Archived: Surviving your first week on campus; or, WTF?

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We’ve all been there: on campus, alone, lost, laden with NSO swag and a giant backpack, not sure what to do with your limbs and certain you’re sticking out like a sore thumb. You’ve got the first-week blues, and the only cure is time and experience. Soon you’ll be navigating campus like a pro, but in the meantime, we’re here to make sure those crazy first few weeks are as painless as possible by guiding you towards the essentials for life on campus.

Where To Find (WTF) Guide

I’m hungry and/or thirsty!

We have a very strict “never study hangry” policy here at SAMRU. Stop by the Food Court (the main floor of Wyckham House, right past the Link) and you can pound back a burrito on your way to class. If you have a bit more time on your hands, though, you could stop in at the Hub, a full service sit-down restaurant and bar. Paying a visit to the campus pub is as much a rite of passage for university students as term papers, pop quizzes or throwing your mortarboard and having it freeze in midair, but the Hub isn’t just a bar—it’s a meeting point for all the different communities on campus, and a great place to just relax. Whether you’re hoisting the beverage of your choice, awkwardly bumping into your profs or meeting up with pals for board games night, the Hub’s always a great place to be. (Also, we have it on good authority that your Representation Executive Council basically lives there, and they’d love it if you stopped by to say hi and talk politics.)

I’m sleepy!

Did you know there’s a Nap Room in Wyckham House? It’s true! We heard from so many students that they needed somewhere comfy to catch a few winks on campus that last year we made one of the rooms in Wyckham House a dedicated napping space. This year the Nap Room has moved to Z302 (formerly the Clubs Meeting Room) and is be open Monday to Thursday from 11:00am until 4:00pm.

We ask that anyone using the Nap Room please keep their phones, laptops, and tablets tucked away: it’s a screen-free zone. There are lockers for you to store your stuff, so you can snooze away without worrying about your bag.

I’m sick!

Toothache? Cramps? Need a refill on your prescription? We feel you. Head to the Wyckham basement, where you’ll find Wyckham Pharmacy and Dental Choice. Both get rave reviews from students, and you couldn’t ask for a more convenient location.

“But SAMRU,” you cry, “I just paid tuition and I’m broke as a joke!” Not a problem—part of your student fees goes towards covering the Student Health and Dental Plan, and Wyckham Pharmacy and Dental Choice are both happy to work with you to make sure you’re covered. Which reminds us: the Student Benefits Plan Office is also located in Wyckham basement (Room Z001), and they’re always glad to help if you have questions about your coverage.

Already covered under a different plan? No problem! Just make sure you opt out of the Student Benefits Plan by October 7, 2016, and you’ll be reimbursed. And while we’re on the subject of money…

I’m broke!

Ooh, yeah; that’s a tough one. There are only so many ways to add pizazz to a 60-cent packet of ramen. That’s why SAMRU has so many programs to help lessen the financial burden on students. You can save money by grabbing free breakfast in the Peer Support Centre (Room Z210) every weekday from 8:45 am until supplies run out during the fall and winter semesters. If you need some basic necessities like shampoo or canned goods, you can dip into the Emergency On-Campus Food & Hygiene Cupboard, also located in the PSC. If you’re a home cook, save money on produce with the Good Food Box. And if you really need some help to get by until your next student loan cheque arrives, you can apply for an interest-free Emergency Student Loan of up to $300.

We know textbooks don’t grow on trees (well…technically they do, but you know what we mean), so why not buy ’em used at the SAMRU Used Book Sale, or sell your books from last year to make a little extra cheddar? This year the book sale runs August 22 – September 21 and will take place in the Yellow Room (Z203, on the second floor of Wyckham). Visit samru.ca/usedbooks for more details.

We also offer the SAMRU Awards to honour student excellence, and they come with cash prizes! The nomination period begins in the early fall, so if you’ve contributed in a significant way to the campus community or you know someone who has, stop by Reception (Room Z222) or click the link above to grab a nomination form.

I’m sad/angry/cranky/lonely! No one understands my pain!

If you’re having academic or non-academic struggles and don’t know how to navigate the university red tape to get what you need, the Student Advocacy Office has your back. They’ll teach you how to resolve roommate conflicts, when to appeal a grade, who to see about a human rights accommodation and much more.

If that all seems too intimidating and you’d rather just find a friendly ear to talk to, get thee to Peer Support. After all, who better to give advice to students than a fellow student? Your peers know how you feel because they’ve been there, and Peer Support volunteers receive extensive training to make sure they know how to listen effectively and know which services to direct you to.

I’m booooooored!

Whooo boy, do we have some suggestions for you. Volunteer! Join a club! Stop in at a Crafternoon and make something pretty! Talk to your student reps about how they can work to improve your student experience! Stop by the Global Citizen Centre or the Pride Centre and ask about upcoming programs! There are so many ways to get involved, we can’t shut up about it!

Look. We know how it is. We’ve all signed up for a million things during Welcome Week and then stealthily unsubscribed from all mailing lists three weeks later, but keep an open mind: it can be really empowering to get involved in your campus community, especially if you’re away from home for the first time and feeling lonely. So be brave, roll up your sleeves and click a link or two; your people are out there, we promise.

I’m flailing and I don’t know exactly what I need!

Okay, that’s fine! Take a deep breath. Drink some juice. We’ve got this.

First things first: don’t be shy—ask someone for help! The Mount Royal community is the best; chances are whoever you ask will be happy to point you in the right direction. Or maybe they’re new too and as lost as you are—you can figure it out together. They could even be your future bestie.

When in doubt, stop by SAMRU Reception (Room Z222). Those folks know where everything is and will be happy to help you, or to point you towards someone who can.

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