Oscar Wilde said that experience is the name that everyone gives to their mistakes.

While this year’s crop of newcomers will probably learn some things the hard way, students who survived first year have tips to share.

“It’s going to be a lot harder than high school,” warned University of Ottawa student Benazir Marquez of the university workload. “That was the only thing that was really unexpected.”


For Matthew King, also at U of O, the administration of your course load can be as important as the courses themselves.

“Plan ahead, consider laying out all your courses for all four years, so you don’t get stuck with having six hard classes in your last semester,” he advised.

“I wish I had known my professors better, how to choose my courses and time management is the key thing,” said Ahmed Ouda, in his second year at Carleton.

Outside class, many returning students wish they’d spent a little more time at the beginning of first year getting familiar with their new surroundings.

Second-year Algonquin student Rose Schober said she most wishes she’d known “My way around school.

“At first, especially during the first week, we were always late for class.”

Ditto for getting around the city. OC Transpo can take a little getting used to, although drivers and the online trip planner can be a big help.

“I wish I knew the buses a little better,” said Alicia Draus, a fourth-year student at Carleton.

“I wish I even knew Hurdman Station existed, ‘cause it gets you anywhere in the city really fast. I would always take the really long buses that take 40 minutes to get somewhere you can get in 20 minutes from Hurdman.”

Carleton architecture grad Cedric Boulet has only four words of wisdom for frosh: “Residence food is disgusting.”

Latest From ...