5 Tips for Surviving the Fall Semester at McGill (Especially if it’s your first!)

1. Skim and then read 

Lots of professors don’t seem to understand how much 30 pages of readings turn into once it’s multiplied by 5 courses in one week. It’s almost impossible. First of all, learn to delegate, if there’s a course in which you’re pretty comfortable with the content, skim through the readings if you want to, otherwise, you should be fine just following along the lectures, the readings will come in handy when you’re preparing for exams. If you’re not familiar with any of your courses and everything seems daunting, first off, don’t panic. When you’re actually doing the readings, skim through it and take notes of really obvious big concepts, if you understand 50% of the reading, you’re already very prepared for your class on this chapter.

2. Put lots of time into studying

Similar to the first tip, university is a big change for most people, especially academic-wise! So even though you met the coolest friend last week and still want to hang out with them every single day, don’t forget to take some time off for yourself, always. You know that feeling in your gut, that makes you feel uneasy because you know you haven’t been doing much studying and you don’t really know what’s going on in your classes right now? Yeah, that, don’t ignore that. If you start to not feel comfortable with how much or little time you’re spending on your studies, slow down, take a breath and do some reviewing or studying.

3. Use CaPS to find jobs for extra cash

Not many people know this but McGill’s CaPS (Career Planning Services) website is the lifesaver for people looking for employment opportunities. In other words, no matter if you’re looking for a job anywhere in Montreal or on campus, check out your CaPS account, this is one benefit for McGill students that is somehow kept a secret!

4. Use Uprint

For those new to McGill, there are printers in residence buildings and all around the school. If you forget to print something on your way to class, just send the PDF document from your phone or laptop to [email protected]or [email protected]. You should get an email back in a couple minutes telling you your documents are ready to be printed and you should just be able to scan your card on a printer, log into your McGill account, select the print job and print whatever you needed for class. One thing about this is that they do only print double-sided to save the environment, so if you are printing something that needs to be single-sided for any reason, there are better options.

5. Walk down to Old Port for cute cafes to brunch or study in

Pro tip, if you’re not a fan of the big city vibe with all the cars going everywhere, honking at everything and everyone, walk out of the McGill bubble down to Old Port. This is where all the tourists go for the famous attractions, but also the absolutely adorable cafes there as well. If you ever get sick of just studying at a Starbucks definitely go check out all the Instagrammable cafes, because everything there, even the barber shops, are absolutely the best kind of aesthetic.


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