Academic Tips & Tricks
Our Academic Tips and Tricks workshop was Monday February 22nd. We want to thank everyone who joined us in learning about different study strategies and tips for academic success. We also discussed the transition into post-secondary, how to adapt to online learning and what to do when school feels discouraging, check out our summary below!
The Academic Transition to Post-Secondary
The transition into Post-secondary is accompanied by many changes in all aspects of life. In our workshop, we broke down the major changes associated with this academic transition. The first major transition is the exam season. Midterms and finals season in university can be a lot more stressful than high school. This is due to less time out of class to study, a larger range of topics to study, and the increased weight of the exam on your final grade. Although this may be a stressful time, a good study schedule throughout the semester is guaranteed to lighten some of this heavy load. Speaking of heavy loads, the second major transition would be the workload. In university, there are longer lecture hours and a lot more assignments to do. Additionally, professors are not reminding you of due dates throughout the semester. Both of these aspects of university can be regulated by having a very detailed schedule, containing test dates and dates that you plan to prepare. The takeaway of this message is to plan, plan, plan!
Although online learning is done from the comfort of your home, online learning definitely has its challenges. Our first tip is to assign different locations for studying, working, and leisure. This will ensure that you get the most out of your productivity spaces. Our next tip to take care of your mental and physical health. It is so easy to get into the zone of academics and start to neglect your health. No matter how much you apply yourself to your academics, it is inevitable that your mental and physical health will affect your academic performance. Make sure you guys are taking care of yourselves! Lastly, do not be too hard on yourself. We are in the middle of a global pandemic that is affecting our mental health as well as our social and academic lives. The fact that you are trying your best will always be good enough!
Similar to many things in life, things at school don’t always go your way. It could be getting a low grade on an assessment, forgetting a deadline, or simply just not doing as well as you had hoped or expected. The most important thing to do when this happens is to be kind to yourself. Failure is completely normal, and it should never be a reason to doubt yourself and your abilities. We recommend speaking to your family, friends or even teachers you trust about this. These are people that can remind you of how amazing you are and that there is more to life than your academics. It is also very important to not dwell on your errors, but rather acknowledge them in a way that allows you to learn from them in order to improve in the future. Adding on to this, we encourage you all to ask for help. The best way to improve in school is to be willing to ask for help, your teachers and peers are there to support you and guide you, let them. Lastly, we also recommend giving yourself small rewards for trying your best, it could be watching your favourite movie, hanging out with yourself or buying your favorite food, do something to make yourself happy. All of this to say that it is okay to not do as well as you hoped, there will be many more opportunities to do better and achieve your goals.
These are some helpful study and note-taking techniques that we recommend…
Active recall Method
Dual encoding Method
Spaced Repetition Method
Most importantly, make sure you REST!
We have also provided some resources for you to practice the techniques listed above. Scheduling programs such as Google Calendar and Notion are a great way to visualize your tasks. Khan Academy and YouTube have extremely thorough tutorials which help reinforce content, while allowing you to review the material at your own pace. When you have content heavy courses to study for Anki, an interactive flashcard app, can help you retain more information using the spaced revisions technique. If you find yourself easily distracted while studying, try out the Flora app which combines the Pomodoro Method with incentives to stay focused!
Our next workshop, Atypical Careers Panel is on March 8th, and we have some amazing panelists lined up for you! They will discuss the ins and outs of their professions and you will be able to participate in a Q&A portion at the end, we hope to see you there!
The BOLD Team