What I wish I knew as a first-year student at the University of Waterloo

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
by Aradhna, AFM Student

Greetings future Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) students!

A photo of Aradhna K.
My name is Aradhna, and I am in my third year of AFM, specializing in the Professional Accountant Career Specialization. I know you may or may not be feeling terrified coming in as a first-year student at the University of Waterloo. I remember I was a little hesitant, scared and confused believing I wouldn’t be able to see my old friends, teachers and especially my family. So, I wanted to share something I wish I knew as a first-year student at UWaterloo.

Take care of yourself

First of all, take care of yourself! You need to understand being the best isn't something you should be aiming for. You will only overwhelm yourself and further delay your work. Make sure you treat yourself nicely. Set aside time each week to go to the gym, engage in a hobby of yours, watch a movie and hang out with your family and friends.

Make a schedule

To stay up to date with your coursework, use a scheduling system. It could be a Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, Notion, or any other system you are comfortable using. Don't worry about choosing the right calendar because you will have the option to link your LEARN (the web-based learning management system the university uses) calendar to know when something is due. This will help you prioritize your schoolwork and assignments.

Make a budget

This is something I believe everyone should do. Becoming an adult also means that you may want to spend money on unnecessary items that you would have never thought of. However, you should understand that in the long run, it could cause some financial difficulties. Budgeting will allow you to distinguish between your wants and your needs. It will help you save some money for your student loans, dreams, short-term goals, long-term goals and emergencies. There are several ways to budget and being able to successfully follow one will also help you in your accounting and finance career.

Stay connected

Make sure you are attending school events. Many of these events will have giveaways and freebies like food, but they also help you socialize with other students in your year! Being active on campus and in university allows you to learn new things about yourself such as what you are good at, what you care the most about and the lessons you’ll bring with you into your future.

These are just some of the tips I wished I knew when coming to university. Good luck!