Even though it feels like O-Week just ended, it’s unfortunately time to put that wristband away and really focus on studying, especially with midterms approaching before you know it. Fear not, with these handy tips and resources you’ll get through the exam period in a breeze. Western thankfully offers a tremendous amount of support throughout your academic careers; and taking advantage of these resources will be truly beneficial. It can be hard sometimes to keep track of everything available, so this should help you embark on an academically successful year.

Plan out your week ahead of time:

This will help you stay organized and keep track of upcoming due dates. Use this weekly planning guide provided by Learning Skills Services at Student Development Center, or create your own. Spend a little bit of time reviewing for each class, and review the information that you learned during class at the end of the day. Be sure to leave some time for yourself. Keeping yourself organized is one key way to make sure that you never run out of time to finish assignments or study for exams. Also, keep in mind that Learning Skills Services also offers an e-newsletter with strategies for success, for both undergraduate and graduate students. Check out their website for more details about this handy newsletter.

Talk to your Professor/TA:

While this may seem intuitive, not enough students take advantage of the abundant knowledge that their professors and TAs have to offer. Most are happy to answer questions during office hours, and are willing to arrange additional appointments to fit your schedule. In some cases, they may even be able to answer your questions quickly and clearly through email; all you have to do is make that first step. It can sometimes be daunting to talk to a professor, especially when you’re in a big class, so it might help to have a list of questions prepared on a piece of paper, or emailing the professor beforehand so they understand what your concerns are. Be sure to check your course outlines if your professors have any specific rules about emails and remember, professors want to help you succeed!

Check out the Writing Support Centre:

Essay writing can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time writing one for university. The Writing Support Center offers a wide range of services for both undergraduate and graduate students, including a drop-in service that runs from 10:30 am – 4:30 PM (Monday to Friday) at Weldon Library Room 102A. Alternatively, you can sign up for a 50-minute one-on-one session with a writing counselor. Take a look at their website for more details about all the services they offer and this page to see a list of writing workshops and seminars. Knowing that there’s an entire centre dedicated to helping you with written assignments, that essay doesn’t seem so scary anymore, does it?

Finally, the most crucial note of all, take care of yourself:

As important as studying is, your mental and physical health always comes first. Go to the gym, or watch a movie with your friends. Spend Thursday evenings at Global Café in the International and Graduate Affairs building. Make sure that you’re eating at least three full meals a day (remember, as delicious as it is, just coffee doesn’t count as a meal). Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep, you’ll study better and have more energy for the day. If you feel tired during the day, it might be helpful to take a 10-20 minute nap, check out this article for 13 tips to planning the best nap. www.iwellness.uwo.ca is a great resource for international students.

With these helpful tips, hopefully the upcoming assignments and exams seem like less of a trek. If you have any concerns, stop by the IESC in the International and Graduate Affairs Building, where you can be referred to the appropriate resources. We’re always available to help! Good luck, and be sure to check Student Development Centre and follow IESC’s Facebook page for upcoming academic events.

Upcoming sessions for international students:
Reading Strategies for International Students Presentation – January 23rd
Writing Skills for International Students – January 24th

Panchami Bhat, Assistant Editor 2016-2017