A storm to weather

The jump from high school to university classes has affected us all differently and it can be overwhelming. One’s work habits in high school will often determine the impact of this change. Harder working students will not feel it quite as badly, while others may be in for a rude awakening.

Over my four years in high school, I was involved extensively with extra-curricular activities. I was able to balance an academic, work and social life by making my grades a number one priority by making use of a daily planner to manage my time.

I noticed teachers who held students’ hands and spoon-fed information to them. Some students would receive a failing grade and still be passed on to the next grade. I’m not suggesting that this is the fault of any particular teachers, but social promotion is no way to prepare students to be successful in a post-secondary institution or the workforce.

Greater independence is required to thrive in university and on the job, not to mention that professors nor employers will be as easy-going as many high school teachers. So far, my professors have explained their requirements for assignments and I understand they’re available to assist students if needed. But we’re all young adults now and they will not tell us how to read, take notes or complete a paper every step of the way.

I recently completed a novel for a political science class within a week or two, and I’ve been required to submit assignments and take quizzes in a couple of other classes. I’ve noticed a greater emphasis on working independently, which should be a given for students that are, on average, between 18 and 25.

The transition to university is a storm that I’ve weathered quite well, largely as a result of Welcome Week activities, friends who are in the same boat, time management and work habits that are reflective of the ones I had in high school.

First-year students Andrew Daniels and Luke Garagan are also pleased with the way they have handled the transition thus far.

“I feel high school has prepared me well for university,” said Daniels, who is a member of the STU rugby team. “I had a couple of teachers who taught me in styles very similar to those that I have encountered at STU, and the work load so far hasn’t been too hard to handle.”

Garagan said the jump to university has been challenging, but says it hasn’t been as difficult as he anticipated. He believes his study habits and commitment to learning will positively influence his performance as a student.

“The profs have been very understanding and considerate, and the people on campus have been fantastic,” he said. “High school overall prepared me for university, [but] I believe two or three classes got me ready for the transition.”

Though I’m pleased with my ability to manage time spent with the books and having fun, I will constantly be looking to improve my habits to ensure continued post-secondary success. I would rather remain for the long haul than leave at Christmas.

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