10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting University

University is the time when you go through the biggest changes in your life. You are shotgunned into a new social and educational setting with thousands of others just like you; all of you not knowing what to expect. You may think you have an idea of where the 4-5 years will take you, but you have no idea. Just like all of you, I was once a wide eyed freshman waiting to tackle University. After going through a lot of football practices, exams and beers I can look back with no (big) regrets. That being said, there are 10 things I wish I knew before starting University.

1. Girls want sex just as much as you do. They are just much better at hiding it.

It’s true. Girls are sexual beings just like us. They are out at University trying to soak up the same experiences you are. Don’t be surprised when your cheesy pickup line works on one of the girls you meet. Don’t be disrespectful, enjoy the experience, but remember she wants IT too.

Tip: Learn to read body language, strike up a conversation about something going on around you, make it natural, and within the first few minutes make physical contact (hand on lower back).  It removes you from the potential friendzone and escalates the interaction.

On this note make sure you figure out condom instructions (pinch the top, and USE them).  On the top 10 list of things you don’t want to deal with in first year: 1. Pregnancy 2. STD’s.

2. Clubs aren’t for nerds.

Go to Clubs Day and then proceed to join a club which fits your interests. Don’t worry about being the ‘cool kid’ or what your friends will think. If you have always wanted to go sailing, then join the sailing club. If there’s something you’re interested in there’s a good chance you’ll get along with the people involved.  And who knows, maybe you’ll find a girl there who shares the same interest as you.

3. Be open to change.

The number of students that walk into University with concrete plans of attending Law/Med school down the road is ridiculous. Your parents may want you to be a Doctor, and you may think you want to be one too. That’s fine, but don’t fight change. Life is nothing without passion, so if you aren’t passionate about Tax Law, then don’t set your heart on it. Take electives that interest you and if they provoke you to follow that field of study, then do it.

4. Don’t fall in love with the first girl you meet, there’s plenty.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t date the first girl you meet. I’m just saying make sure she’s what you want in a girl. Too often people settle into relationships over their first few years of University, knowing the person they are with isn’t a good fit. You will never be surrounded by this many beautiful/intelligent women again in your life, so meet as many as possible so you find the one that’s right for you.

5. Start building good habits.

This starts with your dorm room. Keep it clean and organized. How are you supposed to keep the rest of your life clean and organized if you can’t keep your 5×8 room from becoming a disaster. This also applies to studies and your personal fitness. Most Freshmen come into their first year and do poor academically, then they spend the next three years digging themselves out of the gutter. Go to class and study! If you do those two things, you will most likely do alright.

The same principle applies to your personal fitness. It’s much easier to get in shape and maintain a good physique over the next 4 years than it is to try and get back into shape after demolishing pizza and beers for 3 months straight.

6. Use the services provided for free.

Within your first two weeks you should sit down with your registrar and create a loose plan for your academic path. It’s a major pain in the ass when you are entering your senior year and you find out you need two more science classes in order to graduate. Figure it out sooner than later, and get your breadth requirements out of the way.

Universities also offer a vast amount of academic resources for free. The writing center is your best friend. They will edit your papers and  improve your paper grades drastically. This is good because chances are your writing skills aren’t at a University level yet. Don’t believe me, wait until you receive your first graded paper.

7. Sweatpants aren’t a good look.

The first week of every semester is spent dressing to impress and the next 12 weeks are spent looking borderline homeless for most students. Don’t be that guy! Take the extra 5 minutes every morning to make sure your personal appearance is well maintained. Being well put together will help you be more confident in general. It also will prepare you for the real world after university, where you will be forced to leave the Nike track pants at home.

Just remember, nobody ever got laid wearing jogging shorts.

8. Budget.

This could probably be an entire article itself. Not only will you have independence when it comes to your education, but for the most part you will receive some financial flexibility as well. When you receive your student loan, your first inclination may be to head to the mall and buy new shoes, or have one hell of a weekend at the bars.

Don’t do it.

Take the amount of money you have and figure out how many months you need it to last. Give yourself a rough idea of how much you can spend weekly and don’t vary from it. This skill will set you up for when the student loans stop coming in and you have to pay for all of your own stuff, and yes that day is coming sooner than you may want it too.

9. You never get what you never ask for.

It’s really that simple. If you want something, you will have to ask for it. Whether it’s the extension on an assignment, or a date with the hot girl who sits next to you in Sociology. This is something you should get comfortable with early on. If you ever want something, you will need to learn how to ask for it. Don’t fear the outcome from asking, fear never knowing the outcome because you never asked.

10. Enjoy the experience.

Don’t fret the small stuff. Before you know it, you will be sitting at convocation wondering where the last 4 years of your life went. Try to enjoy the experience, everything from all nighters studying to dealing with tequila hangovers. When it’s all said and done, walk out with a degree smiling, knowing you just went on the best ride of your life.



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