2011Nov 1

SPAD: A view from First Year

By SPAD Guest Bloger Russell Lavis*

A view from SPAD First year student Russell Lavis

It is a significant adjustment going from High School to University. In this small article, I will provide some insight, based on personal experiences, on how to adjust from high school to University. I will also give you a first year student perspective on University.

The first topic that is to be addressed in this article is independence. In high school, many guidelines are provided in order to succeed at a high percentile on assessments (quizzes, tests, assignments). Where as, in University, there is more emphases regarding learning for yourself. For example, University includes a tremendous amount of readings you must complete on your own time. In fact, it is expected that for every hour you have class you work double that outside the classroom. But in high school, much of the course material is provided to you directly in the classroom. Therefore, high school requires less work outside the classroom making the curriculum less independent. Another adjustment or difference between high school and university is in high school teachers can focus more on your strengths and weaknesses as a student. But in University professors expect you to show what you have learned and have them show little or no interest in your strengths and weaknesses.

The next topic I’m going to focus on is related to finance. University nowadays costs a great deal of money. Not to mention, OSAP (loans from the government) is not nearly as generous it was a few decades ago. I know from experience that since so much money has been paid that that puts a lot of pressure on me to succeed. I’m sure the same goes for other students, especially those who are living in residence and not living in the same city as the university. What makes this extremely difficult is the fact that a student is going through huge transition when making the change from high school to University. When you come to University when you know your work ethic is where you want it to be. It will take off some pressure depending on you as an individual.

Personally, University has been a great experience thus far. The social and educational aspects of it are magnificent. When you come to University, make sure you go into a program that you have a tremendous passion for. It creates a motivation for you to work really hard in your program which makes hitting the road running early on as far as academics go a little easier. I know a great deal of my life and heart is in sports so that’s why I chose Sports Administration. The biggest key in University in my mind is time management. There is a lot of work and you have to decipher what work you should do and when you should do it to help you succeed the best you can on it. In conclusion, from a first year perspective, as long as you are willing to work hard and have fun at the appropriate times University is the place for you.

*Russell is a first year SPAD student who volunteered to share his thoughts on the transition to university so far. Thanks Russell and hopefully we will hear more from you in the future.

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