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How to ease the transitioning phase from high school to university

Tony Xu

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Going to university can be scary and stressful especially going as a high school graduate. Just want to share some tips on how to ease the transitioning phase so it doesn't impact you as much:

- PLEASE GO TO ORIENTATION WEEK. This is extremely important for you as this is the chance for you to get to know your faculty members, get to know your campus, make friends at the early stage and most importantly connect with the community. I did not go to my university's orientation week and I regret this decision even till this day. 

- PLEASE SEEK ACADEMIC HELP IF NEEDED. I did not understand a thing my prof said for the first few weeks of classes. There were opportunities such as asking the TAs or going to tutoring but I just kept reassuring myself that I would be fine. I mean...I was find until the first exam hit... 

- PLEASE SET YOUR PRIORITIES IN THE BEGINNING. Some people's goal is to study as hard as possible, make it on the deans list and get into the most competitive program. However not everyone wants that. Maybe you want to focus on connecting with friends during universities. Maybe you want to focus on establishing professional connections during your years of study. Maybe you want to save time for your hobby. Maybe you want to go volunteer as much as possible to help the community. Maybe you want to work so you can increase some competencies as well as get experience. My point is, setting your priorities and knowing what you want to spend time on in the beginning is really important

Please feel free to add anything!

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These are all great tips! I'd actually like add to the point about seeking help and setting your priorities in the beginning:

  • University/college can be overwhelming especially on your first year where you're kind of trying to figure out your place within this institution and in this new phase of your life. Essays, assignments, projects, etc., can also get a bit too much especially when it is not just one course you are taking but multiple at the same time. That said, there will be people there to help you. Even talking to your TA and your professor if you're struggling! And in my case, my university also offered free counselling and you could also even go to your academic advisor. Additionally, the university itself would sometimes even offer workshops on mental health, essay writing, etc. So no matter where you go to for school and what program you are in, there is bound to be someone you can talk to and reach out to for help so don't be afraid to do so. Professors do actually mean it when they tell you to come see them during office hours. They are not as scary as they might seem at first! 
  • Setting your priorities is definitely a good thing to do when you first start your post-secondary education. Everyone may be going to the same institution but everyone is different and has different priorities and things they're worrying about. It is good to kind of assess yourself and decide what exactly you want to get out of this experience so you don't waste any time. As mentioned in the previous post, some people are concerned with volunteering in the community and if that is also your case then you might want to reach out to volunteering places that first year or attend volunteering events and get as involved as possible. But it would be good to know what you want to "achieve" so you can use your time wisely! Of course if you are also not sure or don't have any idea yet then that's completely okay too. I know it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do and I'd really just try different things every year so it's all up to you. 😁
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