Just the beginning

University welcomes students and encourages growth

September 11, 2023, 11:18 am
Ashley Bochek

Ashley Bochek grew up in Moosomin and is a student at the University of Regina.

Graduating high school in the spring was the close of one chapter of my life, and now I am beginning the next chapter.

Tuesday, August 29, I attended orientation at the University of Regina. I participated in the pep rally and was introduced to the university’s chancellor, international students, and programs offered at the University of Regina.

After the pep rally, students were separated into their faculties and sent off to auditoriums to listen to faculty leaders.

I enjoyed the speeches of encouragement, and the stories shared by faculty officials of the educational journey they experienced, starting by sitting in the exact same auditorium years before me.

The University of Regina welcomed students from all over the world with Welcome Week 2023 Activities. There were chess games, movie nights, escape rooms, and many more activities for students to participate in and meet new people. Personally, I enjoyed a Zumba class and cheered for the Rams football team Friday night.

It has only been a week at school and already I feel overjoyed with the choice I have made to attend post-secondary school.

The University of Regina has already shown me what the next five years will look like for me in the past week— which is busy and fun, with a sense of belonging.

It is hard to put into words how excited and grateful I am to experience this opportunity to advance my education and life skills, but also to meet new peers and educators.

I have met many new students and now some new friends who I get to experience the first year and many more exciting times with.

I have always been good at making friends but at university it is pretty easy—especially with other first year students, because everyone is so nervous and awkwardly waiting outside the classroom doors 30 minutes before it even begins.

I am in the faculty of Education, but still unsure of what I really want to do and who I want to become. My first-year classes are mostly introductions to a variety of different areas such as psychology and kinesiology.

To seniors in high school starting their last first day of school this fall, it is okay to not know yet what you want to do for the rest of your career after high school—I was the exact same way at your age, and I still am!

At university they know as first years you are unsure and testing the waters, and that is perfectly okay because you will eventually adapt to your strengths and find out what you are most excited about and most interested in for yourself to grow professionally.

The world offers many academic programs for all sorts of interests.

This first year, I want to find myself and see what my own interests and qualities gravitate most towards. It is just so hard when I can see myself working and excelling in so many different occupations.

Change is so unknown, but I already feel as if I have made the best decision of my life attending university and entering a new world that will improve my education and build my self-confidence.

I cannot wait to thrive off lectures and work hard on essays to prove that I have skills and hard work to show for myself.

Classes have been starting off slow with syllabus reviews and chatting on what to expect in certain courses with different professors, but once the hard work begins, I know I will be organized, determined, and have help from friends if I need it.

The feeling of entering a new classroom with new students and different educators is unlike any other feeling, but it only makes you nervous for the few minutes before sitting down by another student just as nervous as you are, when you can bond and connect over the first-year nerves everyone is feeling, not just you.

Eventually the nerves subside and the anticipation to learn starts, and you see university as full of opportunities for all students.

I was nervous leaving high school, but this last week attending university I have proven to myself the growth I am capable of and the exciting journey my whole adult life will be, as I await and crave new experiences.

I am grateful I can share my university milestone experiences with the Spectator readers as I hope some of my firsts spark memories in those who once attended university themselves.

Ashley Bochek grew up in Moosomin and is a student at the University of Regina.