You made it to college/university and figured out where your classes are. Great. You think, now I can relax, go to class, and take notes. But there are so many more things you need to be familiar with and explore than just the location of all your classes.
Trust me after this list you will thank me because most of the items mentioned, I found out about in my last year’s of undergrad! And that too through friends or school emails. Imagine if I had this information in first year and could actually use it. Unfortunately many people too find out very late and only wished they utilized resources at their school from the beginning.
1. Career Centre
Find out where your career centre is located and make an appointment. At my school we had so many resources available where we would take our resumes and get help by experts to fix it. We also had so many free workshops available like a linkedin workshop where we were taught how to set up a good profile. Never underestimate the power of the career centre. The people there are being paid by your tuition $$$ so use them!
2. Tax Clinic
At my uni, we had a tax clinic where we would take our slips and that department would do the rest for us. It was so great because this service was free for all students! Definitely check if your school has a tax-clinic because Ryerson did and I found out about it in my last year. Sad. But hey, at least I can share this knowledge with you.
3. Therapy Sessions
I think we can all agree that college/uni life is undoubtedly stressful. With personal responsibilities, extra curricular’s and class, it is easy to burn out. Good new is that almost all universities in Canada have a wellness and therapy centre. Ryerson has a program that runs bi-weekly during exam season where they bring in dogs and puppies to help students relieve stress. Search up if your school has programs like this so that you can take full advantage of them.
4. Free Tutoring sessions
At Ryerson we had a whole floor of the library dedicated to student resources including tutoring sessions that were free! Make sure you search at your school if they have something similar because in Toronto, all schools have this service. These tutoring sessions covered popular courses in almost every faculty and were taught by phd students. The class sizes were small, informal and have a relaxed environment.
5. Food Centre
Studying on campus and getting hungry? Check if your school has a food centre. Ryerson did and was open 24/7 allowing students to go in and get food for any price they desired to pay. It is such a great initiative and is so useful when pulling all nighters on campus.
6. Places of worship
98% of the schools in Toronto (including Ryerson) have a small room dedicated for religious purposes. If you need a room to pray or even self reflect while not disturbing others, check for a religious or all purpose room on your campus map.
7. Database with free scholarly articles and research papers.
You can happily wave good bye to google scholar. As a student, your library should give you free access to a database with scholarly articles and research papers. This is one of the best resources available to all students as it comes in so handy when writing an essay or assignment. Normally these articles would cost a good chunk of money to view, but as a student you’ll have this for free!
8. Writing Support
As I wrote, Ryerson has a floor of the library with all student resources. One of the greatest resources they have is the writing centre. At this centre, students of master and phd level pursuing English and heavy writing related degrees help other students in writing essays, reports and citations. If you are ever stuck, you can make a free appointment and walk in with your paper to get a fresh and professional look.
In engineering we had our own website where there is listed a bunch of conferences taking place. Students could apply to attend with all charges being covered by their faculty. Do find your faculty’s own website and find out if they have similar events. It is better to find out in first year as opposed to your last.
Let me know the awesome resources your school provides in the comments!