This one might read like a bit of a cruel joke, given two of the three first-year residences are closed and Orchard Commons will likely be quite different this year — but there are still some indelible tips that translate.
Our first tip is that you should get to know Vancouver — quick. Just because you’re situated on campus now, don’t expect that to last forever. And once you’ve flown from the nest, you’re going to want to know the difference between Marpole and Mount Pleasant. An added bonus to this is that residence living can make you feel like you don’t really live in Vancouver — which is also technically true, because campus is part of something called Electoral Area A, but we can’t get into that here. Pull out a city map and get to studying.
Your second tip is one you’ll hear often, but will likely still struggle with: as comfy as your room might be, take a walk outside every now and again and see what this campus has to offer. You’ve probably heard about the stunning vistas this place provides, but you likely don’t know just how much those sights evolve at different times of the day — Koerner Library looks great at midday, sure, but a sunset through those walls of glass is a sight unto itself. Plus, too much screen time ain’t great for your eyes, if your mom hasn’t already told you, get outside!
Another piece of advice is one you probably won’t hear often: go to your floor/residence events. Your residence advisor (RA) is someone who is underpaid and faces constant problems — the least you could do is give them some nice conversation and a +1 to their residence activity attendance report for a night. Another bonus is if you make a friend of your RA, you’re likely to get a direct line into some of the hottest topics on campus, plus you can hold ragers with more freedom than the hermits down the hall.
The last tip’s on homesickness and how important it is to keep your chin up when you’re away from family. If you’ve made it to campus, you’re experiencing the wide world at a time when your family is incredibly concerned for you, and maybe vice versa as well. Set up a regular time where you can check in with them, whether that’s daily, weekly or somewhere in between. Make sure to spice those check-ins up by throwing in a video call every now and again or even just sending a text once in a while, so that you don’t get tired of talking one another’s ear off. Call your parents, they miss you.