Follow along with Nicola as she experiences first year first-hand!
Extreme happiness is my current feeling; well, actually relief to finally be starting university in September. My happiness comes from the fact that the most painstaking tedious part of the entire process (that I know of) is over--the absolutely hectic agonizing procedure of selecting, applying, worrying and then the joyous feeling when that big envelope containing your acceptance letter arrives in the mail. It is enough to give a person with a faint heart and not much self-confidence an early heart attack or a nervous breakdown (which has actually happened).

I had applied to only three universities. University of Toronto was my first choice, followed by McMaster and York Universities. A part of the hectic process was narrowing it down to these three choices, after listening many worn out representatives from the various universities feign enthusiasm, as they drone on about why we should go to their institution of higher learning. I arrived at my final decision based on the Maclean’s University report. I decided to attend the University of Toronto.

At this moment I am now excited to be embarking on a new passage along "the road of life". I just received my invitation to frosh week, which I am very much interested in being a participant. It will be a great vacation before the hard work begins. I have heard that it is excellent way to meet friends and the great beginning of my drinking days although I am not a drinker. As a matter fact, I am not a fan of large crowds, too much noise and drunken young adults; therefore I am not sure if it will be such a great idea. This would mean that I would not be very much into the party scene, which is to be a big part of university lifestyle.

Throughout high school, teachers have instilled fear into our heads and hearts about university lifestyle—the cold professors, classes with over five hundred students and the bare fact that you become anonymous. You are now on your own and there is no one there to "spoon-feed" you any more. You are thrown into the semi-adult world where you need to be independent. I’m also worried about the anonymity and the large classes. However, having spoken to many friends that are now in university, I have informed that it is not that extreme. Having heard this, I am now concerned that I will take things too lightly, not putting complete effort into all my new demands.

Adding to my list of concerns about university is the fact that I will be commuting from Pickering to Toronto each day. In order to make this a little less arduous, I will try my hardest to not enroll in any 8:00 a.m. classes. I would have liked to stay in residence, however it costs $10,017 which is way too much. In order to pay for my education I am relying on OSAP and they only hand out $9,625; therefore, it is more cost effective to live at home. I definitely know that I qualify for OSAP because I am from a single parent household with two other dependents. The question is how much will I be receiving, bearing in mind that thousands of others are in a similar position. The part-time job, which I hope to keep while in school, will cover my transportation costs and books plus other incidental fees. The money I receive from my summer job is to invest in a Laptop, considering that I will be away from home 80%of the time. I am, however, trying not to worry about all these issues in order to not be stressed out.