Being a student parent is a lonely job. Rushing between campus and childcare is exhausting and leaves little time for after work drinks with your classmates or late night intramurals.
The Family Care Office Peer Mentorship Program is a great way to contribute to the University of Toronto community while reducing your own sense of isolation. U of T students who are also caregivers to children, friends, or relatives are matched for one-to-one advice (sorry, humans only – find fur baby mentorship programs at your local cat cafe). Peer mentors also attend the Family Care Office social events throughout the year.
Volunteering at the Family Care Office social events will tap you into a community of caregivers. You can perfect your paper snowflake at the Santa Claus Parade Warm-up, play board games at the Graduate Student Circle, or take a First Story tour of Toronto Island during the Family Potluck Picnic. All the while, you can join in griping about baby-vs assignment-induced all-nighters and remind each other about the real joys of parenting and studying.
No matter which student you are matched with for mentorship, you’ll find yourself spreading the word about available services. For example, you might let your fellow students know about the graduate student parental grants or support finding childcare through the Family Care Office.
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Written by: Andrea Portt, Ph.D. Student