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The First Year Survival Brochure

By Nick Miron

Welcome to August, future first-year friend. You have until the end of the month before you’re swept up into the world of pens, passing grades & passwords for Netflix. This is usually the part where we’d write “but don’t panic!”, but we’re more realistic than that, we know you’re going to panic, even if it’s just a little. However, we also know a few things from our time in these halls that make things a little easier and the panic a little less panicked, which we’ve compiled in a turn-of-the-century, leather-bound briefcase, known as our First Year Survival Brochure.

Soon, you'll be heading back to school. It's awfully helpful to make sure you know where you are headed at the school.

College Cartography

Long ago, you learned your ABC's. Finally, after years of storing this useless information, you're going to get to use it. Humber College has employed some of the finest minds that hawk eggs can buy to develop an advanced system of direction and location, which uses symbols (or “letters”) in order to help you pinpoint exactly where you are located in the scholarly system. Now, it might sound like a lot of techno-babble, but it's really a simple method: the letters on the walls will tell you what building you are in. Learn these symbols and you will be on your way to where you need to be.

But don't wait too long.

As we mentioned last week, Humber can be confusing on your first few tours, which is why it can be a good idea to get those first few ventures out of the way before classes start. Sign up for a tour of the school and, once you have your schedule, spend some time figuring out where your classes are located, along with any other rooms or services you will want to visit throughout the year.

(Pro Tip: We suggest finding the cafeteria, study spots close to your classes, the health center, and the Library).

They say the early bird gets the worm. But you are not a bird (and worms are kind of gross, anyway). However, those who do rise early will be on time for class (and that gets you a happy teacher, which is much better than a worm, in our opinion). We know the first few weeks will be full of adjustment, which might even include you having to get yourself up in the morning for the first time. Regardless of who's been setting your alarm, it's a good idea to plan to get to school a little earlier than you think is necessary, even if that means giving up a little bit of beauty sleep. It can be one thing finding your class with empty hallways, but once those walkways start welling up and the anxiety of your first days of class sets in, you will thank yourself for the extra minutes.

(Pro Tip: This might come as surprise, but maps tell you where to go. Don't walk by them!)

No matter how much preparation you do, life is life and we know you're going to get lost a few times. We know this because everyone has gotten lost a few times, especially at Humber. That's why you shouldn't be afraid to ask someone if you need some guidance, because we have all been there. Who knows, you might even meet a friend!

Whether you’ve been cutting off your own crusts for years or still need some help, here are a few tips for a recipe to a better college culinary experience.

Hidden Hot Dogs

Humber can be a little confusing on your first few tours. You might not immediately notice them, but there are actually a couple of excellent eateries around campus that are easy to miss if you aren’t looking. If you’re walking near the book store (E Building) and happen to get a whiff of a tantalizing smell, you might want to follow it to Ackee Tree, Humber’s saints of spice.

(Pro tip: Bring you own container to save some of that OSAP money).

If you are looking for a dog (or sausage) instead of some chicken, head out the doors and you’ll find the nicest hot-dog vendor to ever vend dogs. Vegetarian? He has you covered. (We said he’s the nicest guy, didn’t we?)

And if neither of those options satisfy your craving, you also have the option of Humber’s Food Truck that can be found parked outside the Tim Horton’s entrance. Made by students, for students, this award-winning food truck is sure to offer up something to keep those energy levels up and that tummy full. 

Life in the Line

You may have noticed that Humber has the luxury of a Tim Horton’s on campus. However, unless you have the freedom of all the time in the world, it can be a bit frustrating trying to get a coffee in the morning. At least, it can be for those who haven’t read a survival brochure. Not like you. Well done, friend.

If you head down to the cafeteria and take a gander at the lovely ladies who will be taking your money, look left and you will see the Tim Horton’s Express Station. Have you ever thought to yourself after getting a coffee from Tim’s, “I could make this better”? Well, this is your chance, hot-shot of hazelnut, you get to make your own Tim Horton’s coffee and grab your own muffin. Plus, they didn’t just put “express” in the name because it sounds cool. You will almost always get out with a coffee faster than even the quick lane at the full-serve Tim Horton’s.

(Pro Tip: If you want the cheapest coffee, you want Gourmet Express).

“The problem with parking is it isn’t going anywhere.” Now that the mood has been lightened, let’s talk parking.

Parking is Free (sometimes)

Unfortunately, parking is not cheaper by the dozen.  It is, however, cheaper after a certain time. According to the grand law of parking (or the lady I spoke to on the phone), free parking during the 2016/2017academic year will take place in the event that a person a) parks in the lot between 5PM and 8PM and b) leaves before midnight. If you have evening classes, you can rejoice in the fact that you will have a better parking bill than most. If you don't, well, you have all evening to think about how hard your life is. But in any case, if you do have a reason to be at school outside of class, try and plan to do it during free parking time!

