Balance, General, People, Student Life

No Regrets: A Reflection on Freshman Year

A photo of me doing some literal self-reflection.

A photo of me doing some literal self-reflection.

It is often said that when you’re young, it’s too early to have regrets. What may seem like mistakes, according to my parents, are simply “learning experiences.” My first-year at U of T was an overwhelmingly positive experience, with great classes, friends, and professors. However, by the end of second semester, I was left with a clear sense of what I could have done better to make the most out of my experience.

Time Flies, so Start Early

It’s proven that people are likely to underestimate how long it will take them to complete an assignment. I am one of these people! Thus, it’s important to start assignments sooner than later. Spare yourself from the stress of last-minute submissions by making sure your final draft is completed ahead of time. You never know when internet failures or computer crashes may happen, so eliminate this risk entirely by ensuring that even in a worst-case scenario, you can still prevail.

Get out there!

Don’t undervalue the importance of having a social life. While I attended clubs in my first semester and made friends in seminar courses, I tended to keep to myself outside of these activities. Eating meals alone, and never going out can get lonely quickly, especially when you’re away from home. Don’t hesitate to spend time talking to people outside of class. Doing this in second semester made my university experience much more enjoyable.

GPA is Forever

Put your classes first. You may feel pressured to dedicate more time towards your extracurricular involvements, but it’s important that academics remain a priority. In the long-run, it probably doesn’t matter whether you missed a club meeting or sports practice, but your GPA will certainly carry the scars of poor midterm grades for years to come. While it’s tempting to dedicate many hours to extracurriculars that you’re passionate about, make sure that while doing so your grades don’t suffer.

Take care of yourself!

While living in a dorm, it’s easy for a room to evolve into a haphazard mess of plates and papers. I’ve seen my fair share of disaster dorms, with no visible floor, and a monstrous pile of laundry. It’s important for your own health and the sake of your roommate, if you have one, to dedicate time to keeping your space clean. Not only is it easier to study in a clean space, but it’s also important for staying organized!

Do you have any regrets from your time at U of T? Share your thoughts in the comments below!