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A student’s guide: How to transition into university life at CMU

With the last few weeks of summer drawing to a close, you may be starting to transition back into school mode; trading in those beach towels for textbooks, finalizing those timetables, and doing your last minute packing for your dorm room (just kidding, we know you’ve been packed for months now). You are about to begin your first year of university at CMU.

This transition might be exciting for you. It also might be scary. But guess what? The first week is designed to ease you into university and help you get established.

Here is a basic guide for what you should know as you start your first year at CMU:

The first week when you arrive is orientation week. Be prepared to meet A LOT of new people. It is a busy but energizing week where you have the chance to make new friends and get to know your professors. Carry your GO! guide with you wherever you go to know when and where all the fun and important events are happening. If you are at all stressed out about knowing where to go, how to find your classes, or confirm your registration, never fear—the campus will be flooded with student leaders and staff members who are eager to help and point you in the right direction.

It is also important for you to be familiar with your student portal and email—they will be your best friend when you are a student—use them. You will use them throughout your entire degree. Make sure that both your portal and email are working during the first few days when you arrive on campus. Your student portal has all the important information for your registration, classroom announcements, posted marks, etc. Each day you will receive the CMU Daily News in your student email, keeping you up to date with all the happenings on campus throughout the year. Stay on top of your portal and email and the faculty and staff will throw you a parade (maybe not, but they might give you a hug).

The first week is also your chance to buy your textbooks (new or used), which you can get at CommonWordBookstore and Resource Centre in Marpeck Commons. CommonWord  is a great resource for you during your first few weeks as you start—aside from textbooks you can get your bus passes and school supplies here! CommonWord will have your textbook lists for your classes. You can also purchase Ten Thousand Villages fair trade coffee at CommonWord OR Dogwood coffee at folio cafe for all those late night study sessions.

The most important thing to remember during your first week is to RELAX. This can be hard to remember, but it is important. You are not alone in this crazy transition—there are resources set up to help you succeed in your first year of university. Your first year is designed to help you get a sense for what you want to study and what your passions might be. The professors want to help nurture these passions to help you succeed in whatever you are doing. They will be more than willing to meet with you one-on-one to talk about an assignment, a class topic, bounce around career options, or just chat about life. You also will have the option to get peer (PAL) or professional tutoring to help you edit and develop your essays and writing skills.

Be excited to start your first year at CMU. Prepare yourself to enter into a compassionate, forgiving, and challenging community of individuals who are working to develop their understandings of the world, themselves, and God.

The CMU Farm

When asked about how students can become involved with the CMU Farm that resides on north campus Kenton Lobe, Instructor of International Development Studies (IDS), came up with endless opportunities.

Here for you: Commuter assistants

In my first two years at CMU I lived in residence, which was an excellent introduction to the energy and life at this school. In my third year I made the bold decision to move into the mysterious land of off-campus life. Living off-campus acquainted me with a different aspect of the community that I was unfamiliar with. I got to know different kinds of students, took advantage of access to prime study spaces on campus—life was bright beyond the walls of my dorm room.

Day in the life of a CMU student

Wonder what it’s like to be a CMU student? Student Ambassador Alex Tiessen took over our Instagram account on March 8 to give you a glimpse into a day in the life of a CMU student!

Gaining on-the-job training through a practicum

I’ve said this many times before, but CMU’s emphasis on experiential learning is one of the reasons I love this school. I can be confident that following my graduation, I will leave CMU will valuable skills that will prepare me for the working world. Not only does the university accomplish this through the blend of practical and theoretical thinking in the classroom, but also through the required practicum placements.

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