After hearing all kinds of things about college and university, you’re probably wondering what you can expect as you prepare to enter your first year. The best way to get the most out of the experience is to both maintain your academics and be involved on your campus. Considering all the money you and/or your family is putting in to your education, why not take full advantage of this time? Academics are important, but being involved on your campus will make this time unforgettable, teach you valuable skills, and provide great networking opportunities.
Focusing on my grades kept me from getting involved earlier on, and getting more out of my time at UTSC (UofT Scarborough Campus). My advice to you: Don’t get caught up in one aspect of university life and have everything set in stone. I changed my major three times, from Neuroscience, to Health Studies, and finally to Environmental Science, with a minor in Religion. And that’s actually normal. Very few people know what they want to do when they leave high school. It’s important to try out as much as you can to help you figure that out.
Aside from your grades, there’s probably a lot of other things you’re nervous about. One way to get a feel for your new school, and get past those fears, is orientation (popularly known as frosh). This is an important event since it gives you a chance to get to know your school before you hit the books. It usually lasts a few days or even a week, involves a lot of fun activities, and chances to make new friends. After your first year it also offers a great volunteer opportunity. As an orientation leader for new students you would experience school spirit at its best, and share what your school has to offer.