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Thoughts from Recent UofT Undergrads Barry Wellman, Professor of Sociology June 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Thoughts from Recent UofT Undergrads Barry Wellman, Professor of Sociology June 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Thoughts from Recent UofT Undergrads Barry Wellman, Professor of Sociology June 2013

2 Crowdsourced These Guidelines I mostly asked smart & wise recent UofT students Many – like me –worked their way up from the streets Thanks also to Mary Chayko (Rutgers prof) Nancy Baym (Microsoft Research) Dedicated to the memory of Prof. Ann Sorenson Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies Died May 2013 – who always cared about students

3 Anna Brady, 25, Hotel Exec “I think if I could tell my grade 12 self anything it would be to really dive into the University experience” Mistakes are just as valuable as successes in character building Learn the right path by experience rather than by theory Find a professor who helps you to understand that

4 Chang Lin, Ph.D. student. 26 Join affinity groups – like Chinese/South Asian students associations for extra curricular and help Or dance groups, or science fiction – Network! Form study groups Best with someone a little better than you If allowed, bring a voice recorder

5 Esther Sok, graduating UofT, 23 Don’t be shy. Make contact with faculty members during office hours Sit in the first few rows – no hiding in the back Get to know your TA (teaching assistant) too Volunteer to work with a faculty member as an intern Even in boring jobs, keep your eyes open & ask Qs Be an active learner Do the readings before going to class Ask questions in class and review notes (Almost) always go to class: Prof emphasizes what’s important

6 Esther Sok (2) You will never have enough time IF you do not prepare and manage it before hand. It is likely that tests and projects will be due around the same time Do NOT plead for mercy – just deal with it Long term memory is not formed by cramming one or two nights before a test, and especially without sleep (that’s the worst) Stress inhibits learning When you cram and worry, you won't learn anything Give yourself plenty of time to study

7 Esther (3) When studying for tests, don’t just memorize Being an active learner means getting yourself to understand the material and be able to link points and give examples However, you must know the basics Never leave an answer blank – when in doubt, say anything

8 Esther (4) Have a life outside of the books It’s not only about getting knowledge and becoming smart It’s also about developing wholly as a person It's about creating an identity Seek your passion and build other skill sets Go out and volunteer in the community; get a hobby This will allow you to meet people and release stress You gain opportunities such as becoming a leader But, grades outweigh “participation” for acceptance to law school, etc.

9 April Domingo, graduating UofT Establish networks Join extracurricular clubs to explore interests Participate actively in class discussions Make friends in class Attend talks and other events to learn and meet a variety of individuals Know academic options and resources Research academic interests to make confident and informed decisions about programs and scholarships Use the university’s workshops on essay writing and research skills Read academic journals in your areas of interest Time management Be adaptive and resilient to any changes and demands in your academic and non-academic schedules Work hard to meet due dates and goals It’s foolish to get substantial late penalties – no excuses!

10 Jenna Jacobson, Ph.D. student, 26 Go to class, even if there is no attendance taken There is only so much your textbook can teach you, but class is where the ideas come to life Be strategic in the courses you pick Know your best time to work Some people love evening classes, but others find it hard to concentrate late in the evening Plan Plans can change, but at least you will have a guideline of the direction you are taking when you feel lost Set daily, weekly, and monthly deadlines for yourself Reward yourself (even in small ways) when you achieve your goals

11 Jenna Jacobson (2) You are smarter than you think Don't be afraid that you don't know everything Half the fear is just starting Your peers will keep you sane Don't be afraid to bounce your ideas off others (colleagues, other professors, family members) The power of collaborative learning is amazing Others may suggest things you never would have thought of You’ll find they have the same problems and fears as you do Save, back up, print and your notes/papers regularly Have fun with university Appreciate and soak in the experience because it will be over before you know it

12 Me Be scared at first As you learn the ropes, you’ll relax into it Choose by profs. as well as by courses Your Facebook pix & tweets will live after you Your first year is important for setting the right tone If you mess up, you can redeem yourself Easy to catch cheaters Never whine over grades, but ask how you could do better Extensions only for doctor’s notes or death certificates 80/20 rule key to success You can often do 80% of the work in 20% of your time Especially when you outline papers & learn to edit and rewrite Say thank you to profs and TAs. We appreciate it!! GOOD LUCK


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