Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Year

Going into your first year of university is never going to be easy. Heck, starting anything new or experiencing change of any kind is scary.

A new school, new people, and a whole new place that you might start to call ‘home.’ Lucky for you I have compiled a list of ten things I wish I had known before starting my first year here at UVic.

Photo by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay

1. You don’t have to know what you’re doing.

Although everyone makes it seem like they have everything under control, most people are still figuring out what they want to do up until the last possible moment.

2. Take classes that interest you.

Believe me, it makes a world of a difference when you’re learning about things that interest you rather than if you’re sitting in a class you feel like you have to take which seems to drag on and on and on without being interesting.

3. Bring your own food if you can.

Don’t get me wrong, the food on campus is good…sometimes. But it is always nicer to not have to spend your money on mediocre food when you can pack a homemade lunch to satisfy your hunger.

4. You will make new friends really quickly.


Whether in your classes or just around campus I find that people are incredibly friendly and will make conversation over just about anything.

The amount of friends I have made in my classes is really extraordinary, and I’m sure you’ll find that for yourself!

5. Everyone else is just as scared as you.

As a first year student, the majority of the people you will be in class with are also first year students who are new to university as a whole.

None of you have experienced this before and you’re all scared and anxious. You’re not alone in this!

6. Find a spot you like to study and stick with it.

notebook with writing

This is good advice if you’re someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy change.

If you’re somewhere new and you don’t like it, find a nice cozy spot on campus and study or eat lunch there. It will make a world of a difference.

7. It’s not the end of the world if you miss a class.

In high school they make it seem like missing a day of school or skipping class is the end of the world. But in reality if you miss a class here and there, most profs will record and post their lectures and slides for those who aren’t able to come to class so you won’t really be missing anything if you decide you want a little extra sleep after a long night.

8. Don’t use the washroom right after class gets out.

This seems a little odd to add in here, but once classes are dismissed, the bathrooms fill up like crazy and it’s seemingly difficult to find a place to go when you’ve got to go.

9. There is almost always parking in lot 5.

car in parking lot

For those of you who are like me and stress over the parking situations wherever you go (most of the time before you even get there), you’ll be pleased to hear that parking lot 5 typically has at least a few spots available at all times.

The only downside is that it is a bit of a walk away from the main buildings within Ring Road.

10. The library has so many resources for you to take advantage of whenever you need them.

This is one of the best pieces of advice I can offer to any new student. Whether online or in person, UVic libraries has so many resources available to all students for a variety of things. There are even people working in the libraries who are experts in their field and more than willing to help you find what you’re looking for.

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