What I wish I knew in First Year 

Photo by Carly Basch

First year of university was the most terrifying, daunting and most exciting and engaging year of my life. Looking back now, there’s lots of things I would change and lots of things I wouldn’t. But today let’s focus on five things I wish I’d known during my first year of university.  

Everyone else is just as lost as you 

  Be it because they are unsure of their post-grad future, or they’re confused by the school’s dizzying layout. Few people that know exactly where they’re going even if they’ve been at the school for years. Sometimes you have classes in buildings you’ve never been to before, or a lab in a place you didn’t know existed. Don’t be afraid to ask others around you for help.  

Save money 

 This one might seem self-explanatory, but when you order Uber Eats every night rather than getting groceries, you’ll understand exactly what I mean. Money can slip away from you easily. Now that you’re out of the house, you’re free to act however you desire. That idea stays fun for about a month, until reality sets in. You have to pay for your rent, car insurance, groceries and so on and things add up quickly.  

Make a point to try to budget at least once a week so you can organize your spending for next week and what your current spending habits are like.  

You’re an adult now even if you don’t feel like one 

This applies to the school not holding your hand and telling you what classes you need for your program or what happens if you fail. These are all things you have to figure out yourself. However, if you email your program academic advisor, they will be able to guide you towards completing your degree.  

Make good use of reading week 

School breaks may feel very relaxing but don’t let them break up your good habits. Getting comfortable in bed and feeling like you don’t have to go to school can’t last forever. Relax a little and let your mind rest, but remember to keep your daily routine of waking up and sleeping at the same times 

Talk to your professors 

The number of times I’ve had the same professors for multiple classes and they still haven’t known my name isn’t reassuring. I don’t mean you have to raise your hand to answer every question, but occasionally after class make a point of talking to them about the lecture. Maybe compliment their teaching style or talk about the textbook you’re studying. You will both benefit from this small talk.  

I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I wish I did and didn’t do, hopefully that helps you in some way. 

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