The first week of university can be an overwhelming immersion in a new world, but experts say the best plan is to take a deep breath and dive in.

 

Adrian Lee, a Frosh co-ordinator at the University of King’s College in Halifax, says you may be reveling in a new-found independence, but you should still listen to your frosh leader.

 

“The leaders have been there before and they know what’s best and what it’s going to take for you to have an optimal week orienting yourself to a completely new city and completely new friends,” he says.

 

That includes learning to live on your own, either on campus or off.


Where are the grocery stores? Which one offers student discounts on Tuesdays? How can you get your hair cut practically for free? Frosh leaders will tell you. It’s also a great chance to meet new friends and set yourself up with allies for the next four years.


While booze has a long, respected role in frosh weeks, Lee says not everyone wants to end up drinking beer out of a shoe. He was a quiet frosh and therefore terrified. It worked out well, and soberly, for him.


Denea Campbell, an orientation coordinator at the University of British Colombia, says the top three goals are meeting new students, getting prepared for class and getting involved.


At UBC, the critical frosh day is Imagine UBC, where a senior student offers groups of 12 new and returning students a vast amount of information about their campus and city.


It can seem overwhelming and hiding in your spiffy new apartment may seem appealing, but Campbell says there will be lots of time to do that. There won’t be lots of time to learn where the arts building is.


“I would recommend going to all of your classes — I mean, always go to class, but at least go on your first day and get the syllabus,” she says.