Things I Wish I Knew Before UBC

Looking back on my first year, I remember it well; how it felt, what I did, mistakes I made. Perhaps I can impart a little of my wisdom to those coming to UBC for the first time this fall. Here are some things I wish I knew before coming to UBC.

  • Put yourself out there. I am a shy person; I’ve said it many times. The mistake I made was always shutting myself up in my dorm room, studying for long hours (which is a good thing, I suppose) and keeping my door shut where I was beyond the reach of other humans. You’ve probably heard a million times all the reasons you should keep your dorm room door open; however I would take it a step further and say get out of your room in general more. I needed to learn how to just hang out, how to just show up at a friend’s room and just chill in there so I wasn’t always alone.
  • Stop competing. You’re entering university. It is guaranteed that there will be people who are smarter than you or better than you at some things. That doesn’t matter, so stop comparing yourself! What’s important is your own personal journey – so only race against yourself. Need more convincing? Click here.
  • Don’t blow all your money on stuff you don’t need. Although I’m generally a very frugal person, I am guilty of occasionally spending on stuff I don’t need. Ask yourself if this is something that you genuinely do need to spend your money on (like textbooks, or rain boots), or something that is just a want (like Starbucks – do you know how much you spend if you buy coffee every day?!)
  • Explore the city more. If you’re coming to UBC from outside the lower mainland, it could be that after your time at UBC is up – and time goes by fast, believe me – you won’t get to come back to Vancouver much. Campus is a big place and definitely needs to be explored, but make the trek to the bus loop and get a feel for the city as well.

Got more suggestions? Got questions? Leave them in the comments!


Filed under Academics, Campus Life, Residence, Wellness

4 Responses to Things I Wish I Knew Before UBC

  1. Scott

    Thanks for all your helpful tips! I was just thinking about applying for the blog squad but it seems the application is down :(
    There are still a couple more weeks until the deadline so I don’t really know what do.

    Thanks in Advance!


    • Thanks for your comment – unfortunately, I have nothing to do with Blog Squad Administration, so the best advice I can give you is try emailing and tell them about the problem with the site, and keep checking back to see if they’ve fixed it.

  2. Liz

    Hi Samantha
    Speaking of textbooks and rainboots…

    Do you know anywhere where I can by used textbooks? I know the school bookstore is supposed to have them but they don’t seem to have any available for purchase, at least online.

    On a scale of taking-up-valuable-space-in-my-closet to superglued-to-my-feet, how necessary would you say rainboots are? I’m looking at buying a pair but my mom doesn’t think I’ll really need them. (To be fair neither of us have ever lived in Vancouver…)

    Thanks for your words of wisdom!

    • Textbooks: A lot of the time, UBC Facebook pages will have people trying to sell old textbooks, or you could try amazon or ebay or something like that maybe. Many faculties also facilitate used textbook sales, but I don’t have any specific info on that.

      Rainboots: Buy them. BUY THEM. If you don’t, your soggy feet will be crying to you later. September is all sunshine and happiness but once November hits, BOOM that lovely giant campus becomes a lovely giant puddle. You’ll thank me later.

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