The first year of University can be very overwhelming for recent high school graduates, especially in a community as large and diverse as the University of Toronto. To make this transition smoother it is important to understand what to expect from your first year of University, and what to do to prepare for it.
Looking back now, the most important academic advice I could give to my froshie-self is to keep a more open mind. Do not waste an opportunity to meet people, to try new things and to make mistakes, because first year at university is all about finding ourselves and finding out what we want as individuals. This is why our degrees are designed to enrol us into specific programs after our first year: so that we have room for trail and error. Things you never thought about studying could be some of your favourite courses, and things you planned to pursue may not be the right fit for you. To figure out what fits you best, take a wide range of courses from forestry to astronomy. At the same time, make informed decisions about what you should be doing by talking to academic counsellors who are there to guide you, as well as upper year students who have already been through what you are experiencing. Keep reminding yourself that this is when you are supposed to try things and figure out what you want so that instead of being confused about what you should be doing later on in your university career, you can be focused on pursuing your goals. Setting goals is just as important as attaining them.
And finally, enjoy the summer! Look forward to a new life! It can be as small as thinking about ideas to decorate your room if you are going to live on campus or in a new place, or finding out what the city offers if you are new to the city (movie theatres, food places, famous sights)! Look for pictures of the place you’ll be living in, and places around campus like libraries, bookstores and cafeterias. Or if you are able to visit them, then even better! Walk around campus by yourself an envision yourself as part of the campus community. Talk to the people around campus if you are able to visit, or interact through student groups on social media.
Expect and embrace change!
— Deepita Aurony is an senior student at Woodsworth College, majoring in Philosophy and Fine Art