Revamping Your Habits for the New Year

With the New Year just around the corner, here are a few tips for you to start the New Year off on the right foot:

1. Break up your study time

In the New Year, consider setting aside 2-4 hours per class a week, broken up into smaller sections to have a weekly review of course materials, complete the readings, as well as discuss course content with peers/teachers/tutors. By splitting up your study time into half-hour segments or so, you are able to focus solely on that task and then give yourself breaks that are equally important.

2. Ask questions after class

This tip may be difficult for students who have schedules that conflict with meeting times or who would prefer to stay online. In this case, I would suggest setting up a Zoom, phone call, or even just sending an email to your teacher or tutor. Doing this can often feel like a miniature tutoring session, as your teacher will often go in-depth about course topics to help increase your understanding. This is incredibly beneficial for retention and understanding.

Don't be afraid to ask questions — the whole point of education is to ask questions and learn something new. By asking questions, you are actively participating in your own learning and that is a great thing to do.

3. Access student supports

As a student, chances are you have free access to tons of different services at school: personal counselling, academic counselling, tutoring, career counselling, etc. These services are specifically designed and established to provide support for you as a student. Since they're run through your school, they're usually on site, accessible, easy to access, and have hours to accommodate your class schedule.

Your academic success is very important, but your individual wellbeing is equally important — so make sure that you're using the services put in place to help support you.

4. Create 'me' time

Many students spend the majority of their time in class, studying, and working — carefully carving time out of their schedule to do so. It's important to also make time to do things "just for you." Whether it be trying a new café every Thursday after class, reading a book just for fun, going to the drive-in Tuesday night with friends, or playing laser tag for an hour on the weekend, it's important to make time for something fun!

Your brain loves to learn new things and does really well with routine, but we can't forget to allow ourselves time to play, laugh, and be happy!

5. Review your schedule

At the end of each school week, take a moment to evaluate your progress. Did you allot enough time to study? Do you need to allot 2 hours a week for one class to study and 5 hours for another? Do you need to make adjustments to your work schedule? Are you overloading yourself? These kinds of questions remind us that our schedule is not set in stone.

If you have a routine that's not working for you, change it! Schedules are put in place to keep you organized and on track, but that doesn't mean they are rigid. They should adapt and grow with you as you experience changes.

Best of luck with your exams, and have a joyous winter season!

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