University will be a vastly different educational and personal experience for you. Over the next few years you’ll become a better you. Of course, there will be challenges along the way with the course workload, studying for your first midterm, or receiving your first bad mark. All of that is okay and expected, as these are obstacles bound to help your growth.
Some of you may spend significantly more time studying or working on assignments at university than you did during high school. Some of you will spend fairly similar time, but make better use of your time. Every student is different and no student’s path to success will look the same. The key is to not let your course work take over your life.
The total university experience means finding balance with your school, social life, work (if you choose to), and sleep. Breaks shouldn’t just be “study breaks” but a time to build connections and explore the campus and the Niagara region. Though university can be more challenging than your high school experience, overworking yourself won’t make that challenge any easier. If you spend your entire first year knee deep in books, you will find yourself going into year two with limited relationships and having missed out on many of the great things about being a first-year student.
It’s important to plan out your week so that you can have a fair amount of time to both study and sleep, as well as time to socialize and experience life at university. There are plenty of things to do in your free time — not just partying on the weekend. There’s a great downtown core that includes sporting events, music and art venues and many diverse food places to check out.
In terms of school itself, you may get an essay or midterm back that you do significantly worse on than you thought you would have. The good news is, it has happened to everyone who has been through university, and it’ll help you learn more about yourself and how to make self-improvements. Try not to let a bad mark scare you into devoting all your free time to studying. Sometimes balancing your life is difficult because of your peers pressuring you to spend too much time socializing and partying. On the flip side of that, however, there is the challenge between you and yourself — don’t overthink studying. You need to let yourself spend time outside of a library or dorm room. Go out with friends from your residence, attend events at Brock throughout the year, experience all that university life has to offer.
Of course, you don’t have to cram everything into one year. Don’t worry if you don’t hit every single spot in the Niagara region in year one. Leave some things to be discovered in the remaining years of your undergraduate degree. It’s always nice to be able to return to campus for a new school year and still have places you’d like to visit, sight see or go to eat.
Remember, university isn’t all about studying and marks, although both are important, your experience and health matter too.