Top 4 College Q&A’s for First Year Students

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Jasmine Marinelli – 2nd Year Bachelor of Public Relations

Your first month of college can definitely be a tricky one. You’re still getting lost, trying to make friends, starting to get stressed, and figuring out how to adjust to this new lifestyle. Trust me, I know it’s hard, and I’ve been down this road before too.

I wanted to ask so many questions during my first month, but was too afraid, and didn’t know who to talk to. Now that I have experienced one year of college, I am able to answer my own questions; some that you might be wondering as well…

  1. Can you have a job during the school year?

Yes. However, it is very important to make sure you are focused, managing your time well, and not starting to get stressed. I definitely think that working more than 20 hours a week is far too much for someone who is a full-time student. I tried to do it, and quickly realized that was not a good decision. If you’re looking to work during the school year I suggest only working a few times a week, 15-20 hours at most. Try and make sure that you do not burn yourself out working too many hours, or too many jobs. Your mental state is very important for success during school.

  1. Are college courses harder than high school courses?

Yes and No. College courses are not necessarily harder, if anything they are easier. They’re more interesting, and are taught by professors that have been in the industry for years. In high school you might have had to take a course that you weren’t interested in, or mandatory courses you thought would not be useful in the future. College is completely different, as you are enrolled in courses that focus on whatever profession you are looking to get into. They will be easier because you know that they’re connected to things you like (i.e. the program you chose).

  1. Are textbooks worth the buy?

Yes. There are many textbooks that I bought for my classes that I have used on a daily basis. Some are expensive, others are inexpensive, but overall, they are worth it. Last year I purchased books that will be useful for some of my classes this year. Professors you have will want you to complete readings from your required textbook, which makes it important for you to have the textbook so you can get full marks. If you are really concerned and want to know if you should purchase textbooks, ask your teacher. Most of my teachers have actually told me whether or not the “required” textbook will be useful for the class. Ask! Ask! Ask!

  1. How can you get involved at school?

There are plenty of ways you can get involved at your school. You can join a club that you are interested in, join a team or committee, and attend events. Many college clubs are looking for new students to add a fresh voice to their group. If you are interested in sports or play one competitively, try out for a sports team or join intramurals. College also offers a variety of different committees you can sign up for that might meet once or twice a month. It’s really important to get involved, and have fun during school.

By: Jasmine Marinelli

A how to on “not being stressed during College exams”

stress1Exam time is stressful, especially for first year students like me. You have an idea of how it will go, because you’ve done it once before. However, it’s still nerve-racking and feels like it’s constantly consuming your thoughts.

You not only have to worry about studying for exams, you also have to worry about last-minute assignments or summatives. As well juggling work and social commitments on top of that. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with what you have to do, so much so you don’t even get started.

The end of the semester comes quickly and it’s important to stay positive and stay healthy. Focus on yourself just as much as you’d focus on studying. Having support alongside you helps a lot especially when you are going through this by yourself.

Conestoga College does an amazing job supporting you through this time. For example, our CSI (Conestoga Students INC) has been hosting exam relief day’s in the Venue.

They have been held at 8:00pm throughout our study/exam week. On certain nights you get to watch the Blue Jays game and enjoy FREE pizza, Pita Pit, McDonalds’s, snacks and drinks with fellow Condors. On one of the nights you even get to have breakfast for dinner! How cool is that?

Activities are also included, which makes it even more fun. You can go to this event after a long day in the library. That is exactly what I did, it was a good way for me to de-stress. I had fun with a bunch of my peers, and it helped me escape the stressful thoughts I was having.

Conestoga counselling also provides support during exam time. It is a great resource that you can use throughout the whole entire school year too. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone if you are feeling stressed. Counselling will help a lot. It’s free and conveniently located at Doon Campus in the lower atrium.

Conestoga provides immense support, and I am taking full advantage of it. You should definitely do the same if you find yourself overwhelmed. I am grateful for the way that Conestoga takes care of us students. It is truly an amazing school.

Everyone remember and remind yourself that you will get through it … there is only a couple more weeks until summer and you’ll be stress-free in no time. Good luck!

By: Jasmine Marinelli