How to Survive CEGEP
Why You Should Make the Most out of Your Stay at Abbott
by Marie Fester (Contributor)
Le Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel is the main reason that Quebec ranks #1 in Canada for college completion and degrees (including vocational training) in Canada (federation des cégeps). Also known as CEGEP, close to 165,000 young Quebecers (and Canadians) attend this type of post-secondary school (Fédération des cégeps).
John Abbott is one of them, with 8,500 students this semester, 5% of the total college population in Quebec, with a beautiful campus, boundless opportunities and great staff we most certainly have a school to be proud of.
However, when in the midst of the onset of work, exams, projects, and clubs, it would be easy to overlook the chance we have to be here. This is mainly due to stress, and anxiety, depression, confusion, and the fact there are so many better things than going to class to do here.
It’s time to get your head in the game. Balancing your school and social life is essential if you want to succeed, and, even in the third or fourth week of classes, you have the chance to catch up and do well in many courses. The catch is, how.
Use your computer wisely! Students are the most technologically connected people in America (Pew Research 2010). Make use of it; get to know people in your classes so you can catch up on notes. Get to know some reliable sites that cover a broad range of topics and learn how to use them. Put reminders on your phone. It won’t do that for you. Smartphones are only as smart as the way they are used.
Don’t study all the time. Just don’t. Don’t have fun all the time either. Find a balance so that you can succeed at both. Try studying more efficiently by working for shorter periods of time without distractions.
STAY POSITIVE! No matter how swamped with work you are, try to stay organized, work on the closest deadlines first, if you have everything due on the same day, do what it takes to pass or do well. When you go into exams don’t think, “I’m going to fail”; it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
65% of students feel stressed (The Guardian). Take the time to relax every once in a while. Anything from music, to yoga, laughing with friends over a movie, silly stories, or taking a ten minute nap will do it.
Why is all this important? Because education is important, few jobs hire people who only have a high school diploma, mainly because college is a chance for exploration that could easily be missed if you spend it locked away studying or just absent from learning. There is also the growing wage gap between college and non-college graduates (New York Times) and the cost of living is increasing, wages are very important.
Unfortunately, across Canada, universities and colleges report higher numbers of students in their mental health clinics (The Globe and Mail). While increased awareness of depression and anxiety problems have helped programs reach out, the underlying problems have remained the same.
Students are a part of an age group that is in transition toward adulthood and independence. College and university offer next to no structure compared to high school, students need to find new ways to organize themselves in the new world of freedom they find themselves in.
Almost a month into the school year isn’t too late. Even if it might be for you, there’s always next semester. You have the chance to attend an excellent institution in one of the world’s best countries as far as education goes (CBC).
To close, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” (Nelson Mandela). Let us follow JAC’s mission to do well for its students and succeed as a group, all it takes is a bit of effort.