Tackling Your First Weeks at York: Summer Edition

Posted by Rebecca on May 5, 2016

A YU Perspective

University is a time for change and development, two things you will undoubtedly undergo once you start your journey at York. If you’re beginning that path in the summer, you’ve definitely taken the road less traveled but as Robert Frost eloquently said, “that has made all the difference.”

Commencing university in the summer time is advantageous in that you start your degree earlier and avoid large crowds. You still will likely experience the feelings of disorientation and confusion that almost all first-year students have. But fret not! The YU bloggers are here to guide you in your fresh start. We’ve compiled some tips and tricks to help make your transition to York a little sunnier.

Getting Around ?

RED Zone ambassaors standing in front of the RED Zone sign.


At first, finding your classrooms and other places on campus can be tricky. Maps of the Keele Campus are great to have on hand, but they are sometimes hard to follow. My insider tip is to check out the RED Zone kiosk in Vari Hall. You will find a group of students who are trained on the ins and outs of York, and can easily help guide you to your destination. They are also great for chatting with and are eager to help in your transition to York don’t be afraid to say hello!

Books ?

Stack of books on a shelf.

The main place to get textbooks on campus is the York University Bookstore. However, course-related texts can be pricey and are non-refundable. I recommend checking out Amazon, which offers the option of renting certain textbooks for a fraction of the purchase price. E-versions, which are usually cheaper than the print editions, are also available,. If you’re taking a 3.00 credit course, which is generally only a month and a half long, think of borrowing from the library it is also a great place to get books temporarily.

Study Spots

Mini desks and chairs along a wall seperated by dividers.

Image Source

You might be wondering: Well, now that I have my books, where can I hunker down and read them? Good question! As I mentioned before, there are fewer students on campus during the summer, so there will be a lot of easy-to-find places (like the quad) to relax and catch up on readings. If you’re looking for an air-conditioned space, we’ve got five libraries you can check out for a conventional study session. College cafeterias also tend to be pretty quiet in the summertime. But if you want to go truly out of the box, the newly built Bergeron Centre has individual study pods to sit in (pictured above).

Food ?

Red and white doughnuts with "I Heart York U" on them.

York is home to a plethora of food joints, so your taste buds are sure to flourish. My fellow blogger Megan wrote a comprehensive guide to food on campus, covering options that will suit a variety of dietary restrictions and budgets. The only new addition I’d like to make to the list is Smoke’s Poutinerie, located in the TEL building!

Transportation ?

Three York U students stand in front of the white York U shuttle bus.

No matter how many courses you’re taking, you’re likely to still get a few pockets of time to relax. There are tons of places on campus to check out  for example, York’s Observatory for some late-night stargazing, or our second campus, Glendon. It’s home to beautiful gazebos, hiking trails and a mansion. With your YU Card, you can take the Glendon-Keele shuttle (pictured above) for free and explore. My co-blogger Sam also did a comprehensive post on how to navigate Toronto, in case you’d like to venture out and take on the city.

Do you have any questions about beginning school in the summer? Tweet me at @yorkustudents or comment below!


Rebecca M. is a third-year English major. She no longer blogs regularly for the YU Blog but may post on occasion as a guest-blogger.

See other posts by Rebecca