There is a small chance you will not survive your first month of university. Do not panic; I am more than confident you will survive. Simply follow my advice and you will sail through your first month of school without any bruises, bank loans or broken hearts. You can trust me. After all, I’m alive and well.
Try not to keep to yourself
The first month of school is an anxious time for every student going into first year. You’re nervous and excited all at once, and chances are everyone around you is feeling the exact same way. They need your comfort just as much as you need theirs.
This is a completely new environment that offers the opportunity to start fresh.
So maybe you picked your nose a lot in high school, and maybe your nickname was “booger boy”, but we don’t know that.
Throw on a leather jacket, grease your hair back and keep your finger out of your nose.
We will automatically think that you’re cool. “Look at that cool guy in the leather jacket, it’s 32 degrees outside but weather isn’t the boss of him!”
Introduce yourself as much as you possibly can. Join an intramural team or a club. Make sure you know at least three people from each of your enrolled classes.
When you accidentally sleep through a lecture because you were up all night partying, you’ll appreciate having someone who can send you their notes. More importantly, as exam time quietly approaches, it helps to be part of a study group.
This is a University, therefore you are surrounded by (for the most part) intellectual people.
Studying on your own has its advantages, but you can learn a lot from your peers.
Even outside of academics, when all of a sudden your toaster breaks down during a crucial power-breakfast, you will be thankful that the first week of school you met that girl who is majoring in ‘toaster-repair’ and can help you get those morning nutrients you deserve.
Do not fall in love
It’s harder than you think. Frosh week alone you will meet many smart, funny and attractive people. “Aww, c’mon! Can’t I just fall in love with one person?” No. “Two?” No. Feel free to flirt.
In fact, flirt up a storm; no need to settle down with anyone at this point. If you meet someone amazing, then good for you. Hold on to them as a close contact for now.
The reason behind this, is that the first month of school is like the first store you enter in a mall. Yes, there will be a very stylish pair of jeans but don’t you dare buy those jeans and head home. Look at them, maybe try them on, put them back and then continue shopping.
If you finished searching the other stores and those jeans you first saw are still the best, go ahead and buy them.
For those of you who struggle with extended metaphors, allow me to clarify: do not commit to someone within the first month when you have an entire year left of school.
I know that guy with the leather jacket you met the first week is awesome, but chances are you will meet someone better (a guy with 2 leather jackets). Give it time, there should be no rush to enter into a relationship.
Now, there may be a few of you who are entering university already in a relationship. If your significant other is living noticeably far away, I think you should seriously consider making a change.
Some couples make it work, most cannot. I believe it is better to break up now then go through an entire year of Skype calls, only to break up sometime in the future then drown yourself with regret.
Spend your money wisely
Listen here Zuckerberg, I know you made a lot of money this summer and you’re feeling on top of the world, but maybe you should think before eat at The Keg the entire month.
Some of you are financially responsible for tuition, food, textbooks, residence and transportation. Regardless, you are students; the money you’re spending now is going to be very helpful at the end of the year.
If you are of age, the bars and clubs in Waterloo are fantastic. However, they will suck your money faster than you can say, “should I try out the mechanical bull?”. If you’re not of age, good luck with the fake I.D! Keep in mind that no one believes you’re visiting from New Brunswick.
Having to borrow money from your friends the last few weeks of school is horrifying and uncomfortable. Try not to let that happen. Grab a calculator and subtract the money you’ll need to support yourself academically.
Based on your eating habits, figure out how much money you can spend towards food each day.
Once you have those two numbers calculated, the remaining money is what you can spend on leisure. Say goodbye to the big name brands of beer, and say hello to Old Milwaukee tallboys (it only tastes like soap for the first couple weeks or so).
If you can organize your money and control your spending, it will help you have a more successful year.
The advice given above is not only to help you survive, but mainly to provide you with the right steps to take during the first month of school. This ultimately leads to a better experience throughout the entire year.
Find a pattern that works for you and stick to it. You can survive the first month of university.
I believe in you. Your family believes in you. Two of your five professors believe in you.