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8 Things I Wish I Had Done in First Year

1. Attended All of O-Week

By this point in your Western career, I am sure that you have heard this advice before. Regardless of how many sophs, dons and upper year students preach this wisdom to you, some of you, myself included, might not take it. I understand how overwhelming the new experience of university,combined with complete freedom in a new town with new people, can be. As tempting as it can be to trade learning chants, dances, and listening to guest speakers for running down Richmond Row getting your “movie university” experience, remember how short lived your O-Week actually is. Don’t let this once in a lifetime experience, the demonstrations of love and spirit for your new home, be overshadowed by an experience you’ll be able to have over and over again (and likely get sick of!) in the next four years.

2. Gone To Parties In Residence

No matter what residence building you end up in, realistically there will be some parties occurring. Whether it be a wild night crammed into a dorm room so full of people you can hardly move, or a night playing cards and watching movies with your floor until 2am, your residence experiences are inherently more intimate than any bar or club. You’ll have the benefit of getting to bond with the other people in your residence, and the blissful memories of better times when you are weaving through what feels like thousands of people at Frog on a Friday night.

3. Gotten To Know My Soph

Not only are sophs pretty cool people who you should get to know, they also have a ton of knowledge in general.  They can be your go-to guide on how to pick your courses to how to pick your roommates for the upcoming year. If you were ever jealous of someone for having an older sibling who went to Western and taught them the ropes, you should probably take advantage of your soph.

4. Gone To My 8:30am Class

In high school, I woke up at 6am, took an hour to get ready, and jump onto the bus by 7. In university, I couldn’t manage to wake up at 8am to drag myself across campus by 8:30 (in my defence, it was a Friday morning class). While this seemed insignificant at the time, allowing yourself to sleep in and miss class creates bad habits that are hard to break in the upcoming years. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you will likely have to face another early morning class sometime during the rest of university. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones, eventually you’ll be working at a job, where your boss won’t see “I forgot to set an alarm” as an appropriate excuse for not showing up on time.

5. Joined More Clubs

As fun as being an active member of the “Ceeps EVERY Thursday” and “Netflix Binging” clubs was in first year, it’s best to diversify your Western experience.  This way, at the end of your four years, you have more than your grades to show for your time spent here. Explore your options at the beginning of the year: go to clubs week, ask questions about Greek life on campus or shoot us an email about being a part of Her Campus! Trust me when I tell you this: it’s best to get into clubs as early as possible to experience everything that they have to offer. Longevity will provide you with a longer time to bond with those with similar interests, and will provide an opportunity to gain more knowledge and even eventually hold a leadership position.

6. Not Formed a ‘Squad’

It’s indisputable that it’s great to have friends that you can count on; who you can talk to about anything. However, when you’re first starting university,be wary of joining a ‘squad’ too quickly, especially if you did not come with pre – existing friends, It’s easiest to make friends in first year while living on campus, surrounded by thousands of other students your age who are just as eager to make friends as you are. In the years to come, living with only a few roommates, it becomes harder to make these friendships. Instead of sticking with your ride-or-dies all the time, make an effort to find a range of friends: those you go to the gym with, those you study with, and those you aren’t embarrassed to eat mass amounts of junk food in front of.

7. Spent Less Money Decorating My Dorm

Let’s be honest–no matter how much money you put into your dorm room, at the end of the day it will still be, and look like, a dorm room. Make your room comfortable and cute, as you’ll be living in it for the next year, but it’s unnecessary to do an Extreme Home Makeover. Unless you were planning on continuing to have a single bed and limited space when you are living out of residence, hold off making any big purchases until you are living on your own.

8. Learned The Bus System

I miss the days of being able to walk to school, and only knowing the bus that goes straight to Masonville. Just like your professor encourages you to study well in advance before your exam, start learning your bus routes now, so that you won’t be that girl in second year asking the bus drivers and strangers for help on how to get to the nearest grocery store.

Amanda is a National Intern, Style and Beauty Blogger and a Chapter Advisor for Her Campus. She is doing a double major in criminology and sociology at Western University. She is a proud member of Alpha Gamma Delta - Zeta Chi chapter, and makes 99% of her decisions based off of WWEWD (what would Elle Woods Do?). Follow her on instagram @amanda_h_jones, and listen to her talk about makeup *a bit* more than usual at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m-7cOzh_oI&t=237s
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