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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Alberta chapter.

Congratulations! You have made it to University! First-year can be an overwhelming experience, from sitting in a 400-person lecture hall, to assignments piling up at an alarming rate, and midterm season creeping up on you out of nowhere. But that is okay because we are all in the same boat, and knowing that makes it just a little more bearable. To help you out in this time of change, I have compiled a list of 5 things that will make your University experience more enjoyable and as budget-friendly as possible!


  1. Get Facebook

At the University of Alberta, Facebook plays a huge role when it comes to enhancing your student experience whether it be professionally, academically, or socially. Whether it comes to buying and selling your textbooks, fraternities advertising their parties, scheduling a meeting with your student club… Facebook is the main platform.

The official UAlberta Facebook community comprises more than 34k members. This is where you can find any University of Alberta related groups. From housing to involvement opportunities, textbook exchanges, and much more! They require you to enter your valid @ualberta email to make sure that you are a in fact a student. Here is the link:https://www.facebook.com/groups/groupsatualberta/


  1. Wait before buying your textbooks

Yes, textbooks are an important part of doing well in your classes however, some profs do not require them. Make sure you attend your first day of class before buying the textbook. Trust me, you do not want to be spending $100 or more on a textbook for your Roman History class just to realize that the professor will be providing you with the reading materials online for free.


  1. Buy old textbooks 

Speaking of textbooks, always try to buy used ones! University textbooks are not cheap, and if you buy them all brand new, get ready to be eating ramen noodles for every meal until the end of the school year because of how expensive books are. Remember to always ask your professor if you can purchase an older edition of the text. Sometimes the difference between two editions of a textbook can be as little as the author changing one paragraph on page 58 out of a 500-page book. Older editions matter because they are cheaper. There is also the option of purchasing your textbook online for a period of three months, six months, one year… on websites such as Vital Source. https://www.vitalsource.com/en-ca/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw5MLrBRClARIsAPG0WGzdsZL_ajA2r7rOEZmPua8d-TLbw4EEFN-1vFK3UwGM4Ndq1-6RYyYaAvl7EALw_wcB/ 

The most popular option here at the UofA is to buy your textbook from someone who has previously taken the course. To do so use any of these Facebook groups and get ready to save some money. 

UAlberta Textbook Exchange: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ualbertabooks2go/

U of A Used Books For SALE: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2255838850/

Textbook Exchange: https://www.facebook.com/groups/361775090530185/


  1. Take the W over the F

Throughout your time in university, you will come across difficult classes (which is a normal part of the university experience). However, if you know you are going to fail a class, withdraw from it and take it later on. An F (fail) on your transcript does significantly more damage than a W (withdrawal). In both cases, you will not be getting the credits, you have already spent the money, and if that class is mandatory for your degree you will have to retake it either way. A W does not affect your GPA, but an F does. And remember, failing a class is not the end of the world, you can always bounce back next semester by studying harder and improving your studying strategies!


  1. Join a Club, Get Involved

There are approximately 415 clubs and student groups at the University of Alberta. This means that there is definitely a club for you. Clubs are the best way to meet likeminded people and find your lifelong university friends. It gets you involved with something you are passionate about and did I mention it looks good on a resume?  Here is a link to UAlberta’s 415 clubs and student groups. Don’t forget to visit them at cubs fair or email them, and start getting involved today!


(And remember that Her Campus at UAlberta is always recruiting!)


Article By Darya Chykunova

Darya is currently in her 3rd year of her double major in Psychology, and French. She has a passion for languages, she fluently speaks English, French, Russian, and Spanish. In her free time, she is volunteering with various student groups on campus, going to concerts, camping, travelling, and attempting to learn the ukulele. You can find her on Instagram at @daryareadykids.
Robin is a senior student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. She is getting a Science Degree, with a Psychology major and a double minor in Sociology & Biology. Part-time jobs, full-time classes, various student groups and volunteering fill most of her time. Robin is the 2020/2021 President of Her Campus at UAlberta and served as the social media director for the 2018/2019 year!