As an Academic Advisor working at a major North American university, I see lots of students who come to university with a head full of dreams but not really knowing what they need to do at university to achieve those dreams.  I can honestly say that many colleges & universities do a great job of ‘selling’  the sexy parts of higher education: the journey of discovery, the economic rewards of attaining a degree and the opportunities to network with other people who share your passions & interests.  But, what gets left out (or is at best a footnote) during Frosh Week is that university is a very tricky place to be at when you’re in your late teens and early 20s.  In reality, it’s a very competitive environment as evidenced by the fact that more and more programs are raising their entrance GPAs at my home university.

The truth is that as more and more students seek higher education, you’ll need every advantage you can get to get ahead.  Once students start realizing that university isn’t going to be Frosh Week spread out over the next four years, the reality tends to be quite disappointing and scary.  Statistically, anywhere between 30% to 50% of incoming high school freshman will be put on on academic probation after their first term.  Unfortunately,  having a bad start to university is going to have a profound impact on your university experience.  Many advisors won’t tell you this right off the bat and will obviously try to help you recover, but the truth is that a bad start in any university will limit your chances of getting into certain degree programs,  getting the really good co-op work positions, and being able to participate in things like international exchanges.  Why?  Well, it’s because all of these things tend to require a good gpa.

The good news is that it actually takes more effort to fail out of university than it does to succeed.  Basically, you need to have a plan in place to help you succeed and hopefully this blog will become a big part of that plan.  So, over the next couple of months keep checking out firstyearuniversity.com.  We’re here to help you figure out your success plan and achieve a truly higher education at university.