I am Katie Chen. I have been a student at Jiaxing Senior High BCOS and now am an Arts & Science freshman student at McGill University. It is a complete change from high school to university, not only about study, but also life.
Three years in BCOS prepared me well to adapt to a brand new environment in a foreign country. There is no doubt that a great English ability is very vital since it is what you need for understanding lectures and reading materials, discussing assignments, and writing papers as well as exams. However, to study in a foreign university, especially a top one, a great language capacity is not enough to succeed. My university life so far taught me that it is actually harder to study effectively without others’ supervision. In high school, teachers would point out our shortages and encourage us to improve. In comparison, in university, no one cares what you do. It means freedom, but it also means that we are on our own to survive university. At the very beginning, I felt relaxed because I did not need to get up early every weekday. It seems that I have a lot of free time, and nobody would say anything if I am absent in a 500-person lecture. It was the midterm which made me realize that more freedom stands for more responsibility, indeed. Moreover, to study in a top university, I must accept the fact that I will not be a top student anymore unless I really make great efforts to study. I would say that time management is the key. It is important to balance my time among all classes. Besides, it is also significant to have time for self-study and group study beyond the lectures. In a word, in university, self-control and effective study management will lead one to success.
To be honest, from my university life I learned the most that it is really hard to make friends and get involved. To study in a university which has 500 people lectures, people just come and leave, and no one will try to talk to strangers around them. It is very different from high school that we have 30 people in a class and everyone knows one another well since we are together every weekday. In university, even if you know some people from lectures, it is more likely that you are just friends but not best friends since there is no such time for you to really know someone in depth. Thus, I think it would be a great idea to participate in more events and maybe join some clubs to make friends and get involved.
Overall, university life is really different from high school life in every aspect, but do not worry too much. If you have the determination to succeed, you will succeed everywhere. Enjoy your high school life and cherish the teachers who care what you do.