We Ask Twelve Graduates: What Advice Would You Give Your First Year Self?

By RBC Modified on August 25, 2017

We asked 12 recent grads what advice they'd give their freshman selves.


The first-year of your post-secondary life: an exciting time where you embark on a journey full of new experiences. It's a time when you advance from teachers to professors, you move from your parent's home to dorm life, and classrooms of 30 go to 300-person auditoriums. This is an exciting time, but it can feel kind of scary too.

The good news is that you're not alone. We asked 12 recent graduates what advice they would give to their freshman selves that would've helped them navigate their first year at school a little more smoothly. Here is what they had to say:

"Do Frosh and Orientation week. It was one of the best experiences in my first year and I met so many of my friends there. Tutorials are also a good place to meet people from your program and a way of -making friends and form study groups."
-Christian, McGill University; Civil Engineering, 2011

"Your student loan is a loan - use it properly and don't go spending it. It's not free money."
-Althea, University of Toronto; French Linguistics and History, 2014

"Focus more on learning and less on getting good grades. There was so much I missed because I was too focused on memorization and studying. I wish I had just listened to my professors rather than transcribed every word they said."
-Kailee, Ryerson University; Photography, 2015

"Don't buy food at school. Bring a lunch from home. Food at school's expensive and it's not that good."
-Alison, University of Guelph; Studio Art, 2016

Read about what the rest of our graduates have to say here.