In The Media

5 Things I Learned from my Freshman Year

By Flora Jung • Schulich Leader at Western University
Spring 2014
Category: 

1. Be an active member
-and I don't just mean in clubs. I mean really explore your campus and get involved in the events that are happening around your university - many of which are free of charge. Between classes, I enjoyed making stops at my campus' art gallery that displayed phenomenal work by those like Rembrandt, joining a "Medical Students vs Graduate Students" trivia night and watching community start-ups pitch their ideas to investors. While my classes gave me an education very much focused around my program, I soon learned that these opportunities would allow me to broaden my horizons and more importantly, eat free pizza at least once a week.

2. Don't make eye contact with geese

3. Study in groups
-this one was hard for me to get used to, because this simply isn't all that common in high school. However, considering the depth at which class content needs to be explored to fully understand the material, I learned that group studying can actually be extremely beneficial. Sit with your floormates around a whiteboard, challenging each other's ideas and asking the "so what?" questions. That one sentence someone says just might help you understand a theory at a whole new level.

4. Good things come to those who wait, but only what's left by those who hustle
-I quickly discovered that in university, people don't tell you what to do anymore. I also found out that Fall pretty much determines your entire year as this is when sign-ups for clubs, grant deadlines and applications for many summer positions happen. Rather than regret later on, it is so important to proactively find and create opportunities for yourself early to set yourself up a foundation that will help you play the rest of the game.

5. Don't compare yourself to everyone else
-when you enter university, you are exposed to thousands of talented academics, athletes and musicians. I can't tell you how easy it is to compare yourself to the best in each respective field. How many times have I looked at colleagues who were succeeding in business competitions, debate tournaments and varsity sports and wondered why I wasn't doing the same... when these activities had absolutely NOTHING to do with my career choices and hobbies? This year, I truly learned that your passion and accomplishments are what makes you unique. Just do you and it'll all work out.