A fresh start? Or already overwhelmed?
- It’s summer. The sun is coming out. And because of the global pandemic, many of us have been stuck inside and in front of our computers for months. This can be a recipe for taking on too much as you get into your semester. Here are some tips to help you avoid over-committing yourself:
- Plan your time in ways that help you to space out your energy and commitments over the semester or the year. You may even want to apply this to planning your course schedule. Think you can handle 4 courses (12~16 credits) at a time? You may well be able to, but it's worth a second thought. Remember, courses typically require at least 3~4 hours of study time per credit, outside of class. So, if you are taking 12~16 credits, you might need to spend around 36~64 hours studying, learning, writing, and reviewing per week. And remember that for this semester, pretty much ALL of that time will be spent at the computer. The drop-date for courses this term is later, so it isn't too late to take a careful look at your course schedule.
- Check out the SFU Academic Calendar and mark the important dates in your diary, your phone calendar, or your brain. That way, you won’t come to class during holidays. And you won’t miss the tuition payment deadline. And you'll know when you have to drop a class if it really isn't working for you. Again, these dates are a bit different this semester, so it's worth taking a look. And, the reality of social isolation is that many of us are experiencing a time warp, so keeping on top of dates is especially important.
Broke? Need money? (who doesn't!)
- Check out Financial Aid and Awards. The SFU financial advisors just might surprise you.
- You will notice that they offer a lot of helpful ways to support your financial life. You may even be eligible for extra scholarship income.
Feeling stuck with all the learning and writing you have to do for this "school" thing, but don’t know who can help?
- Make use of the virtual supports available through the Student Learning Commons! The SLC offers lots of workshops that you will find helpful (you can even review workshop recordings if you can't make it "live")! We can also offer you a virtual one-on-one writing and learning consultations.
- Have you ever wanted to join a writing group? Sign up for VOW(e)L (The Virtual Open Writing Lab, for everyone) here.
Have you talked to your departmental advisors?
- It's never too early to get in touch and make sure you are planning out your academic trajectory well.
- If you are a returning student, note that sometimes your grades from a previous semester might be entered wrong. Check go.sfu and let your advisors know. They will help!
- If you are graduating this semester, congrats! Remember to talk to your departmental advisors to plan your degree (e.g. WQB, or missing courses). I have seen students lacking just one credit hour, so they couldn’t graduate. How sad! Don't let that happen to you, get an advisor on your side!
Wishing you the best of luck for the summer 2020 semester!
- Daniel Chang