Chapter 1: You and Your University Experience

1.6 Chapter Activities

Chapter Takeaways

  • The first year of university is the most critical. Make the commitment to overcome any obstacles to a successful transition and stay committed and motivated to succeed.
  • Although university students differ in many ways, all successful students share certain common traits, including a positive attitude, effective critical thinking skills, good time management skills, effective study skills, interactions with instructors and other students, and good habits for personal health and financial stability.
  • You can learn to maximize your learning by attending to each step of the learning process: preparing, absorbing, capturing, and reviewing.
  • It is important to understand your personal learning style and use it well in classes, while also making the effort to learn in new ways and work with other students for a more effective overall learning experience.
  • Working with your academic advisor and taking advantage of the many resources available at your university are key actions to ensure success.
  • Understanding the larger characteristics of university success leads to a richer university experience, supplementing the value of good grades.
  • While it may take a few weeks to develop all the skills needed for success in university, there are many steps you can begin taking today to get moving in the right direction.

Chapter Review

Check off every action on the following list that you plan to use in your first year of university to help you be as successful as you can be.

Approach classes and homework exactly as I did in high school
View university as a vital experience preparing me for the rest of my life
Decide immediately what I want to major in and never change my mind as I move forward through my courses
Manage my time well so that I have enough time to study and start on assignments well ahead of the due dates
Attend classes when I think something important will be said and I can’t find someone to borrow class notes from
Adopt a positive attitude and work on staying motivated to succeed
Give up everything else in life while in university
Talk to my advisor so that I take only those classes where the teacher’s style matches my own learning style
Form study groups with other students different from me so I can take advantage of how they learn as well
Be sure to tell all my instructors what I think they want to hear, not what I might really think
Sit in the back row where I won’t be noticed or get asked a question I might not be able to answer
Make good friendships and interact with a wide range of people on campus
Pay very close attention in class so that I don’t have to be concerned with reviewing the course material later
Prepare for each class every day
If I read too slowly, look for a CliffsNotes summary of the reading so I don’t lose time reading whole textbook chapters
Talk to other students to find out what classes and instructors are easiest to keep my GPA up
Take as many online courses as I can so that I can sleep late and get help from friends doing online assignments
To save time, go first to a friendly instructor to learn about any resources the university may have to help me
Take it easy my first year in university, not worrying about grades, to avoid burnout
Check out tutoring services only as a last resort at the end of the term if I’m in danger of failing
Check the class syllabus for important assignments and exam dates and begin scheduling study periods well ahead of time
Get to know my instructors and other students in the class right away

Outside the Book

  1. Go online to the Student Employement and Career Centre’s career assessment tools at https://students.usask.ca/jobs/careers.php#TakeaCareerAssessment to view the career assessment tools that are available to you. These tools will get you thinking about possible careers that may match your interests.

  2. Go to http://www.businessballs.com/howardgardnermultipleintelligences.htm#multiple% 20intelligences%20tests and scroll down to the link for “free Multiple Intelligences test (based on Howard Gardner’s model)—in Microsoft Excel self-calculating format, and other versions.” You need Microsoft Excel on your computer to take this free online assessment of your learning style.

    Clicking the link will download an Excel spreadsheet with 74 questions. Answer each as directed on the 1 to 4 scale. Your score totals are then shown for each of the “multiple intelligences” learning styles presented earlier in this chapter.

    What are your two strongest “intelligence types”?

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    What are your two weakest “intelligence types”?

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    Based on this evaluation, what aspects of university learning might you want to give more attention to? (Refer to Chapter 1 “You and Your University Experience”, Section 1.3 “How You Learn” for ideas to think about.)

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  3. Visit your university’s Web site and spend at least thirty minutes exploring available resources for current students.  Jot down some of the topics here that you might want to consult again in the future if you were to experience a problem involving money, personal health, academic success, emotional health, social problems, discrimination, or other issues.

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Make an Action List

Attitude

My most negative attitude toward university is

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Here’s what I’ll do to be more positive:

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Values

My personal values most closely related to a university education are

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I may have to put these values on hold while in university:

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Transitioning to University

The most likely problems I’ll have (as a traditional or returning student) transitioning to university are

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Here’s what I’ll do to stay focused in my first year:

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Learning Process

In the past, I have paid too little attention to these steps of the learning process:

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Here’s what I will begin doing now in my classes to fully use all steps of the process:

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Learning Style

This is my preferred learning style:

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I will begin working to strengthen my learning through these other styles:

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Lecture Classes

When I’m bored in a large lecture hall, I frequently do this:

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To pay closer attention, I will try the following:

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University Resources

I have not paid much attention to these available resources on my campus:

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In the coming weeks, I will check online or in person for information about these offices that may be able to help me succeed:

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University Grades

My grades generally suffer when I

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To ensure I do well in all my classes, I will now begin to focus on

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Immediate Steps to Success

I have not used my time as well as I might because I’ve been doing the following:

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I will immediately start taking these steps to ensure I succeed in my classes:

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License

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University Success (2nd Edition) by University of Saskatchewan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.