Dear First-Year Udain
Written by: Udain Khadija, 3rd Year Honours Specialization in Physiology and Pharmacology
Dear First-Year Udain,
As you sail across an ocean of strangers during O-week, you will soon realize that these strangers will become a family. You must be feeling overwhelmed and excited at the same time. I want you to know that these feelings are an integral part of your experience. The journey you are about to embark on will be challenging but it will sculpt you into a better version of yourself.
As you walk into your first lecture, I want you to remember Professor Tom Haffie’s words, ‘Think slowly!’, for this will change the way you approach Science and learning. You will soon learn to become a critical thinker and relate your learning in class to your pursuits and passion. There will be times when you might feel like you are drowning in an overwhelming amount of work. You may feel lost and alone, but I want you to take the initiative and seek help when you need it. There are so many people around you including mentors, Sophs, TAs and professors who are ready to guide you.
I know you will be immersed in the academic aspect of university and as an introvert you would love to spend your free time by yourself. However, I want you to break free from this bubble and explore this new environment. I hope that you join extracurricular activities that interest you, explore the campus and create unforgettable memories with your new friends. I know that it will take time and that’s totally okay. You will soon develop a curious mind and an adaptable mindset which will help you seek opportunities and succeed in the future years of your undergraduate career. Through your experiences you will acquire the virtue of patience and a passion for collaboration and mentorship. I hope that you can become involved in initiatives and find time to give back to your community.
Time will fly by when you engage yourself in the university experience. Make sure that you take time to practice self-care. I want you to celebrate your achievements, take care of your body and take care of people around you. Find time to read a book and watch your favourite TV show. Lastly, I want you to smile more often and hold onto the invaluable experiences and memories as you continue on this beautiful journey.
Your Future Self