The Ins and Outs of Staying Ontop of your Studies


University can be daunting, especially for you first timers coming from the top of the totem pole in high school, to the bottom of the crowd in a new place. You feel like you’ve just mastered how to attend 4 classes a day, or maybe 3 if you were lucky to get a spare, finding the fastest, easiest way to finish all your assignments, and when you forgot – your teacher gave you a gentle reminder to hand it in. Now: you’re being thrown in to do it all over again.

How will you ever figure out your way, make it back to the top. Well, it can be easy, or it can be difficult but, it all comes down to you.


You are your own central line to doing your best, advocating for yourself and keeping yourself on track, on time, on budget, really put any word here and its up to you.

So – how have I done it. How in 3 years did I bring myself back to the top so I didn’t feel out of place or lost, so I didn’t feel out of control?

  1. Don’t forget to sleep – there seems to be more hours in a day before you come to University, but there’s actually not, you just want to do more things, make sure you still get your 7-8 hours of sleep
  2. Create a schedule – maybe a few and put them in different places. My key places were a) my phone, b) my agenda, c) my weekly planer, d) my white board, and e) my wall calendar. Why so many Meg? Well – my phone is my life line, if I’m not in my house, I have it with me, so it is an easy way to see everything I have going on at once BUT I never erase anything from my phone calendar so what happens when I finish something I need to cross it off of everything except my wall calendar and my phone calendar. I also ONLY use my white board calendar in my room for school events, anything that is personal or extra curricular stay off the white board.
  3. Invest in some coloured
    pens – colour coordinating helps keep you org
    anized, each class binder is a colour and then everything on the calendars for that class is written in the same colour. I also use a different colour for everything else going on. At a glance it is easy to tell what is coming up next.
  4. Actually use your agenda – in elementary school, mom signed your agenda each night but then it really just collected dust. Spend some money on one, and use it. I open mine at minimum 3 times a day, but usually more. I wrote myself notes in it, assignment due dates, to-do lists, schedules, meetings, really everything I have going on and once I’m done I cross it off.
  5. Utilize your TA and your Professor – I had a professor tell me this year that I was one of the only people that came to his office. Maybe others were scared of him? But I was getting the question I needed answered, and it reflected in my marks compared to the rest of the class, and when peers asked how I did so well – my answer was “I talked to the prof.” It also helps them get to know you on a first name basis – which allowed me to get 3 reference letters written for my exchange.
  6. Go out – University is yes about getting your degree, doing well, but your social life doesn’t have to suffer. You need to be accountable for your social life and be responsible for your actions for going out – Moderation is key – every night is likely not going to be beneficial to you, nor is every weekend, but enjoy your time off and treat yourself because you do deserve it and if you don’t take time away the stress sets in.

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