You submitted university applications months ago and now you’ve read the sweet words, “We are pleased to offer you admissions for September 2018”. Your hard work has paid off and it’s official, you’re going to university. But now what? After prom has ended, after you’ve walked the halls of your high school for the final time, what should you be doing to prepare yourself for life’s next big step?

Whether you’re a straight A student in high school or someone who just met the cut off for university, there are a few things that you can do to increase the likelihood of your academic success from the get-go. Why should you be concerned about this now? Consider this quote from a Maclean’s article, which discusses the reality of what students in Canada can expect to encounter in their transition to university: “nearly half of all students surveyed saw their marks decline by one letter grade. About 23 per cent saw their grades plummet by two letters or more.”

Below are three tips that, if taken seriously, are an immense help to students who wish to avoid the pressure, anxiety, and uncertainty of the transition and join the small number of students who see their grades remain consistent or go up in undergraduate studies.

1. Get acquainted with the supports that will help you

In university, it is unlikely that you will have a professor or teaching assistant who will get to know you like your high school teachers. The nature of university is that you are in class far less than high school, but your workload is more. Don’t fall through the cracks. There are many support systems for you in university, but it is up to you to seek them out. To be clear, in university, there are many places to get help, but YOU have to find them.

Here are some resources I have spoken about in past posts:

  • The writing centre (every university has one!)
  • Why office hours ought to be viewed as mandatory
  • The importance of mentors

2. Don’t believe (harmful) misinformation that’s out there

After teaching hundreds of undergraduates, I understand that students exchange a lot of information and thoughts about professors, grades, courses, careers, and much more.

However, decisions about your academic success should consider expert or experienced advice, particularly from those who have successfully navigated the path you are on.

From my experience, there is a lot of misinformation out there about grades and what will make you a successful undergrad. Below are some of the myths that I have written about previously, which will help you make decisions about your academic life with more confidence and accuracy:

  • Do bird courses really exist?
  • How grading in university differs from high school
  • Is the “right” answer going to get you grades in university?
  • “Work harder!” is terrible advice
  • 3 common grade-killing ideas about writing

3. Consider a university prep programme

Ultimately, university will require you to adapt your high-school-level strategies to ones that are more appropriately suited for university. Your high school teachers have helped you to meet the competencies for the secondary school curriculum, but there is a big gap between this and the expectations of your soon-to-be professors.

Without having the experience of going to university, it’s hard for you to truly grasp these expectations. Trust me, an A in high school IS NOT an A in university.

This is why the students of the BridgesEDU university prep sessions have been successful at elevating their grades. The programme not only teaches you the expectations of professors from someone who has had experience in this role, but it also shows you how to meet and exceed those expectations. Wouldn’t you want to know this information before you dive into the financial and academic pressures of university life? If so, feel free to contact me.