COLUMN: Transitions – Tips for a new school year

Whether starting high school or post-secondary classes, going in with an open mind and an optimistic attitude can make all the difference.

In anticipation of the new school year starting next week, it is a great time to focus on all the amazing new knowledge that one will gain.

Transitions from elementary to high school or from high school to post-secondary can be especially exciting moments and milestones along the educational journey.

While one might feel a sense of nervousness when entering a new environment, going in with an open mind and an optimistic attitude can help ease the transition.

For young students entering high school, Grade 8 is a very exciting time to explore a variety of subjects while being exposed to a different type of learning environment, with new teachers and the block system. Keeping binders organized and noting down deadlines is helpful when trying to manage the classes during the day. Students should strive to seek help from teachers if they need clarification on anything and should not hesitate to ask questions in class.

Students entering the post-secondary system are often faced with choices in regards to selecting courses, scheduling study times and balancing other responsibilities. To deal with the new learning curve, it can be helpful to continue practising successful study habits which have worked in the past.

Furthermore, it would be a good idea to create a weekly study timeline for assignments and exams happening later in the semester. Though these assignments may seem far in the future, the semester goes by quite quickly, and reviewing deadlines on an ongoing basis and dividing the work to complete on a weekly basis is effective. Reviewing notes during the semester can also ensure that one does not have to quickly cram a lot of information during mid-term or final exam time.  Professor and TA (Teaching Assistant) office hours are an invaluable resource to address any questions a student might have.

As I have discussed in a previous column, the issue of selecting majors is also an important decision, and students should try to take a variety of courses to see which subjects they are most passionate about. Scholarships and bursaries are also available, and students should make note of the eligibility criteria for the different applications.

The first month of school is a great time to explore new clubs and activities to join, and attending the clubs days is a good way to see which activities you are interested in participating in. Involvement in such clubs or student groups can help create a balanced school experience, allow you to meet other like-minded individuals, and ensure that classroom learning is enriched with other team-based and collaborative activities.

I wish all students a successful school year ahead and I’m sure that you will enjoy learning something new every day.

Japreet Lehal is a Simon Fraser University graduate pursing a law degree. He writes regularly for The Leader.

 

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