Back when I was a wee high school lass trying to figure out my plans after graduation, something that I would always hear whenever people talked about university was that I could have more freedom in terms of my schedule, what I wanted to wear (we had to wear uniforms, which I actually don’t mind because I don’t have to spend an eternity trying to find clothes to wear but I digress), my group of friends (yay for diversity!), and many other things that I can’t think of right now.

I first had a taste of this freedom when it came time to schedule my classes during my enrolment appointment. I was in awe of the concept of 12-3 classes (night owl here) and after making several changes to my schedule I finally came up with one that I was satisfied with. The promise of total independence made me even more excited for university.

It was a different story when I actually started school and realized that with great freedom, comes great time-management. Ah, time-management. Another word that was drilled into my head during pre-university training boot camp AKA Grade 12. Everyone talks about this, mostly bragging about how bad they are at it, even though we all know how crucial it is to, well, I don’t know, do well in life.

I learned the hard way when I realized that even though those empty slots in my time-table looked like free time, they were actually far from it. Factor in commuting time (for me it’s about 1 hour by bus), readings, studying, extra-curriculars, work, social life, and ‘me’ time, I soon came to the realization that ‘freedom’ didn’t mean ‘free time’. What it truly meant was that for the first time in my educational career, I had full autonomy over what I wanted to study, how I wanted to study, whether or not I wanted to go to class (you really should by the way), and if I wanted to hand in an assignment. I don’t even have to ask to go to the washroom anymore! In other words, I was free in a sense that it was all up to me to succeed. No one’s going to keep reminding me to do my readings anymore, because it’s all on me. And that’s a scary thought.

Looking back, I think I did a fairly good job of self-regulating in my first year. I kept an agenda, mostly stuck to my to-do lists and always put academics in the forefront. It’s also important to remember to not be so hard on yourself if you don’t get it exactly right. Yes, you’ll slip up a couple lot of times, but that’s okay, it’s all part of the learning process. As long as you pick yourself up and persevere, I’m sure you’ll come out fine! Always remember that if you’re feeling overwhelmed, to not be afraid to ask for help. We’re all in this together and we want to see you do well.

Anyway, I wish you all the best mes amis. Much love ♥️♥️♥️.