You're one week away from starting your freshman year of university - don't freak out! It’s going to be OK. Graduating high school and starting your first year of university is a major milestone, and as such it’s a very exciting time, but also a very nerve-wracking one. For most people, going off to university means your first experience living away from home. Whether you’re moving cities, states or even countries, it’s a big deal! You’ll no longer be surrounded by the neighbourhood, friends and family members that have been with you your entire life. It’s totally natural to have a few concerns! We would like to ease those concerns by giving you a few tips on how to survive your first week of university. Read on and let your troubles wash away.
CONCERN # 1: Forgetting Something At Home
Everyone has some item they can’t live without. Whether it’s a cozy sweater, a cute mug, or an old childhood teddy bear, you definitely don’t want to accidentally forget it at home when you go off to university. The first step is prevention. Start packing early! We know this can be a pain, but when you’re moving somewhere for a prolonged period of time it’s best to plan ahead. Make lists and do mock-packs to ensure you have enough luggage and space in your car for all of your things. Here are a few of the best packing lists for your first year of university:
- College Checklist (Bed Bath & Beyond)
- What You Should and Shouldn't Bring to Residence (Macleans)
- Back-to-College (Target)
- Best College Packing List Ever (Her Campus)
CONCERN # 2: Orientation Events Aren’t Your Thing
Perhaps you were never one to get involved in school, or maybe you just consider orientation events to be downright cheesy. But before you write them off altogether, consider the following: your first year of university is really the only time you will get to experience orientation week. Orientation events are specifically catered to first years. Orientation will help you get acquainted with your new campus, neighbourhood and all of the amazing services your university has to offer. It will also force you to meet new people, which may sound stressful (see Concern # 3), but will be worth it in the long run, if nothing more than to get you out of your comfort zone. Plus, orientation is no longer just trust exercises and icebreakers, take a look at some of the coolest orientation themes from universities accross North America:Zombies - Don’t Panic, Get Prepared (University of Toronto)The Frosh Prince of Bel Arts (McGill University)Han SolO-Week (Brown College)
CONCERN # 3: You’re Shy
Maybe this is the direct cause for Concern # 2, or maybe it’s something you’re more generally worried about. Making new friends and starting a new life for yourself away from home requires a bit of extroversion. We know it’s difficult, but try to force yourself to be as outgoing and friendly as possible – at least for the first week. If you decide to attend orientation events, you really won’t have a choice, but even if you don’t, remember that every single person there is in the same boat as you.
CONCERN # 4: You Won’t Get Into A Class You Want / You Won’t Like Your Classes
Please, please, please DO NOT freak out about classes. You’re in your first year of university, the whole point of it is for you to take a wide range of classes so you can discover what you’re interested in. There might be some trial and error (that philosophy class you thought would be awesome is actually super boring), but it's not the end of the world if you take a class that you do not enjoy. Also, there is a very low chance that you won’t be able to take a class you want to take. Unless it’s something super specific, first-year classes are usually the largest. Second, even if the class is at full capacity when you first try and register, once school starts people will begin changing around their schedules and it’s almost guaranteed that at least one person will drop out of the class, leaving a spot open for you! Finally, if you’re worried about the workload being too much, take advantage of the academic resources your school has to offer. Make an appointment with a guidance counselor, talk to your TA, or sign up for a peer-tutoring session.
CONCERN # 5: You Won’t Get Along With Your Roommate
Though you might be hoping that you and your roommate have an instant connection and magically become BFFL… this isn’t totally realistic. Even if you don't be come instant best friends, it's important to be friendly, polite and respectful seeing as you’re sharing a living space for eight months. If you truly do not get along with you roommate, try and spend as much time as possible outside of your room- study in the library or at a café, and hang out in your friends rooms. If that isn’t an option for you, try talking to the resident advisor on your floor and see if they have any suggestions. If worst comes to worst, you can always request to switch rooms or residences. It’s not uncommon.
CONCERN # 6: You Won’t Like Living Away From Home
This is a common fear for many people. Moving away from home means leaving your closest friends and family, as well as saying goodbye to all those years of warm home-cooked meals and laundry being done for you. Though you are almost guaranteed to feel homesick at some point, and it may take some time to get used to cooking your own meals or doing your own laundry, you will get used to it. And along the way you’ll feel the most independent you’ve ever felt, which is a great feeling! Also, don’t worry too much because first-year is designed to ease you into the whole “living on your own” thing. You’ll be living in residence where there are resident advisors on every floor to help you, a cafeteria nearby so cooking for yourself will be a choice and not a necessity, and you’ll be living next to tons of students that are all in the same boat as you. 12 Rookie Mistakes All College Freshmen MakeThe 7 Best Kept College Secrets About Freshman Year6 Rules For All Freshmen To Live By