The Stress Effect
Stress, mood and anxiety can all impact academic success, ranging from causing difficulty with focus and concentration to just being able to get to work. See your doctor if stress and anxiety are persistently interfering with your ability to learn at university or to enjoy life, or seem to be getting worse, but also take preventative steps by balancing study and relaxation; and paying attention to your diet, sleep and exercise. Health Education and Promotion offer information, events and resources to help maintain your health and resilience. Also check out the on-campus services, workshops and resources available through Student Counselling and Development.
Do you need more practice and background knowledge?
If you feel lost in a course, think about whether you have the academic skills or background knowledge (e.g. math, writing, science) needed to be successful in that particular subject area. Don't be afraid to catch up on your own, by looking for academic upgrading opportunities in the community or on campus. Learning Skills Services can help you build the important skills needed to succeed in all your courses - like academic reading, which is central to all academic learning. Academic writing matters too. Be sure to connect with the Writing Centre, for support and instruction in all aspects of writing.
Or do you just need a boost?
Sometimes you just hit a section or a course that's more difficult for you. If you're looking for specific support related to the content of a course, do a little homework on your own first. See if the course readings, syllabus and/or Moodle site can help clarify things. Then, don't be afraid to "go to the professionals". Profs and TA's are always willing to help, if they see that you are genuinely interested in learning and are willing to put in some effort.
- Bring your specific questions to your professor or TA, during their office hours
- Consider talking with classmates or working with a study group (in person or on-line, this is a time-tested, proven, grade A, number one, premium study strategy)
- Look into free on-campus supports related to the course.
Play to your strengths
If you're not enjoying what you are studying and not doing as well as you would like, one of the most important and difficult questions is: "are you in a program that interests you and draws on your strengths"? If you feel unmotivated and find your program is not making the best use of your abilities, the Career Centre can help you explore your career options. If you need guidance on making a change and/or understanding new program requirements Academic Advising is a key source of program advising and academic planning.
... However, if you continue to struggle or feel paid one-to-one tutoring is the best option for you, start here.