Make Your Mark: Get Involved!
By: Amelia Eaton
Although four years may appear to be a long time, each year of university will go by faster than you can imagine. At U of T, there are hundreds of ways to get involved while you’re here and make an impact after you leave.
A great way to start is the Clubs Carnival that takes place Wednesday September 5th at King’s College Circle, from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Clubs are an excellent way to meet others with similar interests to you, and work on cool projects. When I first came to U of T, I knew I wanted to be involved on campus, but I found the amount of different clubs to be overwhelming! Instead I relied on the fact that some of my new friends were looking to join clubs too, and decided to join clubs with them to ease my nerves.
Because many of my friends were interested in law, we joined the Pre-Law Society at U of T. Like many other clubs, being a member of the Pre-Law Society can look like many different things. The Pre-Law Society hosts social nights, organizes mock trial and mooting tournaments, as well as LSAT mock exams and prep-courses. In my first year, being a member meant attending a few social events during the year, to see what the club was about. As I go into second year, I look forward to being a more active member, potentially participating in mock trial and mooting tournaments.
Another way I got involved is through student government. If you’re in the faculty of Arts and Science, each of the seven colleges have student governments (often called boards, senates, or commissions) that are led by a president, and that meet at the St. George Round Table. Talking to your leaders at orientation will help you to understand how to get involved at your college. For other faculties such as Kinesiology, Engineering, Architecture or Music, there are many different leadership position available through your faculty that will be advertised during orientation.
At Woodsworth College, where I study, our student government is called Woodsworth College Students’ Association (WCSA). We have an event called WCSA Wednesdays where every Wednesday we give out free pancakes to any student who comes by. It’s a great way to meet other Woodsworth College students, and you can even join the committee to help serve pancakes on Wednesdays to other students. The Woodsworth College Students’ Association also has a Board of Directors, and any Woodsworth student can run in an election to be on it. I decided to run for the position of Mental Health Director, and I was elected this year. I look forward to creating events and advocating on behalf of Woodsworth students. I hope to push for changes that future students will benefit from as well.
Ultimately, getting involved is a way to leave your mark on your school. After you leave, you can look back to the things you were able to accomplish by joining clubs and committees and working with your peers. While you’re in University, getting involved is an amazing way to leave the stress of school behind, make friends and be part of something larger than yourself on campus. Getting involved can look a lot of different ways, and you can slowly become more involved with clubs or other organizations if you are nervous to test them out at first. I recommend joining with a friend if you’re anxious about joining alone. Most clubs are happy to have new members, and all are super welcoming. So make the most of your year by seeing what interests you and making it part of your campus life!