19 Things I Wish I Knew in My First Year

The first year of university can be scary. It’s a new routine with new people, and sometimes in a city that’s very far away from home. English Literature and Environmental Studies student Brianna Henshaw shares the 19 things she wishes she had known in her first year to help future Gaiters make this transition as smooth as possible.

Get involved.
The easiest way to get to know your classmates, professors, and fellow students is to be a part of the Bishop’s community. From Homecoming to the Gait Gatsby to departmental events, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and live that purple lifestyle.

Take time for yourself.
Whether it’s sleeping, working out at the Plex, or just spending some quality time alone, make sure you’re taking care of yourself.

Call your parents.
They want to know how you’re doing! University — especially if you’re coming from far away — is as big a change for you as it is for them.

Making friends is easier than you think.
That’s what O-Week is all about! Whether it’s an Orientation team, a class, or your dorm, there’s no end to the opportunities for making friends.

Bring something from home.
The first few nights in a new place can be tough. Bring pictures, posters, gifts, or anything that can help ease you into turning your dorm room into a home away from home.

Use the resources available to you.
As a Bishop’s student there are so many services that are free for you to use, from the gym and the clinic, to counselling for anything under the sun. Don’t be afraid to reach out; we all need help at some point.

Go to office hours.
Your professors want to help you succeed. Let them show you how!

Don’t forget to study! You’re here for an education after all.


Get off-campus every once in a while.
Downtown Sherbrooke is only a short bus ride away. See a movie, try out a new restaurant, or even go rock climbing!

Wait until classes before buying textbooks.
Your professor will tell you if you can use an earlier edition, or if you can use a different version. You may even be able to rent the book instead of buying it.

Try something different.
Take classes in other Departments when you can. You may end up finding a new major or minor. And don’t worry about switching programs, it’s easier than you think!

Don’t be afraid to say “no”. But don’t be afraid to say “yes” too!

Looking for Drama?
The Drama Department is never short of productions, whether you’re looking to be on stage or behind it, there’s always a chance to get involved.

Explore the area.
Take the weekend off for a quick trip to Montreal, Quebec City, or even the United States and get away for a while (Boston is only 4 hours away and NYC is only six hours away).

Sign up for clubs and give them a chance.
Find something that interests you, even if you don’t know if you’ll like it. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something new!

Dewies is your best friend — and your worst enemy.
There’s plenty to eat, and right at your fingertips, but make sure to hit the gym because freshman 15 is no joke.

There’s plenty of financial help.
It doesn’t take too long to apply and you’ll be thankful you did. Plus you’ll get to personally thank a Bishop’s donor!

If it doesn’t exist, make it happen!
It’s easier to make a club of your own.

Use the small class size to your advantage.
Getting to know your professors will really pay off when you need that recommendation letter or help with an assignments. Get to know our departments in this post!

One Response to “19 Things I Wish I Knew in My First Year

  • Great tips for a new student, I am in the 2nd year still but I found them helpful for me also..
    Thanks for such a nice article.

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