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Back To School: What We Wished We Knew

Back To School: Essentials, Advice, and What We Wished We Knew

It's that time of year..."back to school" is in full swing, which means tons of freshman are heading into their first year of university, and going through a lot of change to prep for some of the most exciting times in their life! In the spirit of the times, we thought we'd take a little trip down memory lane and ask the V.O.C. girls a few questions about their time at school, their dorm essentials, any advice they have, and what they wished they knew! 

Take a read and share with any freshman in your life!

Emily

1) Where did you go to school, and what did you study?

Queens University, Commerce

Class of 2005 (yes, I’m ancient)

2) What did you wish you knew before heading off to university?

Wear jeans at least once a day.  It helps prevent the Freshman 15. Boyfriend jeans don’t count!

3) What would you say are "must-haves" for every girls dorm? 

  1. Le Labo Candle
  2. Wildfox Sweats
  3. Everything storage related from Ikea – tiny living spaces require mad organization.
  4. Cinema Box LED Light from Urban Outfitters
  5. Cute Laundry Bags from Pottery Barn
  6. Bed Riser Charging Centre – This sounds totally lame – but totally necessary.
  7. Mini Refrigerator – skip the Costco version and pick up this cute Coral version instead.

4) What was your favourite thing about university in general?

I loved that there was always someone to do something with at any time. All of my best friends lived within a 6 block radius and I got to have fun all the time. It’s your first real moment of independence and you literally can do whatever you want, whenever you want without all that much responsibility. Take me back!!

Jill

1) Where did you go to school, and what did you study?

I am currently studying Business Management at Dalhousie in Halifax.

2) What did you wish you knew before heading off to university?

Going into it, I wish I had known who to ask about classes and where to get extra help if needed! I definitely recommend seeking out academic advisors, mentors, and tutors, etc. early on, in the event that you need help studying for an exam or preparing an assignment!

I also wished I had known how to manage stress and make more time to de-stres...looking back to first year, I would have had meals pre-made, and done more yoga/workouts to manage stress during busy times.

3) What would you say are "must-haves" for every girls dorm? 
  1. Tea or Coffee
  2. Cozy blanket 
  3. Pictures of friends and family or posters for your boring dorm wall 
  4. A fan
  5. Study snacks!

4) What was your favourite thing about university in general?

Out in Halifax I get to explore all over the province and do a bunch of adventurous activities. University is also a great place to meet a lot of new people.

Sarah

(This was at HOMECOMING! Every Laurier student's favourite day (party) of the year. Aside from St. Patrick's Day, of course.)

1) Where did you go to school, and what did you study?

This is making me feel so nostalgic. Four years seriously flew by! I went to Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, where I studied English Language and Literature. 

2) What did you wish you knew before heading off to university?
This sounds so silly but in all honesty, before heading off to university I wish I had known how to cook. It’s almost funny how bad I am at cooking. My roommates and I quickly became experts at ordering take-out due to our inability to make a half decent meal without almost burning our house down. 

3) What would you say are "must-haves" for every girls dorm? 
Hmm…my must-haves for a dorm room would definitely be a cozy blanket to curl up in, a FAN (especially if your residence doesn’t have air conditioning) and a full length mirror. So key.

4) What was your favourite thing about university in general?
My favourite thing about university is definitely all of the amazing people that I met and the memories we made together. All stress aside, it was hands down the best four years of my life. 

Shelby  

(This was at frosh week in 2010 at Western...I don't know who 90% of these people are! But we had so much fun regardless)

 

1) Where did you go to school, and what did you study?

I spent my first two years at Western, and my second two years at McMaster and studied Communication Studies at both. I graduated in 2014!

2) What did you wish you knew before heading off to university?

That you can march to the beat of your own drum/Be independent

Where in high school we definitely cling more to our friends and also have our parents telling us what we could and couldn’t do, this is no longer the case when you get to university! You can really do whatever and it's amazing!  I didn’t realize this until a few months in, especially with all of the pressure to make friends and get the stereotypical “college experience”. So if all of your friends are joining a club, or doing something that you’re not interested in? Don’t join it. You’ll find something else you love. 

Choose a school that’s in a town or city you love!

Okay, it might be a little late for this, but for those of you taking a gap year or who are thinking about transferring after your first year, pick a school in a town or city that you love — and make sure you love it before deciding to live there for 4 years! Definitely visit lots and talk to people that go there or alumni who went there!

3) What would you say are "must-haves" for every girls dorm? 
  1. Super soft bed sheets and plenty of puffy pillows — you’ll be watching lots of Netflix and taking lots of naps so these are musts.
  2. A really comfortable desk chair, and a large desk if you have the option to bring your own.
  3. Cute picture frames with pictures of your friends and family!

4) What was your favourite thing about university in general?

Freedom! As overwhelming and scary as heading off to University as a freshman was, once you’re settled in, you fall into this new found sense of freedom that you don’t get from living with your parents. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want with not that much hanging over your head responsibility-wise. University grads who have moved back home after finishing school will always tell you that this freedom you had at university doesn’t exist if you move back home for a bit… so take advantage of it! 

 

 


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