We all have regrets; moments where we wished we had done something different or even done something in the first place.
I have some particular regrets in relation to my first year here at Ryerson. There were loads of occasions where I slapped myself on the forehead for the action I took (or didn’t take).
This post is to save you from making regrettable decisions or letting go really awesome opportunities (like I did).
Tip 1: Go find the building/classroom that your classroom takes place in BEFORE classes start!
I cannot stress this enough. If I had a penny every time I got lost in a building at Ryerson, I would have… well, still not a lot of money. But I got lost quite often and I still do on occasion. Don’t be like me and instead allow yourself to find a classroom the day classes start and walk in 45 minutes late because you were wandering around like a lost chicken.
Confusing buildings include Kerr Hall (the labyrinth), Kerr Hall, and, um, Kerr Hall.
This gif of Spongebob is a representation of someone trying to explain to you where Kerr Hall South 334 is.
Tip 2: Go to your professor’s office hours.
Most professors provide office hours for students to come have one-on-one talks. This is such a HUGE asset that first-years rarely take advantage of. Not only do you have one-on-one advice from the person who is marking everything you hand in, but you will now have introduced yourself to your professor (and profs knowing your name is an advantage in itself… no shame in being the teacher’s pet here in university).
Of course, I never did this. I am now stuck in second year without any ‘academic references’ and without professional advice that I could have gotten from some extremely intelligent and influential people (whoops). Overall, profs are your friends.
By the way, I’m A-A-ron in this gif and I messed up by not going to my professor’s office hours last year.
Tip 3: Join clubs, unions, teams, etc. Extracurriculars are actually really fun!
I steered CLEAR of these things last year. I was sure that those people that said extracurriculars were fun were LIARS! Man, was I wrong!
Near the end of my first year, I ended up joining the residence tour team here at Ryerson to get a little bit of job experience and cash. It turned out to be the best decision I had made all year! I then realized I loved being involved and in a community with other peers and I began running for every union possible (FCAD union, Creative Industries union, Residence Council, etc.). I ended up getting VP of Events on Ryerson Residence Council and it has been the best university experience I have had so far.
Being involved may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but becoming a part of a community feels incredible. Join an intramural soccer team, a Dungeons and Dragons club, a political debate club, your faculty union, etc.! No matter what you choose, I can almost promise you that you’ll have a great time.
I hope you all got something out of these few tips, they are really all things I highly suggest you put into place in your first year (or in any year).
See you all soon, my dudes!