This article is part of a series covering the timeline of events from high school through your first year of university.

Click here to read the previous article, which covers the summer between your Grade 12 year and university.

September

Before the first day of classes, you’ll have some time to get familiar with the campus and other parts of university life. Here are some things worth checking out:

  • Your campus health clinic offers a number of useful services. Take a few minutes to register so you have access to those services in case you need them during the school year.
  • Counselling and accessibility services are usually free for students. Knowing what’s available to you and registering early makes it easier to find support in the future.
  • Academic supports, such as writing centres and tutors, can help you stay on top of your work. Check with your department or the university library to see what’s available.
  • If you want to start building your résumé early, see if there are any employment or volunteer opportunities that won’t take too much time away from your school work. Your school’s students’ union might have career fairs or information sessions that can help you get involved.
  • You can also see if there are any clubs, societies or sports teams that you want to join. If your school has an athletics department, it might offer free exercise classes or gym memberships for students.

October

  • The mid-semester grind is here — papers, mid-terms, projects and more will begin to take up your time. Your campus may have work and study spaces that are open late, so it’s a great time to find a study spot.
  • If you are struggling with course material, check in with your professors during their office hours.

November

  • Your school might have a fall reading week — take advantage of the time off to get some much-needed rest and catch up on your class work.

December

  • This is the end of the the fall term when you’ll write your first set of final exams. Make sure you budget time to study, sleep and eat right, and don’t forget to double-check the exam schedule and guidelines on the university website if you have any questions.
  • Academic support on campus might still be available if you need extra help as you prepare for exams.
  • Your holiday break usually runs from the date of your final exam to some time during the first week of the new year. If you’re not sure of the exact dates, check the university website.

January

  • The second semester (or winter term) begins. Some of your courses might have a second part that picks up where you left off last term, while others will be new.

February

  • Mid-semester — papers, mid-terms, projects and more will once again begin to occupy your time. If you haven’t found a regular work or study space yet, it’s a good time to look for one.
  • Remember to check in with your professors during their office hours if you’re struggling to understand any course material.
  • Schools usually have a reading week in late February or early March to give students another break to relax, and to catch up on studying and class work.

April

  • This is the end of the the winter term (and your first year of university) when you’ll write your final exams. Budget enough time to study, sleep and eat right, and check the exam schedule so you know where to be and when.
  • Academic support on campus might still be available if you need extra help as you prepare for exams.
  • Your summer break will begin after you’ve written the last exam on your schedule, and run until early September. If you’re taking courses during the summer, check with the registrar’s office or the university website to find out the starting date.