Most students start their university careers in September, but there’s a small group of us who started in January! Like some of you reading this, my first semester at the U of L was a winter semester. Our experience is a little bit different from the September-starters, let me tell you! If you’re just starting your university career this January, here’s what you need to know…
First, everyone else in your age group has a whole semester of experience on you. You’re immediately at a disadvantage because many of your peers have already gotten the hang of the campus, made new friends, and tried their hand at several university-level classes. Don’t let this discourage you, because it will take you no time at all. A great way to ease into the friend-making is to check out a student club, an easy feat with Club Rush Week going on in the atrium right now! Also, stay tuned to events put on by the Students’ Union, like the upcoming Meltdown 2012 on Jan. 19, which can provide ample opportunity for meeting new people in a fun setting.
The main downside that I came across as a January-starter was that some of my professors in the winter semester seemed to assume that since everyone had obviously just completed a semester of university, no explanation was needed for things like essays. Some profs are very specific about what they want, but others just assume that you’ll know to use a title page, or which citation style to use in a given department. If you find yourself unsure about one of the course requirements, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Otherwise, the best advice I can give you is that which I’ve already given to the September-starters. Check out this blog post for a set of CRUCIAL advice for starting your semester off right! http://blogs.ulethbridge.ca/james-forbes/2011/09/06/3-tips-for-starting-your-semester-off-right/
Oh, and one more tip that every student should know… The library has a self-serve renew feature. So if you can’t get your book back in time, log in and hit RENEW! Check it out: http://www.uleth.ca/lib/. Go to self-serve, then to renewals.
That said, whether it’s your first or not, have an awesome semester.