August is winding down. Sadly, it’s time to trade in the deck chairs and daiquiris for textbooks and Tim Horton’s coffee. Starting school can be a hard transition, not only for new undergraduates but also for those returning for their second, third, or fourth years. But if you keep these tips in mind, your first two weeks back at Ryerson can be as easy as a day at the beach.
Explore the Campus
Ryerson has a misleadingly large number of buildings sprawled out over Toronto’s downtown core. It’s always surprising how many students – first and fourth year alike – don’t know that there’s an athletic centre stowed away beneath the quad or that Ryerson has a lively theatre! Spend some time strolling around campus or register for a campus tour to get your bearings. At the very least, it will help you figure out where your classes are!
Pick Up Your Textbooks
A common mistake new undergraduates make is putting off buying their textbooks until halfway into the semester. Having a textbook in hand removes one of the biggest mental barriers to studying and saves you from scrambling when midterm season arrives! You can find the required readings for most courses at the Ryerson Campus Store, and there’s also the Used Book Room in the basement of the RSU if you’re angling for a discount.
Talk to Your Professors
Are you having trouble parsing through a syllabus? Did you hear a word during your first lecture that sounds like a mix between Latin and Klingon? Are you getting anxiety just staring at the cover of your brand new Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics textbook? Talk to your professor about it! There’s no reason to be intimidated; most professors at Ryerson are pleased to set aside time to chat with students about coursework (and their academic career as a whole).
Join a Club, Make Some Friends
Ryerson has a huge number of student groups! Join the Association of Ryerson Role-Players and Gamers to test your wits at board games; the Vegetarian Education Group to save the planet through healthy eating; and Ryeflix to catch free movie screenings on campus. The list goes on! Joining a club is a great way for students who are new to Ryerson (and maybe even new to Toronto as a whole) to make friends during those awkward first few weeks.
Get Some Sleep
After a long summer of sleeping in until noon, finding out that your first class is at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning can be daunting. Although it’s okay to have a social life during the school year, remember to make time for a good night’s rest. A large double double isn’t going to keep you sharp when you’re operating on two hours of sleep! And if you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted beyond the norm, make a point to talk to a counselor on campus (or take a turn with our therapy dogs).