My First Days Away at University: Morning Class vs. Night Out

I have had one of the worst possible weeks a college student might have.

So, let’s begin this blog with hoping your week was better. I won’t go into very much detail this week but let’s just say the best part was trying to find a functioning printer on campus, for 4 hours, in the pouring rain. My umbrella broke last week. The (un)funny thing is, I’m not joking.

All right, so enough about my week. Let’s talk about my college experience instead. (In case you haven’t yet noticed these blogs are very self-centred).

The day I  moved into residence was one full of tears. OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but, there is some truth to it. Following hours of setting up my room and waiting for my roommate to arrive, I found myself standing in the parking lot of my ‘home’ for the year with my parents and younger brother. There was a lot of emotion and (he’s going to hate me for this) even my ‘little’ (he’s a bean sprout) brother was teary-eyed. It was almost as if we’d never see each other again. From what I’ve seen in popular media, this seems to be a pretty common occurrence when the first child leaves the proverbial ‘nest’. Just look at Toy Story 3. (That scene with the empty bedroom gets me every time.)

I’m not the first in my family to attend a post-secondary institute (my older brother is in his 3rd year at Algonquin) but, as I mentioned last week, I am the first of my brothers to leave home (no matter how temporary it may be). This meant I had absolutely no reference as to what to expect (except for MTV moves and the TV show ‘Undeclared’). I was moving to a new (bigger) city where I knew hardly anyone. I would have to buy my own groceries (not a huge deal apart from the 30 minute walk both ways to the nearest grocery store-I MISS MY CAR!). I’d have to manage my own finances (that’s a whole other topic for later), get myself up and to class and forge my own path by experiencing the new problems college would throw at me.

My first week consisted of orientation. You know, “This is your program.

These are your teachers….Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” At the same time however our student federation was putting on a number of events and parties. Think of it as a pre-frosh week. So, after meeting a bunch of new people and getting ‘oriented’, college life as we knew it began. Day after day for the first week was filled with parties, concerts, and more parties as we became more comfortable with our new surroundings. This was the college I had come to know (and love) from MTV movies. This was the first face of college.

Following this orientation week, frosh began but, with frosh comes responsibility. Namely, class. The second face of college. I thought everything would be pretty relaxed for the first week seeing as how the teachers knew we would be partying and class would be the furthest thing from our minds. Boy was I wrong. My first week was filled with placement tests, pages of notes, lists of assignments for the entire semester and a master class that nearly blew my face off (Literally. Don’t ask.) I suppose at this point this is more of a cautionary tale than anything else. If you are still in that state of party or have been lulled into believing college is the easiest thing ever (I know you’re all out there), get out of that state of mind now.

I’ve found so far that the key to the beginning of a good semester is moderation. Definitely have fun, go out and explore but, don’t forget you still have classes in between all the excitement that is your new-found freedom. Even with just one class a week, work piles up and pretty soon mid-terms will be on our heels.

Oh man, this post is becoming way too grim, even for me. But, like I said last week, I hope my experiences will be able to help others. So, when the time comes, I’ll be sure to share some of the lessons I learned in a particular week with you all.

That’s about it for now. I’m going to go do some research for my other blog (aka watch zombie movies). The work of a blogger is never done!

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