What do you wish someone had told you before your first year at Humber College?

Apr 22, 2022 | Features, JRNL219

As the semester comes to a close, students across Humber reflect on what advice they wish someone had given them at the beginning of first year.

The first year at college can be both exciting and terrifying. New people, new responsibilities and, for many, a new country.

When your comfort zone is thousands of kilometres away, adjusting to change can be that much harder.

First year Culinary Management student Kerrat Sandhu shares her experience as an international student.

“I came from India and it is pretty hard living over here and adjusting to a new country and it would be better if I had someone to guide me through that. The rest is really good, I really love the college and my program.”

Her advice for first year students is to stay up to date with assignments, don’t skip class, and never be late.

“Get out of your comfort zone, be more social and talk to more people,” said second year information technology student Tyler Nguyen.

“Most first years, you come to this school, you don’t know anyone, especially international students. It is hard for them to get a social life and make connections. It is best for them to reach out.”

Adjusting to the first year of college has been a unique challenge for students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of free IGNITE popcorn and early morning commutes, students faced dark zoom squares and cats climbing on their laptops.

“I haven’t really had the actual college experience cause I’ve been at home,” said first year Computer Engineering Technology student Michael Martin.

His advice for new students is to “learn how to study better and find ways to pay attention in class, that’s really it. It is not that much different from high school for me.”

Journalism Diploma professor Jim Coyle has taught countless first year students and has given them all the same advice.

“The best way to learn is by trying and failing, almost everything most of us learn often in life comes from failures, so I try to relieve them of the fear of failing and taking risks.”

And, he said, everything you learn is useful.

“What I try to get across to people, which applies to almost every program, is that almost all of the skills that are necessary to be a competent journalist are learnable skills,” Coyle said.

“It isn’t the case that some of us have been tapped on the shoulder by a muse and can do it and others can’t.”