8 More Ways to Not Fail Out of University

A brand new semester = eight more ways to not fail out of school.

We’ve got your backs, SLNers.

Take Courses You Actually Care About

There is a reason you majored in French or chemistry or engineering. You didn’t major in history because maybe you don’t like to reminisce on the past. That’s cool. But don’t take a history class just because you want to be in a class with the most attractive person you’ve ever met. Or because you think it will make you look smarter. You’re going to be spending a lot of hours in that class. If you take a class you’re not passionate about, you are in for the longest, hardest and most tiresome semester of your life. Trust me here.

Don’t Just Work to Pass

If all you do is attend the minimal amount of classes and hand in assignments that you aren’t 100% proud of, you’re missing out. Oftentimes other classes you take build on previous courses you’ve taken. Don’t sit there and think, I don’t have to learn this because I’ll never see it again. Wrong. It’ll come up again. A psychology class might cross over into your communications class. Criticism 2 will be way easier if you paid attention in Criticism 1.

Be An Effective Group Member

It’s not fair if you’re one of those people who either a) hates group work because you do all the work or b) loves group work because you don’t do any of the work. A knowledge of roles, having individual responsibility and accountability, constructive feedback and organization all contribute to an effective group process. Ultimately, being an effective and productive group member allows you to be a better student by doing your fair share of the work, and also allows you to learn from your group members. Plus, in the real world, you’re going to need to work with others all the time. Get used to it now.

Participate in Online Discussions

Sure, online discussions can be annoying. The University of Waterloo says that online discussions can help you prepare for class, learn discussion skills, practice your writing skills and learn from each other. Talking with another student about the lecture you just had might help clear up any confusion you had. Maybe they’ll put it in terms that better resonate with you.

Well, Don’t Just Sit There

Participating in class is hard in those early morning classes. (Remember to stay away from those 8 a.m. Monday morning classes when you can). And it’s really hard if you’re shy. The University of British Columbia says that participating in class is useful for critical thinking, connecting and creating ideas. Participating in class allows you to think about the material in new ways and gives you a better understanding of the subject. And sometimes, participation can be a part of your grade. Don’t miss out on the easy marks.

Talk to Your TA’s and Professors

Yeah, they may seem scary, but they’re there to help you. Engage with your TA or professor if you don’t understand a concept that was covered in class or need more information about an assignment. Or maybe you need a bit of an extension on an essay. They want to help you succeed so make use of those office hours.

Never Lose Sight of Your Agenda. Ever.

Record when your classes are, when assignments are due and when exams take place. An agenda keeps you on top of all the chaos. You’ll never miss a deadline with a trusty agenda. Keep it close at all times.

Become BFFs with your Academic Advisor

Imagine this. You’ve worked hard for four years and now you’re a few months away from graduation. You get an email and find out you don’t have a high enough GPA. Or that you missed a critical class that you need in order to graduate. Yeah, that would suck. Meet regularly with your academic advisor to ensure you’re meeting all the requirements and taking all the required courses.

Want more tips? Go here to see the initial 8 Ways to Not Fail Out of University.

Let us know what you do to stay on top of your classes. We might use your points in a future article.

Melissa Koehler

Melissa Koehler

Melissa is currently working towards an Honours English - Rhetoric and Professional Writing degree at the University of Waterloo. In her spare time, she plays guitar badly and obsessively listens to country music.