Humber staff and students offer their intuition and knowledge for success during first-year

Apr 18, 2024 | JRNL219-2024

A photo of a humber student in front of a black backdrop looking into the camera

A photo of a humber student in front of a black backdrop looking into the camera Photo credit: Benjamin Steeves

As the winter term of 2024 comes to a close, Humber students and faculty offered advice for students coming into their first year.

Clarissa Cooper, a first-year Media Communications student talks about how she was intimidated at first when looking at her program and the outcomes.

“I personally, was like signing up and looking at programs. I knew I wanted to be in art and communications; I was looking at the other people’s art and their portfolios and it intimidated me,” she said.

But she advised people not to get discouraged if they get overwhelmed or intimidated or if they wonder how they will learn their program.

“I remember thinking how am I going to learn this, but then I remember they’re going to teach it to me, so it intimated me less,” Cooper said. “I remember looking at videos of people who graduated and it was showing their work and talking about their stuff, and in the video they talked about how fun it was and how much they learned and their confidence, and I looked at it like, ‘How do I get there; how the hell do I do that; I just have to f*cking do it you know?”

A portrait of a young woman posing in front of a backdrop

A portrait of a young woman posing in front of a backdrop Photo credit: Benjamin Steeves

Michael Spencer, a professor in the Liberal Arts and Science department, said struggling is a part of the learning process.

“I think being a student now is really different than being a student before when I was going into my first year,” Spencer said. “We should embrace the challenge of being a student and struggle and learn how to write an essay or assignment.”

Spencer added that learning and staying away from ChatGPT is part of helping us set up for success in the real working world.

“Imagine every time you went to learn something, you just used it to spit it out, we’d just be useless blobs,” Spencer said. “I feel like I use the word a lot but we should struggle and learn for the real world,” he said.

Chelsea Teng, a first year student in Business Marketing said not to worry on if you’re ‘book smart’ or not.

“I wish, if, I were to hear advice coming into college again, I hope it would have been not have been as hard on myself,” Teng said. “As a person I’m not that book smart and I’ve accepted that and it’s okay. I won’t be using some things again, like I won’t be using algebra again.”

Teng added Humber has helped him in more ways than one.

“Honestly Humber has been great for me, in terms of my mental, physical and emotional health. I became closer with my community that I work with,” he said.

Alex Manuel, a first year Humber student in Emergency Telecommunications, said that going and engaging in your classes is key to your success.

“Really engage with the classes; like go, and be a active participant in the class,” Manuel said. “I skipped my fair share of classes; it was easy to go to a lecture hall and sleep or not go, I wished I took it more seriously but more fun at the same time.”

Becoming obsessed by getting the best marks was detrimental to the learning experience, he said. There’s always help if you need it, he added.

“For people now, I’d say being present, and like, be forgiving to yourself, and like the best that you can do. I see people get caught up in marks, like wanting a 80 or 90,” Manuel said. “Like ask people questions.”