Hello fellow badgers!

Can you believe it is already mid-March?! Right now we are all scrambling to finish up our last minute assignments, make summer arrangements and, of course, prepare for those dreaded exams. It is truly hard to believe that this school year is close to being done. I’m hoping most of you loved your year here at Brock. I know I did! Sometimes we don’t fully appreciate what we have until it is gone…first year is no exception.

Let’s take a look at some of the things I wish I had known first year. I’m sure some of you will be able to relate!

1. Class Attendance is Crucial

Going to class may seem like an obvious suggestion but I’m sure over the year a majority of you may have slipped up and missed one or more of your lectures or seminars (guilty!). I know how difficult it can be to force yourself out of bed to attend those 8 or 9 AM classes but, trust me, it is important to do so! Being present for lectures and seminars allow you to fully grasp the lesson and make more meaningful connections.

Also, connecting with your Professor and/or TA is also a good idea. Although at first they may seem intimidating they are sinserely interested in helping you succeed. MOST of them don’t bite!

2. Getting Involved Makes a Difference

One thing I regretted not doing my first year of post-secondary school was getting involved. I, being the introvert that I am, avoided all clubs, events and social opportunities that were provided by the school. Although I enjoyed my hermit-like year, there was also a part of me that knew I would have truly enjoyed and benefited from being more involved. Getting involved allows you to gain new skills, experiences and hopefully some life-long friends. This term may almost be over but it’s not too late to check out some awesome involvement opportunities here at Brock! A good starting place is ExperienceBU.

3. Mistakes are Inevitable

Failed a class? Didn’t get that job? Shit happens but you shouldn’t spend too much of your time and energy feeling anxious or upset about it. This is the time to try new things, challenge yourself and figure out what you want. Mistakes will be made and you will learn from them! Just try not to be too hard on yourself in the process!

4. Take Advantage of the Brock Resources

I cannot stress this enough! There is a reason why we have so many great resources available to us at Brock…to help us! Take a workshop on essay writing, go to the career centre, and/or embrace the Library! By taking advantage of these resources you can better yourself personally and professionally. Once you leave school you will have to pay for this kind of support!

5. Create a Budget

Expenses in University can definitely creep up on you! Tuition, food, parties, books, clothing, etc…there seems to be an endless list! Make sure you are monitoring your spending (keep a record of all your expenses), limit your spending (do you really need those shoes that will be out of style a few months from now?) and try to save! This way when an unexpected cost comes your way, you won’t be stressing too much and your excellent budgeting skills will have come in handy.

Try: Mint – a free budgeting app for IOS, Android and Windows!

6. Balance is Important

Balance in all aspects of your life is key to your survival at University. It can be difficult but make sure you are keeping up with your mental and physical health. Exercise, eat healthy (Freshmen 15 is 100% a thing) and seek help when you need it! Stay on top of your school work and other responsibilities. Keep in contact with family and friends. Make time for you. University can be overwhelming but if you can maintain a balanced lifestyle…success won’t be far behind!

7. Have Fun!

University can both be the best and the worst. Bad things will happen: failures, break ups, drama with friends, homesickness…all of which will be tough to deal with. But you must remember, you will go through hard times and you will go through amazing times. Don’t let the hard times take away from what you are here to accomplish. Be sure to have fun while you’re here because it will be over before you know it.

No matter what year you are at Brock (unless you are graduating this year, congrats!) then it’s never too late to fix bad habits, improve, try new things, etc! We are so lucky to be attending such a great University with so many amazing opportunities at our disposal!