Dear First-Year Students

Dear first-year students,

Soon you’ll be arriving at UVic! I hope you’re looking forward to starting university. You’ve probably heard all kinds of stories about what it’s going to be like, but it’s hard to really know until you’re experiencing it yourself.

I’m entering my fourth year of university, and my third year at UVic (I went on exchange for one year). I used to think that by now I’d be able to start school completely confident and with a calm state of mind. But the truth is, I’m nervous.

Every new school year brings uncertainty – although I have dreams and plans and hopes for the coming year, I can’t predict whether these will all work out the way I want or what difficult things I may have to face. And even though Victoria feels familiar and I know my way around campus by now, I’m still nervous about meeting new professors, balancing school with rest, and adapting to a new schedule. Add to that the fact that it’s my last year of undergrad, so in just 8 months I’ll be entering “the real world” as people keep calling post-university life.

But I find comfort in the fact that there are other students in the same position as me. We each carry own set of hopes and fears. The uncertainty of a new school year just has a way of bringing those into full view. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the emotions (even excitement can be overwhelming sometimes), I hope it helps you to know that you’re not the only one.

Right now, I’m scared. But I’m also excited. It’s hard to explain, but one of the things I’ve learned over the past few years is that conflicting emotions often exist at the same time. And that’s okay.

I encourage you not to let fear drown out your excitement. Because no matter what this year may hold for you, I’m confident that we’ll all come out of it having learned something, whether about politics or bridges or plants or oceans or ourselves. And to me, that sounds pretty exciting.

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