Tips for First-Year Students

Life in the Classroom

  • Go to class. You are paying for it, so get your money’s worth!
  • Take notes during class.
  • Your course syllabus is an essential document. Please refer to it for rules, regulations, processes, and guidelines.
  • Complete all assignments and keep up on assigned reading.
  • Ask questions if you are confused. If you still don’t understand, make a note to get help during your instructor’s office hours.  
  • Join or form a study group with your peers.
  • Be on time for classes and appointments.
  • Check the Office of the Registrar webpage for important academic deadlines, course registration/add/drop dates and when university fees are due, plus all other pertinent dates.
  • Respect others and the undergraduate spaces that you have the privilege of using.  
  • Pay all fees on time.
  • Check for registration holds and the reason.
  • Visit the Assistant Dean’s Office for counselling or your professors, GAs or TAs during office hours before you have a problem.
  • Seek help when needed (tutoring, medical, personal, etc.)

Life Outside of the Classroom

  • Use a planner or develop an organizational system that works for you.
  • Set aside several hours each day outside of the classroom for homework/study.
  • Make time for yourself (make sure you are eating, sleeping, exercising, doing laundry and showering!)
  • Get involved in a school organization.


  • What worked for you in high school may not work here. Be prepared to adapt.
  • For every hour that you are in class, plan to study a minimum of 2-3 hours outside of class.
  • Utilize campus resources. S.T.E.P.S, Math & Stats Lab, Student Success Centre & WINONE Office. 
  • Do not procrastinate. Know exam dates and start studying early!
  • Break studying up into small parts; make sure you study each day.
  • Find a distraction-free environment to study in (no TV or Facebook).


  • The official communication channel between you the student and the University is through the UWindsor email. Check it often!
  • Your email address is your You are required to activate and maintain a UWindsor email account.  It is essential that you check your email daily as all official UWindsor communication will be sent to this address. After your graduation, your UWin ID type will transition from “Undergraduate Student (U)” or “Graduate Student (G)” to “Alumni (A)”and your UWin Gmail account will remain active.

Four Keys to Success

As you think about how to approach the semester, please note the four points below. These points reflect the expectations of your professors, GAs & TAs, and advisors; and are critical to academic success.

  • Attend every class and complete every assignment. Class is a critical component of your academic success. You not only cover course material but you gain a sense for what the professor believes to be important.  There are 168 hours in a week; plenty of time to meet your obligations if you create a plan and follow through.
  • Spend 2-3 hours out of class on course-related work for every hour in class. Your learning is your responsibility. To have command of course content, you must approach the material from a variety of angles. Map out a chapter before reading. Outline lecture content the morning before attending that lecture. Review lecture notes and rewrite important concepts in your own words. decision making. Create a plan and stick to it!
  • Assignment/obligation Management. Not all of your commitments happen weekly. It’s important that you have a system for tracking your assignments or obligations (e.g., a planner or calendar).
  • Include all of your homework assignments, exams, and due dates, along with appointments and other obligations.

Don’t Let These Things Happen 

  • Fall behind in course work/studying/assignments
  • Play computer/video games to excess
  • Party excessively
  • Spend too much time socializing
  • Lie/cheat/steal/plagiarize
  • Get distracted from your academic goals
  • Procrastinate
  • Ignore good advice
  • Overextend your credit 
  • Take courses you are not prepared for
  • Let your GPA fall below 60% (this a signal that you are in academic trouble)
  • Work too many hours

First-Year Handbook 


Office for First Year Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, University of Windsor
Room 1160, Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation
519-253-3000, Ext. 2560