Tips from small town students

  • It's ok to be overwhelmed! Class sizes are large, especially in first year courses. Know that there are a lot of people feeling the same way. As you specialize more, your classes will get smaller.
  • Go to orientation. You will meet people in the same program area as you and will most likely find someone who is in some of your classes. Meet up with that person on your first day of classes and you could have a friend right quick!
  • Invest in a cell phone. Texting is the easiest way to communicate on a large campus. But make sure you have it on silent during lectures, labs and tutorials. (Instructors and your classmates don't appreciate classes being interrupted.)
  • Get involved somewhere. There are endless student groups and volunteering opportunities available to you. Do a little searching on PAWS or the usask website. Something that sparks your interest should come up.
  • Take advantage of help services. Stop by the front desk at the ULC staff office.  Visit Math and Stats Help or Writing Help. Check out the USSU services. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Someone will have the answer you need.
  • Don't hesitate to call home and visit. But don't make going home your choice every weekend. If you never stay in the city, you won't have the opportunity to socialize and develop friendships outside of class.
  • Consider living in a dorm, or at least with roommates. This is a great way to develop a friend base.
  • Make friends with Google Maps! Endeavour to familiarize yourself with Saskatoon. Knowing where things are and how to get to them makes your life easier.
  • Looking back, I wish I would have known that I wasn't alone. Many students faced the same challenges, and had a horrible transition into their classes. It's ok to be honest with each other, and discuss the difficulties no matter how insignificant you think they are. Suffering alone is the worst thing you can do because you convince yourself you're the only one struggling. It's surprising how many people open up and help each other out once they admit they feel helpless.
  • Remember why you're in University. Directly out of high school, I had no idea how tough the real world was, and I was more interested in making friends than focussing on my courses. Getting used to the big city, and having friends available at any moment was enough to distract me from University. Learn to balance your University and social life early on. Don't wait until Christmas to find out you're socializing too much.