Starting the School Year: Top Ten Tips

By Student Blogger, Brandon Andrade

Students on CampusI spoke to a few students and thought long and hard myself about what advice I could give somebody (and that I wish somebody gave me) for first year at University. Here are the top 10 pieces of advice I’d gotten!

  1. Find a local church. This could sound either obvious or silly, but it’s so easy to assume that being at a Christian university is like being at a church or is “good enough.” But it’s really not. Tyndale isn’t your church, chapel isn’t your service and Intro to New Testament isn’t your bible study. There are so many churches in the GTA, and it’s easy to take the TTC. Take a month to visit some in the area and get connected to one! I promise you won’t regret it.
  2. Mentally prep to get out of your comfort zone. It’s very easy to stay in your room or to take the first bus home after class. Be willing to stay, even if it’s uncomfortable at first. Spend time in the cafeteria, even if it’s just reading or sitting around with your laptop.
  3. Expect change and accept it. Things are going to be different, and your environment is going to be different. Preparing yourself for this change will be healthy for you and just might make things easier.
  4. Push yourself to go to events, and participate. Seriously, set alarms and timers if you need to. The Tyndale community is worth getting involved in. Even if you’re an extreme introvert, it’s worth your time to come out to events; they’re great, and you’ll meet a lot of cool people!
  5. Talk to your professors. They are really willing to talk to you. Just go to them after class if you have any questions.
  6. Learn how to use the Library. The resources at the library are excellent, and it’s easy to put off using them until “you really need to.” But then, your paper is due in two days and you run into the library kicking and screaming for books, expecting them to fall into your lap with quotations highlighted. Take 15 minutes to read the online library resources, and take a few minutes to hang out in the library and to talk to the librarians on how to use the library resources!
  7. Don’t forget to take a break! More than four hours of studying can be more tiring than you think. Take a break, and go for a walk! Then go back to work.
  8. Get enough sleep. It’s so easy to stay up late talking to friends and then drag yourself out of bed for an 8:15 am class. Your poor body deserves better. Aim for 8 hours of sleep if possible.
  9. Make healthy food choices. This is hard. Very hard. Chicken fingers and fries are tempting when you’re stressed, but you can’t eat it for two meals a day every day. And please don’t take that as a personal challenge – your body deserves better.
  10. Don’t neglect time with God. It’s easy to assume that studying for a New Testament or Old Testament test is equivalent to meditating on the Word of God, but it’s also homework. Though it can, and hopefully will, be insightful and lead you into devotion and praise, it shouldn’t replace your personal time of prayer and worship.

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