I wish someone told me…

To start I want two quotes from one of my favourite fictional characters: firstly, “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be” and “We must all face the choice between what is right, and what is easy.” Why mention this you may be asking yourself. Primarily, because for a lot of us choosing if we should continue our education or not, and if so what to do with our futures can feel like this. Let me tell you that after putting it off for 2 years I finally realized that its not anything like high school, but that’s not a bad thing.

Hi everyone, let me introduce myself, my name is Chad MacDonald, I’m 20 years old, and I am a first year Business Management student. To begin, I want to say that I am thrilled to be a part of this team, but who am I? That’s where it gets complicated; I am a student, entrepreneur, photographer, filmmaker, and so many more things! Most importantly I am a Ram, the same as everyone else here at Ryerson. Had you asked me that same question 6 months ago I probably would have said “I’m just a regular guy, from a small town.”

Since starting university I have learned to change the way I look at myself, others, and the world around me. Although, there are some things I wish someone told me about going into university. So here are my tips for anyone feeling overwhelmed with being here, or thinking of coming here in the future.

1. It’s All On YOU!

You are responsible for your actions, and the consequences that may come of them. This is probably the most important part of your transition into the new chapter of your life. To elaborate, in high school our routines are similar everyday; and we get to know our surroundings very well, we make friends, and accountability for your actions is very minimal. The opposite is true with post secondary, you are suddenly in a new place, surrounded by strangers and YOU have to adapt to an ever changing schedule, irregular class hours, and balancing the rest of our lives. Believe me, it’s not always easy but you have to take your future into your own hands here.

2. Get involved!

Personally, I found it very difficult to get used to being in a new setting everyday. I am a commuter, as many of our student body are, and because of that I felt as though I wasn’t really getting the full experience. That being said, one of the best decisions I have made since staring university is deciding to get involved. Whether it be a joining student society, a team, or even something as simple as drama club, do something! It really helps you solidify the reason you’re here, and meet other people who will grow to become amazing friends.

3. Ask for help!
Many of us feel like there is a certain expectation that we will have our s*** together when we get to university. Let’s just say, most of us are far from it. We are all human, we screw up, and for the most part we are all still so early in our lives that we can’t know how to handle every situation we are faced with. In my first month alone I can think of so many times where my pride stopped me from doing the best I could. If I had just asked someone for help, or asked how to get to my class, and a plethora of other things I would have realized were all just as lost as the next person. And seeking out help can sometimes be the push we need to get going in the right direction.

So all-in-all guys, I don’t know much, and I am still learning how to manage life as a university student; but what I do know is if someone told me what you just read I would’ve saved myself countless amount of stress. Finally, I want end with saying, just remember why you are here, where you want to be, and most of all remember to enjoy your life here!

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