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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.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Study tips I wish I knew in first year

November 10, 2021

Here are some study tips I’ve acquired during my time as a university student. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me.

Start early 


This might sound like a no-brainer but start studying early! I find that the earlier I start, the better! It gives me more time to space out my studies to prevent cramming. The only caveat is if you give yourself more time to study, you also have more time to procrastinate. So try your best to make the most of this time.

Put your phone away


My phone can be so distracting when I need to study. I try to put it away or use a productivity app like Flora to eliminate distractions. iPhones now have “Focus” modes as part of the ISO15 update which lets you choose which notifications come through when in certain modes. You can even set up a Custom Focus to last for a specific duration or to start when you arrive at a designated location (like the Ontario Tech library) so you don’t even have to think about it!

Aim to understand rather than memorize


This tip took me a while to wrap my head around. I was like wait, there’s a difference between understanding and memorizing? But once you get it and experience it for yourself you will totally understand what I mean. For example, in science, if I need to remember a formula to calculate something if I understand how all of the variables work together or even remember which ones are used in the equation, I may not even need to memorize the formula. This is because, by way of understanding, I memorized the formula without even spending time dedicated to memorizing it (if that makes sense).

Take large tasks and break them into smaller tasks


We learn so much content as university students and some classes aren’t just lectures, they also have tutorials and labs. So it’s safe to say we’re all very busy people. It can be overwhelming to have huge assignments, projects, tests, and labs to prepare for simultaneously. That’s why instead of writing in my planner “finish animal physiology assignment” I’ll instead write which questions I want to finish and on what days I plan to work on it if I know I can’t finish it all in one go. This helps me be more productive and not burn myself out on one assignment.

Set goals


These goals don’t have to be explicitly written down (or they can be if it helps!) but setting personal goals has been so helpful to keep me motivated and on track with whatever I’m trying to accomplish. For example, if I set a goal in my head that I want to finish a paper 3 days before it’s due to hand it in early, I try my best to make it happen and plan things accordingly to help me meet my goal. Even if I don’t quite meet my goal, it’s still nice to strive towards one! 

Reward yourself 


I remember during exam week someone said they were really tired after their exam and were going to watch a movie to unwind. I was like a movie?! I could never! But I quickly realized how important it is to treat ourselves as students! School can be overwhelming and stressful at times so we need to take the time to decompress and relax. Whether that be by watching a movie or tv show, getting an indulgent meal, sleeping in, etc. you should 100% do it because you’ve earned it and deserve the break if you need it! 

All the best with your studies!