Words of advice
Your first year at Laurier has the potential to be the first in the best four (or five) years of your life. This collection of thoughts and advice from some of Laurier’s most seasoned veterans is a good jump-off point; but in the end, first year is defined by what you learn – not just inside Laurier’s lecture halls. Get ready for the learning experience of a lifetime.
Because after all, this is why you’re really here
Work your butt off and get good grades. It’ll be worth it, not only in getting great summer jobs, but getting that accounting or investment banking job in New York once you graduate. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself though, Laurier business students play just as hard as they work.
-Hendré Remacle, 2009 business graduate
Make lots of time for partying and living it up, but don’t forget about studying! A fake ID works wonders for your social life and going to class ensures you’ll stick around this place long enough to get a degree. It’s all about balance. And be nice to the Tim Horton’s ladies… they’ll take care of you.
-Ashley Ring, fourth-year English
Arts students can focus more on their social life than school and still do well, so get out and have fun your first year.
-Kyle Williamson-Fox, fourth-year English
The other reason for university
O-week is intense – try to meet somebody who doesn’t mind cleaning up your puke ASAP. Lock the door if you are consuming alcoholic beverages underage – it will buy you a few seconds to hide said beverages.
-Sarah Murphy, third-year English and history
I think the best advice I could give is for first years to use their best judgement when hooking up with someone – use condoms! You can get them on campus. There are enough other stresses to deal with and no one needs to get an STI on top of all the other university stress.
-Linzi Williamson-Fox, fourth-year psychology
Food and the freshman 15
Because no one is immune
Get the most expensive meal plan. Eating healthy to avoid the freshman 15 is a lot more expensive than eating crappy foods.
-Dominique Colucci, 2009 English graduate
Watch your diet! The freshman 15 doesn’t discriminate and will creep up on you faster than a Jamaican sprinter.
-Taurean Allen, fourth-year varsity football
Your home and family for the next eight months
You should probably avoid hooking up with people who are in close proximity to your floor, though you will probably disregard this. And ALWAYS wear flip-flops in the communal bathrooms – I really shouldn’t have to explain this one.
-Sarah Murphy, third-year English and history
Don’t treat your don like someone who enforces rules; they are only doing their job. These people were in your shoes at some point in their university career, so they are an invaluable resource for any questions you may have. They know you’re going to drink; as long as you aren’t a jerk about it, they usually aren’t either.
-Mike Chick, fifth-year communication with business administration option
Professors and TAs
They’re kind of important (you are at a university)
Some profs are less valuable than the textbooks you’re going to buy, but most are pretty smart and can actually teach you. There’s a reason you pay for class: go. If you read the book too, you will get smart. And put some effort in with a few of your favorite profs. They’re surprisingly interested in what you have to say and, if anything, it’s nice to get a hug in front of your parents at convocation, or a reference letter.
-Caitlyn Waring, 2009 graduate
A good professor will make or break a class, no matter what the course is. It’s important that with so many part-time professors, especially in programs such as communications, that you form meaningful relationships with your favourite ones, as they can play a significant role in your academic life.
-Laura Carlson, Cord Editor-in-Chief
Volunteering and extra-curriculars
Yes, doing things for free
The most important advice that I didn’t listen to in first year was to get involved at Laurier outside of academics. I think it’s the best way to meet people with similar interests, and it prevents you from getting too caught up in first-year residence drama.
-Marie Andic, second-year global studies
Laurier has many fantastic ways to get involved in the community outside of classes and I encourage all incoming students to explore these extra-curriculars. Becoming engaged in the WLU community helps you define your university career and supplements what you are learning within the classroom. Orientation Week is the perfect time to learn about these opportunities. There really is something for everyone at Laurier
-Laura Sheridan, president of Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union
Taking a closer look at the big picture
Money is not endless. If you do not know how to budget or have never had to, learn how to ASAP. And keep an eye out on your bills. And be sure to call your family often. The last thing you want is to call because you were guilt tripped into it.
-Shady Husein Yepez, 2008-09 WLUSU vice-president of finance and administration
One thing that I have definitely learned in my three years here is to put your heart and soul into everything you do. If you give 110 per cent of yourself to either school, sports or going to class you will see positive results. I wish that didn’t take me three years to learn. Other than that, be smart, do your homework and take advantage of all the opportunities Laurier has to offer you. After all, you’re a part of the Golden Hawk family now so get ready to have the time of your life.
-Tori Cowly, third-year varsity volleyball
Fill in your spare time with an intense mixture of socializing and intellectual thought. This will make you a much more interesting individual, which is why you came here. If you run out of said time, take victory laps like I did.
-Alex Hayter, 2008-09 Cord Editor-in-Chief
Work hard, play harder. Don’t take yourself or school too seriously; take advantage of your new surroundings and the countless opportunities they offer. Trust me when I say [that] university is just as much about the experiences as the education.
-Zac Sutherland, 2009 business graduate
Compared to other school’s orientation weeks Laurier’s trumps all of them. You will find that all of your friends who attended other schools won’t be able to top the time that you are going to have during yours. Attend everything, or you’ll regret it later.”
-Wade McAdam, third-year film and English
Of course, every university experience is going to be unique, complicated, fun, memorable and life-changing. These words of advice will help you find your footing in this fast-paced world of academia, all nighters and endless partying. Best of luck first years, you’re in for a treat.