Going into first year, I was all over the place. I was super excited to start university, move into residence, and meet new people - but I was equally nervous about all of those things. If I could go back to the end of August and give myself some advice, this is what I’d say…
Tip Number One:
Something I did before classes that helped was just walking around campus and getting familiar with all the different buildings. Mapping out my classes and where I needed to be was super helpful and a stress reliever. I recommend it to avoid feeling overwhelmed when you start classes.
Tip Number Two:
Find a method of study that works best for you. I like writing my notes by hand, especially on flash cards. The transition from how I learned in high school to university was a little overwhelming, adapting to the fast pace of things, but if you take the time to try different methods and do your best not to get overwhelmed, you’ll be just fine.
Tip Number Three:
If you’re living in residence, I’d recommend bringing small things you can keep in your dorm that all of your floor can enjoy. On my floor, we got a karaoke mic, which is so much fun!
Tip Number Four:
Get involved somehow! Whether that be clubs, councils, social groups, etc. I have really been enjoying my time on SSSC, and I’ve met so many amazing people. It can be intimidating - I was super nervous before and during my interview for SSSC, but joining the council has been one of the best decisions since coming to Western. It is an excellent distraction from school, and you’re doing productive work while having so much fun and meeting new people!
Tip Number Five:
Lastly, I think the most important thing (that I still haven’t quite mastered) is making time to do something you enjoy. Whether going to the gym, watching a movie, or spending time with friends, it is incredibly important for your mental health to step away from school for a little while and focus on something that brings joy. It's really easy to get caught up in school, but the best memories are made once you step out of your comfort zone and try to make the most of your first year.