Ah, Imagine UBC. By now you’ve heard all about the events on September 4th: meeting classmates, checking out buildings on campus, the Pep Rally, the Main Event…sounds exciting, right?
Some people thrive during this kind of day. For others it can seem overwhelming to be surrounded by crowds, noise, and overly enthusiastic 3rd and 4th years.
I want you to know that it’s completely normal to feel this way, and you’re not alone.
You don’t have to make all of your friends immediately
Not everyone can make friends in an hour. Make it your goal to say hi to one person in your orientation group. They may not become your instant best friend, and that’s ok.
Take it slow. You’ll have plenty of time in the next weeks and months to meet and get to know people at your own pace.
Take a break
Don’t be afraid to skip the crowds for a bit and find a quiet place to sit and drink some water or coffee.
Sure, you’ll probably have to stick with your orientation group for most of the morning, but talk to your orientation leader if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and take some time during the Main Event to re-energize. I recommend the Alumni Centre or one of the libraries—they’re great, quiet places to recharge.
Know that you’re not the only one
You know that feeling where it seems like everyone is looking at you and *judging* you? Guaranteed, most people are feeling the same way. Don’t worry about being by yourself, or taking some time to be alone—everyone else is too worried about themselves to care about what other people are doing.
Imagine UBC is not the be-all-end-all of your UBC experience
Introverts tend to get their energy from being alone rather than being part of a group, so don’t think just because people seem to be having more fun at Imagine UBC that they’ll have more success here.
You may excel more in academics, or in small group settings, or when you’re working on something you’re passionate about—basically, your experience at Imagine UBC does not at all reflect on your worth as a person or your future success as a UBC student.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Still, try to get the most out of the day
Yes, this day might not be your cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on it altogether. Take this opportunity to get to know your campus, enjoy the Pep Rally, and wear your faculty colours!
If you’re worried about Imagine UBC, take it easy. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and know that nobody’s experience exactly mirrors anyone else’s. You have a lot of time at UBC to make friends, get involved, and test your limits—it doesn’t all have to happen in one day.