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We’re back, now what? 2022 freshman guide to surviving first year

By Zarmminaa Rehman

Now that we’re back to starting school in-person, it is only fair that you, freshmen, learn the ancient methods to having the best first year imaginable using the wisdom of haggard, affectionate, seniors and alumni. 

Unfortunately­—and also fortunately—at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), we’re very generous when giving freshmen advice. A little too generous, maybe. Not everyone wants to hear how you’ve never had problems with course intentions. Save that for family events. The Eyeopener has taken the liberty of sectioning off the various tips and tricks left to you by your less cool and older TMU honorary siblings.  

Parties, Parties, Parties

Don’t go to them, don’t think about them and certainly do not try to host one. When parties are in question, it’s best to revert back to your pandemic selves—we’re trying NOT to have an eighth COVID-19 super spreader mixer in the dingy Pitman dorms. It would truly be a better use of time if you picked up a few shifts at our esteemed, overpriced and mediocre on-campus coffee staple, Balzacs. The extra money and people skills (burden and stress) will surely build an ounce of confidence so you can ask your business professors what Bitcoin really is. 

Class Times and Professors

These are kinda tricky. On one hand you’re paying for them, and on the other, they are three-hour lectures. If by some miracle you find yourself in a lecture hall, raise your hand, but not, like, too much. Just raise your hand twice tops, or professors learn your name and become integral mentors for longer than your university career. If you’re used to having those deep talks and connections with teachers, Godspeed to you. Not because it’s hard to talk to teachers or anything, but because they create office hours with the mindset that you only take their class and totally don’t have a full course load. When the situation arises where you end up having to stare at your mandatory class professors in the face on a weekly basis, remember that you don’t need to do any readings. Instead the enthusiastic forehead wrinkles will guide you  through the exam’s multiple choice answer…but as always, your 50 per cent is guaranteed regardless.

Meeting Friends AND Foes

It goes without saying that you WILL meet some friends, but who’s to say what they actually want from you? University students are a lot like toddlers: do they want to play games on your phone? (steal notes) or ask “but why?” every given minute (take a philosophy class). Always keep an open mind when meeting and introducing yourself to new people on campus, but also keep your eyes and ears open because some sneaky minxes might coerce you into those dreadful WhatsApp group chats that never seem to shut up, even when it’s four in the f-ing morning and the syllabus literally exists online.

Being in the heart of 6ix

The benefits of being at a superior Toronto university is living right downtown and having access to all the possible junk your parent’s hid away from you. We have bubble tea shops on every corner and burger joints five meters away from the Sheldon and Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre doors. If bubble tea and burgers aren’t what you’re looking for, then perhaps the abundance of shawarma and taco restaurants that waft the smell of their cooking chicken to passing by students may interest you.

As we come back to campus, many things may look and feel different, but remember to look at the silver lining. Don’t try and focus on all the things you can’t do (invade the space of other people in line, kiss random strangers, sneeze without covering your mouth, drink out of your friend’s iced coffee), but anticipate all the possibilities at TMU. Eat to your heart’s desire at the food compound everyday, buy that $15 blended smoothie and jump into a fun and lengthy conversation with the Dundas Square Christian preachers. 

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