Dear high school students touring campus right now

Some advice before you venture into the “real world”

Hi, it’s me. Yes, that girl you saw walking across campus in her pyjamas. Yes, both those coffees you saw in my hands were for me. Have you ever had to sit through a three-hour lecture? That’s what I thought.

Anyway, welcome to UVic! Despite the stares you gave me, (you’ll have that inevitable “deer in headlights” look on your face the first week on campus, I promise) I am happy you’re coming to this school. UVic has provided me with some of the best experiences of my life, but we could have all used some advice when we first got here. With that in mind, here’s some advice for you.

No one cares how you look. Honestly. It doesn’t matter if your class is at 8 a.m. or 2 p.m.; no one cares what you look like. If you’re wearing makeup or stunting some fresh kicks, then wear them for you; just know that no one else around you is thinking about anyone but themselves.

Don’t base your university degree around someone else. You’ll meet so many people during your first year. Don’t get hung up on someone who isn’t treating you right. Feel free to have fun and meet amazing people, and don’t get caught searching for something that isn’t there.

No one cares if you party or not. First week in dorms seems like a “need to party” time, but if you’re not into partying, no one around you is going to care. Even if you end up becoming friends with partiers, you can just listen to their drunk stories knowing that you made a choice that made you happy in the end.

If you live on campus, talk to the people in your dorm. If you play it right, dorms can be like one big summer camp. It sounds corny, but having a comfortable “family” system in your building is the best way to feel like you’re at home. Reach out to your neighbours, go to the cafeteria together, host movie nights in your lounge . . . the list goes on!

Eat something other than cafeteria food once in a while. Please. Your body will thank you. You have probably heard of the “Freshman 15” as some sort of mythical nightmare tale, but I am here to tell you that this is a real thing. Bus to a grocery store, purchase some fresh ingredients, and eat something other than a burger for one night.

If you’re going to walk slow, please stick to one side of the sidewalk. This rule applies to everyone. The worst thing is when you’re hustling to class and someone is slowly weaving back and forth across the sidewalk. I’m begging you: please move over.

Also, if you’re going to hang out on the quiet floor, the signs aren’t a joke. You may be blowing off studying for an easy midterm, but the person sitting at the desk across from you could be trying to write their thesis paper. There’s talking floors if you want to hang out with your friends, or you can even head down to Bibliocafe or Mystic Market if you really just want to chat.

Talk to your professors! I know they seem scary and intimidating, but 99 per cent of the time they’re just humans like you and me. Professors have office hours for a reason! They want to get to know you—and help you.

When taking public transit, PLEASE walk to the back of the bus. The buses will fill up, especially if you’re travelling at peak times. The last thing you want is to be that asshole who stops halfway in the bus and prevents people from getting on. Just saying.

Make sure to actually use your healthcare plan. If you’re signed up for healthcare through the UVSS, don’t let your money go to waste! Get some new glasses or contacts. Go treat yourself to a massage or a chiropractor appointment. It’s your money, so you may as well use it!

So, that’s all from the girl in the pyjamas with two coffees. Trust me, by this time next year, you’ll understand.


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