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The first day of the rest of your life!

Sep 7, 2017

Ok, that may be stretching things a bit. But it is the start of a new school year, and for many of you, the first steps into a whole new life: new courses, friends, possibly roommates, maybe even dorm life -- with no parents or guardians to run interference. It's time to get a taste of independence, leave high school behind and find out more about who you are.

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Take it all in. Go to events you'd normally never, ever, ever consider. Leave your door open and say hi to floor mates. Open yourself to new people, cultures, foods and clubs. And don't forget to check out what's happening on campus. This will be the hub of your universe for at least the next year, so avail yourself to all the campus resources on offer. There is a whole team of people working hard to make you feel at home. Check out Frosh events with fun group activities. Or club days, where you can shop around and join groups that resonate with you – from student issues, to politics to the environment. Or try something a little less heavy and sign up for intramurals (unless you are super competitive, then it's serious business).

Campus is also chock-full of supports and resources to help you stay healthy. The Know the Score program is one of those resources, and we can’t wait for our first campus visit of the 2017-2018 school year – WLU! If you see us on campus, stop by the interactive display and meet our team, learn something new about gambling with our five-question quiz and enter to win a $1500 scholarship. We’ll even give you some Jelly Belly jelly beans that you can stash away for a late night snack (don't worry, there's only one Harry Potter earwax-flavoured Jelly Belly per thousand jelly beans). will be participating in many Health Fairs, including one at the University of Windsor on September 26. This is a great 'one-stop-shop' for health info, tips and advice – where some really cool people are ready to chat with you and answer any questions you have -- with no stigma, no shame. During times of major change (and we definitely think starting post-secondary education qualifies), it is important to take care of your overall health (physical, mental and spiritual). It is also the easiest thing to overlook when you are in the throes of newness. Whether it is academic or health and wellness assistance – there are people and departments that have been set up to help you with any rough patches, find additional resources for you or help you get comfortable with post-secondary life. If you are a student at WLU, check out their Health and Wellness services and Academic Support and AdvisingUniversity of Windsor students? You've got an excellent range of Student Support Services available onsite and online.

An important thing to keep in mind is perspective. We all finish high school and expect amazing things to instantly happen, ready to be fully immersed in the 'the best years of our lives!'. Yes – these are going to be amazing, life-changing years, but, you know from past experiences that life doesn't always unfold exactly the way you picture it. It's the classic Insta Perfect Life vs. real life scenario. You shouldn't feel disappointed in yourself if you do feel overwhelmed, sad or homesick at times. This is totally normal and many people (it's probably safe to say the majority of people) are experiencing similar thoughts and feelings.

While you're out there trying new things, meeting new people and having fun – don't forget you've got options, resources and information if you need them. Your mental health and well-being is important part of having a successful fall semester. We look forward to seeing you at your school!