Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Back to School Already! Tips to Make the Most of Your Time

It is already mid-August, time is flying by, and many will be going back to school. 

Whenever I pass retail stores, all I see is back-to-school supplies.  This is bitter sweet for me, as I am currently in my last year of pharmacy school.  I won’t be returning to classes starting September, and it makes me a little sad (as I won’t be seeing my friends on a daily basis). I have been to University of Toronto for 8 years now.  I would like to share some words of wisdom to those returning to school (whether it’s high school, university, or higher-level education). 

1. Be organized and know your deadlines
Document your exam & assignment dates, volunteer & work schedule, extracurricular activities and meetings on either:
  • big calendar
  • agenda
  • personal organizer
  • laptop
  • phone app
 2. Be punctual and do not procrastinate
This is actually easier said than done.  However, it is a very important skill to have which can be passed onto your work life.  Make sure you get to your classes on time, and start your projects ahead of time.  It is so easy to get distracted.   If the computer is a huge distraction for you, print your study notes and go to the library instead of studying on the laptop.  Furthermore, study or do your projects in a group, so you can motivate each other to finish.  

3. Ask for help
This is especially important when you are unsure of a problem, or you don’t understand the material.  Ask your professor, other students and your friends.  You do not have knowledge about everything.  Be aware of your weaknesses, and implement ways to improve them.  Asking for help is not a weakness; it’s actually a strength since it allows you to learn something new each day.  

4. Communication is key
If you are running late on a project, unable to complete a task for a group project, or late for a meeting, let people know.  Send a quick email or text them right away, so people are aware of your actions.  People won’t be able to read your mind or your actions without you telling them.  

5. Enjoy your time!
School is only for a few more years, and then you will be working for the rest of your life.  Enjoy school life by participating in extra-curricular activities, making friends and taking the time to explore and try new things.  

I personally will miss the company of my friends and learning new information; however I will not miss the stress of my exams.  To actually survive school life, you need to find the perfect balance between school, work, family and friends. You also need to find ways to deal with stress.  Remember school will shape who you are in the future so take it as learning process and do your best!