Good Things to Know

19 Dec

I survived my first semester of university.


Well, minus exams…but I’m going to focus on the positives for now, (i.e. classes are done, I have no more essays to write or presentations to do, and I have some time off to relax).

Looking back at my short time here at UTM, I realize that I’ve learned a few lessons.

Some may seem like they should have been no-brainers, yes.

Some I probably knew before I came to university.

But trust me…until you actually experience something, you don’t really know what good advice is.

So, I think these little lessons I’ve learned are worth sharing.

Here you go:

1. Don’t keep snacks in your room.


It’s simple: seeing them will cause you to eat them.

Boredom and easily accessible snacks are not a good combination.

There have been many times when I have been studying for way too long, gotten totally unfocused and exhausted, and found my salvation in a bag of Tostitos nacho chips…because they were there, on my desk, right in front of me.

If I had to walk to my kitchen to get them, I probably wouldn’t have eaten the whole bag.

So, keep snacks out of sight.

(Confession: this is horribly hypocritical advice for me to give right now because I’m staring at a box of crackers as I type this blog in my room…)

2. If the professor assigns you an article that he/she has written, it’s a safe bet you will be tested on it.

Similarly, if your TA only covers one topic in tutorial, bet that it’s on the test.

And finally, if your Prof explicitly says that something will be on the test, count on it being on the test.

Too many times I ignored the obvious clues that were dropped to me in lectures and tutorials.

Please, learn from my mistakes.

3. Do your readings the week that they are assigned.

Image Don’t save them all up for the few days before the test…like I always did. It’s unnecessarily stressful.

If you stay on top of things, you won’t have to play catch-up the week of the test.

4. Don’t pull all-nighters to get your work done.


This is a big one.


I got very little sleep last week and spent the better part of my weekend napping.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: that sounds like a pretty great weekend.

And it was.

The problem was the fact that I spent the few days leading up to that weekend feeling totally exhausted.

I’m young…I shouldn’t feel tired all the time!

So…major take-away here: SLEEP = GOOD.

5. Know that as soon as you tell yourself that you’re going to start doing homework after this one song or this one video is over, that that one song and video will turn into more, until you’re in your room, munching on crackers and NOT doing anything school-related.

 Oh, it’s happened to me so many times.

That first song that I put on is like a gateway drug…I just end up playing more and more and more and more…until I forget about the work that I actually had to do in the first place.

But I’m not saying that study breaks aren’t important.

Take breaks…just make sure you exercise a little self-control and regulate the length of those breaks.

6. Don’t let your laundry build-up.


Living on res means that I am responsible for washing my own clothes.

And I don’t like to do it very often.

I got really busy in November…and I neglected my bag of dirty clothes sitting in the corner of my room for a few weeks.

Long story short, up until a few days ago, that bag was overflowing with clothing, including my sweaty gym clothes which started to smell.

Gross, I know. So I’m going to start doing at least one load of laundry every couple weeks…it’ll sure save me money on Febreeze, that’s for sure 😉

So there you have it…the little pieces of wisdom that I picked up during my first semester.

If you have any other suggestions or pieces of advice, let me know!


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