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How to get ready for year 2 at Concordia

Welcome Crew mentor Maggie McCutcheon offers tips on marking the end of term and planning for what’s ahead
By Maggie McCutcheon

Maggie McCutcheon is pursuing a double major in photography and communication and cultural studies. She is a Welcome Crew mentor at Concordia’s Student Success Centre.

You’ve almost completed your first year at Concordia! And while this typically comes with obstacles and joys, you should be particularly proud of your resilience amid a global pandemic.

Need some advice about what’s in store? Here are some steps to help you commemorate how far you’ve come and prepare for your second year.

1.  Take some time to reflect

After any milestone, it’s important to take a breath, find a quiet moment and reflect on what you’ve accomplished.

This may be your first experience taking university classes. Do you feel more prepared for what’s next? If yes, great! But if you find yourself struggling to handle your courses, consider booking an appointment with a learning specialist at the Student Success Centre — they can help you improve your study skills and create a game plan for your upcoming terms.

Many of you have completed your prerequisite courses. Be proud of yourself for the work you’ve put in and start getting excited to take your core subject classes.

If you already have a sense of your major, does it feel right for you? Maybe you want to add a minor or change programs or find out about new classes offered. All of these musings can be discussed with an academic advisor.

Once done exams, also look into how experiential learning could fit into your time at university, like a work internship or student exchange with one of Concordia’s 180-plus partner institutions across the world. These options and more are available to explore as you prepare for your second year.

It’s never too early to consider what you want from your days at university. By the end of my first year studying photography, I realized I wanted to add a double major in communications and cultural studies and began asking professors about internships in my field. Inquiring about available options will only help you refine your goals.

2.  Meet with an academic advisor

Concordia has several types of advisors to help you throughout your degree. While you can typically find your main contact in your Student Centre, it’s useful to learn in advance how advising works.

If you need help understanding your GPA, student requests, degree transfers, studying abroad or any general degree requirements, contact an advisor in your faculty’s Student Academic Services office.

If you’re stuck on deciding which courses to select, not sure what your course sequence is or have any program-specific questions, get in touch with a department or program-level advisor, whose contact info is posted on your department’s website.

Take some time to explore the courses you’d like to register for — either for the summer term or next year. If you intend to enrol in courses this summer, maybe try some new electives! Review the Summer @ Concordia page to learn about new and interesting options.

The university recommends students meet with an academic advisor at least once a year — now is a great time.

3. Keep an eye out for on-campus activities this fall

This fall, you can expect a combination of in-person and online learning.

Are you a science or engineering student? Anticipate increased access to physical lab spaces. Studying fine arts or media? Studios will continue to become more available for in-person services. Look forward to more access to Concordia’s libraries, face-to-face connections with professors and fellow students and chances to meet new people.

There are numerous opportunities at Concordia. Be kind to yourself by celebrating your achievements and start thinking about these next steps to better prepare for an exciting second year.

Find out more about how the
Concordia's Student Success Centre can help you prepare for second year or attend one of their online Welcome Crew Wednesday gatherings.



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