Expectations vs. reality of my first day at UWaterloo

Monday, November 7, 2022
by Ella, AFM Student

When I was in high school, I did a lot of research on university life and I thought I pretty much knew what was going to happen. But the reality on my first day of school was a lot different.

Ella standing in holiday display

Expectation 1: University class schedules are demanding of your time.

Reality 1: University schedules are not bad at all! There are a couple of lectures and tutorials each week, and my timetable is a lot emptier than it was in high school. I’m more of an independent, quick learner who prefers to go at my own speed, and I really love the schedules.

Expectation 2: You can walk to the library or your residence during short breaks between classes.

Reality 2: How did I underestimate the distance between the buildings? The campus is HUGE. I was surprised to find many study spaces embedded in the buildings where I have my lectures. If you’re set on going back to your residence, biking is definitely possible and the bike storage in my residence is really convenient.

Expectation 3: It’s hard to make friends because of how many people are in university.

Reality 3: I was anxious about this coming into university, but I had no problem making new friends on my first day! In my opinion, it’s easier to make friends in university than in high school. First, when you live on campus, you share more experiences with everyone, so my floor mates are immediately my friends.

I learned so much on my first day as an AFM student, and I can’t wait to find out what the rest of the journey at UWaterloo holds!