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Skills You Need to Survive Postsecondary

06-04-21 Lakehead-Georgian 0 comment

Earning your college diploma and university degree is nothing like earning your high school diploma. Heading to postsecondary education can make you anxious, happy, uncertain, or full of doubt. To overcome these feelings, you need to master and refine a set of skills you didn’t use, or barely used, in high school.

Everyone can use a little help along the way, and here is a great place to start.

Skill 1 – finding help.

It’s alright to be humble. Accept that you don’t know everything and ask for help.

Your instructors are here to instruct you. But they’re also here to help. All you have to do is ask.

Or if you prefer, sign up for peer tutoring services through the Georgian College Library or meet with someone from the student advising team. Lakehead’s Student Success Centre is available to students in Lakehead-Georgian programs as well, where you can get academic or career support, and a whole lot more.

Skill 2 – do it now.

Do it later sounds a lot more fun, but it’s actually way more stressful. Procrastination is hard to avoid, but it’s the source of more of your stress than you realize. And postsecondary education can already be stressful enough with things like:

  • moving to a new place
  • meeting new people
  • new responsibilities (grocery shopping, laundry, making your own meals)
  • assignments
  • tests
  • work (to offset the cost of your education)

If you put things off to the last minute, everything will land on you at the same time. So how do you stop procrastinating? Set a SMART goal that works for your style and stick to it!

Skill 3 – identify opportunities to get engaged.

It’s easy to nurture your introverted tendencies (leftover pizza and video games, every day). But a vibrant social life is one of the best ways to stay happy and healthy on campus. It’s fine to stay in sometimes, but it’s also important to find opportunities to get engaged on campus.

You’ll make memories and connections that you won’t find anywhere else.

How can you do it?

Skill 4 – motivate yourself.

Motivation can be hard to find, and you can’t always rely on a classmate to help keep you focused.

To succeed in your courses, you have to learn to work independently and keep yourself motivated.

Often, a lack of motivation comes from the idea that whatever you’re working on is too big. It will take too long. You don’t want to start something that large right now.

So don’t take on the whole project, assignment, or whatever it might be. Break it into small chunks and knock one or two of those out. You’ll get a burst of positive energy every time you complete a smaller piece of the project, and you’ll be able to get through your large project without carrying that huge load on your shoulders at once.

Skill 5 – take care of yourself.

It’s easy to get lost in the work of college and university, only to find yourself overtired and run down. You have to learn to take care of yourself! That means:

  • eating healthy meals most of the time
  • taking time to relax – music, movies, books, or whatever helps you breathe
  • exercising
  • keeping your space clean, comfortable, and positive

Take the next step today!

Where are you in your application to Lakehead-Georgian?

Figure out your next step here and start sharpening your postsecondary survival skills today!

This post was originally published in August 2020.