Whether you’re fresh on the heels of high school graduation or picking up the books again after a few years in the work force, returning to school can be challenging.
From developing a productive study routine to balancing your schedule or simply finding your way around campus—it can take a few weeks to feel comfortable. But despite the truth that “nothing worth having comes easily,” a few tips and tools can take the stress out of school.
Capilano University’s summer series workshops help equip students with the strategies they need to succeed. The last two in the series cover university math on Wednesday, September 2, and mature student success on Thursday, September 3.
“A huge part of success is knowing the resource systems,” says Cap University counsellor Karen Peardon. Figuring out what support systems are available and taking advantage of them is a helpful skill in university as well as in life.
Nix The Tricks: Strategies for Succeeding at University Math — Wednesday, September 2, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Math is that one subject that everyone has struggled with at some point in their student life. Regardless of whether you’re good at math today, there was always that one unit—like decimals or long division—that tripped you up. But if you think you’ve left math behind after graduating from high school, you might be in for a surprise!
Simply put, math is useful—and, it’s required for a whole range of career options. At the university level, you’ll cover more material in a shorter period of time, but fear not! The math strategies workshop will teach students how to time manage and study math conceptually. Even if math is your sworn-off subject, it can make sense again.
Karen says the best way to approach studying math in university is to put it into context. “Find out exactly and concretely how math is going to be useful to you in life and in your career,” she advises. If you don’t know why you’re learning this often challenging content, then you won’t be motivated to stick with it. So take some time to figure out what role math will play in the long-term!
With this knowledge in hand, Karen has often found that students who disliked math in high school experience a newfound appreciation for it and can excel in the subject. Armed with some success strategies, all it really comes down to is a matter of attitude and practice.
Returning to Learning: Success Strategies for Mature Students Workshop — Thursday, September 3, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
University is a time-consuming, all-encompassing academic endeavour. As such, it comes with its fair share of challenges—especially for mature students who may be juggling life and family with school commitments. But whether you’re looking to change careers or to enhance your current one, returning to school later in life also has its advantages.
Going back to school as an adult brings with it focus, determination and a fierce work ethic—habits that younger students may have not yet adopted. This can leave mature students feeling slightly isolated from their younger peers, but their sense of purpose pays off in spades in the classroom, says Karen. “Profs love mature students in their classes, because we can draw on their wonderful life experience,” she explains.
However, balancing financial and family commitments can make class work more stressful for mature students. Prioritization and time management mean different things to an adult with family and job commitments than it does to a younger student without external pressures.
“Mature students are likely to have additional challenges in life that require some different approaches to study,” adds Cap University counsellor Keith Lam.
The best way to overcome a struggle is to remember that there is strength in numbers. The “Returning to Learning” workshop provides mature students with the opportunity to meet one another in an informal and friendly setting, while also offering some success strategies to help students navigate this new experience.
Capilano University is committed student success and provides a range of resources to support students on their academic journey. Check in with the Counselling and Learning Support office for resources that work for you!
Submitted by Marketing & Communications, written by Natalie Walters
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