When you think about attending U of T, you might imagine going to a 1000 person lecture in Convocation Hall or studying late into the night at Robarts Library. But there is more to university than academics – when you look beyond the classroom, you will find lots of extra-curricular activities to get involved in! The breadth and diversity of opportunities at U of T is amazing: you can participate in college councils, student societies, sport teams, Research Opportunity Programs, internships, work-study positions, and more! There is definitely something for everyone!
With so many ways to get involved, it can sometimes be overwhelming, nerve-wracking, or difficult to navigate these opportunities. Making the Most of Your University Experience workshop, run by the interns at Student and Campus Community Development, addresses these difficulties by supporting students in discovering extra-curricular activities at U of T! Keep reading to learn about the workshop and get inspiration for your own involvement at U of T!
We started the workshop by going over the definition of involvement. As a group, we decided that involvement is defined as the development of personal skills and knowledge that enhances the academic experience. Involvement encompasses diverse opportunities such as student councils, cultural clubs, academic opportunities, and volunteerism.
We then talked about perceptions around getting involved. Does involvement mean:
- I will receive bad grades?
- I will not be cool?
- I will not have time for friends, family, TV, or Facebook?
If you spend some time thinking about these questions, you will probably realize that there are no correct answers! What’s important to understand is that involvement has many benefits such as
- Building a community and/or network
- Meeting students from different programs
- Developing and enhancing skills and knowledge
- Making a contribution to the university or broader community
We then took a walk around campus and shared some of our involvement experiences at U of T. We talked about working on campus, joining campus clubs, participating in physical activities, and our experiences with academic faculties.
From this walk students learned that involvement opportunities tend to fall into four main categories:
- academic success and intellectual growth
- mental and physical wellbeing
- fun, social and community
- interests, hobbies and skill development
To wrap up the workshop, we did some creative reflection by making #myUofTjourney collages. This activity gave students the opportunity to think about the kinds of things they’d like to be involved in throughout their time at U of T.
Want to learn about involvement opportunities at U of T but missed this workshop? Don’t fret – Student and Campus Community Development will be offering more workshops this fall! Check http://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/cld/leadership regularly for updates. Also, take a look at this reference sheet for a general overview of involvement opportunities and resources.
Have fun creating your #myUofTjourney!
WRITTEN BY: Teresa Didiano – Leadership Development Intern & Kaylah Krajnc – Mentorship Intern, Student and Campus Community Development