressful days of exams and essays.
Connect with new students in your program
Social media is the best way to connect with future students. Many post-secondary institutions have Facebook groups dedicated to new students and some even have groups that are exclusive to specific programs. Attending open houses or orientations is also a great way to meet other students. Meeting people before the first day of class takes the pressure off making new friends and allows you to feel more comfortable and ready to learn!
Join a club or extracurricular activity
Aside from GPA, many employers look at extracurricular participation when evaluating a resume. Joining a club, volunteering for an organization or being a part of a sports team is a great way to stay involved in the post-secondary community while taking a break from your studies. It’s also a valuable networking opportunity where you could meet people to connect you to jobs in the future!
Book a meeting with the counsellor
Your tuition and student fees cover a variety of perks and utilities that many students do not take advantage of. One of which includes academic counselling. These counsellors are versed in all the programs and courses offered at the institution and can provide advice and insight into which classes to take and when to take them. They are also a great resource for connecting you with scholarship and bursary opportunities!
Look into scholarship opportunities
Scholarship and bursary opportunities for students are so abundant these days and not many take the time to apply for them! Before each semester, research a list of awards that will be coming out and keep track of when applications are due. Many organizations will have newsletter lists you can subscribe to that will notify you the second applications open. They also have different eligibility requirements so be sure to stay on top of those!
Now that we’ve shared the secrets to a successful first semester! Be sure to subscribe to the Beedie Luminaries newsletter to be the first to know when applications for our 2020 program open.