UVic Survival Guide
Congratulations! You’ve survived the summer and made it to September. Booyah! I know, nobody has said “booyah!” in like 10 years, but maybe it’s coming back – haha (not likely).
Well I turned 30 this summer, so I guess I’m officially the Van Wilder of campus. I mention that on tours and new students have never heard of the movie, Van Wilder; that’s when you feel really old.
I am taking 4 classes this year to finish up my degree, crossing my fingers and hoping to get into medical school next year. That’s enough about me; let’s talk about you.
Whether this is your first year or your last year of university, make sure you go into September confident in your abilities and with high goals for yourself. Leave your previous years in the past and think about the future. Many great high school students struggle in their first year of university and some mediocre high school students thrive in the university environment.
For myself, I was a mediocre high school student and I struggled in the post-secondary environment until I came back to school at age 25. Now, I think I have a pretty good shot at medical school, so remember that your past doesn’t have to determine your future. Your dreams are never over until you say they are.
Most new students are concerned with making friends, so I have 3 steps to ensure you will make friends:
- Sign up for new student orientation – it’s a great way to meet your peers. Many students meet friends at this event that they keep throughout their time here. (Request science group 5 because that’s the best one – I lead it of course.)
- Join a club, an intramural team, or volunteer with your peers at UVic – there are tons of opportunities to pursue your interests with like-minded individuals.
- Get a job – Working 4-15 hours a week actually increases my productivity at university. It’s nice to have some ‘walking around money’ too.
I find it easier to get back into the grind of school by making a mental timeline for the first few weeks. This is how mine usually goes:
Week 1 – Get settled, make new friends, explore the city, figure out amenities you will use (for me, this means grocery shopping, gym and travel to and from school). Think about what kind of routine you will have by looking at your course schedule. Relax and enjoy your first week; don’t study.
Week 2 – Start paying attention in class, find a comfortable study spot that is available when you need it, find out when you will have your first midterms and think about a strategy for studying. Get tickets to your favorite show at Rifflandia! I love electronic dance music and hip-hop so I’ll be going for sure. Be safe!
Before first midterms – Study more than you think you need; it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. This is true for university, but not for steak – keep steak medium rare to rare. Make sure to bond with your new friends over the early struggles of university. Help each other and try your best.
After first midterms – Treat yo’self. You made it. The first round of university midterms are over. If you’re unhappy with your results, make sure you change your study habits. The results will not change unless you do something different, so make sure you critically evaluate what could be improved.
I want to wish everybody success in their first year of university. I truly believe that everybody has the potential to be great! Say “Yes,” to adventure, live with passion and be true to yourself. It’s a whole new year.
“If I could do one thing in this world,
It would be to at least inspire one person.
Because it’s not about how bad you want something,
How bad you want something is meaningless, it’s pointless
If how bad you’re willing to work for the thing you want
Isn’t ten times as intense as how bad you want it.
I can’t sell you desire, I can’t bottle up passion
And give it to you in the form of some magic potion.
The only thing that can quench hunger, is more hunger
And every trial, every tribulation, everything you go through
Is necessary in life…
Because it’s the lessons that you get from those things
That most people can’t, and will not endure.
Embrace it – I urge you all to embrace it
Because it’s the one thing that will allow you
To become king…”