Your First Year Survival Guide

6 solid tips for a smooth first-year experience.

A first year student of Humber College guides a campus tour, and her participants, thanks to this survival guide, feel right at home!

By Luxshana Sivareswaran, Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning

1. Explore your campus

If you plan on going to school full-time, you may be spending more than 20 hours a week on campus. It's a good idea to scope out where you'll be spending a lot of your time for the next several years.

Find the best study and hang out spots and visit the library, bookstore, and restaurants. Over the next few months, colleges will be hosting Open Houses, which give you and your family an opportunity to explore the campus firsthand. Humber's Open House is on Saturday, April 19, 2020, where you can meet professors, take a tour, and ask lots of questions.

2. Familiarize yourself with where your classes will be

Once you have your course schedule, come by campus during the summer to learn where each of your courses are taking place. This will help you easily navigate through campus in September and ensure you get a good seat.

3. Familiarize yourself with your commute

If you aren't planning to live on campus or nearby, it's a good idea to check what your commute will look like on a typical day. Google Maps and other public transit apps can help you plan your daily commute.

Keep in mind that your commute time can increase when there's bad weather or heavy traffic. Always leave a little early to ensure you arrive on time.

4. Go to class and be engaged

No matter what type of learner you are, attending your classes regularly will make life easier. Hearing your professors explain your course material and having the opportunity to ask them questions can bring clarity and understanding for even the toughest courses.

Be sure to be engaged, take detailed notes, ask questions and complete your assignments.

5. Prioritize your assignments and manage your time

For many students, tests, presentations and assignments can have deadlines around the same time. The best way to stay on track is to prioritize your assignments and break down your tasks into manageable parts. Find a time management system that works for you to stay organized.

6. Access On-Campus Resources

Many colleges offer programs to help first year students get through their first year at college. At Humber, the First-Year-Experience (FYE) program guides your transition into your first year at college. Here, you will be paired with a mentor, who will be an upper-year student. They can help you find your classes, answer any questions about campus life and tell you where to find things like a health care practitioner, math and writing centres, and more.

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