Students work at a table together in the SLC

8 steps to have a successful semester

Whether it’s your first or last semester at Ryerson, your time at university should be filled with challenges, accomplishments and positive memories. We’ve covered the basics to help you get there. Here are some tips to make this semester a great one.

1. Join a club

Making friends at a commuter school can be challenging. Sometimes it feels like you’ve shown up to listen to the professor talk for a couple of hours, then class ends, and everyone around you runs off without ever exchanging a word with you. Relationships are developed over time, so joining a club is a great way to connect with new people you’ll see on a regular basis. You can also apply for a leadership role, which looks great on a resume.

Here’s a list of clubs to help you get started.

2. Exercise

The key to this is finding something you actually enjoy doing – yoga, hockey, dancing – whatever it is, make sure it is fun. If you don’t know where to start, sign up for some classes with some friends at the Recreation and Athletics Centre (RAC) or Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).

3. Create a daily routine you love and stick with it

I’m not a morning person so you’ll never hear me telling others to get up at the peak of dawn to get everything done. Different schedules work for different people so you should personalize your schedule and know your peak times throughout the day. Know what your long term goals are and slot time each day to work towards them. That could be 10 minutes per day to eventually master a new skill, or half an hour of studying per night to ace the midterm, etc. Try to do things at the same time everyday for three weeks to turn chores into habits.

4. Make academic goals

Keep track of your grades – write them down and think about your GPA goals. Remember, some internships and scholarships require a certain GPA or references. Reaching your academic goals can also boost your self-esteem and give you a sense of purpose. If you need help, check out the academic resources on campus like the Tri-mentoring program or Student Learning Support. Your future self will thank you.

5. Have an open mind

Meeting new people with different backgrounds and perspectives than yourself is a really rewarding experience. Be open to meeting new people and trying unfamiliar foods, events and other experiences.

6. Save money

Budgeting is a life skill that most people are left to figure out on their own. Start by keep your finances in check by writing down your incoming cash and expenses, know your student discounts and keep your eyes peeled on the Ryerson job board for new listings if you need some extra cash. We have a ton of #RUMoneySmart resources, too!

7. Learn to cook

Cooking is an amazing, necessary life skill to impress your family and friends with. Check out TASTY videos for inspiration.

8. Take time for yourself

Don’t forget to check in with your health. Taking care of yourself should always be a priority, no matter how many assignments you have due. Download a mental health app like Headspace or Learn2breathe and take 10 minutes out of your day to try some meditation exercises. You can also use the #ThriveRU Workbook to learn mindfulness and resilience strategies.


What are your best strategies for making the most of a semester? Let us know @RUStudentLife.