Among the public bus etiquette, how to make adult/important phone calls and who to shake hands with, here are the five main things that I have learned from my first year of University (so far). If you happen to be starting University soon, it may be worth your while to check this out.
#1: It’s not that big of a deal.
Yes, the expectations increase and the sympathy from professors decrease. However, what most people will neglect to tell you is that, as far as the workload is concerned, post-secondary isn’t all that scary. Keep in mind, I’m not a residence student, so that would probably have an affect on how big a deal it actually is. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if you travel five minutes, five hours, or five countries to get to your college/university. It’s important to keep reminders around that reassure you to keep your head in the game and breathe. Your entire life is not riding on this. Any future plans you have may change – and that’s perfectly okay. Remind yourself of the bigger picture, because of 60+ more years of your life, the first year of university is one. You can get through it.
#2: Positive people are attracted to other positive people.
If you want to be a nasty, clipped, rude person, go for it. Keep in mind, with that tactic, the only people who will be gravitating your way will be strangers who are rude, clipped and nasty to you. The same goes for the reverse. If you want happy, kind, positive people in your life, then be kind, happy and positive to others. It’s like a brilliant instant karma, and several of the friends I’ve made this year are evidence in favour of this theory. Be kind, receive kindness. It’s as simple as that.
#3: Be wise financially, and you’ll thank yourself later.
I honestly cannot count the number of friends that have chosen to move into residence and gone away for school. We are in Canada, so that’s a plus, because the price of our tuition and residence is around $16,000/year, as opposed to the $20,000/year of tuition that those poor students in the U.S. have to pay. Books ain’t cheap either, folks. Neither is food, or that scarf from the mall that you love, or the long-distance calls to your family back home. I know people who will have spent over $20,000 in total by April this year – and we’re only first year students. They plan on staying where they are for the entire degree. So, roughly, we’re looking at $80,000 for a degree from a school in Canada if you go into residence.
To put this in perspective, I’ve chosen to stay at home to save money. I also made an 87% average when applying to my school, and in turn, they gave me a $2,000 scholarship. Renewing that, and other Government funding I receive, and my tuition at the end of my degree will probably be in the neighbourhood of $4,000. Yes, you read that correctly – four years for an honours degree will only cost that much, simply because I made smart financial choices from day 1. I’m very pro-saving, so no matter your choice, make a smart one for yourself.