The 10 essentials for first year

Photo credit: Zoe Archambault

Photo credit: Zoe Archambault

The first year of university often begins with endless to-do lists and a whirlwind of emotions. The following is a beginners guide to Brock University featuring some essentials that are easily overlooked at this exciting time.

  1. Sakai

Sakai is Brock’s online interface which connects students with their courses, classmates, professors and other resources. Becoming familiar with Sakai will help you adjust to, and organize, the academic demands of your program.

  1. Welcome Week

The beginning of university is exciting but it can also be daunting. Welcome Week offers a lot of new opportunities and is a great time for you to challenge yourself to leave your comfort zone. Welcome Week events, such as Vendor Fair, are great for meeting new people and getting involved.

  1. Back to basics: supplies

During this hectic time, basic school supplies can easily be forgotten. Do not overlook the basics like pens, pencils, notebooks, charging cables and highlighters. Instagram, Pinterest and other social media platforms have plenty of premade lists of what you may need. These are great resources to help you create a personalized list to suit your preferences and needs.

  1. A safety net

To help minimize the stress of transitioning into first-year, get to know the Student Success Centre (including A-Z Learning Services), Academic Advising and the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre. Creating a safety net is a proactive measure to prevent additional stress during the beginning of your university experience.

  1. The residence essentials

Before moving into residence, read the requirements for your specific residence building found on Brock’s website to prevent unnecessary or prohibited purchases. Visiting your residence prior to moving in will give you a better sense of the space and allow you to take measurements for larger items. A common critique of residence is that the lighting is often dim and uncomfortable, so consider alternative lighting to brighten up your room. Do not forget the less glamorous items such as fans, over-the-door hangers, cleaning products, and surge-proof power bars.

For students residing off-campus with a vehicle, purchasing a parking pass can be useful. The purchase procedure for Brock’s parking zones can be found online. Additionally, attending Welcome Week events will make off-campus students feel included in the full university experience.

  1. An open mind

Your first year at university will challenge you to embrace new experiences. Beginning this journey with an open, optimistic and accepting attitude will ensure a fulfilling first-year experience.

  1. A well-packed bag

First year will quickly fill up with classes and extracurriculars. Having a bag that is filled with essentials will make your busy day run smoothly. Extra chargers and pens, emergency cash, a water bottle, gum and earbuds are always helpful to have. Luckily, they can easily fit into any school bag.

  1. A “grown-up” game plan

A helpful tactic to prevent financial stress is planning how residence, tuition and other fees will be paid over the year before arriving at university. Additionally, consider medical insurance, and transferring any prescriptions to the Campus Clinic. These seemingly boring and “grown-up” concerns are better dealt with in advance, rather than in a pinch.

  1. The St. Catharines Transit app

Downloading the St. Catharines Transit app is a great way to get more familiar with the city so you can attend off-campus activities with ease.

  1. An academic plan

Be attentive to Brock’s academic demands. Pay close attention to required averages and prerequisites early on to ensure your future success. Academic Advising in addition to connecting with professors and teaching assistants will help you manage the university workload.

The first year at university may be hectic, exciting and eye-opening. Being as prepared as possible will let you enjoy all of the opportunities that Brock has to offer.

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