#MyFirstYear in Western Psychology
My first year at Western University flew by; the next thing I knew, I was in the same spot as I, anxious, overthinking Megan was a year ago, finishing up my last class of senior year. To think about how much one year at Western has helped me to ground myself is quite unreal. To bring a little bit of variety, I’ll be summing up my first year experience and sharing some of my experiences with this acronym:
W → Wobbly
I will admit, the transition from high school to university was not easy. I spent September trying to get used to the difference in workload, social life, and also moving out to a new city! I’m from Toronto, so even though the city life in London wasn’t too overwhelming, finding that balance took me a while.
Getting used to the community was also a big change! I’m from an area in Toronto that is much more conservative, so moving into a heavy student-populated city with so many outgoing people took a bit of time to get used to.
I didn’t join many extra-curriculars this year; I only joined an acapella choir but I think that it was definitely the right choice for me in order to rebuild a solid schedule and work ethic. We recorded an entire online acapella set which was a lot of fun to build and record!
E → Encouraging
In light of COVID, online school, and a disappointing senior year, moving away to London was the change in scenery that I needed! It helped me see beyond the current downsides of the pandemic and reminded me that moving onto post-secondary was a big deal! It helped put things into perspective and helped me remember there was so much that I hadn’t experienced yet.
When I was home, the majority of my friends and classmates seemed to have everything figured out. This was extremely draining and stress-inducing, and moving out to London helped me to see how many people also don’t have a clear sense of what they want to do with the rest of their lives! It was encouraging to see because for once, I didn’t feel like I needed to overachieve, rather everyone was also in the same boat of confusion.
S → Stressful
School work → I took a bunch of different electives thinking they would be bird courses, but they were much more difficult than I thought! My electives included philosophy, linguistics, sociology, political science and consumer behaviour. I wish I would’ve known that selecting courses I was actually interested in as opposed to courses I thought would be easy probably would’ve significantly reduced my stress levels. I did enjoy my mandatory prerequisites, which were Psych 1000, Statistics and finite math. Finite math was extremely similar to grade twelve data management, and statistics was also really straight forward.
Despite the stress, I will say it made me feel much better that everyone around me was going through the same thing! Studying and stressing out together was definitely a way to connect and also bond with people in my program and on my floor!
T → Tiring
The one thing they don’t tell you about post-secondary and moving home is how tired you’ll always be; academic burnout, not sleeping enough, pulling all-nighters because of poor time management, and sometimes even the nostalgic feeling of sleeping in your own bed at home. My planner was an absolute lifesaver for managing my time! Additionally, taking time aside to eat my meals with friends and spending weekends with my floormates also helped to alleviate some of the stress from my academics.
E → Economically … not the best
I will say that despite all the good, residence at Western was a bit on the pricier side; food, residence overall, and just other miscellaneous things like residence events, orientation week all added up to a hefty amount of money. I’m happy that I can now say that it was worth it though; the memories and friends I’ve made aren’t something that a price tag can be put on.
R → Renewing
Despite all the struggles, moving away from home was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself. I learned so much about myself; my character, my values and who I want to be when I grow up. I’ve lived in Scarborough for all 19 years of my life, and moving away to London with a fresh start helped me to grow as a person and see life outside of what I’ve always known (cheesy but it’s true) :)
N → Nonetheless, an overall amazing experience.
I had my ups and downs this year; from second guessing my major multiple times, to having my own identity crisis, I loved my time in residence! I’m super excited to see what the rest of my years at Western hold, and I would definitely encourage Western University to anyone who wants to jump out of their comfort zone.
👩🔬 Megan Ho
Honours Specialization Psychology @ Western University
Human Resources Manager @ LEAP Canada
About the Author
Megan (she/her) joined LEAP in April of 2021 as one of the HR Managers. As a light-hearted and passionate individual, she invests her time into a variety of activities and opportunities in search of her potential career field. Megan personally understands the hardships that come with transitioning into post-secondary; with her humorous outlook and growth-mindset, she is invested in helping students in their journey after high school.