Skip to main content

Dear First Year Students: Tips from Upper-Year Students

November 14, 2022

Believe in yourself. You have everything within you to achieve your wildest dreams. Don't hold yourself back; apply to whatever it is you seek, join that club, sign up for that class, and participate in that competition! We believe in you!
  - Amanpreet Jolly, Fourth Year Life Sciences

Learn how to manage your time. You'll have a much more flexible class schedule, so practice managing time as you study, work on assignments, relax, and so on. It will solve a lot of your problems in your first year.
- Arajen Narenthira, Fourth Year Criminology and Justice 

I recommend joining clubs to get more experience and make connections. It's also a great way to make friends with similar interests. Academically, please read the course outline and marking schemes for all assignments and tests. Creating a schedule or timetable will make life easier and allow you to keep track of tasks; it's easy to fall behind in a class, so I find this essential for success. 
 - Shavini Karunaratne, Fourth Year Life Sciences

Don't be afraid to start conversations with those around you. I'm a shy person, but I try to remind myself the people around me are also new in the classroom and probably want to make new friends like me too. Also, although it is harder said than done, try your best not to procrastinate, as it pays off in the end. Write out everything you need to do for the week and cross it out as you do so you'd don't miss anything and can finish everything on time.
 - Zainab Razia, Third Year Finance 

My experience was great since I felt like I was the only one struggling when I first came, but I started reaching out to professors. Since there are so many opportunities for us to get involved and get extra help academically, I now feel like I couldn't have made a better decision!
 - Aqsa Jamal, Fourth Year Life Sciences 

There's no denying that the first year is scary, but it's also incredibly memorable. What made mine so memorable was Ontario Tech. Ontario tech is such a great community to be a part of. Everyone at the school is incredibly friendly and helpful. But first, allow me to give you three tips!
1. Things were challenging at times, particularly the course. One of the tools that helped me with this was PASS, which stands for Peer Assisted Study Session. These were, without a doubt, the best. Upper-year students who excelled in the course ran them. They provide practice questions, go over lessons, and you are free to ask them anything. Attending these will be valuable if you ever find yourself stuck. I encourage you to go whether you need help or not because it will benefit you in any case. Trust me:)
2. I like Ontario Tech because it is a small community that allows me to establish stronger bonds with my professors, which is essential (at least to me). Say hi and strike up a conversation with your teachers whenever possible. They will remember you the next time they see you. This way, your relationship with your professors will strengthen over the semester.
3. Lastly, join clubs! There are numerous clubs for you to join at Ontario tech. If none of them catch your attention, you can make your own! But make sure to join several clubs; not only will it make your stay at Ontario Tech more memorable, but it will also allow you to meet fantastic people like yourself and have lots of fun experiences!
First-year, everything is new. Take your time, give yourself breaks, meet new people, and don't stress it too much:)
 - Dilothi Selvarajah, Second Year Health Sciences