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First Year University Students Told Us How Their First Week Went

Fresh-faced and optimistic, these kids seem to have their heads in the right spaces. For now.
All photos via the author

Ah, the first year of university. A time of excitement, optimism, and pure, sweet ignorance. It's a brand new world: guys and girls seem hotter, you call your teachers by their first names, and all of a sudden you're grocery shopping on your own.

I came into my first year of university (cough, cough, three years ago) with a stupid amount of excitement. I idolized all of my profs as if they were heroes without capes. I went to parties at the same beer-smelling residence every weekend, playing poorly constructed drinking games and standing around to Kendrick Lamar and Aqua. And, overwhelmed by all the people I met, I developed a crush on a new guy every week.


As a rite of passage, first year is alllll about that shit, and it starts literally the moment you step on campus. So, in the midst of a brand new fall semester, I went around and bothered a bunch of first years to ask them how their first week of university went.

Loren, 17

VICE: How would you summarize your first week of university?
Loren: Um, confusing. And exciting because you're able to study something that you're actually interested in. I'm not going into a math class thinking, oh I hate this, I don't want to do this. Rather, I'm going into a graphic design and layout course and it's so interesting to me.

What's been the best part of your experience so far?
A lot of my friends go here, so it's great that I get to see them around. But also I think actually listening to the teachers talk about the experiences they've been in and seeing that my future career could possibly be getting into what they've done.

How about the worst part?
This sounds so nerdy, but the breaks, because I don't know people and they're such long breaks. If it's like three hours, what the hell do I do? I've walked around this campus so many times.

Have you seen any hot guys yet?
Well I have a boyfriend and he goes here.

But like yeah I've seen them. The business kids are the hottest ones so far. And they'll obviously make so much money when they're out of here, so…

Hillz, 18

VICE: How was your first week at university?
Hillz: It was pretty cool. The parties were wicked. I basically hang out at [the campus pub] because that's where engineers are.

So do you do a lot of partying?
Yeah! Yeah. I'm a party boy. Uni's only once right? You have to enjoy it before you get out and start working.


How has actual school been so far?
Well, first week I thought was pretty decent, but coming into second week is something else for engineering. You have to keep studying for labs which are like, every week. So I think it's going to be stressful.

How are you going to stay cool?
Party on the weekend. And just make sure not to procrastinate. As soon as I get homework, I'll do it quickly. So I can party.

Lucy, 18

VICE: What are you studying?
Lucy: Fashion design.

How do you like your program so far?
It's pretty cool. I moved all the way from Vancouver to Toronto so it's confusing but I'm really interested because the profs are chill and really nice.

How is it adjusting to a new city?
It's hard. I've been here for like a month and I just can't. It's so huge. I'm also from a city, but it's not this kind of city where there's cars everywhere.

What's your favourite part about being in university?
Making friends. I haven't made a lot of friends, but I'm starting to.

Any enemies yet?
No, I hope not! I don't want to. I hope my professors aren't my enemies.

Nicole, 18

VICE: Has university lived up to your expectations so far?
Nicole: I don't like setting expectations just because it leaves room for disappointment. So I came here just hoping to have a good time.

So let's talk about frosh week. Anything crazy happen?
Besides the typical grinding action at clubs and the 30-year-olds coming in at midnight?


You're not into 30-year-olds?
Uh, no.

Right. What do you think of your profs?
I've met one who told us not to ask questions before and after the lecture because she'll put on a "resting bitch face," quote unquote. But even that professor and all the ones I've had look like they're very eager to help.

Sahiba, 17, turning 18 in a week

VICE: So you said you went to frosh week. How was it?
Sahiba: It was amazing because they made you do a lot of activities. I was known as the hoola hoop girl because we had this one activity with a hoola hoop and I literally held it the whole time.

Haha, that name's going to follow you forever. What are you studying?
Don't write that! Biology.

What do you want to do with your degree when you get it?
I would like to go into optometry.

Have you met any people here that you already dislike?
No, everyone's really nice!

That'll change.
Maybe, we'll see about that [laughs, I might infer, nervously].

Do you think you'll get a job after university?
I think I will for sure, I have a job right now.

Kendra, 19, and Nicky, 18

VICE: How was your first week at university?
Kendra: Exciting, not too confusing. There's a lot of reading already, and lots of nice people and professors.
Nicky: It's a crazy environment in a good way. And everyone here is easy to talk to, not like strangers on the street.

Are you both coming right out of high school?
Both: Yup.

What's the biggest difference between university and high school?
Kendra: Probably the immediate respect people give you. I don't know, you're just seen as an adult in all of your professors' eyes.
Nicky: If you choose not to do something, you're paying for it this time. You're not going to be called about why you're not in class. And if I'm at a lecture and I think it's pointless and I know [the material] already, I can leave. It's on my own terms.


And what about frosh week? How was it?
Kendra: I didn't go.
Nicky: It was really fun. I got really tired really quick though because I'm commuting.

I.e., you got really drunk?
Nicky: No! Not yet, I can't.

Good answer. Did you try anything new at frosh?
Nicky: Um, the whole idea of it was new and out of my bubble because I live in the suburbs. Coming to the city, talking to people I usually wouldn't, being by myself, and participating when I didn't know anybody—everything I did was technically new.

Christian, 19

VICE: How was your first week?
Christian: Overwhelming, but I'm going to do my best to catch up.

You need to catch up already?
Well, I have quite a story. So it was 4 PM. I was on campus watching The Get Down, and then I looked at my schedule and I was like, "Oh shit I have class at 4." But it was already 5 PM, so I was an hour late to the lecture. The end.

Oh man. Well what are you looking forward to at university once you're back on track?
Getting a degree. Working hard. Maybe joining intramural basketball.

What are you least looking forward to?
Readings, lots of homework, late nights, studying for midterms, finals, all that stuff.

Katarina, 18

VICE: What's the biggest difference between high school and uni?
Katarina: Scheduling. Every day in high school is a typical routine, but in university, my classes are everywhere. I sleep in one day and I have time to get ready, then the next day I wake up early. I like how it's different every day.

How are your parents feeling about you being in university?
They're proud. My two older brothers are just working, they never went to school, so I was the first child to go university and take on that step. They're a little worried about me being downtown but they trust me.


What's been a struggle for you so far?
Meeting friends to stick together. On breaks I don't have anyone to be with so I'm just alone.

Who's this guy you were walking with?
He's from my high school, he's older.

Did you go to frosh?
I didn't [laughs].

Why not?
I don't know, I just wasn't into the games and stuff. I like to do my own thing.

Christian, 18

VICE: What are your expectations going into university?
Christian: I feel like it's definitely going to be a step up and I think I'm ready to take on the challenge. I'm looking forward to it.

What are you not looking forward to?
So far, buying the textbooks. That's been a little bit of a shock. I just picked up two and they were $280.

Damn, that's rough. Did you go to frosh week?
I did.

What was your most memorable frosh experience?
Definitely going to the club with my friends.

Any good looking ladies so far?
Yup … yup.

Have you talked to them?
I have. There have been some fun moments.

Care to elaborate?
Not at the moment, no.

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