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Studio Session | 10 tips to help you survive your first semester at AMPD

Studio Session | 10 tips to help you survive your first semester at AMPD

Studio Session (An AMPD Blog Series)

10 tips to help you survive your first semester at AMPD

University is a lifestyle.

By Justin Le (AMPD Integrative Arts Student, Second Year)

Justin Le (Second Year Integrative Arts Student)

Whether you are fresh out of high school or coming back from a break, readjusting your life to revolve around university is always a daunting hassle– especially if you don’t have a proper guide to guide you along the way. To prepare you for your education journey, I’ve shared three BIG tips to help you survive your new beginning at AMPD.


As the weeks go by, your timeline will stack up on work and responsibilities.  To avoid being overwhelmed, a solution is to:  

Time Manage 

Once you’ve settled in, the workflow is all in your hands, meaning it is completely up to you to learn the material to prepare for the incoming assignments, essays, and tests. Different time management methods include blocking out times in your calendar, setting time goals, and prioritizing lists. 

Using apps and websites like Google Calendar, Notion, MyStudyLife are online planners that help you visualize your schedules and availability. If using apps isn't to your taste, things like taking notes in physical calendars, agendas or specific notebooks sections are also quite helpful! 

Money Manage 

With more expenses added to your tab, paying attention to your finances is important. Things like transportation, food, and extracurricular activities can be costly to your living as a student. It’ll be nifty to learn how to budget and track your spending. 

Budgeting sheets differentiate from person to person, depending on their income, and expenses. People will have different results that are determined by how much they want to save and spend. Using a budgeting sheet to keep track and compare your spendings and earnings can become more effective and convenient especially if you are in a pinch. 


Getting to meet people and staying connected will grow to be one of the next big things in your university life. Building your community can help you learn new skills, establish a caring support network, and make memories. 

Stay Connected and Socialize 

Don’t be scared to make some new friends! Sooner or later, you’re going to come across familiar faces you can talk to, study, or even hangout with. In addition, following York’s social media accounts update you with events, presentations, and fairs that take place on and off campus. Here are some accounts to follow: @yorkuampd and @yorkuniversity are great places to start. 

Join Clubs and Communities 

If you’ve got some free time, why not participate in recreational activities or become a part of a club? Doing so allows you to discover new parts of campus, meet new people and make connections! There are countless sports teams, social activist clubs, and cultural representation groups that are always looking for new members to join. 

Mental Wellness

Most importantly, you should always be looking out for your mental wellness. With school, work, and other parts of life all coming together, it is really easy to get overwhelmed with everything.  

When all things go downhill, I cannot stress how important it is to stay mentally healthy and give yourself a break. When you become absorbed in your work, you may be tempted to skip out on socialization, physical activity, sleep, hydration, food, or other mental health management tools. Try not to fall into this trap but be kind to yourself if you do.  

The best work you can produce will always be when you are fully focused and nourished at the top of your game. Regulating your sleep and finding time for yourself are super important in living a more fulfilled life in university. Know when more support is needed and don’t be afraid to reach out to on-campus resources or your own social supports to ask for help. 

Final Thoughts

Through my own struggles and hardships in first year, I always wished there was some sort of guide that would help me stay focused and connected with my goals and school. As we move into the home stretch of the semester, I hope my advice will help ease your own journey. Remember it's important to stay organized and on top of your responsibilities, pay attention to your bank account, and make connections - but it's most important to take care of yourself!

Celebrate even the smallest wins and be kind to yourself when you fail. Trust that you're where you are supposed to be.