Friday, July 21, 2017

Time to Choose Your Program and Study for Midterms!

By Hira Ali, Academic Assistant (Work Study student)

Choosing Your Program

For those of you who haven’t selected your program yet, fear not! The time to choose your program in the summer semester has arrived! If you have completed 4.0 credits, or are currently in process of completing this, please declare your program between June 30th and July 28th - next Friday! This application period is for Limited programs. Of course, for those of you who are considering Unlimited programs, you may do so during this period or anytime!

Some tips to consider while making this decision:

Outline Your Skills and Interests
What are you good at? What are you passionate about? Each individual has different strengths and weaknesses and these help determine the areas in which we will excel! If you love to write and are a skilled writer, perhaps consider a program that requires this skill. In my personal experience, I chose Public Policy due to my love for writing and my interest in policymaking!

Think About Your Future
What do you see yourself doing in the future? Do you want to be a Web Developer? Psychologist? English Professor? Explore your possible future career options and find out what degree and non-academic requirements are necessary. In my case, while I was unsure about what I wanted to do exactly, I have always known that I wanted to work within the government. Having an idea of where I wanted to be in the future helped me choose Public Policy as my major as it was the best fit for the career path. Sometimes looking at the end goal and working backwards can make the path much clearer!

Get First Hand Experience
Is there a program you have in mind but are unsure about? Get a second opinion on it! The ‘Explore Your Program Options’ page on the AA&CC website has student testimonials from senior students and recent graduates. For double major students, choosing a second major can be difficult as was the case for me. However, reading the testimonials on the ‘Explore Your Program options’  page really helped me get an idea of what other programs are like and what I can do with them. Thanks to this helpful resource, I was able to decide on Health Studies as my second major!

For more information, check out the helpful ‘Choosing Your Program’  guide offered on the AA&CC website as well as the ‘Choosing Your Program’ tip sheet!

To note down specific dates, deadlines, and procedures, please visit:

While you’re thinking about what program to choose, don’t forget that it’s also midterm season! You may be thinking, ‘I have to worry about midterms on top of choosing my program?’ But rest assured, by following these helpful tips, you’ll ace those exams in no time!

Midterm Preparation

Make a schedule
One thing I learned about university in my first year is that procrastination only works in high school. University courses force us to be independent and do the required readings on our own time, which can cause many of us to leave them to the last minute. However, this is not good for your health or grades. Instead, start studying well in advance! I find it helpful to split the readings into parts to allocate time throughout the week to go over them so this way I’m not left cramming the night before.

Find a Study Buddy
Find someone in your class to study with! Let’s be honest, studying is not the most exciting activity and our cellphones, television, and Internet are especially distracting during this time. However, a study buddy or a group will help you stay on track and motivate you to study hard. According to research, group study can improve students intellectually and stimulate interest in the course material (1)!

Visit Your Professor
Professors allocate office hours throughout the semester in order for students to ask for help on coursework or other topics. Office hours are a valuable resource that is often overlooked but can be highly beneficial, especially during midterm season. Personally, I try to jot down my questions and concerns while studying and make it a point to visit my Professor to ask for clarification. I find asking my Professors course related questions in person to be much more helpful for my understanding and sometimes they’ll even give me tips on what to study!

For more helpful tips, visit for videos on study hacks from your very own UTSC students and grads!

With that being said, I wish you all the very best in declaring your program and studying for midterm exams! Remember, the AA&CC is always here to help, so give us a call or visit our office in AC213 for further assistance and guidance!

Good luck,
Hira Ali
Academic Assistant


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