Mental Health Blog

Transitioning from High School to University

It is March, and at this point many high school students may have received their University acceptance letters, or may still be awaiting them. Some individuals may have been rejected from certain schools, but nevertheless, are planning on attending university in the coming fall semester. The transition from high school to university can be scary, but it is an exciting adventure. However, as we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, including our experiences at school. Lets talk about a few things regarding how to best prepare for university and make the best of your time.

In my experience, I found that the most important thing to understand when approaching material in University classes is to ditch the way you previously studied in high school. In University, the class content is often quite dense, and therefore methods such as writing out textbook and lecture notes may place you in an inconvenient position for success. Keep in mind that during your first semester it is alright to make mistakes and still be in the process of discovering which method of studying best fits your needs.

When it comes to the classes you select, I would advise against taking a class just because your friends are, or because it is said to be easy. In University, there is rarely a class that will give you an A+ without any effort. I personally believe that a class should be of interest to you in order for you to succeed. Speaking of which, University is an excellent time to explore subjects of interest that you were unable to study during high school. Dig into your schools website and discover the classes that are offered, often, you will be surprised at the variety of subjects offered.

The amount of classes students in University take vary case by case. For certain areas of study, taking 5 classes may be near impossible, whereas it may be doable in another area of study. I think it is useful to search up other students experiences on forums for your school to gain some information on what typical work loads are like. That being said, it is crucial to begin planning your courses in order to be able to graduate within 4 years (if that is a concern to you). I have seen some students remain in University for 5+ years due to the lack of course planning. It may seem too early to begin worrying about it, but future you will be thanking you.

Lastly, I would like to mention that University is just like beginning high school in terms of any feelings of nervousness. At first in grade 8 everything is scary and new, however you eventually adjust to the new environment, people and curriculum. Your experience in university will follow a similar pattern. COVID-19 may potentially hinder your University experience and the temptation to ditch the mask may be appealing. However, remember to stay safe on campus, and maintain COVID-19 protocols. Good luck!