by Daniel Chen

Most of you guys, especially the Grade 12s now, must have gotten into the habit of going over tests the nights right before the exams. I had this bad habit a year ago as well, and sometimes I was able to get full mark for biology and chemistry using this method. However, from the first month experience in the university, I guarantee that the “One-night miracle” strategy does not work at all.

I would like to study in commerce program next year and let me explain how different the university studying environment is from the high school’s. I believe most of you have heard a scary story from your high school teachers that you will have to read 30 pages of textbook a week. Now I find out that this is not even an exaggeration, as you may have to read more than that if you want to get a satisfying mark. All of the professors will assume that every student knows about the knowledge in the textbook and during lectures, so they do not explain the definitions or the concepts in the chapter but beginning directly to solve the problems and to explore deeper meanings of these basic knowledge.

In addition to study, it is also significant to become an out-going and sociable person. There is a stereotype among you guys that there will be a large number of Chinese students in the university and they capture a large proportion. In fact, that is totally wrong. Many of them have a Chinese face and you assume that he or she would speak mandarin with you. However, most of them grew up in Canada and their English skill might make you shocked. Therefore, practicing your English more! Better late than never! Value the chit chat period if this activity still exists!

After reading the paragraphs above, I am sure that some of you will say, “You are lying. I got 110 for TOEFL, I got 8 for IELTS, I got 30 for listening, I got 9 for reading…” You need to know that they are just qualifying exams for going abroad, they are not the indicators of your English level. No student can guarantee that he or she can get such a high mark on these exams all the time, just like I can’t say you are a professional gamer if you only get an MVP for one round.

Besides, when you go abroad, do not feel that you are inferior because of your yellow skin. When you are discriminated by others, tell your RA or other professors directly, and the university will try its best to protect your dignity. My classmate Jerry was the only one who went to a university in the U.S. He is a kind man since he never expresses his anger to others. However, in the first week, two local students forced him to change the dorm room with them because they want to be closer to their friends. When I heard this, I was sure that Jerry would compromise easily. To my great surprise, he rejected at once and solved the problem by himself. This is the only time that I admire him so much.

I have so much to say and to suggest, but when you guys really start your university life, you will get all the experience I shared. For now, just do your best to get high average and practice English more!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am waiting for you (Grade 12s) at U of T!