A Letter to My First-Year Self

credit to: https://www.coachingpositiveperformance.com

Dear First-Year Self,

First of all, choosing McGill was definitely the right decision. You will see that it won’t be smooth sailing, and you are going to have doubts along the way, but you will leave them all behind. Looking back now, I can definitely say that starting from scratch in a city you’d never been to before will definitely give you a hard time, but I promise it will get easier.

You were quiet and timid in your first year, but the sooner you leave that shyness behind, the better! You will eventually learn to go out of your comfort zone and start trying out different social scenes and activities, but you won’t do that until second year.

Don’t be upset if you can’t immediately make new friends. You will see that McGill is a huge school and not the easiest place to run into people you can get along perfectly, but trust me, you will make amazing friends who will make it so hard to say good-bye to McGill.

You should try to take advantage of the resources available to you! McGill has so many great resources, but it’s all on you to find them out and use them. Go to CaPS and get in touch with Internship Offices Network to talk to advisors to figure out how you can turn your interests into career paths. When you are sick, and you definitely will be, get to the clinic very early in the morning. You will see that you have to wait for a lot of things here, so go on and bring a book with you to read as you’re waiting in the line.

Moving in a new apartment at the end of your first year will feel too early – as if you’re playing house on your own, but you’ll get the hang of it. You can’t cook anything now, and you’re going to burn so many pots and pans until you can. You’re going to learn how to deal with spiders on your own. You will live in the same apartment for the next 3 years, and you will get emotional when you move out to a new place when you graduate. That’s okay; by now you will have learned how to make a home out of an unfamiliar place.

People will mispronounce your name. You will mispronounce theirs, and spend 4 years trying to decode the intricacies of l’accent Québécois (I’m still working on that last one). You will see that Toronto is pronounced as ‘Toronno’, and that beanies are called ‘tuques’ here. You will be confused, homesick, sleepless. Sometimes it will get so hard that you will think of leaving everything behind and going home, but you will power through it. At the end of your 4 years here, you will be incredibly proud of yourself that you took this path that led you to the other side of the world. And in 4 years, as you’re looking ahead to figure out what future holds for you, a Psychology grad, you will be excited about the possibilities. You’re in for an adventure, and it’s just the beginning.



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