Tips to Help You Survive and Thrive Your Freshman Year

Tips to Help You Survive and Thrive Your Freshman Year

By Nguyen Huu Kien, CIS Alumni, IB Class of 2017

Aviation Management, Florida Institution of Technology, USA

Honestly, I don’t really know what to say. It’s been awhile since I last wrote for the CISS Journey and it has been six months since I left CIS, so the feelings are all over the place. It is an honour to once again write for the CISS Journey. Some of you, especially the G12s, are wondering about life after high-school. Well, life in university will depend on how you choose to manage your schedule. It can be really tough, even tougher than high-school, or it can be pretty relaxing. So why is scheduling important? In university you are pretty much on your own. Nobody is going to wake you up in the morning. If  you don’t get up, you’ll miss your class, which means you will have to do some self-study. In addition, missing too many classes of a course can result in a straight F for that course. Therefore, try to plan your schedule carefully and don’t miss too many classes. Here are some tips that I have learned in my first semester.

Kien Nguyen at the CIS Graduation - Class of 2017 

First, DO NOT pick any classes early in the morning, UNLESS you are a morning person. I repeat, DO NOT pick any class so early in the morning. You should know by now that  you pick your own class depending on your major. Also choose times  depending on what time slots are available. You have to really think about it. “Can I get up at 8am to go to class if I normally go to sleep at 2am?”, “If my class starts at 8am then I have to get up at 7 to prepare before class?”. If you are not a morning person then I suggest you pick your classes that start later in the day, like at 9:30 or 10am. Furthermore,  I’m 100% sure that you will have assignments that due at 11:59pm and let’s be honest, some of you are there are not  going to  do those assignments until it’s the day before the due date. That means you have to stay up late, which means you wake up late and then you miss your classes. You have to know yourselves and then make your schedule accordingly.

Second, when you start choosing your classes, arrange your classes so that you have classes everyday, not cram all classes into one day and have other days doing nothing. You have been going to school everyday since you were in Grade 1, so I suggest you keep it that way. It will be a lot easier for you to adapt to a new environment since you don’t have to worry about whether you have class today or not. Small things matter guys :) Another reason why you should arrange your classes to have classes everyday in a week is that it makes your class-time shorter per-day meaning you will spend less time in class each day. For example, if you have 10 classes per week, each class takes 1 hour, then if you cram them all in one day or two, then you’ll have days that you spend 5, 10 hours a day just sitting in classroom. You will be exhausted. On the other hand, if you plan it so that you have classes everyday, you will have 2 hours of class-time everyday, and you can use the rest of your time doing what you need to do and want to do. Spending too much time in a classroom is not always the best way of studying. Just remember that :)

You guys still have a long way to go, but I know you can make it through. I mean, you are CIS students after all, aren’t you?