What I Wish I Knew Before Starting University

Written by: Aliisa Moffatt

Starting your first year of university can be intimidating and can give people anxiety. But when the classes are coming to an end and exam season rolls in you start to look back on the last year and think about the lessons learned, the mistakes made and the accomplishments to tell your kids about one day.

Here is a list of things that I wish someone had mentioned to me before starting university:

  1. Professors DO NOT bite.

Scared teacher woman on the blackboard backgroundAs scary as some profs look, the last things they are going to do is pop out their fangs and stick them into your neck. They are real people. No, they do not live in the university. They do not unplug themselves every night after a long day of lectures. No, they do not want to fail you just because. Profs are real people and the last thing they want to see is their students struggle or, worst case scenario, fail the class. Do not be scared to approach them, ask them any kind of question and they will guide you on the right path

  1. Join as many clubs and go to school events

This was something that took me a while to realize. I tend to be a shy person at first so the thought of meeting new people made me nervous but I pushed myself and grabbed some friends and starting doing things around campus. At first I started going to intermural soccer at the Civic once a week and then I signed up for the best program on campus… Pen Pals. An incredible program I recommend to anyone, especially those wanting to become a teacher of any kind. Then I wanted something more, so I became a part of the Student Life Blog. You should get involved in areas that interest you- there’s something for everyone. And if you don’t see something you would like to- grab some friends and create the club!

  1. University can be a lot of readingHigh School Student Holding Lots of Books

Reading was never my favorite thing, but starting university I realized I needed to motivate myself to do my readings. In some classes reading is a large majority of the course content and if you don’t do your readings there will be a domino effect throughout the term. Do them.

  1. It’s okay to not know what you want to do

This is something I struggled with the most. Many people apply to something they want to do and they stick with it and graduate and get a stable job and live happily ever after, while others switch from program to program struggling to find the program that was made for them. It is more than okay to not what you want to do for the rest of your life. Have fun and explore university.

  1. Have a support system

Friends, family, academic advisors, significant other, parents… the list goes on. You need to have people who are going to be on your side and who are going to push you to be your best and do the things that you are capable of. If you do not currently have a good support system then you have time to make one. New friends, academic advisors on campus, profs, the list is endless when it comes to supportive people at TrentU Durham who want to see you succeed.

Mixed group of people making party

At the end of the day it is time, effort, money and hard work that go into your degree, so make the best of it and try not to spend all of your time dwelling on the things that you cannot change.


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