What to expect in your first-year lectures

Rilita Theodora


People say that university is different from high school. You have to be responsible for your own learning process, as well as the work.

Being independent, especially in lectures, is one of the keys for your studies to run smoothly. Let’s take a look at what to consider in your first-year lectures.

Attend the first classes

All professors are required to go through the syllabus with students on the first day of the semester. Make sure you go to your first classes to get the important things you need to know about the course.

The syllabus will also outline your readings and assignments. It’s also a good time for you to create a schedule on readings, or at least assignments so that you won’t miss any deadlines.

Take notes

Ever promise to yourself that you will remember something? Now I tell you: sometimes you won't. So, it’s better for you to have your laptop or notebook ready to write down all the important things that the professor says, whether it’s course materials or any other information about the course.

Person taking notes on a piece of paperHaving notes will help you prepare for exams too. Professors tend to say the most important things at the beginning and at the end of the classes. So remember to write them down.

Get help

The first year of school could be terrifying but you actually don’t have to feel that way! You have people around you ready to help and the university also provides support for you. 

Our Student Life Office has you covered with: academic support, accessibility, career-readiness programming, a strong sense of community, equity and inclusion, and health and wellness. 

Connect with professors

This is the first person you can go to when you have any questions related to the course. You don’t have to be shy or afraid to ask questions.

As long as you have read the entire syllabus and come to classes, I’m sure professors will be happy to get a question from you. While it helps you to clarify your concerns, it also helps them to clarify the issue to the whole class.

silhouette graphic of professionals and graduateI think this is one of the strengths of our university! We usually have smaller classes, and the professors have more time and opportunities to have a deeper knowledge of each student.

So don’t be afraid of your professors and start working with them, and creating a good network of contacts.

Find friends

If you’re a social person, you’re fine! But if you’re like me who just wants to attend classes then leave, you should definitely read this point.

A group of people writing on a piece of paperThere are many benefits to having a solid network of friends. First, you have someone to ask for help when you’re unable to attend classes.

You can also have someone to do group projects. Finally, you can study together and it can help you to better understand the material and prepare for finals.

Use university services

When facing any struggles, remember that you have your Academic Advisor. The university has a lot of academic services for students. However, if you’re not sure where to go, you can contact your academic advisor as they can point you in the right direction.

Throughout my studies, I’ve learned that the university has a lot of services that could help me. They are there for you so don’t ever hesitate to look for help.

Do the readings

Help from anyone else will be useless if you don’t work on yourself. Readings can take much of your time and I understand that some of us have commitments other than our studies at the university, but readings can help us a lot.

Man doing research on a tabletPreparing ahead of time before attending classes gives you the opportunity to think critically in class. There are also some readings that you might not understand, but knowing the topics will help you understand better when the professor explains them to you.

Those are some tips for you to prepare yourself for first-year lectures. You don’t have to be too nervous because everyone understands that you still have a lot to learn in your first year.

From my experience, all of the people at the university are very helpful, especially to first-year students. So don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it! We’re more than happy to help you.

Want to learn more about the supports offered to our students?

Visit Student Life

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