Succeeding in university means more than good grades

You may have been a bright student in high school, graduated with honours and are now excited to continue to do well throughout your university career. However, in university, there are a lot of ways to actually succeed in the long run and straight A’s aren’t always at the top of that list.

When going into your first year, you need to ask yourself what you want to truly get out of your four years at university and what will benefit you the most by the time you graduate.

You’ll want to think about what’s more important to you: good marks, the experience to compliment your degree, or the proper balance of both.

High school teachers tell you that university work is brutally difficult and you can’t screw around at all. This isn’t entirely true.

The work itself isn’t truly hard, but the time commitment and workload from demanded by professor is most definitely unrealistic.

The majority of students won’t actually do all the course readings. Not because they’re shitty students, but because we’re not actual machines.

If you want to simply get good grades, you just have to work for them. It’s about the choices you make to get them. If you do simple essays throughout the whole school year and check off the expectations that professors look for as you do it, you can probably land a 75 per cent or above, every time, even if you do it the night before.

If you are given the opportunity to do something a little more creative and really challenge yourself, your marks will probably suffer. These kinds of assignments will teach you a lot. They usually take a lot of time and commitment and you wont be able to do that great of a job in the limited time you have to do it.

This sucks, but it really just goes back to that question of what you want to get out of university.

If you want good grades, then I suggest taking more “bird” courses and breezing through school. If you are the kind of person who wants to challenge yourself, learn new skills and marks aren’t always as important, as long as you achieve that degree by the end, taking courses out of your comfort zone will teach you a lot.

The other main thing you want to consider is that getting work experience, along with that degree, is extremely valuable.

I know it’s ridiculous for us to have to go through years of schooling and then still be demanded to have experiences along with it, but that’s just the market. Employers will always want to hire the most qualified person.

We go to school with lots of opportunities for student work, as well as clubs and volunteer positions. The awesome thing about post-secondary school clubs is that, in most cases, they will give you valuable, hands on experience that will benefit you after graduation.

I was given a great volunteer experience to go on an extracurricular trip and miss school for a week. The responsibility and experience I gained from this was extremely valuable and not something I could have experienced in a classroom.

However, the cost of this was missing a few deadlines for school and struggling to submit assignments before leaving on the trip.

There is no one way to succeed. You’ll discover what career path you want after university and you will figure out how to get there. The decisions you have to make aren’t always easy, but remember your goals and take the opportunities that will lead you to them.

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