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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As my first year of university comes to a close, I’ve realized just how much I’ve learned and what I’ve gained since the start of the year. My outlook on academics, relationships and work-life balance has shifted for the better, and these seven months have both flown by and crawled. Overall, I wouldn’t change anything about the way my first year has played out, and I can’t wait to come back for my second.

Academic Takeaways

The biggest takeaway I’ve discovered with academics is that one bad grade doesn’t affect you that much, and you can always bounce back. Yes, this is a common message, but I can’t say I thought this was truthful until this year when inevitably I’ve gotten some grades that I wished were higher. As someone who places way too much value on my marks, a low evaluation on an assignment or midterm seemed like the end of the world, but in the grand scheme of things, I was still able to bounce back and end the course with a grade I was proud of. Furthermore, I learned that creating a weekly schedule with work that needs to be accomplished per day is vital to being able to stay on top of deadlines, or else for someone as forgetful as me, I would consistently miss important due dates.

Social Life Takeaways

One aspect of the university experience that I, like many students, couldn’t wait for was the social life. Also alongside others, I worried about making friends and finding people to live with next year, but luckily, I found luck in this department. As someone who is initially very shy until I get comfortable with others, I requested a single dorm because I wanted my own space (and I had heard about the monstrosity that is communal washrooms). Looking back, I am so grateful that I didn’t get my wish and was placed in a double dorm because it allowed me to have a built-in friend from the very first night.

Work-Life Balance Takeaways

Sometimes, you just aren’t going to be able to submit your best work because you left things to the last minute, and sometimes you aren’t going to be able to go out with your friends and you’re going to miss a really fun night because you procrastinated a big assignment you have due that night. That trade-off is something I’ve slowly accepted amid the bustle that is university life. Initially, I thought I could be this superhuman working machine and have all my tasks done so that I could go out every weekend, but the increased workload in university is no myth and was definitely an adjustment. Furthermore, on top of balancing this busy workload and social life, making time for extracurricular clubs required significant time management skills, and seemed impossible at times. While this may have been so, joining extracurriculars helped me find a community at Laurier and make valuable connections that have helped my transition to university be far smoother.

Ultimately, my first year of university has not been a breeze, but it has taught me valuable skills and given me fun experiences that I will not forget anytime soon, and I cannot wait to return in September and make new ones.

Kate Price

Wilfrid Laurier '26

Kate is a business administration (BBA) student at Wilfred Laurier University. While business has always been what she wanted to study, she has a passion for writing about all things beauty, pop culture, true crime, and health and wellness. You can usually find Kate watching a new Netflix documentary or hanging out with her two dogs, Mabel and Gracie.
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