Ahh its that wonderful time of year again. The grass is still green, the weather is still hot, and the freshman females are still the same age (jokes!… kind of). While many of us are having a great time catching up with old friends and getting back into the swing of things at the good ol’ “U”, there are a distinct group of people so nervous and excited at the same time that they are puking into their wheely-back packs (rule 0: No Wheely-backpacks): The Freshman Class.
The following is a guide centered around how to do Freshman year properly, allowing for maximum enjoyment, and success, and more importantly, minimum annoyance of the upper-classmen. Follow these 10 rules and you’ll get by with flying colors (possibly due to experimenting with so many different substances….).
Rule 1: DON’T BE A F*CKBOI.
This isn’t highschool. You’re not cool, and nobody cares who you are.
It doesn’t matter if you had a 99% GPA in high school, or you are a Varsity Athlete, or you’re just a regular nobody like all of us; you’re not special (yet). Stay in your lane, don’t decide exactly who you want to be just yet, because chances are 4 years from now you won’t want to be know as “only-wears-baggy-Jordan-shorts-and-Dre-Beats” guy. What made you cool in High-school doesn’t matter in University. Furthermore, this goes on to classroom etiquette; AKA those smart ass comments that hold up class and might have been funny in high school (odds are they still weren’t funny) are definitely not funny in University. “There are no stupid questions” doesn’t apply in university.
Look at it as if you’re in Grade 9 again. Don’t. Be. A. F*ckboi.
Rule 2: Live In Res.
The best first year decision you can possibly make is to live in res. No matter if you live in the city already, or are coming from out of town, live in res for your first year. The people you meet in res will be lifelong friends. This isn’t the movies, you’re not going to talk to anyone in your classes that you don’t already know, so living in res is a great way to get a jump-start on having any sort of social life at all. Even if you are from the city you go to school in, it never hurts to have more friends, especially when you realize that you don’t want to hang out with your high-school friends anymore.
You’re going to live in a shitty room half the size of a standard garage, but it will make everything else seem like such a step up. You will eat shitty Dining Centre food, but it will teach you how to cook (the freshman 15 is REAL). You won’t know anyone, but it will teach you social skills. Live in res, and if you missed it, transfer in second semester. NOTE: After your first year, living in res is a definite hit-or-miss, don’t expect it to be as fun as first year residence.
(Above: The exact “I’m Shmacked” video I watched before coming to univeristy. It’s not going to look like this most likely, but the goal is the try anyways.)
Rule 3: Do As Much As Possible.
No, I’m not talking about drugs (or am I…? No, I’m not, fuckboi). There is going to be a million events to take part in withing the first week especially, but throughout the year as well. As lame as they may seem, these can be some of the best, most memorable moments. From res-rodeo, to the dodgeball tournament, to the student appreciation varsity games (S/O to the Red Army), take a few shots of that shitty Vodka you bought, and go have some fun. As referenced 2.7 billion times in this guide, this is NOT high-school, sitting out does not make you seem more cool, you just seem like an arrogant asshole.
Do everything possible, except for one thing. (keep scrolling froshy)
Rule 4: Don’t Go TO Orientation.
DO NOT GO TO F*CKING ORIENTATION. Orientation is played off as some great thing where you learn about your faculty and meet people. False, you meet people by going to Kickoff, and doing fun things, not by singing some stupid chant, while wearing stupid shirts in the gym. Going to orientation is synonymous with being a f*ckboi.
“But what about learning about my faculty?”
You’re in first year. You are only going to have at most 2 classes in your actual faculty. Skip orientation, and grab a campus map instead. Head out the day before classes and figure out exactly where your classes are, and how long it takes to get there, that way you won’t be standing outside of your class 45 minutes early because you thought the campus was 3x bigger than it actually is (my bad). Find the cleanest public washroom too, because trust me, it will come in handy one day.
Rule 5: Take Four Classes.
