When you embark on your post-secondary journey, the primary focus is generally on the "school" portion. Although that's a big part of it, there are ways to get the most out of your education outside of the classroom. Part of the university experience is finding ways to be a part of the greater community on campus, and there are lots of ways to do that.
With universities being student-oriented institutions that help mould young minds, it's important that you have a say in what's available to you and how you and other students can take care of each other!
Student government provides this opportunity, as student unions have become staples in institutions around the country, highlighting the need for student representation. The various unions have different structures, but their aim and goals are similar, in that sometimes it takes a student to know what a student needs. These unions are run by elected executives on a yearly basis, allowing students like you to choose who you want to advocate for you and provide a vast array of services and programs, while hosting important events.
Most universities have a plethora of different sports and teams that you can join at a variety of levels. Whether you're recruited out of high school or you join in as a walk-on, there are various varsity teams and clubs available, including things like hockey, basketball, and volleyball, as well as swimming, lacrosse, and Nordic skiing.
There are also club sports for teams that aren't quite varsity level, but still compete against other schools, and there are intramural sports for students of any athletic level to have fun and compete.
Being a student-athlete can bring a type of structure and work ethic that is transferrable between both school and sports, and it's no coincidence that the same skills and traits are showcased, both in the classroom, and on the court, field, ice, etc.
Another great thing about university is that it allows you to express your individuality, and there are many clubs out there that exemplify this by offering an outlet for your interests.
Clubs on campus can range from politics, specific pop culture, and certain areas of study outside of the classroom. Some clubs may help you advance academically, like a pre-medicine group, or allow you to pursue social change by getting involved with charity or not-for-profit groups.
Of course, there are clubs just for fun, which can include anything from a Pokémon appreciation club, to ice fishing groups, or even a sandwich club!
Clubs let you find other students to discuss these shared interests, and may even give you the chance to develop skills, like event planning and programming, budget management, and others. Make your university
experience your own by joining or creating a club on campus!
One of the amazing characteristics that makes a student is their willingness to give their time and effort for causes that they believe in. Volunteering has become so important to university life — there are many events and causes for you to give your time to help those in need.
Whether it be fundraisers, awareness
events, campaigns, or different programs and events, there is always a place for you to lend a helping hand — just another part of what makes university so great. Being able to assist others and feeling that sense of accomplishment from providing a service to those who need it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life at school.
Working on campus
Finding a job to help supplement your university expenses is a good idea. A great idea is getting a job on campus! This allows you to stay at school and continue to grow within a familiar environment. The types of jobs available at school can vary, but some examples include being a residence don, working for one of the various sports teams, working maintenance, or even finding a job in the cafeteria. There are so many different departments on campus, finding a job can be one of the experiences that adds to your story when you graduate, and it can earn you some pretty sweet coin as well without a tough commute to work.
At the end of the day, the ways that you can learn and grow don't have to be strictly inside the classroom. There are many ways to get the most out of university, so it's up to you to find which avenue fits best for you, and to trek down your path to a fulfilling post-secondary experience.
Check out the Nipissing Student Union