First of all, this week passed by incredibly quickly. I would say it’s probably just the first week, but I’ve been told that all of first year is over before you realize it. At the same time, I could write pages and pages about everything that’s happened over the last week, but I will spare you all that and condense it into a few (or several) thoughts:
- Orientation (frosh?) is cheesy, but it’s fun. Just go with it, do the silly activities, yell the cheers, participate in the first-year traditions. You may enjoy it more than you think, and make new friends, too.
- Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to new people. Everyone wants to make new friends. The first few conversations will be awkward, but it’ll be worth it in the end!
- Set some rules with your roommate(s). Make sure you guys are clear about what you expect from each other, otherwise you’ll get annoyed at them for playing music late at night, and annoyed at yourself for not having said anything in the first place. Be open to their preferences, but try to make things equal.
- If you’re cooking for yourself, either do meal prep or cook over the weekend so you can just heat up your food during the week. The first week you get a lot of free food and time to cook, but after that, schoolwork starts piling up real fast.
- Get to know the public transit around you! You’ll probably have to walk or take the bus most of the time, so get to know the routes and stop numbers you’ll be using most often.
- Wait at least until your first class before buying your textbooks. That’s when your prof will tell you which edition you need, what’s required versus optional, etc. Buy them used if you can, but for example, this year several of my textbooks have an updated edition, so I decided to buy them new and sell them used next term.
- When it comes to studying, hit the ground running. It sounds so annoying, but seriously, start you work as soon as you can. University chapters are long, and you don’t want to try to read and make notes for 40+ pages the night before your lecture.
- Sit near the front of the class/hall. Some profs use mics, but some don’t, and it’s hard to see and hear at the back. Besides, being in the front and establishing a relationship with your prof means it’s easier to go to them for help or to ask about your grades.
- Figure out where are your classes are the night before. Campuses and buildings are often mazelike, not to mention construction that may be going on. Walk from your dorm to your class, or from one class to another, so you know where you’re going. Don’t worry, everyone else is doing it too.
- TIME MANAGEMENT. There is so much time in a day, even with uni homework. It’s the hardest thing to do, and what makes the biggest difference. Make sure you do what you need to so you have time to go do fun things and actually sleep.
All in all I am so happy to be here. Also I obviously didn’t do all of these things right,and they are not based in any real research. I just thought I’d share from what I’ve experienced so far. I’m still figuring a lot of things out, but I know Waterloo is the place for me 🙂