As a student I’m always looking for ways to save money. One of the great things about university is that there always seems to be free food somewhere. more »
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One of the many reasons I love being at U of T is because there is always something cool happening nearby.
I will let you in on a not-so-secret, secret: University is a lot bigger than high school. In my first year at the University of Toronto St. George Campus, I was transitioning from a small high school of about 800 students to campus of over 40,000 students.
However, as a Kinesiology student I found the transition to be a little easier because in the relatively small faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education I always felt supported by my friends and tight-knit student body throughout my leadership endeavours. I am now in my final year of study, and I am taking a full load of courses outside of my faulty. In many ways I feel like I am a first year student in the Arts & Science faculty: my classes are much larger and I am surrounded by unfamiliar faces. While I am now starting to experience some of the challenges of standing out in a larger crowd, I have come to realize a common feature of successful leadership that is present in both small and large crowds of students. Whether you are in a group of 10, 100, or 1000 people, true leaders take initiative and lead by example. This characteristic extends beyond frosh week and into daily living. For example, when sitting in tutorial, do you answer questions and lead discussions? Or, do you sit back and answer emails on your cellphone? A true leader takes initiative and leads, regardless of the situation. Answering questions in tutorial and leading your class in a discussion will get you noticed by your peers and professors. In turn, this can help you in future leadership initiatives like running for President on student council.
So my advice on how to stand out amongst the 70,000 students that attend the University of Toronto? Speak out, help out and take initiative in class, during frosh and in your community.
Are all-nighters an unavoidable aspect of life as a University of Toronto student? That really depends on who you ask.
If you go by the Facebook statuses of a number of my friends, it would seem the answer is a resounding “YES”. They seem to be simultaneously cramming for exams and procrastinating on Facebook —but you don’t have to be that person. Cramming for an exam is horrible, I have done it and I have seen other students suffer through it, but it is AVOIDABLE. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, cramming occurs when you take a first-ever look at your exam material a mere 2 or 3 days before the test date. Everyone knows that it is not possible to understand a months-worth of lecture material in 36 hours, yet so many students put themselves in this position.
I’m not trying to sound like a parent, but the truth is, if you had looked at the material just a week earlier, or even studied a small amount during (some or maybe even all of) your commutes, you would never have to cram for an exam. I know for myself, I used to listening to music, text or just catch-up on emails during my commute – it was pretty much my default activity the minute I got on the GO Train. I commute into the city every day and my commute is about 40 minutes each way. I realized that if I used that time to study instead of mindlessly flipping through emails, I could accomplish an hour and 20 minutes of studying every day. This has really been a life saver for me. When I begin a major studying session I already understand the main concepts of the material and I can dedicate more time toward learning the finer details of my lecture notes (these details are the difference between achieving an A grade and an A+ grade). Being efficient with my time has made a tremendous difference on both my grades and my sanity. Take a critical look at your own schedule, if you can carry your notes with you during your day and study during ‘dead’ time, do it! In doing so, I am confident that you will never have to resort to cramming again!