Orientation Week Review

by Ujwal Ganguly, Chestnut Residence Tour Guide

Having had the privilege of living in Chestnut residence for all four years of my undergraduate career, I have become well versed with the move-in process. Since move-in times are dependent on the slot you’re given, I would recommend arriving as early as possible within that timeframe, as the queues can get pretty long. It’s helpful to have your acceptance letter or TCard handy.

HIGHLIGHTS

It’s generally a pretty exhilarating feeling to realise that you will now live independently, and make your own life decisions (for the most part :P), especially international students whose homes are far far away.

Meeting an absolutely brand new set of people can be both rewarding and intimidating, but it gives one a chance to reinvent oneself, while at the same time getting to expand their worldview in an easy-going environment.

Meeting your roommate can also be a highlight, as this is someone you share most of your time with – and in most cases ends up being one of your closest friends.

Last minute TIPS, move in, orientation

Definitely get a desk lamp for your room. Some rooms are darker than others, so a floor lamp may come in handy as well (The IKEA “NOT” is a popular choice!)
There is a Bed, Bath and Beyond very close to Chestnut, so you don’t have to necessarily buy your sheets and comforters beforehand.

Try and attend Chestnut Orientation events in addition to your main college/faculty ones. These are usually scheduled at times that do not coincide with other college events – it’s a great way to meet people you live with.

Orientation week can be quite tiring, especially because Septembers in Toronto are very sunny and hot. Be sure to carry shades and hydrate regularly.

Academic/Class tips before starting first year

I would strongly recommend signing up for mentorship programmes offered at UofT. There are program specific ones, as well as general ones at every college/faculty.
eg. https://studentlife.utoronto.ca/mpp/mentees

Do a week of classes before buying textbooks. Textbooks are often simply used as reference guides and can be borrowed from the library on short term loan. Doing a few classes will give you a better insight on whether you’d need to actually a book.

Introduce yourself to your neighbours in class! It always helps to have a class buddy.

All in all, moving in and first week can be both an exciting and grueling experience in general. In a sense, this can be seen as a coming-of-age scenario, where you’ll have to make your own big decisions about where to go, what to do, where to eat, who to meet. It may sound trivial when phrased this way, but the gravitas will dawn on you by the end of the week.
Having said that, the residence life staff, and especially your dons and frosh leaders are all here to help make this process smoother and make sure you have a wonderful university experience.