Frosh Q&A

Upper years answer questions about university life

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University is a new kind of adventure; there are many different experiences to take in and choices to make. Things can get messy, and when you look back at some decisions you made in first year, you may wish someone told you otherwise. While sometimes you have to learn the hard way, it never hurts to ask a question. We asked a few upper-year students to give their advice and relieve their first-year jitters.

How do I deal with romantic relationships in first-year?

The key to university dating is to concentrate on maintaining relationships with your university friends. Dedicate time to both your significant other and your friends. Don’t be afraid to introduce your girlfriend or boyfriend to your group of friends. Keeping your friends a secret from your significant other is never a good idea. As for long-distance relationships, the best thing to do is to have frequent Skype dates, phone calls and definitely do a surprise visit every now and then. If you surprise your girlfriend or boyfriend for a weekend with a solid plan in mind (even if that plan is to cuddle in bed watching TV and movies all weekend), your relationship will be in a great place. Don’t forget to say, “I love you.” When it’s true, it can never be said too much.

- Jeff Adams, ArtSci ’14

How do I deal with an intimidating professor?

At Queen’s, you’ll have many professors – some you’ll become close with and others may seem very intimidating. Professors are always there to help you, and even if you feel they’re intimidating, it’s always does good to have a short chat with them after class to help clarify information or to introduce yourself. Resources are everywhere if you require more assistance, such as your teaching assistants (TA), the Queen’s Learning Commons, ASUS Peer Tutoring, your fellow classmates and more. Get to know the resources available at Queen’s, and those professors won’t be as intimidating as you think.

- Jon Wiseman, ArtSci ’16

How can I budget my money best in first year? How can I save?

If you’re looking to save money, be responsible about food spending. Since you’re already paying thousands of dollars for a meal plan, you should take full advantage of it. Because you have a limited number of meal equivalencies, be sure to save them for when you really need them — when the cafeteria is closed or you’re in a rush in the morning. Also, though it may be tempting to go in on that 3 a.m. pizza order, spending $8 on a few slices might not be the best way to conserve your money.

- Thomas Dashney, CompSci ’15

What if I do terrible in first-year academics?

Although you can’t go back in time and change your past, you can learn from it. If first year doesn’t go as planned academically, don’t sweat it. Instead, use it as a learning experience for the upcoming years: figure out what worked and what didn’t. First year is about learning how to learn in university. Keep in mind that although poor academic performance may hinder your chances of entering certain degree plans or courses, there are many opportunities available at Queen’s both inside, and outside the classroom that will let you pursue your goals. Use the available resources wisely, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

- Ilan Vonderwalde, ArtSci ’14

When should I start looking for my second-year house?

Looking for a house may seem like a stressful and daunting task, but you can do it. Some people will start looking for a house during first semester, and will even sign leases before Christmas break. You can also look for houses once you get back from break, as lots of houses will still be available, and some won’t even become available until then. I recommend that you find a group of friends during first semester and start casually looking for houses before everyone leaves for Christmas vacation. Make some calls with landlords and make appointments to view houses. You can also talk to upper-years to see which houses will be available for the next year. Most importantly, I’d say, if you love a house, take it. With my housemates and I, a few times we’d love a house but we’d be too slow to sign and lose our chance. Be on the ball and be organized, everything will fall into place. Happy house-hunting!

- Tamiko Kotack, PheKin ’14

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