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.