Ask the Expert: What Can I Expect in My First Week at University?

Ask the Expert: What Can I Expect in My First Week at University?
  By Denise Hogue

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It's the moment you've been waiting for all summer - you've packed your essential belongings into four snug plastic-ware containers - and you're moving into residence! This is a really big step if it's the first time you've ever been away from your family, but there's lots of students in the same boat, and the university staff is there to make the transition smoother.



Moving In

Most schools hold a moving in period the week before actual classes start. This gives you some time to arrange your knick-knacks, find a good outlet for your laptop, and generally get acquainted with your new roommates. A nice way to prevent any sort of frustration or extra stress at this time is to arrange and pack your belongings carefully before the big move. Keep items organized - a box for clothes, one for linen, another for kitchen items and dishes if you need them. It may seem a little fussy when you're home packing, but trust me, the time saved looking for your toothbrush will be golden, especially if you've spent the majority of your day travelling and moving with your parents.


Dealing with the 'Rents

Going away to school is an exciting time for you. It means you're starting a whole new chapter of your life - a chapter where you're more independent, meet tonnes of new friends, and start exploring your career interests. But you can't forget that it's a tricky and bittersweet time for your parents. If you're an only child, you leave a big, vacant gap in the household, and if you're one of many, your brothers and sisters may be upset that you're gone and act out to get attention. As crazy as it may seem, your family is going to miss you. You may even find yourself missing them! You can help make the transition easier by being open about your feelings of homesickness, and sharing your school experiences with them. Sure, you'll be busy studying, but it won't kill you to throw Messenger on and chat online with your sister sometimes. And it will help you feel more connected to your loved ones on those days that just don't go the way you planned.


Party Time

Okay, this is just the reality of tossing a bunch of young students in a confined area. There will be parties -especially in this first week. And you should go, and have fun, and meet all your new schoolmates. Some of these people will be your closest allies for the next four years or so, and some you may even stay close to for the rest of your life! So by all means, go out and get your social on. That said, don't be stupid about it. You'll always hear the stories about the students who hit university running and partied till they got kicked out. Don't be that guy. Remember that you're at school to experience life, yes, but not to totally sleep through your morning classes. Enjoy your freedom, but don't
 

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