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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

Starting university can be full of freedom, independence and excitement, but it can also be completely different than what you expected. At times you will feel elated and content but at other times you will feel overwhelmed, exhausted and as if your life is a complete mess. It is completely normal to feel uncomfortable or anxious in your new environment and stressed about the pressure of living alone, but here is a guide on how to live your best university life.  


A major part of your university experience is socializing. This includes creating study groups, joining clubs, attending events and hanging out with friends. Be sure to drink responsibly and not let that aspect of your life impact your physical and mental health, as well as your academics and relationships. You will have many short and long-lasting friendships throughout university, so be sure to avoid immature individuals who cause unnecessary drama.  


While in university you will quickly learn that money runs out fast. Though you do not need to budget every one of your expenses, it is helpful to allocate money towards necessities like rent, food and toiletries and list your own must-have items such as a Netflix subscription and social activities. To help get some extra spending money, be sure to apply for scholarships or get a part-time job on or off campus.  


You will quickly learn that basic expectations or courtesy that you hold do not apply to everyone. For example, the sink will be full of dirty dishes for days, the garbage will not be taken out for weeks, leftovers in the fridge will be mouldy, someone will eat your food, bathrooms will be cluttered and guests will be over every night. Communication is important! Being able to set boundaries, discuss habits and set chore expectations will help you avoid future problems. Getting along with your roommates will greatly improve your university experience.  


Though socializing and experiences are an important part of your university life, the most important part is to further your education or get a better idea of what you want to do for the rest of your life. Through all the assignments, quizzes, exams and presentations it is easy to lose track of your final goal, so take the time to understand what you want to get out university. An important part of your academic life is learning how to study. Even if a certain method worked for you in high school, it does not mean it will work in university. Some effective study methods include using cue cards, reviewing with a study partner or creating mind maps. Be sure to introduce yourself to your professors as they are a great resource for asking questions and they can also help you land TA or research positions in the future.  

Mental and Physical Health 

University is a time for growth and transition for you. It is hard to understand and focus on what you need in order to improve your mental and physical health. You need to be able to understand the connection between your mind and body to improve your overall wellness. Juggling studying, working and a social life can often lead to fatigue, so to improve your mental and physical health, it is important to eat healthily, drink water, be active and get sleep. Learning how to cook a few basic and healthy dishes will help get away from campus dining, and going on walks will help you get out of your cramped dorm room.  

That concludes the beginner’s guide to university life. Remember, you are not alone in facing challenges and making mistakes. Be yourself and take care! 

Isha Pabla

Wilfrid Laurier '24

Writing has always been a passion of Isha's, and while pursuing a major in business and computer science, she finds it wonderful to be able to exercise her creativity and activism with Her Campus. Isha enjoys writing about social justice issues, community engagement and social wellness.