Back to School Is Upon Us…

…and I’m really looking forward to it. This year is my final year of my undergrad, which is incredibly exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. There’s a number of things in the works for my final year that I’ll post about soon, but it’ll be one for the books for sure.

However, as a fourth year or senior at university, I figured I’d share some of my tips for those starting or returning to university.  So, without further ado, here’s some of my advice for university:

  1. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Some of the best experiences I’ve had on campus have occurred because I took a leap of faith and signed myself up for activities. You may not be able to do everything, but try to get out there and do things so you have fewer “I should’ve done (x)” moments later on.
  2. Be open to meeting new people. It’s very easy to continue the mentality from high school that you’ll only click with certain people. I would encourage you to be open to making friends through classes, extracurriculars, or just someone you constantly run into on campus. They might just teach you some of the most important lessons during your school years.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I was like most frosh, where the last thing I wanted to do was show up to office hours and ask for help from my professors. However, I’ve learned by now that taking the time to ask the questions you have about coursework or just popping by for a quick chat with your professors can be incredibly helpful and open up new opportunities.
  4. Not succeeding at everything is okay. If you have to redo a course, get a bad mark on an assignment, or fail at something else during university, it’s alright. We aren’t all perfect, and sometimes circumstances in our lives can mess things up. However, the best thing to do after not succeeding is to pick yourself back up and have a game plan to make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
  5. Don’t be afraid to leave home. Moving somewhere completely different can be daunting after living your life in one place and having all your friends and family there. In my experience, there are ups and downs to going away to university, but I’ve been able to learn a lot more about myself by changing my environment completely. So, don’t be afraid to make that first step in leaving home.
  6. Get off campus. As tempting and easy as it is to always be on campus, give yourself a break from it sometimes. Sometimes you need a different perspective in order to find some peace during the hectic life at university. Plus, it’s a chance to either experience living in your own place or to explore where you’re going to university a bit more.
  7. Remember what you’re here for. While some of my advice is to experience the most of your years at university, remember you’re in school to study. It’s not worth paying a lot of money, all the long nights, and hours in class if you don’t get the degree at the end of the line. So, keep that mind when you’re really tempted to binge watch some Netflix instead of studying for an exam worth 40% of your final class mark.

I hope that this helps those embarking or continuing on the path of post-secondary education this year. Please pass this along to any students you know, and if you have any advice that you’d like to share, please leave a comment on this post!

Have a great school year!

-Mel.

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