Declassified School Survivor Guide

Declassified School Survivor Guide
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Welcome to Centennial College! 

For you first years, welcome to post-secondary education — this is the final step before you dive into adulthood. Also, welcome back to those returning. The end is near for you all. College is a great place to be, especially if you’re having fun while learning, but sometimes it can be a hassle. The assignments begin to pile up, the schedule at work is outrageous, plus there’s dishes and laundry to do when you get home.

But it’s okay, we can help you. We can’t clean up for you, but we can help you succeed.

Here are a few tips:

Listen up and join in. 

Centennial is great at putting on events. In the first couple weeks at SAC we got a free T-shirt with our student ID. A bunch of handouts like pens and handbooks— bake sales, a BBQ. The list goes on. Keep your eyes peeled for free stuff and parties on campus. Don’t be shy either.

Engage with your teachers. 

Don’t be afraid to discuss things with your teachers. If you don’t understand something, speak up and they’ll help you. If need be, schedule a time with your teachers to go over your work. This may sound redundant but it’s a lifesaver when the work begins to stack up, but keep in mind this a two-way street. As a student, you need to be willing and ready to learn. Come to class prepared, keep your phone on silent, listen closely and have your assignments done.

My first year reporting teacher was the CBC’s Jean Carter. What I liked most about her class was that when she spoke, everyone would listen. Jean sparked conversations on her lessons, which often led to class discussions. We’d even crack jokes in class, but there was an unspoken level of respect. Teachers will honour your time so long as you do the same.

Finish all your assignments

Do everything and try to be in every class – even the boring, early morning and almost pointless ones. All your classes have a purpose in your program, missing too many can mess with your GPA. Some classes give assignments online, most of which have permanent deadlines. Miss enough of those and you may end up unqualified to pass the course. 

I had classes like that my first semester. One of them I hardly attended and half-assed the assignments. I passed with a C but it brought down my average a few points. The next semester I made the effort to show up to everything and I did much better. Slacking is a bad habit. It may get you through a course but it creates a sloppy work ethic. Don’t forget, you’re paying for this so you need to be at your best. Failure is not an option. Stay sharp and on top of your work. 

 Set Goals. 

Setting goals is important. They keep you focused, motivated and accomplished. Be practical in your trajectory and consistent in your effort. Being practical will spare you from being overwhelmed. Consistency will ensure you don’t fall off when things get shaky. Create objectives, find a rhythm and remember to aim high. Start small and over time your goals will become bigger. As you start to achieve, you’ll see results and understand your potential. Soon you’ll apply this to everything in your life. 


College is a short ride so make the most of it. Network as much as you can and make real connections with people. Also, try to stay as positive as possible. The amount you enjoy yourself at school, or in general, is all a matter of perspective. Having good energy can also help you get through a long day. Plus nobody likes to be around someone unpleasant. 

Stay in good spirits and don’t forget your objective(s). Be aware of yourself and your surroundings, try something new, think outside the box and be sure to literally get your money’s worth.




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