On Campus

Diamond Rings: Five things I wish I'd known

Before he was a pop star, he was student at Guelph

Photo by Norman Wong

Young Canadians everywhere have butterflies in their stomachs as they pack to head off to university for the first time. If they’re at all normal, they’re scared to mess up the opportunity.

That’s why First Year Survivor is gathering advice from Canadians who were in that same boat not long ago, but who swallowed their fears, went to their classes, graduated and then thrived.

Earlier, Megan Leslie shared her list of five things she wishes she’d known in first year. Today, John O’Regan, the basketball and Bowie-influenced singer known as Diamond Rings, offers five things he wishes he’d known before starting his Studio Art degree at the University of Guelph in 2003.

1. Join a club or team. It’s not cool to do nothing. Pick something you’re interested in and get involved. You’ll meet tons of new people and just might find you’ve got some hidden talent.

2. Get organized. Find strategies that work for you and stick to them. You’ll find that keeping a daily routine will make it way easier to stay focused during crunch time when you’re getting slammed with essays and exams.

3. Buy used textbooks. You’ll save a bit of money and save a lot of paper. Plus, you can always buy new versions of your favourites later.

4. Listen to your community radio station. It’s the best way to hear a wide variety of music and keep in touch with what’s going on locally. I wouldn’t be making music today without community radio.

5. Go downtown. And not just between 10 pm and 2 am on Friday and Saturday. Break out of the student bubble, meet some real people, and support your local independent restaurants and shops.

Here’s the video I’m Just Me, off the album Free Dimensional, out in October on Astralwerks.

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