University can be intimidating when you first start, especially for a seventeen-year-old just coming out of Highschool. It’s tough not knowing what to expect, it’s crowded and you are most likely to get lost or walk into the wrong lecture on your first day (I definitely did this). I remember my first day of college, I almost threw up just thinking about it. I wish during this time that someone gave me the advice I’m about to give you.
My first piece of advice is, and I wish I knew about this in my first year, is to remember to take a break from studying. It is easy to forget about our mental and physical health during the hectic months of University. While it is important to study and read a lot, remember to take a breath, step away for an hour and do something that brings you joy. For me, it was creative writing or going for a run to give my mind a rest.
Secondly, I recommend to not buy your textbooks right away. Go to your classes first, see if you like them and then buy your books. I promise you; you will not fall behind the first week of school. The first two weeks of school are chaotic, people will be switching in and out of classes.
Furthermore, my third piece of advice is to make friends in all your classes. Talk to the person next to you. This is important because you can study together and if one of you miss a class, you can share your notes.
Finally, my last piece of advice is to take a variety of different courses. If you are in arts, like me, take Anthropology, Indigenous studies or Philosophy. Most of us come out of High School with confidence in what we love and are good at. I loved English through High School and so I chose that as my major. I am good at it, but I lost interest and ended up falling in love with Anthropology.
If I could go back and give myself advice as a First Year, I would tell myself to take a breath. It is going to be okay. If you don’t know what you want to do, like me when I was a first year, you will figure it out. It took me three year in college and University to figure out what I truly wanted to do. You will find your passion as well, sometimes it just takes time.
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About Lizzie Skelton:
I’m a fourth-year University student at UBCO.
My goal is to one day go into journalism at UBC Vancouver.
I want to eventually write about controversial and political topics.