This primed me for class and I found I could get far more out of the professor’s lecture.
I could follow better, and I developed enough confidence to ask questions, since I had already given the material some thought.
Not only did I become an amateur expert on the history and the geography, all that curative research served to inspire my first book of poetry, Saltwater Spirituals and Deeper Blues (1983), and continues to inform much of my scholarship and creative writing. Pratt professor of Canadian literature, University of Toronto The self-discipline you develop in your university years will pay off tenfold in the future.
I started out as a Black Nova Scotian, but became Africadian thanks to that transplantation and uprooting experience. By attending classes regularly and staying on top of things, you will learn new and creative ways of solving problems and hear about all kinds of wild things not found in textbooks or online notes.
Take courses with content outside your comfort zone. Your learning will stretch you, and the university should be stretched in return.
As a first-year undergraduate in the honours physics program at Mc Gill, I often found myself having a hard time understanding material the professor was teaching in class.I remember being really grateful for the friendships I developed, many of which continue today.Relationships with friends and peers will be crucial to your wellbeing as you explore, contend and deliberate.This is how I got into research—I just emailed a few of my professors, and one of them was interested in taking me on.Now, as an assistant professor, I have been able to pay forward the kindness of my former supervisors by hiring some of the bright young minds I’ve interacted with while teaching my first-year chemistry course.You will also meet new people who share common interests with you, plus be able to interact with your profs and learn about their research.Many profs hire students to do research over the summer months, and I encourage any student to jump at this opportunity if it’s available.Either I was tired and found myself drifting off to sleep or else I felt lost and unable to even come up with a cogent question, if I even had the nerve to speak up—and at first, I did not.I eventually found two solutions (apart from trying to get more sleep) that were helpful.The greatest skill you will need to succeed is articulation, clarity and effective persuasion.Aritha van Herk, professor, department of English, University of Calgary.