After my guide to meeting people in first year last week, I thought it would only be fitting to discuss my experience as a second-year student.
Firstly, a question to the audience: Should second year students (or any upper years for that matter) participate in Frosh week? At smaller schools orientation week appears to be not solely for the incoming class, but for everyone. As there are no written rules at U of T, I would say the choice is up to the individual. My family plans our vacations at the end of the summer, so I’m usually late for school, but last year I arrived at school just in time for Frosh week. Upon returning to campus I thrived in the first week back, attending social engagements and club meetings. As classes began, I noticed a few differences about navigating life at U of T as second year that I thought I would share!
- After living in residence, moving into an apartment with friends was a completely different world. Having your own space to entertain, chill, work and cook is wonderful. Moving off-campus also came with a whole list of responsibilities, but definitely was a worthwhile experience for me.
- Everything is so much easier to find on campus. In first year I chose my courses based somewhat on their times, but neglected their locations, which resulted in mid-january sprints across campus between classes. Thinking it through and organizing my schedule made all the difference in second year.
- In terms of relationships, I found that living off campus made it harder at times to see people, though also solidified friendships. By this I mean that if I wanted to see someone, I had to put in effort to setup a time and a place. I guess honestly, this was my first taste of “real world” relationships.
- Academically, classes were harder, but I felt better suited to handle the material. While I still took on a lot of responsibilities, the twists and turns of bibliography formatting and multiple choice exams came easier to me.
- Outside of classes, I launched myself into extra-curriculars and part-time jobs. I felt more comfortable going to events on campus alone, and came to enjoy those “jumping out of my comfort zone” moments.
While it all sounds like sunshine and rainbows, of course there were many challenges that came along with being a year older (and not necessarily wiser). Though for the most part things did get easier, and I hope they will for you as well.
Until next week -R