Wednesday, July 17th, 2019...5:28 pm

Resources 101 for New (and Returning) Graduate Students!

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Photo Credit: Jason Krygier-Baum, in The Essential Guide for Graduate Students 2019/2020

By: Samara Moore, Gradlife Ambassador

Are you a new graduate student who will be beginning your studies at U of T in September? Are you eager to get more involved with student groups and navigate the resources on campus, but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you are excited about your new journey as a graduate student, but are unsure about how you will navigate school, work, and your personal life?

If any of the above questions apply to you, then you are reading the right blog! My name is Samara! I am your Gradlife Ambassador for the summer term and thrilled to welcome you to the University of Toronto!

When I started my Master’s program in social work last fall, I was keen to get involved on campus and take advantage of all of the resources available! Now that I have one year of graduate school under my belt, I am excited to share some of the resources on campus that are available to support your learning, personal, and professional development and well-being!

Let’s Begin with Gradlife!

What is Gradlife you might ask? Gradlife is a hub that is intended to support graduate students throughout their time here at U of T! We aim to help build community among graduate students and to aid students in getting the most out of their experience here at U of T. We do this by running incredible programs, events, and connecting students with various campus resources!

There are three programs that we run that all graduate students should be aware of (in my humble opionion).

Grad Escapes

Also known as “Thesis Avoidance with Style!” Grad Escapes are one of the most popular programs that we offer at Gradlife! They give graduate students the opportunity to take a break from school work and spend a few hours trying a new activity! Grad Escapes are a great way to connect with graduate students within and outside of your department. For me, it has been an important part of achieving balance and my self care regiment as a graduate student. Grad Escape events have included games nights, cooking classes, art/pottery classes, Improv nights at the second city, escape rooms, and much more.

Grad Connections

This is a bi-weekly discussion group for graduate students. It is a welcoming and nonjudgmental space to share your experiences, challenges, and achievements during your program with other graduate students. It is also a place to seek support and guidance on a range of topics. Attending this discussion group has helped me to refine my self-care routine, develop strategies to manage challenges with my writing process, and to engage with other students beyond my faculty.

Grad Talks

Grad Talks are a program that we run with the Grad Room (I’ll share more about this fantastic space later!). Grad Talks are lunch and learns that help graduate students to develop particular skills, learn about resources, or to share their research with a supportive group. Did I mention that there is always a tasty pizza lunch provided?

Photo Credit: Jason Krygier-Baum, The Essential Guide for Graduate Students Cover

The Essential Guide for Graduate Students (EGG)

If you do not yet have your copy of the Essential Guide for Graduate Students (EGG) I highly encourage you to download it! You can also pick up copies at your registrar’s office, the school of graduate studies, or during your academic orientation week! If you take nothing else away from this blog, please remember this! The booklet contains all of the essential information that graduate students should know, including important dates and dealines, fee payment and funding information, frequently asked questions, and information about key resources and supports available to students. You can download your guide right now here.

More Important Resources

I have included a list of campus groups and supports that will be helpful to you during your time here! I encourage you to check them out! You can find out more information about each of them by clicking on the links!

University of Toronto Graduate Student Union (UTGSU)

Graduate Conflict Resolution Centre

Health and Wellness Centre

Graduate Student Wellness Portal

Accessibility Services

Academic Success Centre

Grad Room

Grad Minds

Graduate Professional Skills (GPS) Program

Interprofessional Education Program (IPE)

  • For health science students

Hart House 

University of Toronto Libraries

I hope that you have found this list helpful! I will be sharing more information in the weeks to come to support new and continuing grad students, as we navigate this experience together! Feel free to connect with me if you have further questions or would like to chat with an exiting student! I will be facilitating this week’s Grad Escape Games Night at Bampot House of Tea! We still have tickets available so register here if you would like to join us!

I strongly encourage you to stay connected with us on social media! You can find us on facebook and twitter. In addition to our facebook page, we have a new facebook group that we encourage you to join! We are hoping that this group will provide a space for graduate students to form deeper connections with each other on and offline! Please join us and introduce yourself!

Once again, I am please to welcome you to our community here at U of T! We are thrilled to have you!

Until next time,


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