12 Steps to Surviving University: Things No One Tells You

Oh hello there, student body! Maybe you’re a current student, maybe you’re thinking of coming here, or maybe you attended here and can remember fond memories of University past. Regardless of where you are, here are some general guidelines that can help you get through any post-secondary experience. Many of you may be away from home for the first time. You’re no longer in high school; it’s time to be independent. Growing up is hard for everybody, but here are some tips I wish someone had told me in my first year, and I hope they help others as well.

1. Say ‘hi’ to as many people as you can on the first day of school. The first day of University is intimidating for most, and often students are away from home.  Making a great first impression will make you memorable, approachable, and will quickly build your new social network!

2. This isn’t high school, what you look like doesn’t matter. Don’t worry, we won’t judge for you rocking sweatpants because you have early classes or you were up all night cramming.

3. Food is more important than booze: when you’re low in cash, make sure you feed yourself. There’s nothing worse than being hungry. You’re not you when you’re hungry.

4. Buying textbooks is more important than buying trendy clothes. University is expensive, and it sucks, but you’ll get through it. Welcome to the “broke student life”.

5. Get up and go to class, even when you don’t want to. It’s important. Go learn some things. At least try.

6. Always take free food at events when it is available! This cannot be stressed enough, take full advantage of all the free things!

7. Get to know your floor! A great way to make new friends in residence, and they’re only a few steps away!

8. Ask for help when you need it. You will thank yourself later. Take advantage of the campus resources. There are many free services that could help you academically with writing & studying skills, as well as on-campus counselors for when you just need someone to talk to. Nipissing also has an on-campus health clinic (how convenient!), free food bank for students, and free access to the gym with your tuition.

 9. Sleep is more important than you think. Nobody likes a grump. Get your rest and you will function so much better.

10. Cafeteria food is convenient, but not the best.  Beware of the infamous Freshman 15… It’s real, and it’ll creep up on you before you know it.

 11. Introduce yourself to your profs.  They won’t bite… Remember they are people just like you and you should feel comfortable approaching them.

12. Get to know your campus. Find your way around, see what services they have to help you, where your classes are, what you can get involved with etc. Getting lost is never fun and knowing your way around can help you make the most of your university experience!

Megan Fraser
2nd Year Bachelor of Physical Health and Education