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Things I started doing once I started university

February 21, 2020

Before I started my first year of university, I remember people told me that there is such a huge change from high school and university. And to be honest I never noticed it until recently. At that time, I had to adapt to a new environment and I gained more personal experiences. Here are a few things I started to do once I started university.

Actually caring about my health

I never enjoyed any kind of physical activity during high school, so I never actually took care of my health. However, once I started university, I noticed that my body felt more tired and sluggish. I was sitting for about 10 hours each day, and maybe doing less than an hour of physical exercise (which was just walking to classes and home). 


Eventually, I was tired of how I was feeling and began working out at the gym on campus. I felt a lot better just after a few times. On top of that I felt that I had more energy than before. I was able to pay attention in lectures and recall more information. 

Watching classic movies

Don’t ask me why, but the first time I watched Aladdin (the original movie) and Monsters Inc. was in my first year of university. AND I LOVED THEM! I also began binging on some of the old Disney classics as well. Did I have other stuff that I should be doing? Yes. But was it totally worth it? YES!



Being more independent

Like most 18-year old students starting post-secondary, this was the first time I was living away from home. This new-found freedom was amazing, but like they say: with great power comes great responsibility.


It was now my responsibility to take care of myself and maintain my academics. Although it was an extremely daunting task, it was a great learning experience. I learned a lot about myself, and how to live, communicate and cooperate with people. On top of that I have made some lifelong friends and had a great time.

Talking with people

I’ve never been an extrovert, in fact I was an extremely shy kid growing up. 


However, once I started university, I began to take more initiative to talk to new people in order to break the awkward tension, and just to know people in my program. I know we live in a world where everyone is super shy, but just being able to take the first step really helped. I usually started with: “Hi my name is Anthea. What’s yours?” and then I would ask about their program or the lecture or event that we were currently attending. 

Each time I started a conversation with someone new, it became more apparent to me that the other person might be just as scared as I was or they might not be as receptive as I hoped for. But at the end of the day it was definitely worth a shot, because I was able to meet so many people and new friends.

Although first year was already stressful as I was trying to adapt to the new environment, I don’t think these were the changes that people were referring to when they talked about the transition to university. However, these things have helped me grow as a person, learn more about myself as well as understand the world around me. Once I started doing these things I learned the value of my health and wellbeing, responsibility, initiative, open and honest communication, getting out of my comfort zone, as well as the cultures and backgrounds that surround me on a daily basis. Now that I am completing my final year at Ontario Tech, I only hope to continue to do these things.