New Independence

Back to Academics 101

1. Balancing academics and life2. How can you cope if you feel overwhelmed?

1.  Balancing academics and life

Students achieve a sense of success at university when they have a positive experience and positive outcomes. This is more likely when students think for themselves, and then make wise choices, about

“What would a good life at university look like?”


“What do I want to achieve this year, or during the next 4 years?”


Students who learn to make wise choices in regulating their health and activities usually have a more positive experience at Queen’s combined with better academic achievement. Good health is usually thought of as a state of well-being in several areas:

2.  How can you cope if you feel overwhelmed?

There will be times when students aren’t up to date and not able to do everything to 100% of their ability. This is normal! Making strategic choices is part of being an efficient student.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can try to:

  • get a good sleep and re-assess the situation;
  • follow some of the familiar routines from home, such as bedtimes and eating times;
  • control your distractions, including social media, Netflix, your phone, and friends;
  • use a 4 month term calendar to map out what is due, when, and how much it is worth;
  • set daily priorities, including school work and down time;
  • talk to the Professor or TA to clarify the assignment, to see if your assignment is on the right track, or to get an idea of the focus of a reading;
  • organize a homework schedule that includes study plus class time (a full time job), eating, exercise, sleep and some personal time. See our weekly schedule template for help;
  • use campus resources such as:
  • use the Queen’s Learning Commons in Stauffer Library for work space and academic support services;
  • speak to librarians for help researching a paper;
  • see the Faculty Academic Advisor in the general administration area of the faculty (e.g., Room F200 in MacCorry Hall for Arts & Science students, or 1st Floor Goodes Hall for Commerce, or Student Services in Beamish-Munroe Hall for Engineering);
  • talk to your residence don;
  • make an appointment with a Counsellor at Student Wellness Services; and/or
  • speak with the University Chaplain in the Faith and Spiritual Life Office


Welcome to Queen’s. We are glad you are here.

We want to help you have a great first year! Just ask.