First Step: A guide from staff and students to Humber first-years

Apr 18, 2024 | JRNL219-2024

As the academic term comes to a close, first-year students at Humber College reflected on their experiences and shared valuable advice for future students embarking on their college journey. With the support of faculty members, they offered insights and encouragement to navigate the challenges and opportunities of college life.

Negin Akbari, a first-year, international, multimedia student said student life was exciting and overwhelming at times.

She encouraged everyone to make friends and build healthy and successful conversations with your peers to help yourself get out of the shell.

“Joining study groups, or even saying, ‘Hi’ to the person sitting next to you, can prove crucial to reduce the start of term nervousness,” she added.

She explained how these techniques helped her become more confident and improved her English-speaking skills.

Negin spoke about the importance of participating in an engaging activity, such as a yoga class once per week, free of cost in the fitness centre, which is also a great way to socialize.

Taking part in these activities, or doing any sort of physical exercise helps one deal better with stress especially during exam time, she said.

She advised students to not be shy and approach professors and others, and not to be afraid to ask for help whenever needed.

First-year student Jennifer Maklaren emphasized the importance of respecting others, not judging others for the way they are. She said, “Don’t let down people who have disabilities, problems, or any other special needs. Just talk to them nicely.”

She added that being very stressed a lot of the times herself, it is sometimes hard to maintain good academics but a welcoming environment at school always helps.

The Faculty of Health Science and Wellness and Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre is where she goes when she is not at her best.

Jasmeet Singh, a first year business student, offered advice for staying out of trouble. “Do not use ChatGPT or any other tools that could get you in trouble for plagiarism.”

She described an incident in her classroom where one of the students got in trouble for having plagiarised an assignment even when it was strictly instructed not to do so. The person was left with a serious warning that clearly stated that the practice, if repeated, would result in immediate expulsion.

Faculty member Dr. Emily White, from the Psychology division at University of Guelph-Humber said the transition to college life can be hard. “First-year students often face challenges adjusting to the academic rigor and social dynamics of college life. My advice is to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. Stay curious, stay engaged, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed,” she said.

Dr. White also underscores the value of building connections and seeking mentorship. “Take advantage of opportunities to network with faculty, staff, and alumni. They can offer valuable insights, advice, and support throughout your college journey,” she adds.

As first-year students prepare to transition into their second year, they carry with them the wisdom and guidance shared by their peers and faculty members. With a supportive community and a resilient mindset, they wish good on future students starting next year.