As an incoming first year student, I understand the excitement you feel about getting to know York University. For this reason, I have compiled a list to aid the process. Yes, some are cheesy, but these are some of the must-dos for First Years at York University.
1. Take a pic in front of the YU sign/ program sign.
Congratulations on making it into York University! For the first task to cross off your freshman year bucket list, you must take a proud photo in front of a York University sign. This is easy to do and hardly any effort expended. Now proceed to share this picture on social media!
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2. Buy your first spirit wear.
Nothing announces the school you attend better than a hoodie with ‘York University’ across the front. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have some extra comfy clothes for the cooler seasons. There is a wide variety of colors, styles and materials to choose from. You can also purchase your college or program-affiliate spirit wear. So don’t forget to get your YU swag from the Gift Shop located just inside York Lanes.
3. Frosh Week
This is specifically targeted at first years: go to your Frosh if you can help it! The first event that officially initiates you as a university student is Frost Week (or O-Week). It is organized by colleges with the exception of Schulich and Lassonde who run their frosh weeks semi-independently. Each college has a different theme for their frosh, and some of this year’s include ‘Welcome to the 6ix’, ‘A State of Orange’ and ‘Game of Frosh’. The fee for the week usually ranges from 125-150$ depending on the frosh kit you choose to purchase and you even have the option of staying on-campus for commuters. Your kit includes access to parties, boat cruises, free food and more. If you want to know more details on activities being held during Frosh week, visit your college’s Frosh page I’ve already bought my frosh kit and I am super excited to turn up during Frosh with you!
This initiative began a few years ago at YorkU and it is pretty much self-explanatory. As a freshman, you should dip your feet in the numerous initiatives and find one to stick to. I figured that this is do-able, and we will be helping out environment at the same time.
5. Attend Clubs Fair and Join a Club.
It’s not a bad idea to check out the York clubs fair if you’re thinking of getting involved in the university community. Clubs Fair is usually held at the beginning of the school year and is a pretty big event so you can’t miss it. You can learn about YorkU’s 100+ clubs which cater to different interests and trust me, there are some pretty interesting ones. Some clubs are even run by colleges, so joining one would be a way to get to know people in your college even better! If you want to have a look-see at some of the clubs York has to offer, click here.
6. Join a YorkU sports team or intramural.
If sports are your thing, definitely try out for one of York’s official sports team. York also offers intramurals if you would like to play in a more relaxed, less competitive setting. GO Lions GO!
7. Try the wraps @ Falafel Hut.
Don’t quote me on this, but Falafel Hut is in the top 5 reasons for attending York University. Who doesn’t love a $4.15 wrap stuffed with delicious chicken or beef? Everyone raved about this place, so I had to try it when I first visited the campus. I’ve got to say, they were not wrong, fellow freshmen; this place is absolutely delish! While the do have full meal options, I think I will be sticking with just their wraps because they fill me up easily. Falafel Hut is open till midnight for all you late night snackers. Also, bonus points because their food is Halal.
8. The Underground
The Underground is the #1 spot for anything and everything hot happening at York. This is where parties and special events are hosted. What’s so amazing about this restaurant is that it is right in the university and has an actual executive chef, Jason Goulart! Do check it out with friends on specials nights that include games and great food deals.
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9. Glendon Campus
This one is not quite an event but in case you didn’t know, dear freshman, York has another much smaller campus located on Bay Street. During your first year, make it a goal to either take the Glendon-Keele shuttle (its free!) to the campus or go on your own with friends. I guarantee you, the serenity and quiet will be a shocking relief from the hustle and bustle you’ll be used to at the Keele campus. Plus, Glendon’s castle and surroundings are so beautiful, you’ll want them on your Instagram feed!
10. An easy life with the YU Card.
Summer’s almost coming to an end (*commence the waterworks*) and by the start of school, it will be expected that all freshmen have their YU Cards. These are obtained on the first week, but as you may already know, you can also get them prior to. If you want to avoid the long lines, better hurry up and get your card ASAP! Once you get your card, you can unlock a whole world of tax-free purchases, rewards and so much more. Your card is re-loadable and is like a debit card for York University! For those who received the Student Life Award, your $500 will be loaded onto your card September of school, so it would be good to get your card beforehand.
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11. Reach for that high GPA!
The overall point of attending university is to achieve your highest marks possible while balancing a lit social life. This first year, take the time to work out the best schedule that allows you the flexibility you need to study. After all, you are literally paying for every class you attend. Why not strive to make the most out of it? I get that you want to have fun because, hello, you are now the captain of your own ship, but you will feel more fulfilled come summer when you are very satisfied with the hard work you put in all year. And coming from high school, your marks WILL take a blow but it is possible to get good grades all the same. That being said, university is about knowing when to turn up, and knowing when to turn down and face the books. Am I right??
12. York Fest
York Fest is organized by YFS (York Federation of Students) and is basically a huge festival with food, music, a homecoming and other live events. Over the years, they have brought in huge music artists to perform such as Big Sean (last year), Major Lazer, Nas and more. I’ve heard lots of great talk about York Fest so I really think you shouldn’t miss it especially if this is your first year at York. Click here for more details.