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Preparing for First Year University


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Hey guys I'm entering first year University this September. I'm entering UofT's Life Science program. Do you guys have any tips on how to prepare for my first year?

 

I got a couple questions to ask, as well:

 

Should I buy textbooks before or after my first classes?

Is a laptop necessary on the first day of school?

What should I expect come first day?

 

Any other tips/things to aware me of, would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks.

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I always buy my textbooks before my first class to avoid the long lines, but I don't remove the packaging until after my first class (in the event that I want to return it). If you buy your books used, then disregard this advice and buy them after your first class. You won't know if you actually need the book until your professor tells you during the first lecture.

 

A laptop is probably not necessary on your first day. All you're going to do is go over the course syllabus, and perhaps a brief note. I recommend having your laptop with you, but you'll be fine without it.

 

You should expect that the first lecture in every class will be very light. They have to review the course syllabus and academic policies. Starting in the second lecture, they will cover much more material. Be prepared to start keeping up with all of this information right away. It will make studying for your first midterm much easier.

 

Here's a tip that one of my TA's told me in first year. It's going to be relatively easy to keep up with your material for the first month. Starting in October, the midterms will roll in. At this point, you're going to have to work much harder to study for these tests as well as reviewing all of your new information. In other words, you have one month to figure out how to do well in University.

 

Best of luck!

 

Edit: This thread might be useful for you

http://www.premed101.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64487

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I have one tip for you. Prepare to be attacked by the minotaur who preys on arrogant and naive high school students (, not saying you're one of them). Seriously, though, whatever you think about UofT being easy, get rid of it, and prepare your defenses, for you will be wholly surprised.

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My chem prof posted these videos for us. It's about how to study effectively. Lots of good information in them.

 

 

That is the first of five. Click on 'more from' and you can find the other four.

 

You may want to check into it for your school, but at mine we don't even have labs the first week. The lectures are very important to attend as the prof will go over the syllabus and expectations for the class, so say upper years.

 

We have an online forum for each class, and several have already posted that we do absolutely need the book, so I've gone ahead and bought those ahead of time, as well as supplementary materials. Some of my classes have pre-semester readings assigned as well, but I don't know if U of T does that.

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Wait to buy textbooks. They may only be "suggested" and not required, they may be available on reserve at the library, or you may be able to find them cheaper elsewhere. If you do want to buy them ahead of time, to avoid the long lineups at the bookstore, search for them online - you may be able to find them a lot cheaper. I've already bought two of my textbooks for the upcoming semester, because they were available for a lot cheaper on amazon.ca

 

A laptop is not needed at all. I never bring a laptop to classes. I take notes the "old fashioned" way, by hand, in a notebook. I retain the material more easily that way. Not to mention that it is a lot easier to draw diagrams, write out equations, and solve problems with a pen and paper! I guess for classes where there is just a bunch of note-taking, it might be more efficient to type things out as opposed to writing, but I need to write things down to retain them.

 

The best tip anyone can probably give you is: don't procrastinate! Start working on assignments, papers, lab reports, etc. early. That way, if you run into problems, you have time to see the TA or prof. You'll also reduce a lot of your own stress by getting started early.

 

Make sure you eat well and get some exercise. Those will not only keep you healthy, but exercise is great stress relief. Eating well and exercising regularly will give you the energy you need to study and work effectively and efficiently.

 

Good luck!

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