So you think you can do this?

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The Carillon tells you how to really survive your first year of university

Paul Bogdan
A&C Writer

Welcome to the University of Regina, bright-eyed first-year student! Did you learn a lot at orientation? You may think you’re well prepared and all set for the upcoming year, but in the coming weeks you may find what you learned in your orientation to be slightly underwhelming. The following is the Carillon’s ultra-effective guide to surviving at the University of Regina.

We may as well start with everyone’s favourite topic here at the U of R: parking. You’d do well to learn that parking services oversell parking passes for the M lots, so don’t show up at 9:45 a.m. and expect to get a decent parking spot. If you don’t want to take a lengthy walk from your car, you’re going to have to be here around or a bit before 9 a.m.. You might not mind a bit of a walk right now, but come late November, a walk to the end of the parking lot – or to one of the adjacent streets/crescents, if you decided to be extra frugal and avoid a parking pass by parking off campus – is really, really cold.

Once you’ve scoped out your primo parking spot and entered the building, you’ll notice a table with coffee in the Campion commons area. Take it – it’s free. Every Friday is Fair Trade Coffee Friday in Campion College. This can be a godsend if you start to frequent Thirsty Thursday.

Now that you’ve got your tasty caffeinated beverage and wandered awkwardly into what you hope to God is the right classroom, there are two basic options for note taking: handwritten or typed. Bringing your computer to class can be both a blessing and a curse. If you have a class which doesn’t involve writing equations or drawing diagrams, typing notes on a word processor can be both faster and more organized than writing notes on paper. Keeping a semester’s worth of notes in one document also makes studying for tests easier than opening multiple documents with a days worth of notes, or flipping through pages and pages of loose papers.

However, computers can turn into major distractions. Sure, the first three weeks you’ll take diligent notes, but by October those with less self-control, such as myself, can end up spending most of the class playing Angry Birds or creeping Facebook. You also might want to change your homepage on your Internet browser from a website that you frequent often.

If you do end up bringing your computer to class, make sure the volume is off. It’s both annoying to your classmates and embarrassing for you when the professor is in the middle of a lecture and is interrupted by a start-up noise or any number of miscellaneous computer sounds. Oh, and make sure to close the porn before opening your computer in class.

You may find you have labs corresponding with your classes. That cute lab partner of yours? Yeah, he or she is into you. Although, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Hooking up with your lab partner can lead to a very long and very awkward semester. At least wait until the semester is ending to maximize damage control if things end up going sour.

Leaving your late-morning lab, you feel a disturbance in your midsection and decide its time for some lunch. There may be two Henderson’s Cafes here at the U of R, but Henderson’s Cafe in Campion is better than the one in the Riddell Centre. There’s a little more selection for toppings and fewer people in the Campion commons area than in the Riddell Centre. You should still make an effort to get out of class quickly in order to beat the lineup.

After you’ve polished off that chicken Caesar wrap, you figure it’s probably a good idea to do some studying. The sixth floor of the Archer Library is perfect for studying if you’re one of those I-need-complete-silence-to-be-productive types. As well as tables, there are wonderfully comfy leather chairs. It’s also a good place if you’re finding yourself in need of a nap from staying up until the early morning finishing that term paper – just don’t snore.

Following your study session or nap in the library, it’s time to call it a day – for the schoolwork at least. The night is young. Your friend texts you and suggests the on-campus bar, The Owl. You should be aware that if you’re going to The Owl on a Friday night, expect to be waiting for a while in line if you get there after 10 p.m.. Dollar draft on Wednesday nights can get pretty busy too. Don’t stay out too late though. If you thought staying awake in class was hard, wait until you’re hungover.

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