What I wish I had done differently before attending university

Zahra Mustansir


Looking back, there are definitely some things I wish I would have done before coming to university. Here are some of them: 

Join Social Media

There’s many events for first-year students in the beginning of the school year to get involved. There’s a ton of opportunities I missed out on because I only followed the Facebook undergraduates group. To get the whole experience follow Ontario Tech's social media accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and SnapChat. Make sure to also follow the Student Union and other clubs and societies that may interest you. You can check out the list on the Student Union website. Club and societies usually host events for new and interested members at the start. This is a great way to meet new people and socialize.


phone with social media apps

Get a Job

I didn’t get a job till my second year of university and I still regret not getting one sooner. It may be tempting to enjoy your last summer as a high school student. After all, senior year is a stressful year and you deserve a break. But a two-month break is a long time to just relax. That’s exactly what I did though. Two months and I can’t even remember what I did that summer. I remember my past three summers because I was working and doing volunteer work. Its important to spend you time wisely. Getting a job not only prepares your skill set, it also earns you extra cash that can be used towards school-year expenses. I get it; sometimes it's not the easiest to get a job. There might some other factors getting in the way. You can use the time to volunteer, get an internship, pursue a hobby. Just anything to keep you busy.

man working behind counter


Learn to Reference

Referencing is a pain but its so so so important. You’ll need it for most courses. Referencing can be the difference between getting an A or a B. It all takes a bit of practice and knowing how to cite. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. During my first year, I left references to the last minute and lost so many marks for having improper citations. That all could have been easily avoided if I just took a day to familiarize myself with it. Confused about referencing? Check out the library for some tips and tricks.

books on bookcase

Have realistic expectations

University is not going to be like the movies. Its not all socializing.  Coming to university with expectations is just a way to limit yourself. It’ll still be the best experience of your life. Just stay true to yourself and don’t get carried away too much because it will definitely show on your GPA.

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