Illustration: Jaclyn McRae-Sadik.
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On behalf of the Fulcrum, I would like to welcome you to your inaugural week at the University of Ottawa. I know that a lot of you will be too busy unpacking clothes and plugging in hotplates to read this, but we still thought we could put together a special Frosh Issue anyway, just for kicks. 

Thinking back, my Frosh week was a total blur of activities and meeting people, so much so that presenting it in a long form simply wouldn’t do it any justice. Instead, I’ve whittled my experience down to a couple quick guidelines that I think will help you  make the most of your first week of experiencing real freedom.

  • Treat your body like your temple. The “freshman 15” is real people, and eating fast food for every meal is not doing any favours for your physical or mental health. Plus, if you can find the time, showering is usually a good idea.
  • When it comes to attire, keep it simple. You’ll be moving through lots of activities on Frosh week, so versatility and comfort is key. My personal preference is sweatpants or leggings and a hoodie (the perfect mix of comfort and cuteness).
  • Breathe in, breathe out. It’s just school. Things will always be the worst at the moment, but, in the fast-paced world of first year university, things are never stagnant for long.
  • Don’t skip classes on the regular. I get it. Stuff comes up, sleep happens, but try to be there. At least for the first year, you need to go to your classes in order to gauge which ones you can skip in the future.
  • Seek out resources available to you. Don’t be afraid to seek out access services, tutors, professors, and teaching assistants as resources. During first year, there is no such thing as a stupid question.
  • Be considerate of others. Since most of you will be shacking up with roommates, make sure you keep a couple key factors in check, whether it be loud music, your cleanliness, or the unconscious looks you give. Plus, it’s also a classy move to support your roommates during tough academic times, like sharing your class notes when someone’s laptop dies a week before exams (true story).

At the end of the day, while it may sound cheesy, the biggest thing you can accomplish during these first couple weeks is to be true to yourself! Don’t let anyone else define you or your experience during Frosh week.

That being said, come in with an open mind to things you have never considered before, since that’s what university is for.

Good Luck!