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TIPS FOR NEW STUDENTS: Part Two

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

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Written by andrea bennett

SCHOLASTICS

Oh yes, that part.

  • Starting reading now. Keep on top of your readings, or, even better, get aheadóyou will thank yourself later
  • Get organized: use a giant calendar, glue yourself to your planner, colour code things, do what you need to do. If you realize now that you have 2 essays and 3 exams in week 6, you can prepare for it. Start researching early!!
  • Visit the library. The Learning Commons offers a variety of workshops about things like time management, effective presentations, doing good research, etc. The Learning Commons also offers individual consultations with Learning Peer Helpers and Writing Peer Helpers ñ a great resource, especially if youíre a little nervous about the transition from high school to university.
  • Learn some new research tools! Check out the library website and acquaint yourself with the Trellis system (Guelph is partnered with Waterloo and Laurier, which means you can easily order books and articles from their libraries). Also look into RefWorks to keep track of your research and RACER to get access to libraries across the country! There are specialized search engines that accompany your area of specialization.
  • Look for nooks and crannies. There are computer labs and possible study areas all over the place on campus: you just need to keep an eye out. The library will be packed come midterm time.

CAMPUS GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS

New students come from a variety of different backgrounds and have vastly different needs and interests. Getting involved in a club or organization on campus is a great way to widen your horizons and discover a new passion, or get involved on campus in something youíve been interested in for awhile. Visit the CSA-accredited club list. Other campus organizations, like GRCGED (Guelph Resource Centre for Gender Empowerment and Diversity) located on the first floor of the UC; the CJ Munford Centre located in Mackinnon 054; or the Aboriginal Resource Centre located in Room 120 of the Federal Building at 620 Gordon street, also offer a variety of resources, events, and ways to get involved on campus. These three organizations are just examples; keep your eyes and ears open for others. You might, for example, want to get involved with the explosively creative team here at the cannon.caóweíre always looking for reporters, photographers, and people whoíd like to contribute a regular column!

SERVICES

The Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD) located on level 3 of the UC (using the South elevators) offers a variety of services for students with disAbilities. They will help accommodate your disAbility throughout your scholastic career at Guelph, offering services such as note-taking and alternate exam space arrangement.

The CSA offers a variety of services, like the CSA Foodbank, the Human Rights Office, and the Legal Resource Room, among others

Counseling Services located on level 3 of the UC (using the South elevators), offers a variety of group and individual counselling.

The Human Rights and Equity Office offers both opportunities to aid in the protection and extension of human rights and equity at Guelph as well as a forum for your human rights and equity concerns.

Safewalk is a student-run volunteer organization that will accompany you as you walk at night on campus between the hours of 7:30pm and 2:30pm. Dial x53200 from any campus phone, push the Safewalk button on any campus payphone, or use the ìtalkî button on any Emergency Pole on campus to request a walk. Use the Parking Map to see where you can find Emergency Poles on campusóon the map, they look like blue rectangles with suns on top.

Lastly but certainly not finally (please add services you know of in the comments section! Or feel free to brag about your club or organization, especially if Iíve cruelly neglected to mention it!) ñ thereís First Response a student-run volunteer division of St. Johnís Ambulance. Like the name suggests, they provide a prompt response in the case of an on-campus first aid emergency. Dial extension 52000 in the event of emergency.

JOBS

Tuition is high, books are expensive, rent and food and gum and beer are necessitiesÖ some of us need to get jobs. Itís not always ideal, but it doesnít have to be nauseating. Jobs on campus (at the CSA, for example, or through work study will generally be pretty flexible and understanding, as they know you are a student first and foremost. To find a good job off campus, you need to be a bit wily. Listservs of organizations, clubs, and departments will often advertise gem jobs that might not show up on workopolis. Last point: my dad the employment resource counselor always armed me with a stack of resumÈs and my walking shoes and pushed me out into the world. This approach has never failed... even when Iíve secretly wanted it to.

GET OFF CAMPUS!

Thereís so much going on in Guelph, and getting involved in something off campus will help you feel rooted in the wider community. Explore a little! Volunteer with a neighborhood group check out some music with Kazoo the No-Fis or Out of Sound or browse communitylinks.cioc.ca for other ideas. I also suggest going downtown and hopping on a bus to see where it goes.

FIN

Okay, so thatís a lot of stuff. You might not choose to get involved in anything in your first year of University, and thatís okay too. You now have an idea of whatís out there, and maybe some idea of what you might like to check out after youíve settled in and acclimatized to the UofG milieu. One more note to keep in mind: as busy as you feel, extracurricular activities will help enrich your overall university experience, and they may just facilitate the process of realizing the theoretical concerns youíve been studying in class in real-life situations.

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  1. Posted by: andrea bennett on Sep 25, 2007 @ 9:50am

    so many typos... please forgive me. i don't generally neglect punctuation this badly. (i do genuinely dislike capitals though).

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