The Things People Say

23 Sep

So I’ve spent almost two weeks on campus now, and I’m hearing the same warnings and tips about surviving university life over and over again. I’ve found that I don’t necessarily agree with all that I’ve heard…but I’m also a university rookie. This is all new to me, but here’s what I’ve gathered so far:

            1. You will see a lot of deer around campus. Now up until yesterday, I would’ve said that there is only a slim chance that you will ever see deer on campus. Lots of people walking around tend to scare them off. So of course, the universe decided that this disbeliever needed a reality check, and I had my first deer sighting.

What I found most amazing about this deer, however, was its popularity. Man, could it draw a crowd! Lots of students were standing on the edge of a path, staring into the trees, looking very much like tourists with their phones out taking pictures. The deer just stood there, staring right back, probably either really confused or secretly loving its five minutes of fame.

Where I’m from, deer are common; they aren’t things you stop to take pictures of. But this crowd of people was so fascinated. I understand though; I’m in Mississauga now where you just don’t see deer crossing signs, (for all you city-dwellers, that’s the yellow thing on the right!). So I don’t blame anyone for thinking that the deer was a cool sight. But trust me, once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Maybe if I actually see Bambi one day, I’ll stop and take a picture.

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            2. The average grade for first year students in any class is about 65%. It was very comforting to hear this on my first day and then a few more times this week, because, hey, my worst nightmare is failing a course. A 65% may not be very good, but it’s still better than my worst-case scenario!

That being said, I’m still going to aim a bit higher. It’s hard for me to imagine that students that have been accepted to U or T are going to be slackers in their first year. Most people already have their priorities straight. But this constant warning makes me think that it could be easier to slip into bad habits than I thought. Should I be scared? I don’t know. Only time will tell.

            3. Participation is one of the best ways to learn. I’ve found that most Profs are big on participation. I have always been the type to sit in the back against a wall (it’s good to lean on if it’s a long lecture) and to just listen. I don’t like to be the centre of attention, so raising my hand in the middle of a lecture hall with 500 other people is not even a possibility for me. But I don’t feel like I’m at a disadvantage. I can be engaged in class without feeling singled-out.

           4. Classes are easier to get through with caffeine. The line-ups for Tim Horton’s are always incredibly long. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I know a lot of people that like their caffeine in the morning (or afternoon, or night, or anytime). Does coffee really help you stay awake during a lecture? I guess it makes you more alert. But I thought caffeine made you jittery? Wouldn’t that be bad when you have to sit still for an hour or two? There’s nothing worse than sitting beside someone constantly tapping their desk or clicking their pen. Stick to water people!

           5. There is a right way to read, and you’ve been doing it wrong.

You want to know what the right way to read is? With no distractions! It’s so simple! You don’t need any fancy strategies to get through all those huge textbooks, (çcheck out my stack), just log out of Facebook! And Twitter! And put away your phone! And your laptop! And your iPod! Oh, and I guess you should get rid of all those snacks you hide in your room too.

Man, really? Even my Goldfish crackers? Huh. I didn’t think this one through. That’s a lot of potential separation anxiety. You know what? I change my mind. Take your Profs’ advice and try some new reading strategies.

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So are all these warnings worth worrying about? Is there any truth to them at all? Let me know what you think!

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One Response to “The Things People Say”

  1. Jackie September 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    Hahaha…I completely agree with your water suggestion!

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