The one thing I wish I knew during my first year at York

Although personal experience is the best teacher, I have always believed in the importance of learning from others. What better way to avoid unnecessary heartaches and pitfalls, than to learn from those who have already been through the journey you are going through. In the spirit of learning from others, I asked three of the amazing Mature Student Mentors at ACMAPS to share one thing they wish they had known during their first year at York. Their responses were:

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You don't have to do things on your own. Ask questions before things get worse (Dwayne, AMCAPS Mature Student Mentor).

When I first started back to school, I was excited/nervous and scared all at that same time. We live in such a competitive world, and we are adults, so in my mind I felt I should know everything. One tip I give to many students at orientations and one that I will always share, is to give yourself permission to learn. Whether it is a topic you are familiar with or a topic totally new. Giving yourself permission encompasses many dimensions, and for all of us it can be different. When I arrive on campus, I tell myself this is a new adventure to investigate something new, and I am here to learn. I give myself permission to learn, make mistakes, not be perfect and open to new experiences and new opinions that may be very different than my own (Melissa, ACMAPS Mature Student Mentor).

For students with disabilities, see Counselling & Disability Services as soon as possible. Some of the assistance they can provide to you includes grants to buy the equipment you require to succeed, and exam accommodations (at the Alternate Exam Centre) such as extra time, a scribe, and a quiet room to write your tests. Also, it is important not to take ob too much at the beggining of university, especially if you have a full time job. I know almost everyone wants to get university over with and get a real/new job, but there is high probabability of burn-out. In my experience, I found that with a full time job, I was more successful if I was taking a maximum of three courses a semester.   (Scott, ACMAPS Mature Student Mentor).

If you are an upper year student at York, what is the one thing you wish you had known during your first year of university?


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3 comments on “The one thing I wish I knew during my first year at York

  1. By the way, the one thing I wish I knew was to take advantage of office hours and get to know my professors and teaching assistants (TAs). This would have saved me hours of trying to figure things out on my own. Also, professors and TAs who know what a hard working, amazing person you are will likely give you great references for graduate and professional studies.

  2. I was learning how to be a student in first year. It actually took a little while for me to find my "student legs". The only thing I really wish I had done earlier was take advantage of more skills workshops. The time you invest in these now can save you time and frustration down the road. A hint here and tip there are very helpful.