A Student Guide to… Surviving the First Semester

The first semester of University is always the toughest whether you’re in your very first year, your second, your fifth or your ninth. Maybe you’re returning to your studies after a year or two off. If you’re someone like me, maybe you’ve been to university elsewhere and are now trying to navigate a new campus in a new city. Whatever your backstory, there’s no doubt that the first semester can be a bit overwhelming.

Luckily, I’m hoping to report on my experiences and give advice to you as it comes to me. Each blog post I write for My UVic Life will begin with the title “A Student Guide to…” followed by a topic crucial to benefiting your student life. Yes, that means each time I get lost on campus, get hungry, find a foolproof method for test-taking (here’s hoping!) or embark on some sort of life altering adventure – you’ll be hearing about it. Okay, maybe not every time, but you catch my drift. And with a whole lot of luck, you’ll be able to make your UVic experience even better than mine!

So without further ado, here are my tips for making your first semester super rad:

1. Get Healthy!

  • beachwalkactiveSleeeeeep: That’s right people, I’m starting you off easy. Make sure to get that recommended 6-8 hour beauty sleep we students so desperately need. Shut off the Netflix and get some shut eye!
  • Eat: As a student, your schedule is packed and it’s easy to forget to nourish yourself. Avoid that midday crash with plenty of snacks! My top picks: apples, bananas, granola bars, and hummus with veggies.
  • Stay active: Running, biking, hiking, climbing, Pokemon Go-ing! We’re lucky to call this beautiful island home – so get out there and enjoy it! Pro-tip: For the ultimate stress relief, search YouTube for free yoga videos.

2. Get Studious!

  • pencil-crayonsOrganize yo-self: Feeling like projects and tests just keep sneaking up on you? Get out those course outlines, your calendars and agendas, and your coloured pens. It’s time to go all out with some organization of epic proportions. This is a key way to feeling like you somewhat have your life in order.
  • Go to class: Have you ever been on RateMyProf and noticed the tag “Skip Class? You won’t pass.”? Quite frankly, I feel like that applies to all profs and classes. I guarantee that attending class will boost your grade by at least 10%. If you’ve got this down, try being extra keen by asking and responding to questions – aaah!
  • Be pro-active: This is some next level stuff and something I feel everyone struggles with from time to time. Being pro-active involves all of the aforementioned tips, especially being organized. Manage the heck out your time, plan ahead, and good grades will be bestowed upon you.

3. Get Social!

  • uvic-sailJoin a club: Time for the fun part! Get out there and get involved. UVic is bursting at the seams with clubs and events – there’s something for everyone. Being involved with the university really completes the student experience.
  • Exercise your extroversion: I don’t know about you, but for a selective introvert like me it can be difficult to talk to new people. However, once you break the ice, you can make some really fantastic friends! Talk to someone in class? You have a new study partner. On the bus? New bus buddy. In the coffee line? New coffee comrade.
  • … but not too social: Sorry to be a bummer, but we all know how easy it can be to get sucked into the social world. The weekend calls for parties and adventures which can really eat into study time. Make sure to balance your priorities, and you’ll be on the road to success in no time!

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