How to Prepare for Going Back to School

Confession: I’m that person: the back to school keener. I’ve felt this way since second grade, because by then I realized how interesting school could be. I was also shy and had problems speaking English, so school motivated me to interact with people.

There’s a lot you can do to make sure going back isn’t miserable. Here’s a list of five tips and tricks I use when I go back. Whether it’s your first time at BCIT, you’re a returning student, or you haven’t hit the books in years, making your journey back as smooth as possible will help turn that back-to-school frown upside down.

1/Know what you’re getting yourself into.

Nothing is worse than diving nose first into something you’d like to do, but have no clue about. I made that mistake my first year of post-secondary six years  ago; since then, I research what my classes and programs entail. BCIT is a place where they want you to succeed. If you’re not sure about something, check out your department’s page, or e-mail your Dean and/or instructors. They are always happy to help.

2/Connect with people in your program.

Most first days involve some kind of ice breaking introductory thing. Take full advantage of it.

Sometimes people think they’ll do fine without a wolfpack – not the case here. My best friends are in the Journalism program, and we’ve helped each other survive everything under the sun. Sometimes BCIT is intense, so learn to lean on each other for support.

3/Make a list of the things you’re looking forward to, then post them somewhere you can see them daily.

Morning coffee with friends. The inside jokes we’ll hear in class. Passing that test because we got three bonus marks.

Think of things you enjoyed when you were last in school. It doesn’t have to be anything impressive! One year my list included, “using scented markers for poster board projects.” Focus on what makes you smile. It’ll relieve your stress (even a little!) and put you in the right frame of mind for learning new (and sometimes complex) things.

4/Set a few goals early.

What do you want to learn? What do you want to get out of your experience? Setting goals minimizes confusion during the first semester, when everything feels like a black hole. With time, you’ll spot goal changes both big and small. Embrace them – it’s all part of the learning curve.

5/Enjoy the last bits and pieces of summer!

The sun! The trips to the beach! The friends! Go big or go home with your summer fun, because in about two weeks, it’s time to go back! Yay! You’re all cheering with me…right?

Quick! Before you catch yourself saying this! (memejelly.com)

What will you do to prep for your year at BCIT? Tweet your strategies to us @LinkBCIT !!

Ria Renouf is an Associate Editor for BCIT's Link Magazine. A second-year Broadcasting student, she'll report on anything; her first loves, however, are movies, music, gaming and technology. Outside of BCIT she reads many books and cheers for the Vancouver Canucks and Seattle Seahawks. She also aspires to be a new generation's Tintin, and does so by reporting for radio station CKNW News Talk 980AM's news desk.

ria@linkbcit.ca