One of the biggest shifts you can go through is that transition from high school to post secondary. Going from the safe high school doors to the wide world, it’s hard but as I go in my last semester at uOttawa here are 10 things I wish someone told me before I started.
- Be Organized – Know where your classes are, have your textbooks (always buy USED books or borrow from the library), have pens, pencils, erasers, calculators. Don’t be the dummy that forgets a pencil for the scantron. DONT.
- Syllabus is your best friend – Whenever you start any class, check 3 things in the syllabus. Is attendance mandatory? When is the midterm/test/quiz and how much is it worth? What are the office hours? Trust me all of these are key! If attendance ain’t mandatory then read the power-points at home! If your midterm is mid October, then study early and be ready. If the office hours are good then GO SEE THE PROF.
- GO TO OFFICE HOURS– Trust me professors are losers that spend most of their lives studying one topic, imagine spending your whole life being a student? Terrible! Professors love what they teach and visiting their officer hours will make you stand out. When they grade your essay and see your name they’ll boost your B to a B+ or A-. Build a relationship, they might give you a referral for a Masters degree, just shoot your shot fam.
- Make A Plan– Don’t be the type of student that goes through the motions, you’ll HATE university. Be the type that knows what they’re going to do After graduation. Many people go to school just to go to school, nah. Be a person with a plan, be strategic. Will you get an internship? Co-Op? Scholarships?
- Volunteer– Lets keep it real, University is not just about books. It’s about becoming an adult. The best people are selfless, so get off your bum ass and do something for the world! For your community, for your school and for your life. Go and volunteer. Specifically on your campus. You can meet people in your field of study, make friends and make an impact in your community. I did all three and you can too.
- Join a club, fraternity or sorority – Making connections is something we have to do in life and as humans we make cliques, we make groups, its what we do. So JOIN A CLUB, any damn club! Most university’s have a “club week” where you can sign up for something. Don’t be the guy (or girl) that has no group and no friends, you’ll get depressed and lonely. Go out there a join a club that interests you, trust me you’ll find your people.
- Workout/Intramurals – I know you’ve all heard of the “freshmen 15” and YES its a fact! You will order pizza while studying, you will buy donuts and extra ice cream. So get active, go out there and workout. Join intramural sports and make friends. Go Compete and win a 20$ gift card, don’t lock yourself in. Open yourself up to new sports, new workouts, new group sessions and push yourself.
- Go to sporting events – Even if your team is the worst and loses every Panda Game GO SHOW LOVE! Having pride in your school is key, you’re paying 8k or more every year to this place, go have some fun! You’re a soccer fan? Go support your men’s team! You’re a football fan? Go support the team! Plus most games have beer 😉
- Make a friend in each class – As y’all can see there’s a theme here, make friends in every class you’re in. Have a study buddy for tests or exams, you’re sick and need someone to write notes for you or someone to talk to about your bum ass prof. Making a friend in each class will take you far, because (real) friends last longer than classes.
- Seek help, you are not alone– Don’t be the guy that suffers in silence, mental health is serious and more and more students go through it everyday. Being homesick, lonely, depressed, overdrinking, anxious, etc we all go through it. Instead of letting these things destroy you just know: you are not alone! Reach out and seek help with Councillors, mentors and friends. Because Uni is hard, but seeking help makes it easier.
Bonus: Apply to EVERY SCHOLARSHIP AND BURSARY…you’ll thank me later
p.s. always carry condoms…you know why lol