The year is 2012: the world is gearing up to vote Barack Obama in for his second term, and quite possibly, the end of the world as we know it. Most importantly though, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed freshman named Ashleen enters the loud, bustling hallways of the University of Toronto. Despite her nerves, she walks into the crowded courtyard ready to take on the next four years.
My first task to complete on my time-travelling mission is to join as my extra-curriculars as possible, and get involved! This is without a doubt the easiest things to do during college and university. However, I, like many students, get caught up the idea of not having enough free time, energy or even confidence to join in. By doing so, we close ourselves off to opportunities to socialize and communicate outside of lecture halls and study groups. Plus, extra-curriculars are typically formed and run by fellow students, who definitely understand what how busy our school schedules can become. Putting yourself out there and joining a club is a great way to network and make connections, be it for academic purposes, or for your social calendar. I wish I had made the most of the clubs and groups on my campus. Surrounding myself with like-minded individuals that share a common interest or cause with is a huge and important part of the whole college experience. Sign me up!
Now that I have filled my schedule with a bunch of meet-ups and activities, it’s time to see what more my campus has to offer. To put it simply, there is a reason why we pay such *ahem* hefty tuition fees each year. Not taking full advantage of all the resources that I was eligible for, and that were available to me is definitely something I regret. We all know that the privilege of being a student comes a price tag. However, most colleges and universities offer a variety of helpful services to make sure we are able to take care of ourselves along the way. In my second go at university, I will definitely look out for student rewards programs, discounts, health insurance plans, career development advisors, and mental health and wellness clinics, to name a few. Who says you have to do it all by yourself?
And this is exactly what brings me to the last duty on my list of do-overs. This one, however, is something that I can accomplish right now in the present – by giving back. As alums, I think it is now our turn to help guide and support incoming students, so that their college/university experiences are as exciting and fulfilling as possible (or at the very least, ones they won’t regret!)
Written By: Ashleen Grange