You know you’re a first year when

Graphic by Emily Thiessen
Graphic by Emily Thiessen

Well, class has just begun, you’ve settled into residence and you’re thinking that this is how your first year will play out. You’re wrong. You’ve only had a taste, but no fear! I’ve compiled a checklist of sorts so you can see if you’ve had the full first-year experience yet or not. So, you know you’re a first year:


When you realize that those cups you bought yourself from Walmart are useless because you’re just drinking everything out of the carton.

When you’ve gone for breakfast in your PJs.

When you’ve apologized to the staff that cleans the residences after a busy weekend. (The guilt will build up; it’s wise to be nice to them from the start)

After the first all-nighter.

When you have your first write-up from a CL (residence community leader).

After the first time you sprint to Caps at 10:57 p.m. because you need that slice of cold pizza and energy drink to keep your four-hour study marathon going.

At the moment you realize it’s been two months and you haven’t cracked the spine of one the course-required textbooks. (There’s always one that goes unused.)

When you spend a whole night talking with someone that you just met earlier that day.

After the first unneeded fire alarm sounds off in your building.

When you have Caps wraps/sandwiches three days in a row because you’ve “given up on caf food.”

After the first time you make a joke about how small rooms are in the Concrete Jungle Residences. (It’s okay, everyone makes fun of Concrete Jungle.)

First sad phone call home.

First excited phone call home.


There isn’t any other year like your first year, and there isn’t any other school like UVic. Don’t waste it; enjoy it! It’ll fly by quicker than you think.

Also, once again, be seriously nice to the cleaning staff. You can never thank them enough. You’ll miss having a washroom cleaned for you in second year.