First year is about figuring out where you belong, and quite frankly, why would you rush through the best 4-7 (#Grad2027) years of your life? Depending on the faculty you are in, the pre-requisites will be much harder than you expected, and even if you can scrape by during the semester, you will get buried during exams. Beyond this, the obvious thing is making a smart schedule. If you think that just because you started class at 8:30 for 13 years will make it easier to get up in then morning, it won’t. Don’t take 8am or even 9am classes unless you absolutely have to. (Shoutout to Sam for that tip)
NOTE: You will fail classes, you will drop classes. Don’t worry about it, but keeping yourself in a manageable amount of classes will help combat this.
Rule 6: “DEN AT TEN” (Don’t Be First To The Party).
Every Thursday night at around 9 o’clock, you should be engaging in a little chant that goes “DEN AT 10”. This means that you leave Res AT 10 o’clock, and you don’t make everyone else line-up at 8:30 because the freshmen can’t handle themselves. Each year the freshmen head to the bars earlier and earlier, creating an annoyance for everyone, by making us all have to line up early to avoid the line.
The same rules apply to the bar, as they do to parties. Don’t be the first one there. You’re going to have to pay to stay drunk longer, and you’re going to be heading back home at 11:30 when the party is just getting started.
EXCEPTIONS: First Thursden’s (or whatever your campus bar may be called) of each semester, and Halloween.
Rule 7: Your GPA DOES Matter, But You Can Fix It.
As much as “C’s get degrees” seems like a great motto, I can assure you it’s not quite the smartest thing to worship. However, as mentioned before, don’t stress out if you don’t do that great in first year. There is a 50% chance that you will not graduate in the same faculty that you started in, so it may take a while to figure out what you like, and what you’re good at. 8-10 classes can put you in a hole, but its nothing that the remaining 30 classes can’t correct.
If you only take 1 piece of real advice from this article, its that most people go to university to learn how to work for someone else. Those people are doing it wrong. Teach yourself how to be your own boss by putting yourself in a position to succeed.
FOMO is real, don’t bury yourself in school-work, because stressing about your GPA will only hurt you in the long-run.
Rule 8: Meet Everyone In O-Week.
Realize that everyone you meet this week, will be your exiled friends for the rest of your university career. This means that the guy down the hall who you booze with will become one of your best friends, and the girls (or guys) you meet and make friends with will be your go-to’s. This means everyone from the dude who you know will DJ your parties, to the person you know is going to be a millionaire, to the girl you know you want to hook up with one day, is who you have to introduce yourself to.
You won’t remember their names most likely, but get numbers, add people on snapchat (or whatever the kids are using these days), or even just initiate nod-worthy relationships and you’ll never be alone.
Rule 9: Don’t Buy Textbooks (yet)
Just trust me on this one. Wait until you NEED the textbooks to buy them. 70% of classes that tell you to buy textbooks either never actually require you to buy them, or you can torrent them online. Plus, you won’t know until the first few classes if you are going to switch out, which means you will find yourself with a useless book to sell. Worst case, buy the textbooks, but don’t take them out of the plastic until necessary.
If you do need textbooks, but used. Look for textbook exchanges such as MyUniTrade to trade your textbooks with other students, or purchase used books (There’s also a Facebook page for UofC students to exchange textbooks)! Always worth the beer money that you will save.
Rule 10: STILL DON’T BE A F*CKBOI.
In case you thought I was kidding, I wasn’t. If in doubt at any moment, refer back to #1.
Follow these 10 steps for surviving freshman year, and you’ll leave happier, smarter, less annoying than you started. Enjoy the next 4 years; They will be the best 4 years of your life if you play this right.
UPDATE: 2 more things to add: 1. entering the code “Student” will give you 50% off at Dominoes if you live on res or anywhere surrounding the University. 2. The liquor store called “Liquor Box” delivers, for about a 7$ fee, so round up a couple people on your floor and make a delivery instead of making the walk.
Two words; one love,
–Hospey (freshman babes, tip 11: hook up with 4th years)