Photo Credit: Emily Meyer & Emily Smith.

Going to university is a huge step, but imagine also doing that during a global pandemic. We are starting Brock this fall in the Concurrent Education Primary/Junior program.

The COVID-19 virus has been and will be continuing to play a significant role in what our following years at Brock will look like. In this article, we will be touching on some challenges and changes we are dealing with for starting university during this time. 

University is a place where we get to meet new people and create lifetime friendships. In the past few months, we have had to meet our classmates only through social media. There have been Instagram accounts created specifically for you to send pictures of yourself and a small message of your name, program and where you are from. WhatsApp group chats have also been created with over 200 first years and smaller ones that branch off into specific programs.

We did not know anyone going to Brock, but through social media, we have already connected with so many Brock students. A challenge that we have found with connecting with people only through social media is that our screen time has gone up and we have had to download so many new apps that can be distracting. 

We originally only had Instagram, but now we are also using Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp. Even though our first year experience for meeting people is different, we are glad that there is still a way for us to connect and get to know each other even if it’s virtually.   

When transferring from high school to university, your grade 12 year of high school is set up to prepare you for what’s to come. Some teachers try to run their class as if it is a university class and most often, they make it so the workload is similar to what will be expected in university. This year it is going to be especially tough for first-year students to get back into the habit of getting stuff done on time and adjusting to the workload. We think this might be a struggle for some students because, as we know the last couple months of high school, our work was not mandatory and the workload given to us was minimal. We are definitely a little more nervous going into the first year than say the first-year students in previous years. We feel as though we didn’t get as much preparation because the end of our year was online and we know for most, it wasn’t easy to get school work done while at home.

As we start our first year of university during this pandemic, we are all in the same boat. All of us first-year students will have to adjust to the workload starting in the fall. We know the challenge will be to focus on our school work because the majority is online. With ending high school online, we were able to figure out ways to help us focus and get stuff done, which is useful for starting university. It would have been more helpful if the school work we were getting in the last few months of high school was mandatory, and due dates were enforced a little better. 

Both of us are excited to be joining Brock this fall even though the year to come will be an adjustment. So far, the first years at Brock are finding ways to overcome the challenges we face and make the best of it. With the help of social media and self-motivation, we can all get past the challenges that will come with our exciting first year.