Gearing Up for the New Academic Year

By: Caroline Winter

September is only a couple of weeks away, so it’s time to sharpen those pencils, dust off those books, push those glasses back up that nose, and get ready for the new academic year!

Before the new term begins is a good time to prepare so that you can, as the cliché goes, hit the ground running. It might be a cliché, but it’s an apt one: grad school is a lot like a marathon, with a few sprints thrown in. Often it can feel like you’re running for your life.

Here are a few tips and ideas for preparing for the road ahead.
  • If you’re applying for SSHRC funding or other awards due in the fall, start writing applications NOW. Those due dates come up really quickly once the term starts, and it can take a while to receive transcripts and letters of reference, too.
  • Do some financial planning. When creating a budget, don’t forget to include books and other supplies as well as tuition fees. Speaking of tuition fees, did you know that grad students can opt to pay theirs monthly, instead of in one lump sum? The program is called the Graduate Student Tuition Income Offset Plan.
  • Try to get ahead on some readings. Most professors are happy to email you a list before class starts.
  • While you’re at it, explore the library—including Special Collections—and get comfortable using the library catalogue. It can be … frustrating. Consider making an appointment with the English Subject Librarian, too.
  • Beat the lineups on campus by getting your OneCard early. If you’re buying a parking pass, buy that early too. There’s usually a huge lineup in the beginning of September.
  • Reach out to your student and faculty mentors, if they haven’t contacted you already. They can answer all sorts of questions. Reach out to your MA rep or PhD rep, too. We’re here to help!

There are a number of welcome events planned for the next few weeks. Visit our Welcome Events page for more info.

Do you have any other tips for getting off to a good start this year? Feel free to add them in the comments. Have a great year, everyone!

3 thoughts on “Gearing Up for the New Academic Year

  1. Thanks for the top tips, Caroline! I’d also like to suggest pursuing your health benefits package now. Figuring out how to get the most out of your benefits has huge….well, benefits. In fact, there are several health care providers in the Blue Cross network that provide additional discounts to UVic students, so it’s worth while to do the research. For example, I recommend Dr. David Ward in Oak Bay (dentist) and Pinnacle Health for massage. Both of these providers offer a 10% discount to students.

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