University: in grade 12 I was so excited about university, the pressure, the city, even being away from home. Come August, I did not want to leave. I was so scared, I didn’t know if Carleton was right for me. But you know what? I went anyway, and it took me forever to find friends. I joined the skating team, which was great, but early in the morning, and I made some amazing friends. I became friends with my roommate and her friends. But academically, I didn’t feel fulfilled. I was sitting through lectures, bored, stocking Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. The thing is, I really thought it would get better. Come April, it felt real, like I was stuck. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the media world still entices me and I want to do something in the media, but Carleton was never my dream school and I knew that deep down. I never thought I would switch institutions and programs but I am, and I have learned that that is okay. Luckily, my parents are understanding and know people that can give me some great advice regarding my future. SO I have compiled this list of things that I have learned throughout my whirlwind of a year!
Lessons Learned during my first year university:
- If you are like me and don’t drink, Frosh week will suck
- If you are absolutely unsure, even a tiny bit about the school you are going to, don’t go there
- You may not make any friends the first month, maybe even the first three months
- Don’t sign a lease unless your absolutely sure you want to stay in your university or college
- Maybe grade 13 should be re-introduced?
- If you change what you want to do its not a big deal, as I experienced throughout my whole first year
- My film TA gave me the best advice ever: if you want to do something else, do that something else, don’t stay here cause you feel obliged. (SO GOOD RIGHT)
- Do make the best of it, even if you don’t enjoy it 100% of the time
- Don’t shop a lot (trust me on this one)
- Friends are great, but don’t let them be the reason you stay or go
- Find something you like to do
- Sometimes you don’t need go to university or college, sometimes staying home for a year is what is best or trying out a really cool abroad program, because you can always defer acceptances.
- Do reach out to people in the program you want and see how they truly like it, even former grads of your program will be helpful
- If your city has more than one type of institution look into those, hey maybe you will discover a program you like
- Talk to someone, for me it was my mom, I cannot tell you how many times I cried over Skype to my mom, there are many options available.
- Trust me, its okay to not to know what you want, just be sure to really research things; programs, student life, the area, walk around the city, get a feel for the campus. Do the buildings enthrall you? The city? The restaurants?
- Finally a year is not wasted! You will have a learning experience regardless of your feelings about the institutions. I know I had a rewarding and eye opening experience and you will too!
Okay, so my university journey has consisted of: taking three months to make friends, waking up at 6 every morning for skating, and failing various news quizzes. As I look back, I do question what I could have done differently. Maybe making more friends? Trying harder? Who knows. But some advice for those going into university, you probably won’t be high school you, which sucks in my case. My mother always said university is about finding yourself and that hasn’t happened yet. However I am liking this blogging thing…bringing me to the title of this post: exam time.
First semester, it was great I had two exams then it was Christmas. Now its five exams, the possibility of not getting into my program and good old Netflix (actually I don’t have that but its easier than saying streaming TV online). Twitter is one of my biggest distractions, but hey at least I am reading the news, did you hear Senator Brazeau was arrested last night and Stephen Colbert is replacing Letterman, and that Georges St. Pierre’s knee surgery was successful? this has something to do with my program right? Its still studying just not what I need to know. haha who I am kidding, its merely an intelligent way of procrastination and I know it.
So if your wondering why I am writing such a useless blog post, I am actually not. I have advice, make a study map (2-4 hours a day for studying each class), take breaks, dance in your room, dream, and most of all, I am guilty of this too, stop worrying. Like my mom always says, just do your best and go wherever your heart takes you.