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Letter to My Little Sister: the University Frosh

 

Dear Amanda,
Is my baby sister really leaving home for university? Are you really almost nineteen? Where did the time go? Well, I guess now's the time for me to try and offer some advice. I only started university once so I can't claim to be an expert, but there are a few things I would do differently if I had it to do over, and a few things I would do again. (I'm not talking about study tips either-you got into university so we know you can do okay in school.)

1) Live in residence your first year: There is no better place to make new friends on an otherwise stranger-filled campus. "Res" is great because there are so many people there that you are sure to find one or two (if not a floorful!) to click with. It's also a great place to find study partners; there are sure to be others from your program on your floor, or at least somewhere in your building. And let's not forget the instant social life-on my floor there were several different groups of people doing stuff every night, from party hopping to a quiet TV movie and everything in between. Most of all, please don't worry about not liking your roommate-it rarely happens and you'll have a whole floor of other people to be friends with anyway.

2) Take advantage of every opportunity available: University is a great place to get a taste of just about anything that interests you. I can't count the number of times I walked past a sign for a club or an audition or even read of an interesting class in the course calendar and thought to myself, "wow that'd be fun to try. I wish I knew someone else who was doing it." If I could do it over, I would force myself out of my comfort zone and go solo! Never again in your life will there be so many easily-accessible options available to you. Try out for a school play, write for the newspaper, learn how to debate, join the photography club, play Lacrosse, speak Spanish or even take a film history class. Do it all!

3) Have fun: This may seem like obvious advice, but I urge you to make sure you stick to it. You do need to put in the time for school, and I am absolutely not saying that you should ignore all your schoolwork, but once in a while there will come a time when you need to let go and enjoy the world around you. University can be a great time, and I'd hate for you to miss out on anything.

Love, Jess

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