First year of post secondary is pretty frightening, even right from the beginning when you haven’t even started classes and are just applying for them. So here is a list of 20 things no one tells you about freshmen year at McMaster University from the very beginning of the year to the end of this school year:
1. Avenue- Class Schedule, & Mosaic- Assignments and Lecture Uploads
Before even attending the classes and stepping a foot on campus, a quarter of the work is setting up your schedule on Mosaic and getting used to the fact that everything is posted online. Meanwhile, Avenue/ A2L is for your classes, where you find out about class announcements, where you upload assignments, find lecture slides, and take online tests. It’s quite tedious but nothing a few clicks of curiosity won’t solve.
2. Timetable Generator is Your Best Friend When Setting Up Your Schedule
When setting up your timetable through Mosaic, it is pretty hard to remember. Which classes for which days at what times, etc. That’s why timetable generator is an online timetable generator, where you can input the courses you have decided to enroll yourself in and it will let you see your schedule, and fit in classes in gaps or however you choose to set up your schedule while setting up your actual timetable.
3. Once the First Week Rolls Around, Campus Store Will Be Absolutely Full
Campus store is where all the books you need are (if not bought online), also where all the spirit wear and much more can be purchased. However, during the first week of the first term, it is hectic and chaotic, the line is outside the building every single day of that week. How to beat it- get there before it opens at 9 and wait in the line. Early bird gets the worm!
4. McMaster Used Books and Textbooks Facebook Page
As handy the campus store is, you’re paying extra for the convenience of it. Textbooks don’t have to be brand new for you to use them, and that’s what the McMaster Used Books and Textbooks Facebook Page is for, buying and selling used textbooks for a discounted price. As long as the textbook required for the course isn’t a newly released edition, you should be just fine!
5. Aside From Textbooks, There is a Facebook Page for EVERYTHING
Looking for a place to stay, but not on residence? Need furniture for your new student house? Or an iClicker, calculator? There is a Facebook page for just about anything. Even if something happened on campus that really stuck out to you, or someone in particular but didn’t catch their name, express and share your admiration anonymously on the Spotted at Mac Facebook page!
6. Frosh Week and Campus Tours
These two main events are great ways to get to know the humongous campus, campus tours happen multiple times of the year, while having the comfort of parents or guardians with you. While frosh week, is a more relaxed yet exciting way to explore the campus with friends, take part in events and is just a huge friendly get together!
7. When The Ball is Rolling and You’re Getting Comfortable with Things, You’re Going to Need an Awesome Study Spot
The spot you sat in yesterday in that library by your business class was a great spot, however might not be available again today. So here are some great spots to study:
- Mills Library- 6th floor for silent study
- Thode Library
- Innis Library
- Health Science Library- really quiet
- Floors 2-4 In Student Centre
- Basement of L.R. Wilson
8. After All This Studying and You Need a Snack Break but Forgot To Pack Food
As pricey as campus food is, even the cheapest food adds up after a little while but you forgot to pack food, you’d be surprised where the other free food around campus is hiding. Such as Wednesday’s between 12:30-1:30 there is free soup day on the third floor of the Student Centre with complimentary soup and bread, also if you’re not feeling a sit down meal, the registrar office in Gilmour Hall has a bowl of free fruit. Occasionally, student centre will have events that hand out free food!
9. Food Coma After all the Free Food and Need Somewhere to Nap?
Although there is no designated area for naps and catching up on sleep, there are some pretty quiet places, aside from the silent study cubicles, places with couches like the student centre first floor or third floor (where it’s more closed off) are good places to nap; and don’t worry everyone around you understands why, it’s not a rare sighting!
10. Not Feeling a Nap and Got a Three Hour Gap?
As much as studying is beneficial, sometimes you need a mental break. To fill up time in that gap there are plenty of things to do on and off campus, such as take a walk around Cootes Paradise, Jackson Square Mall which is a 15 minute bus ride away, and weekly events going on campus.
11. Once You Got the Campus Map Under Your Belt, There Will Always Be a New Discovery You’ll Find About the Campus
Aside from student centre being heavily populated by students and the general public, Togo Salmon Hall, Kenneth Taylor Hall, and Chester New Hall, are other heavily populated buildings. Although they are relatively close, getting to them when its raining and you don’t have an umbrella, or in the cold of winter isn’t the best. When really the basement from student centre connects those three buildings. How convenient!
12. The Power of a Pen
One morning you sleep in past your alarm and realize you have a test in 30 minutes, just enough time to get the bus down to Mac, you forget your pencil case at home and don’t have anything to write that test with? Compass in student centre will gladly provide you with one!
13. The Iconic University Hall
Ah yes, the pictures you see everywhere, the symbol of McMaster, the gorgeous hall with climbing vines along the side, a waving flag accenting the captivating arch and beautiful designed- yet heavy doors; it’s tempting not to take a picture!
14. Exams, Exams, Exams…
Not much in regards to the actual exam itself, but don’t be surprised if the exam room you’re placed in is located in a place you’ve never been to. If anything it may be on the other side of campus like ABB,T-13 or even the Ivor Wynne Centre, that might be far away from where the lecture is held for that class. Don’t fret, you’re most likely in the right place, that’s if you recognize a face.
15. Social Time with a Furry Friend
Stress of school getting you down? Every now and again the therapy dogs will be in the library to help you cope with the load and relieve some stress with a furry hug and a few loving kisses!
16. Completely Bored Out of Your Mind & Stuck Indoors?
Student Centre will remain to be one of the most hectic yet entertaining buildings. There is always something going on, student housing sales, retail sales, record sales, origami get together, fairs, you name it. With a big open space in the heart of the building it would be a shame not to use it.
17. Help and Support Just About Anywhere
If you ever feel stumped whether it’s on a paper, finding a resource, or even with your own mental well being, Mac has plenty of resources to help. There are many academic services and advisors along with a wellness centre in the basement of TSH/ Student Centre.
City School That Never Sleeps
Unlike high school when everything shuts down after the school day is done, and closed on the weekends, post-secondary classes can run late at night, there are constant events going on during the weekends as well which are run by different clubs, concerts, fairs, etc. plus it gives you another reason to get involved.
19. Togo Salmon Hall/ TSH first floor classes
TSH is one of the more populated buildings for classes, especially the lecture hall on the first floor. As it is a bigger hall more students will be waiting outside the hall while it empties, which leaves you stranded astray outside the building, a little way to at least get in the building is to take the basement way through student centre.
20. Unsure About Your Life Decisions?
It’s okay to be unsure about what you want to do with your career path, or consider switching majors or minors, worried your grades won’t make the cut for the following year or find a new interest outside of your faculty. There’s nothing the academic advisors, or someone they can refer you to, to help you clear up the path.