Podcasts, Student Life

Seneca Media Unscripted: Conquering Back to School


By the time you reach college, chances are you’ve had quite a few ‘first day of school’ experiences, and yet somehow they still seem to bring about the same nerves. Who hasn’t had one of those back to school dreams where you end up wandering around a new school desperately trying to find your classroom and end up late because of it? We are all too familiar. The good news is you’re not alone. We’ve all been there and your fellow classmates are likely having some of the same concerns, maybe even your profs, too. After all the back to school nerves we’ve survived, we’ve figured out a few tips and tricks to help ease the stress and help make the most out of your time at school.


The First Day

On that first day it can feel like your mind is going a mile a minute, thinking about all the new things you’re about to encounter. To help slow things down and feel less overwhelmed, our first suggestion is to stop trying to think about everything at once and take it one thing at a time. First, just focus on getting yourself ready and out the door. Then focus on your commute and making it to campus. Once you’ve accomplished those things, just make it to your first class. The more small tasks you overcome, the more at ease you’ll start feeling after each one.


Finding Your Way Around

If the one task that’s making you feel the most overwhelmed is finding your way around campus, we’ve got some resources to help you get familiar with the [email protected] campus before you get here. If you get a chance to come into campus before school actually starts, it’s a good opportunity to wander around and find your way. If you aren’t able to do that, there are several resources you can use to familiarize yourself with campus. We’ve produced a couple campus tour videos to help you out and Seneca actually has an app specifically made for helping you find your way around Newnham and York campuses. It’s called Seneca Navigate and features detailed maps and directions for everywhere on campus.



Meeting New People

Sometimes the most stressful part of back to school is being faced with meeting new people and worrying that you’ll be too shy. It’s perfectly okay to be shy on the first day. If this tends to be how you are in new environments, we have two tips for helping the situation. Firstly, try to avoid isolating yourself by sitting alone or far away from others in the classroom. It’s okay not to be the outgoing one, chances are there’s lots of others feeling the same way and you can usually tell who they are, so try to sit near them. Even if you aren’t the type of person to go up to people and start a conversation, if you still give off the vibe that you’re friendly and open to talking to people, they may come up to you and break the ice first.


How to Succeed

Once you’ve conquered the first day or even the first week of school, it’s time to focus on how to make the most out of your time at school. Everyone at school is there to help you succeed, but it’s up to you to make sure you take full advantage of the opportunities. Our biggest tips for new students to conquer college is to stay organized, network with your profs, explore your school and get involved, and treat your school work like it’s a real job.


We know a lot of this advice can sometimes be easier said than done, but we go into a little more detail and spoke candidly about our experiences as students at Seneca in our back to school episode of the Seneca Media Unscripted podcast. Whether you’re a new student, a returning student, or even a new prof, you may find some helpful advice. We found even just talking about the nerves of the first day back helped us feel more at ease and we even got pretty excited discussing how inspiring it is to see students grow from day one to graduation.