Thursday, October 11, 2012

What Did You Do Wrong In First Year?

Ironically I'm probably not the best person to be talking about what I did wrong in first year; I was one of the few students already very dedicated to my studies right from the get-go! However, I believe we could all have used a little more advice looking back to our young selves a few years ago.

Here are some things I think I should have done while in my first year, and some of my recommendations to you:
  • Get involved! I think I was way too nervous about doing well in school that I missed out on some great opportunities to get involved in extra-curricular activities. There is so much to do on campus! Join a club, become a member of an association within your program, or volunteer for events happening around the school. Not only are these wonderful resume boosters, but can help you meet new people and get more out of your university experience!
  • Sign up for workshops. Yes, it's true, you excelled in high school and got into university. But that doesn't mean there's not going to be some sort of academic transition phase that you'll experience once you're here. A-Z Learning Services offers a variety of workshops that will help you from writing university level essays to taking multiple choice exams.
  • Talk to Your Professors. It can be intimidating to approach your professors in first year, especially if you have some large classes. However putting yourself out there and talking to your professors can mean the difference between you understanding an assignment or getting an answer to something they lectured on. It can also be a great way to get their insight on your field/area of interest!
  • Explore. I don't know about you, but in first year I didn't travel much further than the Pen Centre to get groceries. Especially if you're not acquainted with the city, it's important to get out there and see what the different areas of town have to offer. Who knows? You might find a new favourite coffee place or a great store that you wouldn't have known about had you not stepped on that city bus.
All in all, it's important to look at first year both as a learning curve and an opportunity to experience all kinds of new things. Take advantage of all the services your university has to offer and also look out for ways to get the most out of your time here. You won't regret it!

Good luck; believe me when I tell you that these years absolutely fly by!
- Lia

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