–go to orientation: I am an orientation leader for all you incoming freshman this year, so of course I want you all to go to orientation, but in all honesty, I found orientation so fun and it really made me love campus! Also, it helps you figure out your way around campus and meet new people!
-get a locker: If you aren’t living on campus, a locker can be really helpful. I mostly use mine for storing my winter jacket, textbooks and lab coat and goggles in between classes! I don’t want to be carrying all that all over campus!
–don’t buy food: During my first semester of uni, I bought food almost every day. Apart from it being incredibly unhealthy (um hello New York Fries Braised Beef Poutine <3), my wallet suffered. I have been a bit better this semester. I still buy supper on campus when I’m staying late but I usually bring my own lunch. Yay me!
-used textbooks: I don’t understand why people buy textbooks new. If you’re using it for only a semester, who cares if the pages are bent or the cover is torn. I used sites like Kijiji, Bookmob, Chegg, as well as friends for finding the cheapest textbooks!
–find classes ahead of time: make sure you take the time to find your classes before they start! I hate walking into a lecture and trying to find a seat when the class has already started. Also, find the best routes in between classes because once winter has hit, you’re gonna hate going outside.
–sit near the front: don’t worry about being a keener. I find that sitting near the front makes me more engaged in the class and keeps me from chatting too much with my friends. (even though I still do oops)
-have breaks with friends: I love my breaks with my friends. It helps you forget about the stress of school for an hour and you can just catch up. It’s fab.
-friends/support group: I can’t even begin to tell you how much I need my friends in university. They are going through the exact same thing as you so they are great for ranting to (or crying or hyperventilating y’know).
-stay at school to do homework: I don’t know about you but if I go home right after school, I just go on tumblr or watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians for like 8 hours straight. Alas, my homework doesn’t get done. Therefore, I usually stay at school and try to get all my work done there. Uni has such great studying places. If you go to the University of Alberta, try fourth and fifth floor of CCIS and of course, my favorite Cameron Library.
-keep organized– Stay on track, keep all your notes organized, keep up with textbook readings etc etc. You know the drill.
-ratemyprof: The professor you get really determines your grade in the class. Research the type of notes he gives, how hard his tests are, his accent (I’m horrible at understanding accents!), how easy he marks, flexible office hours etc.
-make friends: I’m not a posterchild for this tip because I definitely didn’t make many new friends last semester. I tended to stick with my high school friends but I did make a couple of new friends! If you are going to a university with no one you know, definitely just start chatting to people in your lectures. They will be so grateful that you did!
-go to class: It is so easy to skip classes at university. Nobody will notice and nobody cares. However, I find that going to class is really beneficial. It forces you to keep on top up of all that new information and you can hear the profs explain things which is usually pretty helpful (sometimes not).
-sorority: I’m not in a sorority right now, but I did do rush (recruitment) and I absolutely loved it! I’m definitely going to be joining this year and I’m super excited. It’s such a great way to feel involved in university and meet new people (and boys just saying— hey frat boys!)
-grades: study lots and try your best but your gpa doesn’t define you. You will accomplish everything if you are determined. Your health is more important than your grades.
-live: I know that the most important thing about university is your grades but do you really want to spend these four years just studying? When you exit university, you are going to be an adult and your are going to be in the real world. So why not just relax a bit and enjoy your last years of freedom. Sometimes you need a few nights out of a month to enjoy what life has to offer. For example, me and my friends devote every friday (termed Friday Funday) to explore the shops around campus and eat at a new restaurant. Sure, we could be studying and saving our money, but we look forward to every friday and it has become such a fun tradition.
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that follow these tips but don’t put a lot of stress on yourself. I hated the thought of university but once I started to relax and get acquainted with it, I fell in love. University has so much to offer. It is full of so many new experiences. I know that I always said how much I love high school but university is truly so much better. Say goodbye to cliques and drama and say hello to a whole new life (and cuter boys #holla).