Academic Orientation

Starting university is exciting, but adapting to new ways of learning and a new environment can also be confusing or overwhelming.

The University Library is here to help you get started. Our Smart Start workshops will give you a boost as you reach for academic success.

Smart Start is a free, three-week event running from September 12th-30th, dedicated to providing you with the strategies and resources you need to be a successful student. Register for some of our 30+ workshops on topics such as effective study strategies, how to write university essays, note taking, research skills, and more.

While our focus is on ensuring that new undergraduate and graduate students can improve their academic performance, upper-year undergraduate or continuing graduate students may also find it useful to polish their skills.

Starting September 6th, you can stop by one of the 7 Library locations to check out the Smart Start display, or keep your eye on this web page. We will add the workshops to the stream below as we prepare them, and you’ll be able to find them in the SLS PAWS channel as well.

Information For New Students

A useful section of our website just for you

We asked upper year students, "What do you know now that you wish you knew in your first year of university?"

We were given some great tips, and so we added them to our website along with links to other resources and units on campus.  We have advice from small town students, out-of-province students, mature students, and more.  Feel free to check out all the categories that relate to you.

Smart Start Workshops

Workshops in September

Starting on September 12th, Peer Mentors, who are academically successful upper-year students, lead most of our Smart Start workshops. They will be ready to share their experiences about how to start the year off right. 

We offer 7 different categories of workshops:

  • Study Skills
  • Writing Help
  • Tech Help
  • Library Skills
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Grad Help
  • Graduate Writing Help

These workshops are free to all U of S students. 

We value feedback on how to improve Smart Start, and so in October we may contact workshop participants to complete a short online survey. Participation in the survey is voluntary, and there will be a draw for a U of S Bookstore gift card.

PowerPoint Slide

If you are an instructor who is willing to add the PPT slide to your course slides, you can download it below.

Thank you for recognizing our event and the the importance of these three weeks to new students on our campus. We appreciate your effort to help us promote it.

Smart Start - PowerPoint Slide