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What I learned from my first semester at Uni


1. It’s okay to be alone 

Transitioning from high school where I
was surrounded by a large social group every day, to University where I only had a couple close friends, was foreign to me. It can feel overwhelming on campus and making friends in large lecture halls can be intimidating. From my observations,
it seems that eating alone is a universal thing on campus: everywhere I go, lots of people
are surrounded merely by
the presence of their laptop or phone. I learned to just make the best out of the situation. 

2. Become friends with people you have a connection with  

This one can be
a bit tricky. Becoming close friends with somebody takes time, and time in
university is a rare thing. Hitting it off with one of your classmates is nice, but after the semester is over the chances of seeing them again are slim to none. From my experiences, I’ve found that quite a few of the people I’ve become friends with were merely acquaintances- people to text if you needed help with homework or an assignment. It’s important to have those relationships with people you can connect with, people that inspire you and make you forget to check your phone.  

3. Don’t buy textbooks ASAP 

I learned this one the hard way. I wanted to ensure that I’d
be prepared for my first week of classes, so I pre-ordered all my textbooks from
the co-op bookstore. However, out of the 7 books I bought, I only ended up using 3. The rest I never even touched. For the upcoming years, I advise to just wait until the professor tells the class what books you’ll need. Plus, most of the time there will be a free online PDF, so you won’t even need to spend a cent! 

4. You need to get over your FOMO 

University is a huge place with limitless resources, clubs and extracurriculars. There is just no
possible way to experience every single event the CSA is holding.
Of course, you want to get out of your comfort zone and try new things, meet new people, but if you have a
test that’s worth 30% of your final grade due the next day, don’t go to that pub dance. Just don’t. I’ve learned to accept that whatever opportunities I’ve missed and will continue to miss, I still have 3 more years to experience. 

5. Your grades WILL drop 

In high school I was used to achieving
90’s in every class. I was that person who would get upset over an 80, but now in Uni, even just a 70 is a blessing. 
The standards here are held
much higher, and as long as I put in the effort, whatever grade I get doesn’t define my academic value. 

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