Thursday, August 15, 2013

First Month Face Off: Tips to Survive the First Month of University

Ciao everyone!

Summer is quickly coming to a close and the start of the school year is around the corner. To help you navigate the strange (and sometimes choppy) waters of university life I made a list of tips to help you survive your first month at university. My friend Christen got a hold of my list and thought she had "better" tips to offer. So here are our top tips. Let us know whose tips are the best!
[Disclaimer: All advice to be taken at your own risk! ]

Christen and Danielle as they battle for the list of top tips
Christen & Danielle as they battle for the list of top tips.
Danielle’s Top Tips:
  • Keep in contact with your high school friends.You will be meeting tons of new people during university (especially during Welcome Week), but don’t forget about the friends that stuck with you through high school.
  • Get to bed early every night. “Beauty sleep” is more than an expression; it’s science.
  • Stay hydrated. Just because summer is over doesn't mean that the warm weather has left! Septembers in Hamilton are known to be hot, so keep refilling that water bottle.
  • Use your resources. Ask your professors for help and visit during office hours; sign up for the Ask an Undergraduate Engineer Program; use the Math Help Centre - dedicated to first year math courses; visit the Student Success Centre and the Student Wellness Centre to find out about the services they offer.
  • Get involved. McMaster Students Union has hundreds of clubs and Mac Eng has over 15 clubs and teams for you to get involved with! Try some out and find one that fits you.
  • Volunteer. Join the Mac Eng Outreach volunteer team! Send us an email at and become one of our fantastic volunteers.
I've saved the best tip for last.
  • Have fun! University has been the best experience of my life so far. Make sure you enjoy the ride.

Christen here. While those were some good tips, I have some sage-like advice for you. Listen, you will.

Danielle and Christen smiling and being friendly
Danielle & Christen - they are actually friends

Christen’s Awesome Tips:

    • Meet new people! The best part about university is it is full of thousands of new people. In that mix there is bound to be some that share your love of Shakespearean English.
    • Caffeine is your friend. Those late night conversations about the meaning of life and what happened in the last episode of Game of Thrones are where the best friendships are built. 
    • You can be whoever you want to be! None of these people know who you are, how ‘popular’ (or unpopular) you were in high school, or where you got that unsightly scar. This is your clean slate! Take it, don’t wait! Be the best you that you can be, because “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You”.
    • Get off social media. (Except our blog because we are awesome people). “I’ll just check Facebook for a minute” always turns into several hours of surfing the information superhighway. There are so many other things you could be doing!
    • Attend as many events as possible. Life isn’t too crazy during that first month so it’s a great opportunity to get out and see all the options available to you. Challenge yourself and try at least one thing that is outside your comfort zone.
    • Find balance. With that said, once you have found some activities you want  to be involved in, make sure you take some time to sit down and prioritize!
    • Learn! That’s what you came to school for! But don’t forget, not all learning happens in the classroom. Some of the most memorable lessons happen when you are open to learning outside of class time. 

    Well, I hope you enjoyed our tips. (Christen, I still think my tips are better than yours!)

    Until next time,