Photo Credit: Nick Morrison via Unsplash
A reflection on change and growth
Lana Kamal, Lifestyle Editor
For many first years, university is unknown territory. Moving from high school to university comes with challenges that some might find easy while others may struggle with immensely. Given that every person is different, there is no right or wrong way to transition into this new stage of life; nonetheless, here are some things to look out for.
Unlike high school, where teachers track you down for assignments and penalize you for tardiness, university means figuring your time management out yourself. You have to find what times of day you are most productive, which study methods work best for you, and how to keep track of assignments. University means having the responsibility of being accountable for your own choices like attending lectures, being on time, submitting assignments, and studying. Additionally, because you have the freedom of customizing your own schedule, you have complete control over your work and personal life.
University differs from high school in terms of campus life and the environment. U of T’s campus is smack in the middle of downtown Toronto and is very large in comparison to a typical high school. With that in mind, this is a great time to take advantage of such a large campus and explore. To fully get that campus life, it’s fun to check out the different study and hangout spots and take advantage of the opportunities U of T offers its students. For instance, the athletic center offers drop-in Yoga classes for students which can be an excellent outlet for self-care.
Seek out help when needed
What makes universities so great is the plethora of helping hands that the university offers. Going into university is quite a change, and planning your future can be overwhelming. The University of Toronto has multiple advisors you can reach out to for academic and financial help. Take advantage of office hours, writing centers, workshops, and even learning strategists when you need it! It’s important to know you are not alone and there is always someone there to help you.
Make the most of your college experience
Yes, university is where you study and pave the path for endless career opportunities. However, that does not mean your life has to only consist of learning. University is about making friends and creating memories. It’s important to balance your life so you are not consumed by one thing alone, which can make things stressful. I advise you to take time for yourself, socialize, explore new interests, or even join clubs. This is a time to find yourself and spend time doing what you enjoy. Balance is key.
The last thing I will say is not to stress too much. Take this first year one step at a time.