Hindsight is an extraordinary gift that most students going into university wish they had. However, hindsight is the understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed. Therefore it is impossible for a student entering university to understand how it all works. Fortunately, I am a second year university student who has survived the many challenges that first year has to offer, and now I am looking to help smooth the transition for students who are considering joining me at Nipissing University next year.
For myself, one of the most difficult aspects of transitioning into university was money budgeting. As a high school student I lacked the responsibilities that came from dealing with money. Naturally when I started university I quickly became overwhelmed with expenses. As a university student you are responsible for paying tuition, paying rent, buying groceries and household items, purchasing textbooks, and paying for any extra forms of entertainment. By now you are surely starting to feel the pressure, but there are some easy tools to help you along. I strongly recommend making a money budget plan, which can help you to organize and visually see your expected income and expenditures. This is a great way to stay on top off your bills and see how much money you have to treat yourself for all your hard work.
The second aspect of transitioning into university that I found difficult was time budgeting. As a high school student you attended school from 8 am – 3 pm and spent an hour on homework after school. This is extremely different from the daily routine of a university student. I recommend the moment you obtain your schedule to map out some time periods for homework. The biggest mistake first year students make is that they see all the free time they have and choose to not properly use it. Along with homework, it is crucial to your academics and to your health that you make time to sleep and eat. I know it sounds silly hearing this, but I assure you that once you begin university sleeping and eating become another two things you have to work into your schedule. My suggestion for getting the right amount of sleep is to make sure you are not leaving assignments to the last moment. My suggestion for maintaining your good eating habits is to always have ready to eat foods, such as apples and bananas, which you can eat on the run.
Now that you have heard what I have to say I hope you are better prepared for university. Always remember, that although university may seem terrifying it can be full of good times. I encourage you to get involved with the school whether it is through a school group or a sports team. I look forward to seeing all of you next year. 🙂