You’re nervous, and that's okay

A lot has changed since Red Deer College has opened its doors 55 years ago, except there’s one thing that never changes: the first-year jitters. It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you come from or what program you’re taking, these jitters is something that everyone experiences. It’s inevitable, really. You’re excited to start the next chapter of your life and yet you’re not entirely sure what to expect. Your classes, instructors, homework, environment, classmates, and schedule are all new to you. All of this excitement and nervousness can lead to the first-year jitters, and we’re here to tell you that you’re not alone. Everyone experiences them, but to try and help you move past them, we wanted to provide you with some advice from the people who have experienced it themselves. We asked our followers on social media to share with us their best advice for someone starting their first year of College. Ready? Here’s what they had to say:

  • Be on time.
  • Attend every class.
  • I would say to mature students who are terrified to go back after years away: “You belong and you can do it!” I would also say that to everyone else who isn’t quite sure they should be there... You belong.
  • Familiarize yourself with the campus and quickly know where to find what you think is important. Doesn't hurt to ask tons of questions out of the gate.
  • Get your books before the first day of classes. Saves time!
  • Find your classrooms early, so you are not late.
  • Get super into all of your classes! Even subjects you don’t like, are really cool when explored.
  • Be unapologetically yourself!
  • Ask questions.
  • Reach out to College support – mental health and counselling.
  • If you have a lab, get a locker for your lab coat. Or find someone to share with. Running to your car in winter sucks!
  • Join a student group, get involved and make friends.
  • Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
  • Everyone is nervous on the first day. It ends up being the best time of your life, trust me!
  • Add yourself to the RDC used textbook Facebook page and try to find your textbooks on there!
  • Ask for help when you need it! Chances are someone else has the same question.
  • Take a deep breath and introduce yourself to everyone. Put yourself out there.
  • Let people help you! Don’t be scared to ask.
  • Meet with your professor after the first few days to chat about any concerns.
  • Be prepared. Be in the mindset that you’re ready to learn and ready to invest in your future.
  • Have some time for yourself.
  • Don’t ever give up! RDC is a great place to learn and reach your goals!
  • Talk to your professors if you have questions. They are there to help you!
  • Do the homework. Just do it.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Come early for parking.
  • Always carry cash. You never know when you need a snack.
  • Take a philosophy class
  • Avoid staying up past 1 am except on Friday.
  • It is okay to take 3 classes a semester.
  • Use the gym and the Library.
  • Use the counsellors in Room 1402.
  • Take advantage of your professor’s office hours.
  • After 4 years at RDC my advice is simple. Do not, I repeat, do not overload yourselves with courses each term. Don’t put too much pressure or extra stress on yourself and thoroughly enjoy your courses. If you have to take an extra year to finish your program then so be it, you will thank yourself in the end!
  • I have such great RDC memories, but I struggled my first year. My advice:
    • Don’t get sucked into going out more than 1 night per week. Trust me. It doesn’t work.
    • Use your time between classes to study, work on assignments, get help from a professor. The Library is a great place for this. This frees up more time in the evening for sleep and taking care of yourself.
    • Make friends with the students who do well. Study with them. Work with them. You won’t be disappointed!
    • Your professors care! Find out their office hours and use them.
    • Take care of yourself. Call your parents regularly. Get help if you need it.
    • Have fun! But, not too much ;)
  • Do a little bit of research on sleep hygiene. You might get 5 or 6 hours some nights so take steps to get the best sleep you can in a shorter amount of time.
  • Take a history class, and make sure you say something in every class every day.
  • Get a locker that is central to your classes if you don’t live on campus. Totally worth it!
  • Get to know your professors. Office hours are underutilized most of the time!

We hope you found a few of those tips helpful as you head into your first-year at RDC! The most important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. If you ever feel like you need some help, chat with your instructor, classmates, or visit our Counselling & Career Centre. You’re part of the College community now, and we are here to help you succeed!

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