Samantha McCready
Samantha McCready
September 22, 2018

10 things I wish I knew in first year

Graphic by Maria Araujo.
  1. Do research before buying textbooks from the campus bookstore

Check out the UNBSU Used Textbooks page on Facebook, where students sell their textbooks at prices much cheaper than the bookstore! Also, every semester the UNBSU hosts a Book Buy & Sell event which is a great opportunity for students to make money on their old textbooks and purchase new ones at a discount. The campus bookstore will also match-price your textbooks; if you find your textbook on Amazon for cheaper, the bookstore will match that price.  

  1. What to eat (and not eat) at Sodexo meal hall

All I can say is… avoid the tater tot casserole. My biggest regret is waiting until the end of my first year to start using the self-serve kitchen in McConnell Hall. Nutritious foods like fresh fruit, vegetables, sauces and eggs are always available there for you to use. Sodexo also prepares several vegetarian and vegan options every day. Burgers and pizza are always there to fall back on, and when in doubt… toast and peanut butter.

  1. Create a (semi-strict) budget

Trying to juggle your money in university can be tough; creating a budget for yourself will keep you on track. Your budget should include common course supplies, food, drink, clothes, laundry and transport money. Trust me, your bank account will thank you. No one wants to be struggling to survive during the last semester of school.

  1. Best foods to buy at the Cellar Pub

The Cellar Pub is the student bar on campus in the Student Union Building, and is the go-to social spot for many students at UNB. Something you need to try is the infamous spin dip. No explanation required. Just try it. The veggie bites, a popular vegetarian option, are also amazing.

  1. Professors and faculty are there to help you

Professors hold office hours because they want to help you! Never hesitate to stop in anytime with a question or concerns about a course. Each student at UNB is assigned an academic advisor, someone who can help guide you through your academic program, choose courses, and access campus resources. The IT Service desk in the Harriet Irving Library is there to help too; ITS handles technical issues, such as password resets, issues with D2L, problems logging into your UNB email, configuring orders for hardware, and much more. Need help writing an essay? The Writing & Study Skills Centre specializes in academic writing and is open to all UNB students. You can either book an appointment online or stop by during their open hours Monday to Thursday from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

  1. Spend time getting to know the people in your residence, classes, and clubs

University can be lonely if you don’t make the effort to make friends, so get to know the people in your residence. Attend residence and school events or join a club. UNB is filled with sports teams, societies and clubs that are open to everyone. Yes, studying is important, but your social life is important as well.

  1. Read your syllabus… carefully

You know that long, boring, six-page booklet your professor hands out on the first day of class? Yeah, keep that. That booklet holds all the important information you may need to know about your courses. Also, if you have a question about the class, refer to the syllabus before going to your professor.

  1. Taking time to destress is a necessity  

Whether it’s a date with popcorn and Netflix, going out to dinner with friends or spending an hour at the gym, take time away from the books. Your sanity will thank you.

  1. Always wear shoes in the residence bathroom

Public bathrooms are the perfect environment for germs and the optimal place for the transmission of infections. Save yourself from foot fungus and invest in a good pair of flip flops when using residence bathrooms. Walking in wet flip flops might be slippery and awkward, but it’s better than the alternative.

  1. University is the best time to learn and grow, because nobody cares if you fail

My biggest tip. I cannot stress this enough. University is the time to explore your interests, try new things, and join new clubs. Challenge and find yourself! Push yourself because no one else will, and everyone else is too busy doing the same thing for themselves.


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