5 Things I Wish I Knew Going into First Year

Entering University for the first time can be a super fun but stressful experience. In first year, I learned a lot about myself and about the university experience, and since then, I have continued to learn along the way. Here are some things I wish I knew before first year. 

  1. 1. Your grades may drop dramatically

    University is very different than high school, and often a lot more work. My grades dropped about 15% from my grade 12 year to my first year of University, and that’s okay! The transition between high school and university is a huge learning curve. Often it takes some time to figure out how to manage all the work you’ll be getting. Don’t worry too much if your grades are taking a turn for the worse; instead, use resources on campus to help manage the change. 

  2. 2. Don’t stress too much about your second year living situation

    When October rolled around in first year, I was already in complete panic mode about where I was going to live come next September. Try not to stress too much about where you are living too early on. There are plenty of options and you will definitely find somewhere that you love. Don’t settle for something just because you are worried you won’t find something better.

  3. 3. Try your best not to procrastinate

    I was a strong believer in the idea that diamonds are made under pressure, and so I could leave my work until the night before it was due and everything would turn out okay. This is definitely not the case. Take plenty of time to do important assignments and use resources like your TA or Student Writing Services to help you to create the best product you can.

  4. 4. You will probably gain weight, and that’s okay

    One thing I stressed so much about coming into University was the “Freshman 15”, and let me tell you, it is definitely real. My lifestyle changed a lot; between eating cafeteria food and drinking more than I used to, I gained some weight. Just remind yourself that this is a pretty common part of university, and eventually you will figure out what works to make you the healthiest you can be!

  5. 5.  Learn how to manage your stress

    First year was extremely stressful. Coming to a brand new place, meeting new people, and navigating a new school system can be really taxing. Try not to be too hard on yourself and don’t get too worked up. Find ways to help manage your stress, whether that be seeing a counsellor, exercising, or doing something you genuinely enjoy. Trust me, you will thank yourself later.