Putting the "you" in university

Scott Hastie
September 8, 2016
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

Welcome Week is a marathon that passes like a sprint.

First years are bombarded with information. Of course, the intention of this overload is pure, but still. It is a lot to take in.

Everyone is interested in helping first years succeed. But there is a catch: to succeed, some of us need to fail.

It is not hard to find the listicles that give you advice for your university career. They vary, but there is crossover in the advice we hear during Welcome Week and these online sources: “Go to class!”, “Go to your prof’s office hours!” “Do not procrastinate.”

All of this is true and good advice. Following those tips will guarantee you that you get good grades and reduce the stress in your life.

It does not mean you will get a good education.

At university, some of the most important experiences start beyond the classroom. There are opportunities and freedoms that are afforded to you for the first time, and taking advantage of that is not a bad thing.

If you want to sleep in past your 8:30 a.m. anthropology lecture so you can go to Tuesday night karaoke at Boston Pizza, do it. If you are lucky, you will see the 12-year-old kid who shows up and sings “Uptown Funk.” He is an inspiration.

Feel free to put off that essay because there’s literally anything else that’s more exciting going on. Objectively, this is such terrible advice that I am not sure it can even qualify as advice. But if you want to do it, go ahead.

Understand there are some consequences. Experience is the best teacher, and when you’re up at 4:30 a.m. finishing a works cited page, just to realize you’ve used MLA for the entire paper when you were supposed to use APA, you will probably never want to do that again.

Late essays and missed lectures are not ideal, but they are not the end of the world.

You have some room to make mistakes here, and failing can be okay if you learn from it.

By focusing strictly on your studies, you are going to miss out on so much.

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