Starting university is pretty daunting, especially the first year. You have this to do list that stretches on for ages, you’ll be meeting a lot of new people, adjusting to a new place, and having to get back to studying.
If you’re a frosh, and just panicked slightly from reading that last sentence, take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay, you will survive your first week, first month, and first year at university.
Now, since you took that deep breath, here are my tips on how to survive your first year on campus!
- Enjoy every moment of frosh week. Do all the activities, eat all the free food, and go down a jello slide or two. You will treasure these memories for the rest of your life, and make some amazing friends. Us older students are always jealous we can’t do it over again every year.
- Use your meal hall or food swipes. Even though I can guarantee that by the end of the first few months you’ll be sick of campus food, use your swipes. Take the unlimited food (and chocolate milk) for granted while you can.
- Get a feel for the campus and the town or city you’re living in when you arrive. Knowing where things are will make you feel all the more confident.
- Try to not skip classes, and don’t be that person who just shows up for finals. You might not want to go to that early class, but your marks will thank you for showing up later on.
- Get involved on campus. There are so many clubs and activities you can join, and chances are that there’s a night where they showcase all these organizations on campus. Plus, first year is a great time to get involved since you’ll have a bit more free time.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you need to change courses, your scholarship money got messed up, or anything else, ask for help when you need it. It’ll save you headaches later on, and there are people on campus whose job is to help guide you through any problems.
- Try to get along with your roommate(s), and people in your building. Unless you’re stuck in a terrible situation, you’ll make friends really fast that way. Plus, they might save you later on by letting you use their printer for a last minute essay.
- Get some school spirit. Even if you’re not the biggest sports fan, you can still be proud of your school. Help out with the student union, get a positive residence rivalry going on, or pop by the rink to watch your team play hockey. It’s really easy to show your support for your campus.
- Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. I know how difficult it can be to push yourself when you’re in a completely new environment, but it’ll teach you a lot of valuable life lessons. I know I’ve met some great people at university just by saying hello, and found what I’m passionate about by trying something new.
- Stay in touch with friends and family back home. If you live across the country from them like me, having their support is fantastic for getting through homesickness. Plus, long chats with family and friends always make you feel better.
- If you’re unhappy with your program, what you’re studying, or university in general, that’s okay. First year is a learning experience, and if it teaches you that you like something else or that you don’t like university, that’s great. You can always change classes or programs, no matter what the university website says.
What do you guys wish you’d done differently first year, or what do you wish you’d known? Leave them down in the comments below!