The Freshman’s Guide to Surviving First Year: The Dos and Don’ts of Your First Year in University

So you’re going into your first year of post secondary education! That’s so exciting but it also can be nerve racking and a bit scary. Being in my senior years of studying at university, I have learned a few things that I would love to pass onto those just entering university!

DO go to Frosh or Orientation — even though your school’s frosh may or may not have the most fun events, sign up! When I went to frosh, the events were mediocre at best! They were unorganized and I often left early from the events, frustrated and gripping about the money I wasted on attending the events. HOWEVER, I can say that by the last event of Frosh, I don’t regret going. I met so many friends at frosh! Many in which I actually became good friends with! I’m so grateful to have met them. And besides, a few of the parties weren’t half bad.

DO remember that if you don’t like someone, you don’t have to talk to them again — I know this may sound mean, but when I first got to university I had a group of horribly annoying people latch onto me. I was miserable because I didn’t want to be rude, but I just did not like these people. But I reminded myself that this is NOT high school! The one thing I love about university is that if I want to avoid a person, the campus is so big that it’s completely possible! You don’t need to be rude, just distance yourself and find friends that you actually enjoy being around.
DON’T get too crazy at Frosh or during the year — getting drunk and acting a fool is never cute or acceptable. I understand that you may be excited for university but keep it classy, never trashing… maybe a little nasty (haha JOKING!) And besides you don’t want to make a first impression as being ‘that’ girl/guy.
DO be safe if you decide to hookup with anyone! Safety first, kids.
DO join your university’s social network groups — through these groups you can stay up to date on events and deadlines, ask questions, and also get discounted textbooks.
DO get to campus early on your first days — if you don’t already know your way around campus, it is a good idea to be there at least 30 minutes early. Just in case you get a little lost, you can ask for directions or walk around to find your lectors without walking in late (trust me, you don’t want to do this! it’s AWKWARD! Especially if the lector hall is on the smaller size. You might not want to be late if you don’t like at least 200 eyes on you all at once, including the prof. yikes! ). Also if you come a little earlier, you can maybe run into friends and you’ll have a lector buddy!

DON’T talk in lectors — honestly one of my biggest pet peeves!  If you want to have a conversation, GO OUTSIDE. This isn’t high school, if you don’t want to be in the lector, leave. People are paying for their education! This isn’t a game, its real life. Be considerate of other people; they are focusing on what the prof is saying. You’re not only waste your money, but also the person who you’re distracting.
DON’T surf the web too much in lectures and while doing homework — Focus on what the prof is saying as much as possible, sometimes it’s the information you miss surfing the web ends up on the exam. While doing homework on the other hand — I’m guilty of doing it too — try to curb your web surfing. Waiting time will not help you with assignments and readings which there is a lot of!
DO your readings — I know it may be difficult and over whelming, but you will NOT regret doing your readings. Trust me, when the exam comes around, if you haven’t done the readings you’ll have to cram them all in before the exam (which is not fun… AT ALL. Take it from me, having a half an hour night’s sleep before an exam and almost missing said exam, doesn’t feel good.)
DO set 2 alarms when you have morning classes/exams — make sure you set 2 alarms, one next to you and the other across the room! Honestly you’ll appreciate it if you do.

DO get used to coffee and Espresso — I became fluent in Starbucks-ian at the end of my first year of university. The struggle was (well it still is) REAL.
DON’T try to use other people to get your work done — they didn’t pay 10 grand to work for a degree for themselves and you too. Get off your ass and do your own work. You can’t get through life trying to ride the backs of others. And besides, mooching off someone is never a good way to make friends.
DO join clubs and councils — getting involved is not only a good way to meet friends, it can look great on your resume (two birds with one stone, right!!)

DO go to parties — all work and no fun are never good! Yes, University is about academics but you need to cut loose every now and again. But the key is to know your limits. If you’re partying starts to affect your grades, obviously its time to cut back. Just remember that you or your parents didn’t pay 10- 20 grand (that’s a hell of a lot of money!) for you to party, party, party and not get a degree (This idea always keeps me on track).
University is both fun and challenging. It’s not for everyone, but if you follow these types you’ll be sure to do just fine. And remember when you get stressed and you think you can’t do it, hold out a little bit longer before you give up, it usually works out!
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