Hi! I’m Allison and I come from Panama, which is in Central America, so my native language is Spanish. To date, I have been living in Canada for about 2 years and let me tell you, it’s been challenging but also a rewarding experience that I don’t regret at all.
I remember before school started, what scared me the most was facing “university life” with all the big assignments, and research papers. I was lucky I did the iBASE program (an intensive English language program for 7 weeks) during the summer, right before big lectures were going to become my daily routine. It consisted of three main courses: Academic Skills, Writing Skills and Speaking Skills. The iBASE program prepared me and gave me a hint of how assignments in university needed to be done, how I could meet my instructors’ expectations, and as a result, get good grades!
Now, looking back at myself 2 years ago, I often think about the things I wish I knew as I first year student:
My paper, my story
Many times I’d find myself stuck on a paper because I was writing based on how I thought instructors wanted me to
Writing is not a linear process
There are lots of writing resources for first-years
Recently, the WCC designed the Waterloo Ready to Write initiative, a complete guide on how to write at a university level to help students like you and I tackle different communication tasks we could encounter throughout the term. You’ll find everything you need for that next paper you’re assigned to do: there are self-guided workshops, learning resources, 1-to-1 appointments, and undergraduate writing groups to help you deliver effective papers to your instructors.
So now that you know about it, don’t miss out, and check out Waterloo Ready to Write! I’m sure you’ll be able to find what you need to help you this term.
The WCC is your best friend
Trust me, there’s no need to have a full paper done to visit the WCC. I think most people (including myself) have/had this idea that the WCC only reviews your writing to provide feedback. However, through online 1-to-1 appointments, professional Writing Advisors and Peer Tutors can sit with you and help you brainstorm ideas from the beginning of your assignment to the very end. In fact, they are here to support you in every step of the writing process. Whether you’re almost done with your assignment and only want a quick revision, or don’t even have a topic to write about, I know they’d be more than happy to help you!
Overall, these are the top 4 things I wish I knew as a first-year when writing any type of paper. I hope that after reading my story, you’ll feel more comfortable to reach out for help and have a better understanding of the many WCC services that are available to you as an undergrad student at UW.
Thanks for making it here, and happy writing!