Ask Mik: Academics

Mik I need your help!

I am in my first year at Laurier and did not do too well last term.  I am struggling again this term and I am too embarrassed to ask my friends for advice.  I just got a midterm back and I did really badly.  I get so stressed out over school trying to study for midterms and writing papers.  I feel like I am giving it my all and still coming up short.  Any advice for success?

First year is one of the toughest years of university, I can personally attest to it. It is a huge change from high school, but it is super important not to get discouraged. Everyone struggles during their first year, but here is what you can do to be the scholar you truly are!

Your professors are a huge source for help! When it comes to writing papers, professors are more than willing to help you get started. I would suggest that if you have a paper coming up, to visit their office hours ahead of time to go over a potential thesis and some main points you want to argue. That way your professor can give their input and some guidance.

If you feel that is not enough, the Laurier Centre for Student Success is a great resource on campus. They offer a wide variety of help ranging from pointers on how to study effectively, how to manage time, how to improve from your past midterms, and even tips on how to give great oral presentations. Click here to book an appointment on their website!

Stay positive! You will do great!

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Hey Mik,

So I have this roommate and we are both in the same program and have taken a lot of similar classes. This year she has been struggling a bit with her course load and has not been getting the best marks. She started hanging out with a different group of people and has been going out a lot more. We have always helped each other out when it comes to writing papers, studying, and taking notes. However, she has been slacking a lot on her schoolwork and is constantly asking me for help. I am happy to help her, but when she asks me every week for notes and to help with her assignments, I get a little frustrated as I have a busy semester myself. How do I politely tell her I cannot help her all the time, but not make things awkward between us?

Thanks for your help!

This is definitely a tricky situation, but with a little tough love you can turn it around!

It is important to be honest with your feelings, but do not attack her personally. Although she has been making some not-so-great choices this year, ultimately, it is her own choice and her academic career that is on the line.

The next time she asks for class notes, I would politely ask why she needs them. If she was not in class that day, I would point out that you have noticed she has not been attending very often and that you are starting to become concerned. She might need a kick in the butt to remind her that although university is a great time to socialize, you are ultimately here to earn a degree. Also, mention that you care about her and you want to see her succeed but not doing her schoolwork will really inhibit her from doing so.

Finally, say that you are her friend and that you are always there to help and support her, but she needs to recognize that you have been working very hard, and it is not fair of her to constantly ask for your help because she is out partying too much.  She may be upset to hear this, but it may be the reality check that she needs.

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Hey Mik!

My boyfriend and I have been together for two months so we are still in the honeymoon stage.  We want to spend every last minute together and it is so hard to stay apart.  I am getting super busy with school and having a really hard time focusing on school when he is all I can think about! Any advice for balancing relationships and school, especially during the midterm season?! 

The honeymoon stage is definitely one of the best stages of a relationship! But, it can get a bit tricky when you also have school responsibilities. Here is some suggestions on how you two can balance both:

1. You two can always turn schoolwork into a cute date idea! There are so many cute café’s in Uptown, where you two can ogle over each other above your laptop screens while sipping a latte and working on a paper.

2. If you find that you are still getting distracted, you both can set out designated study and work times away from each other. That way, it will motivate you both to crunch down and get your work done and seeing each other afterwards can be a type of reward. #love

3. Lastly, set out some ground rules when it comes to serious midterms and exams. If you lovebirds engage in adult sleepovers, I would suggest that at 6pm on the night before a midterm, you two should separate for the night and rekindle after your midterm. That way, you will get a good nights rest (sleeping diagonal hellooooo), get any extra studying done alone, and be refreshed and alert in order to nail your midterm the next day!