Starting University This Summer? From One Student’s Experience to Another

Posted by Sunera on April 21, 2014

On-board to York

So you’re new and you’re feeling lost…. Check out my guide below to starting York University in the summerlost my way

If you are a new student starting York University this May, then you have come to the right place to right place because I also started my very first semester at York University last May. Here is my guide to starting University in the summer that made my transition in to York University very smooth.

Go for Tours

Tours are free!! I had been on 2 tours prior to the first day of classes. Going on tours is really helpful. It helps you know your way around campus and find out things that you may have otherwise not known.  Tours are extremely informative and I highly recommend them. Tour guides are volunteer student ambassadors who can answer any question you may have such as  residence life, club involvements and so forth on.

Plot Your Schedule

When plotting my schedule, I try to fit my schedule on two to three days rather than a whole week of classes. This allows me to find out things happening on campus and gives me a chance to get involved, it also frees up time for home work. I prefer having Mondays or Fridays off so this way I can get an extra-long weekend. Time management is the key in University. Stick to a schedule that works for you and best suits your lifestyle.

lateFind Your Classes 

Last thing you want to do is arrive late for your classes on the first day of school. For a stress-free start, I used to set aside a day to visit the campus to find all of my classes, and then meet up with friends for coffee. Trust me this really helps, it  saves time and stress! Before you know it you will be a pro at directions but as you are warming up to the school, I think exploring to find your classes is very important.

Explore Your College 

At York University, we have a college system. All students are affiliated with a college  based on their programs of study, and the Residence they live in . With a population of 55,000 students colleges ensure that students get all the support they need and not just become a number. Each college has a Master, academic advisors, staff members, residence dons, club affiliations, events and much more.

lets do this

Get involved!

Student Financial Profile (SFP)- Is now ready for students to fill out. Complete your SFP to be eligible awards, scholarships, bursaries and employment opportunities on campus. I filled out my SFP before the summer classes started, and applied to positions before starting classes.

Work/Study Positions- The job postings for the summer are now up. When I came in for my enrolment appointment, one of the faculty staff members told me about work/study positions. Work/Study program has a lot of benefits. Your work hours are built around your school schedule which means being able to book off time during exams and major assignments. Working on campus saves time on commute, you can squeeze work hours in between classes, learn about the university, and make new friends.

I volunteerVolunteer – Browse any volunteer opportunities that interest you. I applied for several positions that were opening up in September. I applied for a classroom reporter position in the mid-summer. I have volunteered for many other events by now that are of interest to me, and these events have really helped me integrate in to the University life.

I love getting involved, making a difference and embracing my environment. After being on the tours, I fell in love with the idea of giving tours and I couldn’t wait to be a part of the Volunteer Student Ambassador team. I was so inspired by the fact VSAs knew the campus so well. One of my goals was to join the tour team and be a volunteer student ambassador, which I thoroughly enjoy now.

Career Counselling

During my first semester I attended a Career Consult workshop with the Career Centre located at 202 McLaughlin College. You can book online appointments by going to the student career website

The Career Centre offers a lot of workshops and career counselling appointments. Career counselling appointments are one on one appointments with a counselor and they advise you from different career possibilities to networking opportunities, and assist student with cover letters, resumes and graduate studies application. During this appointment the counselor also helped me make an appointment with the professional in my field. It was a great opportunity to meet with the professional one on one and she answered any questions I had about getting started in my field. The counselor also told me about the different workshops, and notified me about the TASTE (Take A Student To Eat) program.

Signup for Workshopsfree food

I signed up for a dining etiquette class which is a prerequisite for the TASTE program. I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop, learning about different dining styles such as American and European. So what is the TASTE program? The TASTE Program is a partnership between the York University Career Centre and Alumni Relations to give students an opportunity to make connections and get insight on the companies in their field. The Alumni is a York graduate and this meeting will take place in a formal dining setting where the Alumni will answer any questions to the best of their ability about the field they are working in! You can check out the TASTE workshop website for more information!

Academic Advising

What courses should I take and what courses do I need to take next year? How do I add a minor or double major to my program? These are questions that were answered by the Student Academic Advising Services. My program is from the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies department and their advising office  is located in 103 Central Square. You can book an appointment by walking in person or call for any questions you may have. This appointment is very important as you are advised to make sure you are on the right track to graduate on time. I had started with my general education courses in the summer, so an appointment was necessary for me to find out the core requirements for my program. This appointment was very helpful and all the courses I needed to graduate were advised to me along with any questions I had about my master’s program. They connected me to the right person who was able to answer my questions regarding my graduate studies program.  

partyPlan to Attend Frosh Week and Academic Orientation

I received an e-mail two before classes were starting in September last year regarding the Frosh Week details. This is the chance where you get to know everything about York! Did I know anyone at the orienation…no! Does it matter? NO!! Most people at these events don’t know anyone either. This is the best opportunity to meet people from your college, and learn about student life at York University. Activities at Frosh Week include a formal boat cruise, day in Downtown Toronto, BBQ, dances, movie night and much, much more! Moreover, if you are a commuter student your Frosh Kit also includes a commuter room which is a sleep over room for commuter students to fully enjoy Frosh Week and not have to miss a thing!

Welcome aboard! If you have any questions about your transition, please do ask!





Sunera graduated from York University in May, 2016 with an Honours BA in Work and Labour Studies.

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