Provisions for your university journey
THEY SAY HINDSIGHT is 20-20. Once you have lived through a certain milestone in your life, especially one as big as going to university, you will inevitably have gained both wisdom and regrets. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have that wisdom beforehand, and fewer regrets after? We here at the Fulcrum put our heads together to try to give you just that. Perfect vision—or as close as we can get to it.
Time will go fast!
When you’re studying for midterms or stressed about writing a paper, it might feel like the school year will never end. But believe me, it will, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be left shaking your head at the end of April (or the end of your degree). If your roommates end up becoming your best friends, you’ll miss not being able to hang out with them 24-7 once you’ve all gone your separate ways. You’ll miss having some days with just a few hours of class, or luxurious days with no class at all (nine to fives don’t really give you free days off). And you’ll miss the intellectual challenge of university, even though that intellectual challenge might feel like a bad headache on some days. So enjoy it while it lasts, and don’t take anything for granted.
—Julia Fabian, Executive Editor
Profs aren’t as scary as you think they are
When you’re just starting university, professors can seem completely terrifying. More often than not, though, profs are really nice people who genuinely want you to succeed. They have office hours for a reason: they want you to talk to them. You won’t look stupid if you show up at your prof’s door and admit you have no idea what’s going on. If you ask questions and open a dialogue with these fountains of knowledge, you’ll be shocked at how quickly your stress levels drop—and at how much better you’ll do in their class.
—Darren Sharp, Online Editor
Never share a bachelor apartment with a roommate
It just doesn’t work.
—Adam Feibel, Arts and Culture Editor
Try, try again
It’s worth it to try your hardest, even in first year. Ensuring school is your number one priority can lead to an incredible university experience. There are endless opportunities for learning outside of the classroom and making the most of your time at the University of Ottawa, but lots of them require top grades to take part. Whether you want to get involved in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, go on a fully funded exchange to a foreign country, or just avoid stressful all-nighters and enjoy your downtime, the key is getting your academic habits established in first year and giving it your all. You won’t regret it.
—Ali Schwabe, Features Editor
Partying isn’t the only way to make friends
When I got to the U of O last year, I had come from a small town, and hadn’t experienced a lot of partying. So when I was paired with a roommate who liked to throw big parties—with beer pong, girls, and an extravagant amount of booze—I slipped into the culture of the bottle. Eventually, I was going out more than my roommate was. Why, you may ask? Because I thought that by embracing this lifestyle, I was going to make friends. The truth is, when I was partying, I was not making friends, but embarrassing myself. You don’t need to get hammered to make good friends. Some of my best friends I made in university came from meeting people at the Fulcrum, or people I knew from residence. If you want to make friends in university, put down the bottle, and get involved in one of the many clubs on campus.
—Andrew Ikeman, News Editor
Embrace your floormates
These are not just the people who you will be awkwardly crossing paths with on the way to the shower or fighting with for the only functional burner on the stove. There is a strong chance that you will be moving in with two or three of your floormates after your dorm days are over, because something about sharing your first year of university in such small quarters creates a friendship different than any other. Keep your door open during the first few days after moving in so that people can stop by and say hi, and it will soon feel like you have known your floormates forever.
—Maclaine Chadwick, Sports Editor
Go to class
—Sofia Hashi, Opinions Editor
The Food Network is your friend
If I could travel back in time and speak to 18-year-old Kristyn, I would tell her to stop spending money at the cafeteria and the food court and start going to the grocery store—oh, and cut your hair, you ragamuffin. All jokes aside, in my first year of university I burned through way too much cash on sushi and stir fry and spent little to no time in an actual grocery store. When it finally dawned on me that money is not, in fact, an infinite resource, I realized I had better learn to fend for myself in the kitchen. Now, many moons later, I am certainly no Chef Pasquale, but I can whip up a decent dinner, and trust me, my bank account is all the better for it. So turn on the cooking channel, research recipes online, or spring for a cookbook—your wallet and your waistline will thank you.
—Kristyn Filip, Editor-in-Chief
Don’t get discouraged
I’m a terrible student. With a handful of start-and-stops under my belt I can safely say your first choice of university pathways may not be your last. For some of us it takes time to find the right fit. In the meantime, read books, think thoughts, meet people, and shave. Personal hygiene is important.
—Kyle Hansford, Production Manager
Take every opportunity that falls into your lap. Experience is the ultimate reward of university.
—Mathias MacPhee, Art Director