Dear First-Year…

Please Get Involved!

When I graduated from high school, I was peppy, involved, and confident. I had been active in Student Council, Theatre Night, the Sears Drama Festival, Zonta, and numerous other clubs. My extracurriculars were my life.

But when I came to UTM for my first year, I got stuck in a sad bubble without them.

I felt like a robot at work, in school, and in life. It took a lot of motivation for me to find a new outlook and some extracurriculars for my second year. I didn’t even realize that my involvement was what had kept me happy in high school.

First-years, don’t let this happen to you!

There is a pocket of spirited and involved students at UTM. It will make this campus feel like home. Involvement is a great way to find friends. In your first year, please seize every available opportunity to get involved.

Literally. Apply for everything.

First, I hope you went to Clubs Week at the beginning of September. Clubs Week is a great way to see what communities are available to you as a student on this campus. Every club and society that was in the CCIT building had an email list. Email is a key method of communication for clubs and societies. Most of their opportunities are announced this way. If you didn’t get the chance to put down your email address, a simple Google search for clubs and societies at UTM will lead you to their contact information.

Check out this site: Send an email to any groups you’re interested in and get on those mailing lists.

Next, check out the Career Learning Network website at This is where you will find all of the job offerings that are at U of T. There are work-study jobs (approx. 12 hours per week) for different resources and departments on campus—you could get paid for being involved. And you’ll have experience to put on your resume. Apply for every single job that interests you and sort through them later.

Also, talk to people. Chances are the person sitting next to you in your lecture, tutorial, or practical wants to talk to you, too! By mentioning that you’d like to get involved, perhaps your new friend will know of some opportunities for you or you can do it together.

But finally, remember that time management is crucial. If you take on too much and you don’t have time to do your readings, drop a club. And vice versa—if you have some time, it might be a good idea to pick up another club. I suggest trying out at least one club or on-campus job during your first year. You’ll become familiar with the campus and learn more about yourself along the way.