Your first steps on campus are the beginning of a journey. As in any adventure, there will be frustrations, excitement, and — whether they be the product of an amazing night out or a procrastinated term paper — some sleepless nights.
Perhaps the most remarkable things about starting university are the opportunities available to you and the chances you have to push your boundaries and shape your experiences. You may be an aspiring scientist, or maybe your dream is to finally take centre stage. You can achieve your fitness goals, or become a student politics buff. But dont stop there; when campus starts to seem a little stifling, take a break from the books and discover the diversity of Toronto.
I would be remiss if I said that it’s going to be easy. I spent my own first year feeling a little lost in the throngs of students and, as a commuter, felt distanced from campus life. You’ll find yourself caught in the flow of student traffic on St. George Street, wondering whether you’ll ever feel like more than a number. These struggles are part of the journey; take advantage of the resources to help you along the way, from your college registrar to the many available accessibility services. Put yourself out there; join a club; make a few mistakes. Soon enough, the confusion and uncertainty of the first few months will fade into memory, and you will discover that you really can do this.
This guide is the product of our discoveries and journeys, and we hope it helps you find your own niche. It’s far from comprehensive, but, hopefully, it will serve as a launch pad for your own investigation — compiled by students who, not too long ago, felt just like you.
The next four years will not be perfect, but with any luck, you’ll walk into Convocation Hall at your graduation with memories you’ll keep for a lifetime — including a few drunken ones you would probably rather forget. As you begin your adventure, remember that this place is yours to explore, to shape, and to call your home.
Handbook Editor 2014–2015