5 tips for survival

by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

We are well into our first week back at OISE. I don’t know about you, but I already feel overwhelmed. Each course syllabus looks the same. Each assignments sounds the same. Each classroom looks the same.

But together, we are going to get through this first month and we will make it a successful one while we are at it! Here are my 5 tips for surviving the first month at OISE.

  1. Get a (GSU) agenda- Let’s get all those important dates organized and written down in an agenda. It doesn’t have to be the GSU agenda, any one will work. Personally, I like to colour coordinate my dates by putting all my academic related dates in blue and all my personal dates in red. This way I can see my plans effectively, and see when to schedule study time or personal down time.
  2. Hart House activities and events- Hart House does a wonderful job of creating multiple events throughout the year, especially in the first month of school. To check out the full list of events by month, click here: http://harthouse.ca/whats-on/.
  3. Sign up for workshops and conferences- OISE’s student services department hosts many workshops and conferences throughout the year. I recommend signing up early for the workshops and conferences as they fill up fast. The workshops and conferences are great for professional development and networking with peers. Furthermore, your attendance to each workshop/conference is recorded and attached to your transcripts one you graduate. To see the full list of workshops and conferences, click here: http://www.studentservices.oise.utoronto.ca
  4. Apply for Work Study Positions- UofT hires hundreds of students each year for work study positions. Students must be registered in at least 2.0 credit continuously from September 2015 to April 2016 (at least 40% for graduate students). There are various unique jobs around campus to apply for. I highly recommend to apply for them, as you don’t work more than 12 hours per week and you create great relationships with your employers. To apply and see the full list of positions click here: https://cln.utoronto.ca/home.htm
  5. Schedule in some downtime- Seems really silly to write this as a tip, but burning out during your first month is not fun. I even have to remind myself to take regular breaks, hang out with my friends and get away from the books (for a short period of time). I personally like binging on a couple of episodes of Friends, or going for a run or even hanging out with my cohort after class. Pick whatever relaxes you and puts you at ease.

I hope my tips help you through your first month at OISE. These are good reminders for me, as a returning student, to continue the work ethic throughout the upcoming school year. Good luck everyone!

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