You’ve come to Smart Start, you’re registered for courses, you’re excited to begin a new chapter of your life, but you’re just not sure what to expect.
Like the first week of high school, the first week of university can be daunting for some. You’re in a new environment, perhaps without any of your old friends, and you want to make sure you’re on top of what’s going on. This September I’ll be going into my sixth “back to school” week at Brock University. You could say I’ve kind of become a pro at this. Below I’ve listed my top tips and tricks for ensuring a smooth and successful first week at Brock.
1. Avoid heavy line-ups. The Campus Store, the U-Pass transit booth, and the student card office are just a few places on campus that see heavy line-ups the first week of school. Avoid peak times (from mid-morning to late afternoon) to save yourself some time buying books, getting your bus pass sticker, or obtaining your student card.
2. Check-in with your Don. If you’re living in residence you will have a Don assigned to your floor or court. This person is an upper-year student who will act as a big brother or sister figure throughout the school year. He or she will plan fun activities for your floor, resolve conflicts, enforce residence guidelines and help you out with any issues you might come across. The first few days of school, Dons also provide their students with walking tours of the campus to get to know the school in a little more detail, and to find the students’ individual classrooms.
3. Leave early. Brock is a mid-sized university with a very compact, self-contained campus, but it can still be difficult to navigate for first timers. Leave early to give yourself lots of time to find your lectures, seminars, and labs. You don’t want to be late on your first day!
4. Introduce yourself. Remember: everyone is in the same boat. Most first year students don’t know many people (if anyone) on campus, and are looking to make new friends. So why not introduce yourself? You’ll be shocked at how many new friends you’ll make by the end of the week.
5. Savour every moment. Orientation week is a blast. However after O-Week, classes start to kick-in, homework and readings will begin to pile up, and your time for socializing will become more limited. So make the most of it! Although university can be a little overwhelming at first, challenge yourself to relax and enjoy each day of Orientation week because it only comes around once a year.
Those are my tips and tricks for a smooth and successful first year. So, enjoy your last days of summer, future Badgers, because school is right around the corner!