“Everything will work out” are the four words that I wish I could give to my past self when I first began my post-secondary education at Queen’s.
When you first begin at Queen’s, I guarantee things will feel daunting. Between understanding campus meal plans, adapting to living in a dorm and living with roommates, figuring out your schedule, navigating campus grounds, and making sure you get to class on time, all while trying to achieve “good” grades, post-secondary can be an initially overwhelming experience. So much to figure out yet not enough time to figure it all out before classes start getting hectic. The entire thing can be enough to make you extremely homesick and make you wonder if you truly belong or if university is really for you. I want to let you know that “everything will work out”, even if you’re initially feeling lost or out of place. How do I know? Well, not only are there a lot of different support systems on campus such as SASS, but there are also a lot of people who have been through exactly what you’re going through in your first year.
In terms of support, Queen’s has a lot of support systems available for students to assist and support in academics, mental health, and extracurriculars. But, there are also a lot of professors and upper-year students who are willing to provide additional mentorship and support to help you succeed.
Every single upper year you see on campus or every individual who has completed their undergraduate degree is living proof that it is possible to find some sense of balance, and that everything will work out one way or the next. They’ve completed their degrees or are close to doing so; if they can do it, you absolutely can too! It may not seem like it now, and it may feel like you’ll never be able to balance everything or that you’ll never be able to navigate Queen’s campus without a map. But, give yourself some grace; this is an entirely new experience for you, so give yourself grace and understand that it just takes time to adjust. I guarantee one day you’ll look back and realize that everything has worked out, even if it's not 100% how you thought it would. And who knows, one day you’ll look back and realize that you don’t use Google Maps to navigate campus anymore (like I did for the longest time).
Keep working hard, but remember these two things as you go through each day: firstly, give yourself grace and time to figure it all out; secondly, recognize that you’re not in this alone. We’ve all been exactly where you are and many of us have faced the same challenges; everyone at Queen’s is here to help and support you along the way.
And one more thing, “Everything will work out”