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I went through first year. Twice

By Emilie Cain

Entering post-secondary an exciting time for anyone. You’ve already put in your four years at high school, now onto another four (maybe plus) years at a school of your choice, promising bigger and better things. But what about the group of us who have already attended post-secondary

Hi, my name is Emilie, and I’m going into my fourth year of Criminology and Justice.

You’d think I’ve spent the last three years here at Ontario Tech, right? Wrong. My third year here at Ontario Tech was actually my very first year in university. Let me explain.

June of 2018, I graduated with a college diploma from my two-year program, Police Foundations. Rewind a few more years to my senior year in high school, I discovered there was a way to get a college diploma and university degree within four years between colleges and universities. Two years at college, and two years at university. And yes, if you’re a numbers person, it does mean I technically paid two years of my degree with college tuition - saving the average student about ten thousand dollars.


Now that explaining is over for those who didn’t know this process, it’s onto the tea.


If you’re here reading this, there is a good chance you were in my position a year ago. As I started at Ontario Tech, I thought I had already got this orientation stuff in college over with, but here I was starting all over again. New school, new people, new schedule, and new professors. But this time, here I was being thrown into the third year. I felt like I was being thrown into the vicious depths of the ocean with the options to either sink or swim. How was I going to make friends? Everyone in the university already had their friends by the third year. What were classes going to be like compared to college? Should I go to orientation? Or is that just a first-first year thing?


Even though I had all these worries, it turns out I had nothing to worry about. Classes were just fine, and if you ask me, I had more fun during my first year here at Ontario Tech than I ever did in college. Turns out hustling for that next piece of paper can be the best decision you ever make.

So, if you’re like me, and going through all the worries and questions of how this new step in your post-secondary career is going to be, here are a few tips that will make your first-year experience, that much sweeter.

Put yourself out there

There is actually a lot more people like you than you think. And fun fact, some of my now closest friends were also students who came from college and also experienced their very first year here at the university at the same time as me.

Get involved

Get involved; it’s a great way to meet tons of new people and being involved really gives you this sense of fulfilment and accomplishment doing something you enjoy on campus.

Remember: Your college days have prepared you for this

You’re more disciplined than you think; your college days have prepared you enough to survive these next two years. Study hard and don’t overstress on those midterms or freak out about writing that paper. If anything, you’re already a seasoned pro at this. And if you want that extra help or guidance, study groups or even dropping in for a tutor session is always a great help.

At the end of the day, you got this. You made the wise choice to take your education and resume to the next level, and hopefully, these next two years will be nothing short of hard work and fun times. However, you may end up with a caffeine addiction. Now, go soak up those last summer rays while you can, and we’ll see you in September!