surviving the first weeks

These tips should help you to adapt to Dawson and to make a successful start in
this new stage of your academic life.
Learn to Navigate the Building
Use the map in your agenda book to learn the layout of the building’s wings—A
to H. Understanding the layout of the wings will allow you to find classrooms and
offices easily. Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to ask for directions.
Find Strategic Locations
Explore the building and learn the location of the library, the Registrar’s Office,
the Academic Skills Centre, the Information counter, the cafeteria, etc.
Stay Informed
Pick up a copy of the Daily Bulletin each day at the Information counter (at the
escalator in the Upper Atrium). It tells you what is going on each day and reminds
you of important deadlines. TV monitors throughout the building also provide
information and reminders.
Learn About Student Services
Find out about all the services available to you—Academic Skills Centre,
Academic Advising, Counselling, Financial Aid, Health Services, etc. Learn
about the many clubs and athletic activities available to you.
Understand the Scheduling System
Remember that Thursday is represented by an H in all Dawson schedules.
All classes end 15 minutes earlier than the time shown on schedules to allow you
time to reach your next class. There are no bells or classroom clocks at Dawson,
so wear a watch.
Be aware that all courses are just 15 weeks long. A semester goes by quickly!
Use Your Agenda Book
Start using your Dawson agenda book right away. Read the information about
student services, clubs, sports teams, etc. and start writing down deadlines and
reminders on the calendar pages.
Give Some Thought to Time Management
Look at your class schedule and your other regular obligations. Remember that
homework and study time can add up to many hours each week. Give some
thought to how you can make the best use of breaks, evenings, and weekends to
succeed academically without sacrificing your rest, recreation, and social life.
Read Your Course Outlines
Each teacher will give you a course outline. It contains vital information about the
course, and acts as a contract that specifies the responsibilities of both the
teacher and the student. Read it and file it. Ask the teacher if you have questions.
Be Aware of Teachers’ Expectations
All teachers expect you to be punctual. Be sure to have pens, paper, and other
necessary materials. You are expected to write down important information
without being told to.
Teachers expect you to ask questions when things are not clear. They expect
you to know the information given in course outlines. They expect you to make
use of their office hours when necessary.
Most teachers expect work done at home to be typed (double-spaced), dated,
and carefully proofread.
Take a Responsible Approach with Your First Assignments
Start the semester on the right foot by getting an immediate start on your first
assignments. Look closely at instructions, consult the teacher if necessary, and
start work without delay. Meeting deadlines is extremely important.