Baby Steps – A Look Back At First Year

Congratulations students, you have successfully made it through the first month of the 2013-2014 academic year! For the newer members of our “Ramily” (freshmen, I’m looking at YOU!), university is a dynamic new experience and a wake-up call like no other. I’ve listened to a wide spectrum of first year narratives, from nightmare stories to those who insist that it was a ball-in-the-park. Regardless, I’ve compiled a list of four things you can do to make the most out of your first year at Ryerson (that’s not to say that upper year students can’t implement these either):

  1. Get involved with something that matters to you. I’m sure you have heard this one a countless number of times, but it really is important. Whether it is volunteering for something that you love, joining a varsity sports team, the Ryerson Students’ Union, or a common-interest group, extracurricular activities will make your time in university a lot more worthwhile.
  2. Go your professors’ office hours. Go to your professors’ office hours. Go to your professors’ office hours. I cannot stress this one enough. Whether it is to get help with that one stubborn question, or simply to introduce yourself, make that first step! Professors are always there to help you, and you can usually set up appointments with them if you can’t make it to their regular office hours. They make excellent references, help you network, and you’ll probably see them again down the road.
  3. Make a monthly budget. Being a student can be financially challenging, which is where self-discipline and budgets come into play. Is that new Medal of Duty: Urban Warfighter (you know what I’m talking about!) game truly essential to your success this year? It’s all about being realistic with your budget, and giving yourself some elbow-space from time to time. *cue “Started From The Bottom” by Drake*
  4. Make a business card. It doesn’t have to be something super fancy or exploding with colours; something with your name, contact information, and program of study will suffice. A business card makes you appear more professional and helps you stand out from the rest of the crowd, even if you are student. It’s all about that first impression!

I’d like to sign off by quoting one of my favourite poets and novelists:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest that you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson


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