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Top 3 things to know as you transition from 1st year to 2nd year

May 13, 2019 — 

Congratulations! You’ve made it through your first year of university! This is a great accomplishment. During this time of year, we often have students asking us “Now what?” or “Where do I go from here?”. Academic Advisors are here to help you through this next stage of your university studies. Here are some of the top things to keep in mind while you transition from your first year to your second year of studies. 


  1. Changing your goals or being undecided is okay!

Academic advisors see many students who change their minds about what career they want to pursue or are undecided about what program they want to target. We recognize that this is a major life decision and students can feel a lot of pressure. It’s important to reflect on the past year and to dedicate time to explore your career and degree options. The answers will not magically appear, but there are resources that can help you make these decisions. For starters, we recommend visiting Career Services and meeting with a Career Consultant to discuss your interests, volunteer opportunities, career pathways, and various experiential learning opportunities. Your instructors are another excellent resource. We encourage you to ask your professors questions about their field of expertise, and to build on these relationships throughout your studies. They just might have some interesting opportunities for you to get involved and get some hands on experience. All of these things can help you explore your options. 

  1. Needing to enhance your study skills and grades is very normal 

Maybe you didn’t achieve the grades you wanted to, or maybe you didn’t take the right courses. Academic advisors recognize that as a first year student, you have likely been dealing with many adjustments and it is common for students to hit some speedbumps along the way. This is an excellent time to reflect on what worked (or didn’t work). Academic advisors are available to guide you through your specific situation and make recommendations on your study habits, course planning and explain the potential outcomes of some of your choices.

An academic advisor can also connect you to dozens of free resources on campus and refer you to workshops, tutors and Student Help Centres that can help you to achieve your goals in your second year. Contact an academic advisor in your program when planning your courses to learn more about what resources might help you succeed!

  1. You may need to make some decisions this Summer Term, and we’re here to help.

Depending on how many credit hours you have completed and what program you are in or targeting, there may be some decisions you need to make this summer. For example, if you are in University 1 with at least 24 credit hours, you may have options to Transit to the Faculty of Arts or the Faculty of Science beginning June 10. Or you might already be in a faculty and thinking about declaring a major. Regardless of your situation, academic advisors can help you figure out what might be best for you. We strongly encourage you to meet with an advisor in May or June to discuss your options. 

Remember that every student’s situation and experiences are different, and that academic advisors are here to guide you along the way. We know how much hard work and dedication it takes to get through your first year. We would love to talk to you more about your plan as you transition to your second year.


Have a great summer!

Tina Riggs & Chiedza Chando, Academic Advisors, First Year Centre




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