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  • Paige Desjarlais

First-Year Advice

School is coming right around the corner and with our world’s recent climate, many of us may not feel totally prepared to return to campus. Although coming to campus won’t look exactly as it once did, hopefully I can give you some helpful tips to make campus life a little easier.

1. Set up your U-Pass

If you are a student who is taking public transit, setting up your u-pass more than a day before you need to be on campus will make your trip a lot easier. To set up your u-pass, simply click here: and input Simon Fraser University. From there, you can use your SFU credentials to log in and add your compass card. You will want to make sure you hit activate on the month you are wanting to use the compass card, wait 24 hours, and it will be ready to use! Beware though, you must log in and activate it each month as it does not reload automatically.

2. Download SFU Snap

The biggest change this upcoming semester for many of us will be actually navigating campus. SFU Snap will make this change a lot easier by being a guide right on your phone. Once you download the app, you can input the room number for any class, and it will show you where you need to go. In order for this to run smoothly, I would advise you to show up at least 30 minutes before your class begins just to get a hang of it and give yourself time to get there. Helpful tip - if you choose to open the app in Saywell Hall, you may lose service so try to ensure a stable Wi-Fi connection or load the app up before you walk in that area.

3. Join a club or Student Union

This is going to sound obvious coming from someone in a student union, but trust me when I say, it is one of the best choices I’ve made during my university experience. I am a true believer in the saying “Life’s What You Make it” (~ Hannah Montana) and making friends with common interests as you can make your university experience really enjoyable. On top of this, it can be a great addition to your resume so it’s almost like killing two birds with one stone.

4. Layer Up

My final piece of advice is to wear layers if you plan on taking morning classes. If you’ve ever taken an early trip up Burnaby Mountain, you’ll know, especially in the fall, that it is cold and foggy. The reason I say you should wear layers is because if you plan on staying longer than a few hours in the morning, sometimes the weather will switch up on you really fast and in no time the sun is out and beating on your head. Wearing layers will just mean you’re prepared for the cold, but also prepared to strip your jacket and be comfortable in a t-shirt. I will make a disclaimer and say that this is not always the case and do not forget to refer to the weather app!

Hopefully, by reading this, I have given you a little insight into what you can do to prepare for life at SFU. Although this is not the entire bulk of what you should expect, knowing these bits of information really helped me in my first year, and perhaps it will do the same for you!

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