3 Things I Wish I Knew Before University

As I near the end of my third year at Laurier, I have thought a lot about how I felt back in grade 12 before I started this journey. I was scared, unsure and oh so nervous about going to university. I remember feeling like I had no idea what I was doing at the Ontario University Fair, and while I may still feel a little bit like that to this day, I know now that I didn’t need to be as worried as I was. With my fourth year ahead of me, and who knows what else after that, I surprisingly don’t feel the same as I did when university was looming in front of me in 2017. With this, I thought it would be a good idea to share some things I wish I knew before university for anyone who feels the same as me and for those who may be just finishing the first year of their university experience.

  1. 1. Professors are not scary

    We all know the way professors are often depicted in film and TV - strict, mean and not very willing to help students. Well, this depiction is all wrong. Before my first year, I was afraid of what my professors and instructors would be like. But the truth is most professors are not cruel at all. They are friendly, kind and go above and beyond to help their students. Personally, many of my professors have become helpful colleagues in my education and career, giving me opportunities to extend my learning and prepare for my future career. So don’t be afraid to ask for help or attend office hours because staff and faculty are only here to help.

  2. 2. It's all about what you make it

    I have always been shy, and clubs and activities were never my strong suit in high school. When I came to university, I didn’t think I would join any clubs because I wanted to focus on my classes. Here we are, three years in, and I’m part of Her Campus, the yearbook and have participated in a research showcase, workshops and two on-campus jobs. I’ve learned that participating in things outside of your classes is extremely important. You not only meet people and gain experience for your resume, but it makes university as a whole more memorable than just going back and forth from home to class. But, no one is going to force you to do these things, so it is up to you to make an effort to make this experience one that lasts.

  3. 3. You are not alone

    Maybe the biggest thing I have learned over the last three years is that I am not alone. When I was leaving home to move into residence, away from my friends and family, I was scared to be lonely. While there are times when you are physically alone, there are always people there for you, no matter what you need. Whether it’s your friends who support you in academics and social life, professors who help you strengthen your education, the Wellness Centre, Academic Advising or any other service on campus who are there to serve you. Regardless of what you need, there are people at Laurier to help, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

These are just three of the many lessons I have learned in my undergraduate education so far. I hope this helped you reflect on your own experience and dismiss the myths you might think about university.