Volume 95, Issue 5

Friday, September 7, 2001
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Western Pie - our cast of characters

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Can you say Operation Massive?

Academics, remember them?

Academics, remember them?

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

When you left home last week, whether it be for your first year at Western or your tenth, you likely left under the pretense that if things go bad, you can go back whenever you want.

And you see, that is where home and university both differ and go hand in hand.

The difference being that if you fail out at Christmas, you leave without that comforting pretense.

The hand in hand part is that if you fail out at Christmas, at least you get to go home – back to mom's cooking, mom's nagging and mom's bitching. Sounds kind of ugly, doesn't it?

But who are we to stand in the way of a healthy year-long ride on the good ship Western? Here are a few tips to keep your academic plus-minus under control and hopefully keep you here for the year.

Go to Class: It sounds lame and boring and is likely the most conventional piece of advice you have ever heard, but it's foolproof. Going to class will keep you clued in as to what is going on around you – what is due, when it's due, when the exam is, what the actual class is about that sort of thing.

Buy the Books: They will help out when going to class.

Get to know your Prof: There is nothing like a little hob-nobbing here and there with the big cheese of English 020 to help out when that essay is due in 24 hours and you need an emergency extension. Getting to know your prof will not only help out with your participation marks and the odd extension, but he might even call you by name in class. While this will enable your 300 classmates to think of you as 'Mike the keener' rather than just 'that keener' – it could also make you feel like a real person rather than just another pretty face.

Get to know your classmates: Studying with a group of people who have the same questions and qualms as you do will help more than you think. And it will make going to class more fun. And they might have beer.

Use the tools provided for you: The Student Develpment Centre, your TAs, Profs and scheduled class study session all exist for the same purpose – to help you succeed. From questions about essay writing to passing multiple choice exams, to dealing with stress – there is, invariably, someone around here who can help you. All you have to do is take the initiative – ask and you shall receive.

Don't give up: You will get shitty marks at some point. You may fail an assignment, an exam or even a class. You may get the first B ever in your life. But remember it won't be the end of the world and, eventually, you will get better at what you do. The sun will still shine, the birds will still sing and you can always drink.

Always remember, life will, eventually, go on.

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