A group of 7 girls taking a picture at a park

Getting involved as a first year

Our third week into the semester: I hope you guys are enjoying your time so far! Honestly, I am still feeling very excited about what I am doing right now. Coming out of my shell by talking to more people and joining different communities is my top priority for this semester, so I’m going to tell you about how I’m getting involved on campus 🙂

I found the Malaysian Singaporean Students’ Association very early in the summer, so I was able to join the community even before I started school at UofT! I attended their orientation and I felt like it really is be a place where I find comfort when I’m far away from home. It feels familiar and welcoming. I found them by checking out the more than 1000 clubs and student run organizations UofT has to offer, and found many more clubs that I’m interested in!

Along with all the new experiences I’m signing up for, I wanted to make sure that I’m doing something I’m familiar with. I did Model United Nations for two years in high school, so I am continuing that for this year! I believe this is also a good way to make that transition from high school, just so that I don’t get overwhelmed by a bunch of new things. Before I start anything new on top of the roles I have now, though, I made sure to assess my own availabilities because I don’t want myself to end up at a point where I’m burnt out later.

I am subscribed to the Starting Point newsletter, which allows me to know what workshops will be held specifically that week. The tips I learnt from the academic success workshops I’ve attended are useful because now that I’m finally getting those assignments in, I tried implementing those pieces of advice slowly. Practice makes perfect!

I’m now part of two Recognized Study Groups (RSGs) and I’m also in a Life Sciences First-Year Learning Community. I found these two places to be a great way to meet new people and get some conversation going, so I'll be prepared for the day when I’m swamped with assignments.

Overall, I’m pretty content with what I’m getting into right now. Everything still feels fresh and new to me, and so I have that energy flowing. I definitely want to keep it going and I do that by joining things I want to do. It’s honestly a process of trial and error to find what suits you, so do something that makes you happy!

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