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First-year experience

The first year of university is a time of transition for most UOIT students and their families. Students often experience many new things at this time. They may be moving away from home for the first time, exploring various interests and activities, or simply adjusting to their new environment. Throughout this transition, the support of parents and families is a critical factor in student success.

These pages have been specially designed to provide you with insight into the student experience throughout the first year of university. Students may only encounter some of these experiences, or may experience them at different times than what is outlined here. UOIT recognizes many students have unique experiences prior to beginning university or may not be starting university in September immediately after high school. This section is designed to provide general information about some common first-year experiences that may be relevant to students at any time throughout their university career. Parents and families are encouraged to:

  • Be available to discuss with students what they are experiencing
  • Lend a sympathetic ear
  • Encourage them to seek support from the university services when needed
  • Push them to try new things

Learn more about common experiences in:

Getting ready

First semester

Second semester

Looking forward

  • Experiencing normal brief periods of stress and/or anxiety: With so much change happening, it is common for students to experience stress and/or anxiety, especially when facing major assignments and exams or new social situations.
  • Settling into a routine: This process is different for each student; it may take longer for some students than it does for others. Eventually students become accustomed to these changes and may adapt a new routine.
  • Hesitant to reach out for support: Often students are not aware of the many supports available to them. There are many resources and services at UOIT dedicated to helping students succeed.
  • Exploring new interests: The wide variety of events and activities available at UOIT allows students to try something new and find a good fit.
  • Questioning academic abilities: The academic expectations of university may be very different from what the student is accustomed to. Students often experience a drop in grades, especially early in their degree. This is a very normal and common experience.
  • Joining a campus club or group: This is a great way for your student to meet others outside of the classroom who share common interests and goals. Students are able to come together for information-seeking, educational, philanthropic and social purposes.
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