By: Wendy Vaz

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 7 easy tips to make sure you don’t end up on this gif

It is the time of the year – new students come into Sauder feeling excited for their brand new journey, while the older ones like us are surprised that we survived our courses this far. I can’t believe that I already declared my specialization and that I am getting into third year now. It feels as though I just missed my first class yesterday because I didn’t know that Henry Angus building is the Sauder School of Business building, I lost my way and was really late.

Most of us had that embarrassing freshmen moment and there were so many things I wish I knew when I first joined Sauder. Here are the top 7 on my list and I hope they can help you in a way or another.

1. Free coffee at CUS Lounge

The service we get from the CUS Lounge is definitely one of the things you can be proud of as a Sauderite. I mean, which other faculty you know that has their own lounge that provides services like 2 coffee machines, 4 microwaves, a refrigerator, a pool table and simply just space for you to hang out with your fellow faculty mates? Get your student card registered at 4th floor, bring your tumbler/mug, and off you go – free coffee for the rest of the school term. I used to join in the long lines and pay for my morning cuppa coffee at Starbucks and Tim Hortons, until I realize it’s so much cheaper and faster to head to the lounge instead.

2. Short Cuts On Campus

Did you arrange your timetable without realizing the classrooms for your electives can be really far away from one another? We all have been there. I am sorry that I am not a GPS or Google Maps that can calculate the shortest routes for all classroom distances, but one tip I found over the past few years was that walking through buildings can help you save more time. Go with trial and error, explore different paths every time you leave for your destination.
I used to leave HEBB 100 from the back door, use the washroom in Chemistry building, and then head to my next class in Henry Angus – because washroom lines in both Hebb and Henry Angus are always long in between classes, and that building in between is just almost empty.

3. Don’t Rush To Buy All Of Your Textbooks!

I remember when I was in first year, I was so excited to get started with the school year I went to buy all of my textbooks as soon as I get the book list. DON’T DO THAT. In some classes, you can survive just with your professor’s slides and notes. Sit in your first few lectures to find if you really need the textbooks, talk to friends or seniors who have already taken that class. If you do need one, get cheap used books through the many Facebook groups created for that purpose, just type “UBC Textbook Sales” or similar key words on your Facebook search engine. And if you really want new books, head to the Discount Bookstore in University Village before UBC Bookstore, it is normally cheaper there.

Days after you buy new textbooks

4. Electives Can Get Quite Tricky, Think About Pre-requisites for Senior Level Courses

One thing I really regret when I was registering for my third year courses was not having my electives planned earlier. We have to keep up to the minimum requirement for senior level electives and I have no pre-requisites for many of the courses that I am interested in. Some people consider electives as the opportunity to pick up courses they are interested in, while some people figure out that they should take the chance to pull their average up. Whatever it is, pick wisely. Keep in mind that the famous GPA boosters like EOSC 114 or CRWR 200 cannot get you too far, and they might not really boost your grades if you are not interested in them. Oh, and by the way, did you know that you can declare Credit D Fail for your electives?

5. Go To Office Hours Or Know Your TA’s

Whatever questions you have in mind when you are studying, head over to your professor or TA’s office hours. Not only will you get the most direct answer from your instructor, it is also a way for your instructors to get to know you better. If you have a TA for a course and you know that they are the ones who grade your assignments, talk to them instead of the professors. Many times, your professors and TA’s have conflicting expectation and they can get quite confusing. Go to them when in doubt, there you can understand what they are looking for, especially for courses like COMM 202 and COMM 391.

6. Put Your Make Up On Before COMM 101

And by that, I mean do whatever you can to give yourself confidence before attending the class. For many of us, COMM 101 can be really challenging due to the intimidating camera and microphone system in the large lecture hall. I personally had trouble getting participation marks in that course because I was just too afraid and shy in first year. Then I realized that it was my self-conscious and self-esteem that stopped me from participating in class. People don’t really bother much about your silly questions, wrong answers or incorrect grammar, because they were too busy worrying the same for themselves. As long as you are prepared with class materials, give it a shoot. You will be glad that you do that.

7. Being Freshman Again Makes You Small, But It Is Okay

You might have been the cool kid in high school, the valedictorian of your graduating class, or the shy, odd kid that was bullied – but it is all over now. No one really bother much about your past, what they care about is what you have now – or what you are about to create in your next few years of university life. Take this opportunity to find yourself, to breakthrough yourself, and to enjoy the student life as an (almost legally) adult. Time flies and before you even notice, you will be in sophomore and in the graduating class. You made it into the elite business school ranked at top of the world, cherish the moment and make the best out of it.

Welcome to Sauder, and have fun!