Youth Canada

So what exactly is U-N-I-V-E-R-S-I-T-Y?

6-10-2008 by Jane Wu

So what exactly is U-N-I-V-E-R-S-I-T-Y?

I’m not a mind-reader but I can speculate that at this point in your life, many of you reading this article will have spent or are undoubtedly going to spend months (perhaps even years?) aggravating over which University to attend, what program to major in, what electives to take, how you are going to pay for it…the list goes on and on. The bad news is the stress level is not going to go down as you get closer and closer to high school graduation, the good news is you are about to venture into the unknown and you’ve heard (excuse the cliché) that your life will never be the same!

When I was in your shoes just 12 months ago, I was in between pages and pages of scholarship and University program applications, finishing off an ever-growing list of Grade 12 assignments and juggling my extracurricular passions with the basics of eating and sleeping. Amidst all that pandemonium, I often found myself wondering exactly what I was working towards. I had heard the typical rumours ranging from real football (sorry high school team) to monotonous cafeteria food to fire alarms at 4:00 am in the morning but I really did not have a resource where I could learn the true nature of that first-year experience and ask all those burning questions that nagged my mind. If you can relate then I have so great new, I am hoping to fill that void for all of you.

I am a newly minted University student, being at school for a grand total of 30 days thus far, and I would love to share my experiences with you. Feel free to ask me any questions, whether it be about academics or university romances, I am here for you. Grade 12 is a stressful year and I am hoping to help ease that load a little. With that very long introduction done and over with…I thought I’d start things off by giving you a little insight on the big move!

Moving-in …dun dun dun

If the thought of moving away from home makes your stomach churn, do not worry. Move-in day is pure chaos. Luggage, boxes, mini-fridges and carts are jumbled together with a mass of parents and scared first year students…trust me, you definitely won’t have time to think about anything but how you are ever going to carry that fridge up three flights of stairs. The frenzy is definitely part of the experience and it is this important day that marks the beginning of your university career.

Here are my tips to make this a smooth move:
-Make a packing list and start on it early! As the time draws closer you’ll be faced with so many other distractions that it’ll be easy to forget that set of notes or favourite poster or whatnot. Here’s a great place to start: http://www.collegecodex.com/packinglist.pdf

-Though I urge you not to forget those special necessities just because it will cause you unnecessary stress, if you do forget something, it is usually not a huge deal. Relax, there is always a nearby department store topick up all your life necessities…while you are there it is probably not a bad idea to pick up some snacks for those late-night munchies
-Move in your items one day early if possible (often times you need to pay a small fee)
-If possible arrive at your university location a day or two earlier just so you have time to grab those forgotten necessities and scope out your new home
-Label absolutely every box/luggage with your room number and cell phone number!
-Soak it all in! Remember moving in to residence in first year is one of those “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences so be sure to enjoy it. Relax, have fun…it might take you four hours to move just two boxes but it’ll all be worth it! 

Keep in mind that these are only my experiences, yours will undoubtedly be unique. Take my words for their worth and remember, life is always what you make of it.


JANE WU is a Shad UBC 07 alumnus, Youth Canada fan and a first year student at Queen’s University. She is passionate about equal opportunity, philanthropy and youth community engagement. She loves to hear new ideas, meet new people and gain new insight (so send her an email!). :)