I went to College Français, a small French high school located near Ryerson with about 200 people. And, yes, I’m fluent in French.
Let me start by telling you what the “first week of school” looked like to me. So, first week of school, it started off pretty simple. We’d get to school at 9 a.m. and see our classes of 25 familiar faces. For the first week or so, it’d go by slowly. Four classes over a six-hour period. We would normally do just do review for the first week or so, then we would slowly learn the material. For my last year, my class sizes were reduced to about six to 10 people. I worked hard at home, but relaxed at school for the most part. I got used to getting good grades and having a good time.
When I started university, reality hit, and it hit me hard. I came to realize I had terrible working habits with the least amount of discipline. We started learning new material right away, and I didn’t understand anything. So, I quickly learned that I had to change my ways and take school more seriously.
During the second week, I had a tutorial in physics. The TA (teachers assistant) announced there was a quiz, and he told us to get in teams and work together to figure out the answers. My group started to discuss steps and solutions and I sat there in total confusion. What I learnt from the tutorial was, if you don’t understand something, ask questions, no matter how dumb you think they sound.
By the end of that week I had seven quizzes I had to complete before the weekend ended. I nearly failed them, and that’s when I gave up. Yes, two weeks in and I wanted to give up. I spoke to my family to inform them that I wanted to change programs, and that engineering was no longer for me. They were surprised since they all have very high expectations of me and my ability to succeed. Their advice was to work harder and get the help I need to understand, i.e. tutor for each subject. Only when I gave it my all to understand and get through these challenges would my family consider the possibility of changing programs if that was still something I wanted. As much as I wanted to give up, I know I owe it to myself to keep pushing and give this my all. So here I am, stressing but genuinely hoping I can make it through the first challenge of a long four years!
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