Peter Pan Who? Tips for First-Year Survival
Updated: Sep 27, 2020
Transitioning to university can be tough, and it doesn’t matter if you hail from seven seas away or if you live seven kilometres from school. It can represent a lot of firsts. There’s a new-found freedom and independence, some might say that your soul is ready to fly; but flying also means that you need to learn how to take off. If you take off right, you’re a whole lot less likely to crash and burn.
In that same vein of thinking, here are a few things I wish I knew in my first year:
1. Everybody tells you to drink coffee. You see a coffee in almost everybody’s hand. My two cents – don’t do it. Don’t do that to your body.
2. There will be more nights to go out but never enough nights to study.
3. For my fellow International Students – hold! the! door! for! the! person! behind! you!
4. It is completely okay to change your major as long as you’re passionate about it. I was an English Major in my first year, I’m a Psychology Major in my second year. Just reflect on what you think you’re interested in and work on it.
5. Do your readings on time. Don’t wait until the last moment to do everything. You think you’re going to be fine if you study one week before your exam but the truth is no, you’re going to be overwhelmed and ultimately regret not studying as you go.
7. Friends come and go. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
8. Have fun with your classes. Branch out with your electives. Knowing too much is never a bad thing.
9. You know what is cheesy but also really fun? Making and following through on bucket lists.
If you’re looking for a second opinion, here are a few things some of CBU’s ‘sophomore’ students wish they could tell their ‘freshmen’ selves:
“Oh gosh. Probably not to be so afraid of my professors, because the ones I had been warned to stay away from supported me the most!” – Maggie Musgrave, 3rd year Bachelor of Arts in English and Theatre
“If I look back at it and what I’d do different to now it’s probably time management. In my first year it was hard to get on with school, soccer and my social life at the same time. I had to learn how to manage my time better and plan my days ahead of time. Also asking professors for advice or asking others for help when I needed it was something I had to learn, instead of just trying to figure out everything myself.” – Peter Schaale, 3rd year Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing
“If you’re sorry, don’t say ‘sorry’, say ‘apologies’.” – Rajat Nautiyal, 3rd year Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management
“I would tell myself to become involved in everything you can and to take the time to actually learn how to study!” – Katy Barnes, 2nd year Public Health
“Don’t think to start volunteering later, participate in as many events or activities and clubs, and take full advantage of the Math and Science Centre.” – Mink Aich, 2nd year Bachelor of Engineering
“Well first of all I would say attend classes regularly. Main thing is to mingle and go to the events at CBU to socialize and get involved which will help in the long run. Networking is the main thing that helps you as a student. CBU is not a place where you are just a number, you are included and recognized for the effort you put in.” – Juwel Jacob, 2nd year Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism
“Find what you’re interested in and follow that, don’t do it to make someone else happy; do it for yourself and your future.”- Anonymous
“Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know something. Ask questions, talk to your professors, participate in your classes and enhance your understanding.” – Zabrina Downton, 4th year Bachelor of Arts Honours in Anthropology/Sociology
Lastly, don’t forget to eat, shower, hydrate, sleep and socialize. If you cannot breathe between class, work, and homework/studying you are overdoing your schedule; please take care of yourself. You are going to make it through this. I believe in you.