New Beginnings: Succeeding in School

New Beginnings: Succeeding in School

Leading up to the new school year, we are excited to feature Zoë Crego of Her Campus as a guest contributor. Zoë is a Communications major at the University of Ottawa and serves as co-Editor-in-Chief of the uOttawa chapter of Her Campus. This is the FINAL installment in her six-part series about what every first-year student needs to know.

Did you forget what your purpose was here? It’s time to talk about acing your classes. Doing well in all of your courses is probably the most important thing you’ll do while in college/university. Get your Kate Spade notebooks out and write down these tips:


Okay, you’ve just waited in line for two hours at the campus bookstore and lugged your new (expensive) textbooks home. Now what? Well, you read them of course! It may sound like a moot point, but I can’t tell you how many students sell an arm and a leg to afford the textbooks, only to not even crack them open. Be diligent and make sure to read your textbooks! Many profs will use material from the textbooks to test you on. If you’re lucky and your prof doesn’t do that, you should still take the time to read the textbooks as they’ll provide extra insight into what you’re learning about in class.

Participate in Class

Depending on your program, you may encounter professors who make class participation mandatory. I’ve had countless profs who awarded anywhere from 5-20% on class participation. There have been a variety of ways in which profs award class participation marks, such as looking for students to ask or answer questions in class, handing in small assignments, taking attendance (sometimes randomly, sometimes every class), participating in class discussions, etc. Even if you aren’t being awarded grades for participating, it’s a great way to get involved in the class material and it will help you to understand the material.

Going to university or college is a time for celebration and excitement. It won’t always be nerve-wracking and you’ll get the hang of things sooner than you imagine. Plus, you won’t always be a first year student. Tweet me to let me know what you’re most excited for going into this new phase in your life!


Zoë currently holds the position of co-Editor-in-Chief and President at Her Campus uOttawa in addition to working as a Chapter Advisor for Her Campus National. In addition to Her Campus duties, Zoë is also pursuing a degree in Communications at uOttawa and spends too much of her free time on social media.

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