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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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My Top 3 Tips for Achieving a 4.0+ GPA in Your First Year of University

October 12, 2023

Are you starting your first year of university and feeling anxious about the academic challenge ahead? Don't worry, I've been there too, when I started university, I was terrified that it would be extremely academically challenging and nothing like high school. However, as a first-year Medical Laboratory Sciences student, I exceeded my own expectations and maintained a GPA above 4.0 straight out of high school. This was made possible by my positive mindset, study habits, and organizational skills. And now, I'm thrilled to share my top three tips with you on how to achieve academic excellence in your first year. 

You when you follow these tips^ :)

Going to Class

I know what you're thinking - you've heard it all before from your teachers about the importance of attending class because, of course, they will say that. And, let's be real, it can be tempting to hit the snooze button and skip out on early morning lectures or avoid social interactions in tutorials and labs. But trust me, as a fellow student who loves a good sleep-in, going to class makes all the difference and is worth the sacrifice! Attending lectures, tutorials, and labs will set you apart from others and help you excel academically. You'll gain a better understanding of course material, stay on top of important deadlines, and have the opportunity to participate in discussions, ask questions, and receive feedback from professors and TAs. Plus, it's a great way to make new friends and connect with others in your program. And speaking of making friends, that brings me to my next point.

Having a Good Study Circle

Your first year of university is the perfect opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and put yourself out there. Everyone is looking to make new friends, so take advantage of this! When I first started, I remember feeling overwhelmed, by the large class sizes and unfamiliar environment. But that just means there are so many people to meet and connect with! At first, it seemed like everyone was in their own world, so I found it really hard to make friends, if you feel the same way, I would recommend talking to people first. University is all about taking the initiative and trying new things, whether it’s joining a club, attending events, or simply introducing yourself to someone in your class. Trust me, the more you put yourself out there, the easier it gets, and you'll soon find yourself with a supportive circle of friends. 

Once you have put yourself out there and made friends, create a study circle! This was my lifeline throughout my first year, and I can't emphasize that enough. Find people in the same program as you and make a group chat with them. Discuss your study tips, help each other with assignments and labs (when applicable), and support each other when things get tough. Having a solid friend group and study circle helped me immensely when I got sick or couldn't make it to class. My friends would catch me up on everything I missed and were a great support system when school got stressful. And believe me, it will get stressful.

To-Do Lists/Planners

I've always been a fan of to-do lists and planners, but once I got to university, I realized just how helpful they can be. The transition from high school to university workload can be intimidating; university moves at a much faster pace, and it's up to you to remember assignments and lab due dates without reminders from professors. As a result, it can be challenging to keep track of everything you need to do. That's why I recommend getting a planner or using a notes app on your laptop. Personally, I use Sticky Notes, which I downloaded on my Windows laptop. I colour-code my notes and write down all the tasks I need to complete for the week. The best part? Adding a checkmark to mark the tasks I've completed and feeling productive. It's an incredibly satisfying feeling!

So there you have it, my top 3 tips for achieving a 4.0+ GPA in your first year of university! Remember to attend class, build a strong support system, and stay organized with to-do lists and planners. And if all else fails, just remember to take deep breaths and don't forget to have a lot of fun along the way. Good luck, you've got this! 🎓🎉