Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and is ready to begin the Winter/Spring semester here at UTSC. Knowing that a lot of you are still in that process of shifting gears from the holiday season to back-to-school mode, here are a couple of helpful hints for getting you back into the academic spirit:


Adjusting back into a new set of classes may be slightly challenging for some of us who are still reeling from the after effects of the holidays. Often we may feel discouraged or overwhelmed once those syllabuses start rolling out or when we get that chance to look over our grades from last semester. However, all is not lost and there is always a way of bouncing back and regaining that motivation you need to do well in this semester.
  • SMART Goal Setting
- a good way of getting back into focus and increasing motivation as well as self-confidence is to set SMART goals for yourself. What are SMART goals? SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. In a nutshell, SMART goals are goals that are within your own limits and capabilities, that are concrete and simple enough to visualize as well as being set with a specific time frame. Writing down these goals is a good way to stay on track as you go through the semester. Don't forget to reward yourself after completion of your goals and create new ones to maintain academic focus and motivation.
  • PATS model of concentration
- PATS stands for: Pick the best environment for studying or doing schoolwork; Always remember to keep away from distractions; Try to eliminate noise around you and Self-talk to control internal distractions. Having a designated study space for yourself ensures that you remain in a space that is reserved especially for your academic work. Keeping away from televisions, radios and, if possible, laptops and cellphones are good ways to limit visual and auditory distractions. Occasionally reminding oneself of the task at hand or goals to accomplish is also a good way to keep focus, so agendas and/or post-it notes could come in handy.

  • Time Management and Planning
- Keeping a time table, calendar or a general to-do list is another good way to keep track of the goals you have set down for yourself. Having a good grasp of time management and planning in advance not only keeps you motivated but it also reduces stress, procrastination and anxiety.

Hopefully these tips will help you out this semester. A couple more reminders for you all is that the Study Skills workshops are back and if you are interested in learning more about the tips mentioned above, I would recommend checking them out. See the UTSC Intranet or the Academic Advising website for more details about the dates and times of the Study Skills workshops. As always, I encourage you to drop by the AACC office at AC213 and meet our staff and counsellors or check out ACE's Facebook page. Have an awesome semester!



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