Tips to Succeed in Second Semester

Hey Nutrition Students!

I hope everyone has been having a lovely break so far! For me, the holidays are definitely about friends, family and food of course. But if you’re anything at all like me, sleep is my number 1 priority over the break! We all work so hard during the year, and the time between first and second semester is that vital opportunity for me to catch up on all those Z’s, am I right? With that said, January 13th is fast approaching and in this December feature, I’m here to share some of my key tips for helping you be successful when second semester rolls around.

Now I think we can all agree that as we transition through university you might have already determined your best style of studying, note-taking, reading etc. But for those who have not (particularly first or second years), or those still trying to get a grasp on this whole student/work life balance thing, I’m here to help! If it’s any consolation, I’m in my fourth year, and my marks have significantly increased since my first two years of school (*and I’ve still managed to have some sort of social life)

Tip 1: STAY ORGANIZED

Like many things in life, once you fall behind, the more challenging it may be to catch up. This is especially true in university. Seriously though, it’s like we just start school and three weeks later we already have a midterm. Nonthless, complaining about it isn’t going to help, but something that does is learning to write everything down in an agenda (*seriously everything). As soon as I get my course outlines I write down dates of all my upcoming assessments, in addition to any workshops, networking events and extra circulars I have planned. This is essential in helping me stay organized and succeed in all my courses.

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Tip 2: ASK QUESTIONS

This doesn’t mean you need to raise your hand every 5 minutes in class (*unless you’re really confused), but trust me when I say that professors find value in students who show genuine interest and concern in course material. More times than not, they are glad to speak to you individually or during break. Don’t be shy when it comes to asking questions and forget the notion that what you’re asking is “stupid”, trust me, it’s not!

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Tip 3: SPEAK TO YOUR CLASSMATES

The material we learn isn’t easy stuff, and chances are if you’re confused, so is the girl or boy sitting beside you. I find that our program is really good with sharing notes, and forming study groups when it comes to exam prep. And actually, over 20 years of academic research has shown that studying in small groups allows students to absorb more information than they normally would while sitting in a large classroom style lecture.

Tip 4: REGULATE YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE

I’m sure many of you struggle with this and I totally get it. I’m one of those people who’s actually way more productive at night time + I’m slightly addicted to caffeine. So the two combined aren’t great. My good friend and I will casually make coffee at 12 am, and pretend it doesn’t do anything to us, when in reality this isn’t really the case. The first two years of school, my sleep habits were out of whack and I didn’t find it that big of a deal to stay up every night till 4 am doing work, and sleep in till 12 pm (*when applicable). But as I transitioned to my third and fourth years of school I started changing my habits. Yes I still stay up late, but I’m not doing work until 4 am 3-4 times a week. My body was begging for sleep, and my unhealthy habits needed to come to an end. And honestly, the more organized I was, the more efficient I became at planning around my busy schedule and avoiding those dreaded all nighters. Plus, research shows that cramming for an exam the night before isn’t an effective way to retain information.

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Tip 5: FIND YOUR STRESS RELIEF

Whether that may be kickboxing, drawing, playing an instrument, taking a bath, whatever it may be, find yours and use it as your little ‘escape’ at the end of a long day. As Ryerson students we’re pretty lucky to have two awesome Athletic Centres at the heart of our campus, so I say take advantage of them while you can. The MAC (Mattamy Athletic Centre), has been my friends and I go-to after a long week of classes. Most of us are aware, that exercise releases chemicals like ‘endorphins’ in our body that attribute a wide range of our body health benefits. Endorphins act at natural painkillers that have been shown to help increase our ability to sleep, and help keep us energized and happy. So next time your friends asks if you want to join them for their kickboxing class, you might just wanna give it a shot!

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Tip 6: SEEK SUPPORT IF YOU NEED IT

Ryerson offers a variety of on campus services that you can go to if you’re feeling like you need to speak to a qualified professional. I’m a firm believer in that a strong support system is key in the health and well-being of an individual, but sometimes you might want to speak to someone who isn’t your best friend or a family member. In those cases, seek comfort in knowing that there are other people available to speak to if you need be. There are also awesome programs on campus like RU Therapy Dogs at the SLC that you can partake in too. I didn’t have a chance to make it to them first semester, but I’m definitely going to come the New Year! Check out their facebook page @RUtherapydogs for more info  🙂

For more information visit: http://www.ryerson.ca/studentaffairs//

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I hope these tips will help you all succeed second semester! Remember to keep everything in perspective, and treat your body and mind with the kindness it deserves.

-4th Year NCU Communication Rep

Alexis Silver

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