Here’s Your 7-Point Checklist for Starting University Off Right

Raising Teens |

Starting any post-secondary program is a huge step in your teen’s life. There’s a lot of change happening and many new challenges to tackle. Share these 7 tips with your teen to help them have a successful start to this new adventure:

1) Become familiar with the campus.

  • Where are your classes located?
  • Where is the library?
  • Where can you find student services?

2) Get organized!

  • Write down your class times in a planner and/or set reminders on your phone.
  • Get a four-month calendar and write down important dates such as midterms and assignment deadlines.
  • Expect to do 2-3 hours of homework per each hour of class time and schedule homework time into your timetable.

3) Learn to balance schoolwork and life while maintaining good mental health.

  • Find a physical outlet like joining a gym or sports team.
  • Research what resources are available to you (e.g. counselling services).
  • Understand that you may get swamped with work and that it is A OK to take a break.
  • Seek out comfortable areas to grab a coffee and a snack and study.

4) Take class seriously!

  • Attend all your classes.
  • Build relationships with your professors and TAs – know and use their office hours.
  • Ask questions for clarification and make sure you fully understand assignment criteria.

5) Create social networks.

  • Make friends with others in your classes; study groups can be very helpful.
  • Try joining a club or committee.
  • Put effort into maintaining friendships from high school.

6) If you have special needs:

  • Book an appointment with an advisor at your institutions Center for Accessible Learning.
  • Bring a copy of your psycho-educational assessment.
  • Ask about accommodations and available supports, like writing centers.
  • Also inquire about available grants for students with a disability.

7) If you struggle with anxiety or depression or related challenges:

  • Book an appointment with a counselor at your institution’s counseling services so that you forge connections that will be helpful later on.
  • Discuss a wellness plan to keep you healthy and to prevent any turbulence as you begin this new journey in your life.