Don't Let Breaks Break Your Wallet

Paying for parking once is a necessary evil. Paying for parking twice, well, that's some sort of other evil that's just all evil and whatnot. The kind of evil that changes your Netflix password. Alright, maybe that's a bit much, but you know what else is a bit much? Paying for parking twice in one day. If you have a break in between classes or have to come back to the school for one reason or another, exercise your parking rights and plan to stay during your breaks. Whether you use the time to study, snooze in Humber's Sleep Lounge (recommended), play games in the games room, or to just stare at a wall and think about times you've pushed a pull handle on a door. Whatever your choice may be, you'll be glad to know you're saving money.

Get There Early to Avoid the Humber Games

You've played musical chairs, right? Then of course you remember the pure anxiety and raw panic that grips firmly onto your soul as you and your peers run around and around in a sadistic musical limbo, waiting for the moment the keeper of the song decides it is the moment for your judgment. That is what parking at Humber is like in the morning, except replace children with tired, coffee-addled students who are probably later for class than you (and the only music is your inner monologue of the sad realization you are paying for this experience). But hey, that's college, right? Well, sort of, but mostly for those who don't learn. Not you, you who reads a brochure. You know to get there early and avoid the Humber Games.

(Pro tip: If you don't mind walking/taking a quick bus, the Queen’s Plate Lot is cheaper and every spot is a good spot).

Stay Cool in a Carpool

They say a carpool is the best way to cool off. No one says that, but what carpools are good for is saving you some dollars. There is going to be a number of people in the same boat as you, you should put them in the same car as you. Don't hesitate to strike up some general commute conversation with your new cohorts/pals, as they could be looking for someone to carpool with and save some money. Or maybe they aren't, but you can convince them they are. It might be awkward at first, but so was high school, and look how that went! Okay, maybe that's not the best comparison, but the takeaway is that you'll be fine. Make friends, save money, and carpool today.

(Pro Tip: Drive away to a driveway today, or something. Canvas the neighborhood to see if a local will let you park in their driveway). 

FYI, it’s FYE

For your first year experience, there's First Year Experience. FYE is a peer mentoring program for all first year students at Humber College's North Campus. But that's a lot of fancy words for something that will help you out a ton as you journey through the first months of your postsecondary education. Okay, maybe the word choice wasn't that fancy, but it stands true that FYE will make your first year at Humber that much easier and exciting! Join the program and be in the know and on the list for large-scale social events, learning skills workshops, and a bundle of other services and support for your success. Coming this year, FYE will also be introducing their new “Your First Six Weeks” series of workshops, which will give not only the knowledge you need to succeed, but also the opportunity to meet other first year students who look just as lost as you do! Take advantage of the help that's available for you, register for FYE at

Good Ignite, Dear

When you first walk through the doors of Humber, chances are the first people to greet you will be a part of Ignite, formerly known as the Humber Students Federation. Federations are so passé it's like using the term “so passé”. Ignite is Humber's student council – a student-run organization that takes care of everything from health and dental services, financial and employment options, and, you know, fun stuff like Frosh, clubs, Halloween parties, galas, and more. You won't have to look far for Ignite.

Get Serviced

Whether it's truly your first year experience or another experience of a first year, you will be happy to know that Humber offers almost everything you need to keep yourself on the right track, from sleep lounges to gyms. Not feeling well and not sure where to go? Humber's Health Centre has the support you need, with everything from checkups to prescriptions. Do those pearly whites need a shine? Find the care you need at Humber's Dental Centre. Have books bit into your budget a little more than expected? Get some help with finding employment in the city, compliments of the Career Centre. Whether you need help with mind, body, or school, Humber has the service for you.

On Account of Humber

We'd like to say this brochure will allow you to follow in our footsteps, but that is not true.  Rather, the opposite. Some of our footsteps in first year were comparable to the ones where you have to wipe your shoe after. And that is really the reason these brochures have come to be, so you can make your own path of success as you journey through the halls of Humber this year. Or something less cliché. While following our footsteps might not be recommended, following Humber's social media will definitely help you along the way.

Humber College

  • Get all the important news and updates about what's going on around the school. Events, closures, helpful tips & info, memes, etc. @HumberCollege


  • Everything you need to survive first year, in handy, megabyte-sized 140-character bursts of helpfulness @HumberNorthFYE


  • Your guide to everything Ignite, from important news and information to events and contests @SHAREIgnite

Radio Humber

  • Not that you aren't already following us @RadioHumber