Veteran students reminiscing about this school year as it ends are offering some sage advice to new students on what to expect.
“I recommend living in residence your first year, at least if you’re from out of town,” said Jordan Schaffer, a third-year HVAC student at Humber. “It helped me make a lot of good friends during my year away from home.”
For some students, their first year at college is often their first time living away from home and that can be scary.
“First year was what I expected until the pandemic started,” Schaffer said. “Then all my expectations went out the window,”
He said the most important advice he’d offer to first-year students is to get to know those around them. The people they sit next to on that first day of class could be people they sit near for the next several years.
Make the effort to get acquainted with classmates, Schaffer said.
“Residence definitely helped me meet people outside my program as well,” he said.
Many students come to their first year of college or university completely unprepared for what is to come.
Emily Milic, an associate director of communications at Humber College, said she made the most of her experience at university in the early 2000s.
“Before starting university, I made a vow to myself to get involved,” Milic said. “I figured that if I tried different extracurriculars, clubs and activities I would be able to find my place.”
She said she made it her mission to find her place on campus, to get involved and make the effort to enjoy her time at X University.
“When I attended university, it was my first time living away from home and anticipated forming life-long friendships with the people I would live and study with. I was fortunate to have that be the case,” she said.
Meeting new people and sometimes having a roommate for the first time is a difficult process, but finding the right people makes things easier.
“My advice to first-year students is to explore the opportunities that your post-secondary institution provides for you,” Milic said. “Feeling connected to your college and feeling like you can reach out for help when you need it is so important.
“Don’t forget to explore the supports and resources that are offered as well,” she said.
Others emphasize the importance of attending class. The days when the school would call home to notify parents that their kids skipped class are long gone.
“Go to class and ask questions,” said Logan Fargo, a third-year sustainable energy student at Humber. “Participate. Your instructor will get to know you and you will learn more if you just raise your hand and ask questions.”
Fargo advised students to get to know their professors and the other staff in their program so that if they need help, they know who to go to. Instructors and professors are there to assist students in achieving their academic goals.
“We pay a lot to be here. Might as well get our money’s worth,” Fargo said.