As we head into September and school starting up again, we asked our 2017 grads to look back on their first days of college, and what they know now that they wish they knew then.
Alex – Financial Services, ’17
My first days in college? I do remember not knowing where my classrooms even were and it probably took an entire semester to remember where everything was, and by final semester you know all the shortcuts.
I wish I knew how fast college went by.
Going into college and knowing I had a full two years ahead of me was almost dreadful. But it flew by way too quick I almost wish I had taken a longer program, but I don’t regret it either. For the academic stuff I wish I had known some better study tips early on in first and second semester. I got better at knowing my study style by third semester though.
I knew it was going to be hard, I think everyone knows that going into college, but not realize how hard things might be and not just the school work. Having that work, school, and social life balance. Even any involvement at school too.
I did find that being more involved in school gave me more passion even for my academics, it makes you want to succeed even more. I also wish I knew a little bit more about my program before entering it, I knew the basics of it, but as it got toward the end it was really commission focused and I knew that going into commission just wasn’t for me. So I think its good to really know what you’re getting into so you don’t change your mind.
Also before going to college be prepared to take naps between classes, I had some all nighters, but good memories.
Chanchal – Canadian Health Care for Foreign Trained Professionals, ’17
First days in College? Who does not remember that!!
It’s almost one and a half years now, from when I first came to Canada. I still remember everything was new to me; the country, the people, the culture, the food and especially the cold winters. There were a lot of things going on in my mind, whether they were academic or non-academic. I was not sure whom to ask the questions, I had in my mind.
The place was new to me, so were the bus routes. I still remember the number of times I took wrong buses, because the numbers on the buses were the same to me. For a couple of weeks, I was not able to figure out which bus is going downtown and which is going up the mountain.
I did not know where to find Indian food, the spices and groceries. I did not know where to go out to eat vegetarian food. But, with time I learned a lot and now I am fully adjusted to the Canadian environment and the winters too.
All I wish is that, there was somebody who could have guided me in every step. In other words, I wish I knew there was an international mentor program run by the college, where you can ask for a mentor so that they can guide you when you need it. When I got to know about this program, it was too late, and by that time I was all settled.
For the future, I hope more and more students like me will know about the international peer mentor program so that their transition process in Canada would become easier.
Natalie – Occupational and Physiotherapist Assistant, ’17/ Health, Wellness & Fitness, ’15
My first couple of days at Mohawk, I am now looking back 5 years of my incredible journey there.
I came from a small town high school with 400 students to McMaster University campus at the IAHS building. I was beyond nervous, excited and scared. I walked into the classroom on the first day of class sweating, because I had to park on the other side of campus and take a shuttle, and scared but trying to look like an excited student!!! I was lucky enough that my class sizes were small and it was easy to make friends. After the first week going to college, it felt like high school but with more work and expectations but the routine was the same. I also was fortunate enough to already have a head start on being involved as I was a member of the varsity women’s basketball team.
If I could go back and do this journey all over again, I would change a couple things that I didn’t know when I was coming into the first couple days and year at Mohawk. I would have loved to have attended the START SMART workshops. Before I came, I never received any information on these workshops. I have spoken at some of these workshops since and I found students benefit from the tutorials of elearn/mocomotion, learning how to get involved, and financial stressors etc. I also wish I knew about the bursaries and scholarships – Financial Needs Assessment Profile (FNAP) was available to apply. I only found out this was available when I was applied to a Campus Student Employment Program (CSEP) job in my second semester.
Overall, Mohawk does an amazing job getting students involved and making the campuses a friendly and calm place to be.