Jeff Bent (Queen’s University)
In my first year at Queen’s, I was on academic and non-academic probation. I partied a lot, but I passed. All I can say to you is to encourage you to try everything. During Frosh Week, go out to all the activities, even if you’re skeptical, because you can always go home after if you don’t like it. Meet a ton of people. You may not see some people ever again, but Frosh is about utilizing your people skills and letting them flourish. School’s not all about school. Please don’t be afraid. You’re going to have so much fun, you have no idea. My 4 years at Queen’s were the best. If I could go back, I would, but kids are pretty cool too. Enjoy yourself and remember to distinguish between work and play, because you’ll resent it if you cannot find this important balance. This is life.
Steven Shillingford (Laurentien University)
My room mate was disgusting. He didn’t shower, put his dirty dishes in the fridge, and basically allowed our room to mold over. Whatever you do, embrace your room mate, cause you’re stuck with him for the next 8 months or so. That’s a big chunk of your life right there. Go in to school with an open mind, go to your classes.
Robert Haley (Ryerson University)
The first year is about survival. In first year university, you’re lucky to get a really good, interested, dedicated prof. First year professors just weed out the ones who have been spoon fed all their lives to be left with the active, intelligent students who truly want to be there not because they can, but because they genuinely want to. Prove to your professors that you want to be there, because I know that you do. You’ve worked so hard to get into an amazing school on scholarship. You didn’t have to, but you wanted to, and you did it, and now you’re off. Take it easy. You’ve earned it. Run with it. Those were my 10 minutes of wisdom.
Colleen Bent (University of Guelph)
At the beginning of the year, your professors will tell you that their lectures are optional. Do not listen to them! I thought to myself, Hey, if I can not go to this optional lecture, get some things done for another class, I’d be ahead of the game. No. Go to all of your lectures and your tutorials! You’re paying for them, and everything is important. Soak everything in. I can remember that I had to drop a Physics course 3 times because I absolutely hated, hated, hated it! Please know that there’s nothing at all wrong with having to drop courses because you can always take them in the summer time. If things get too hard, stop, breathe, relax, and ask for help. Your professors won’t approach you because really, and honestly, you will be a number, that is unless you make yourself known. I highly recommend getting to know not only your professors, but your teaching assistants too. They’re the ones that will be grading you, so you’re likely to get a better grade if they know who you are, and you show the initiative that I know you have in you, to succeed. Most kids in first year make the mistake of not introducing themselves to their teachers, either because they’re too shy or nervous, or they couldn’t care less. I know you care, I know you want to succeed in university, so all I can say is that you get to know the men and women who you will be dealing with for the next academic year. Go to them, ask them exactly what they want from you, and do as best as you can to give what it is they want from you, to them. On a side note, home is just a phone call away. I’m sure things have changed over the past few years, but you know what, just call us if you need any advice, if you’re home sick, whatever. We’ll just give you different opinions and ideas on things that we’ve dealt with in the past. Just remember that it’s not impossible. We’ve all survived it. Don’t let it stress you out. Remember to breathe and to take a step back to realize, this is school. It’s apart of life, yes, but it is not life or death. Just smile! Buy your bed sheets, your towels, and just go to school.
P.S. My second cousin Kayla and I, who is about 6, talked about beige rainbows. Have you ever thought of a rainbow not being the colours of a regular rainbow before?