Written by Mona (she/her), student

We all know those rumours in high school about university workload — how you’ll have an endless list of readings, assignments, and exams and will never have time for anything else.

While you will have a lot more work to do, what these rumours usually don’t tell you is the amount of support available on campus to help you succeed.

I truly believe that my transition from high school to university was much smoother because of these support resources. Here are the top resources that I used that helped me academically succeed during first year. And of course, the best thing is, all these resources are free for Waterloo students!

Tutor helping a student at the Writing and Communication Centre

Help for specific subjects

Tutors in residence

There were many tutoring sessions for different first-year courses through Academics in Residence. I was able to get a lot of extra help on problems from my first-year chemistry class. And the best part is, the sessions were held in residence so I didn’t have to go far!

Learn from students who have been there

I also went to study groups for my Biology class. These sessions were great because they were led by upper-year students who’d succeeded in the class. They explained different topics from class and gave awesome tips when it came to midterms and exams.

 

I was really worried about not having the best study habits

Academic skill development

Write like the next Shakespeare

I remember being told so many times in high school how important writing is in university, and let me tell you, it’s definitely true! To this day, I still drop in to the Writing and Communication Centre for help with structuring and polishing my papers, whether it’s for a biology lab or an English essay.

Conducting research at the library

Research was new to me coming into university and I wasn’t really sure where to begin. The research skills workshops offered through the Library were super helpful in building up my skills.

Skill-building workshops

I was really worried about not having the best study habits and not knowing how to take notes effectively during university. I took so many workshops with the Student Success Office (SSO) and picked up techniques on improving my time management skills and preparing effectively for tests.

Some of the tutoring services offered at the SSO include leadership workshops, international student support, and peer success coaching.

I remember being told so many times in high school how important writing is in university, and let me tell you, it’s definitely true!

These are only some of the resources that I found helpful during first year. Although you will definitely be hitting the books a lot when coming to university, it’s important to realize that you’re never alone!


 
 
 

Related articles