This ain’t high school, kids

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By guest blogger Samantha Lui

You’re fresh out of high school. You think you’re more mature and that life is only going to get easier from here.  University?  A piece of cake.

But once you get to university,  your naivety become clear.  Everything and everyone is surprisingly different.  You have to wake up early to get to school, you get lost in the buildings, your marks plummet and the people seem a lot stranger.  As a first-year coming from a suburban Catholic high school, I’m an expert on changes first-years have to get used to.  Here are the top three in my opinion.

The hassle of getting there and back

Getting to school is easy when you live right across the street from your high school.  For me,  this meant sleeping until the school bell rang and still making it to class on time.  Now that I attend Ryerson, my usual two minute walk to school has become an hour and a half ride on the TTC.  It’s  incredibly difficult to adjust to waking up at 6:00 a.m. every morning . Never does a week go by where there isn’t a traffic jam or a subway delay.  And the fact that the bus is full of grumpy people is the cherry on top of my perfect morning.

The hallways are runways

I attended a Catholic high school with a strict dress code.  By this I mean that if we dared to wear shoes that weren’t completely black, we were sent home.   Although there are no longer wardrobe restrictions, making up my mind in the morning is a challenge. From what I have seen on campus, Ryerson students are very chic.  Everyone is always dressed to the nines, so sweats and a T-shirt are unacceptable.  Now I have to plan out my outfits before I go to bed, even though I know I will trash the outfit the next morning anyways.

Death of the A+

In high school, teachers could actually recognize you by name and classes were small.  Now, there are as many as 250 people in a single lecture.  Professors often don’t even bother to learn everyone’s names and students have to get used to finding their homework on BlackBoard.

For students who were used to getting high marks in high school, getting back that first assignment can really dampen the spirits. I was one of those students. An older cousin warned me that my average was going to plunge, but I still wasn’t prepared for the C- I received on my first university assignment. I have learned to humble myself since then, but I still find myself thinking that the worst is yet to come every time my instructor hands back an assignment.

Photo by Laura Strapagiel


  1. ” … Everyone is always dressed to the nines, so sweats and a T-shirt are unacceptable … ”

    Hey , legwarmers ARE fashion, ask me how I know . 🙂

    ” … Now I have to plan out my outfits … ”

    Oh how true that is . Which black shirt, or which pair of black legwarmers, or which black pants, or which black hat will I wear ?

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