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UofGH students: Why we get involved in campus life

Whether they are planning events and networking as members of societies and clubs, learning to leverage their strengths with CliftonStrengths, or mentoring young students as part of the First Year Experience program, University of Guelph-Humber students find a variety of different ways to be a part of campus life.

We asked a few University of Guelph-Humber students why decided to get more involved in Student Life at UofGH.

Ariel Bernstein, 4th Year, Kinesiology

Ariel Bernstein
Photo courtesy of Ariel Bernstein

What initially inspired you to get involved in campus life at UofGH?

I'm currently going into my fourth year of studies at Guelph-Humber. Over my time at the University, I fell in love with the culture and wanted to spend more time with the people and organizations working through Guelph-Humber. Once I got involved, I felt that almost everyone I met was friendly and positive, which made me feel that much better about deciding to get involved in campus life at UofGH. 

Why would you urge other students to explore some of these opportunities for getting involved?

There are so many good things that can come from getting involved on campus. To name a few, you develop amazing professional skills that can that accelerate your personal development. As an FYE Leader, I have developed the leadership skills to guide first year students through the tough transition into university life. Second, it is a great way to meet like-minded people! As someone who hopes for a career in medicine, being involved in the Pre-Med Society has helped me meet other hopeful future doctors!

What do you think you personally have gotten out of becoming involved in Pre-Med Society and FYE? 

I have taken so many things away from my roles in Pre-Med Society and FYE, but one thing that stands out to me is the feeling that I'm making a difference. The fact that I get to inform students about medical school related topics, and about the transition to UofGH makes me feel like I may be helping others achieve what they hoped to while at UofGH and beyond. That is such a rewarding feeling for me, and one of the reasons that I originally applied to those positions. 

Naomi Fernandes, 2nd Year, Business

Naomi Fernandes
Photo courtesy of Naomi Fernandes

What initially inspired you to get involved in campus life at UofGH?

My first year at the University of Guelph-Humber was unlike the rest and it was not a situation I envisioned when starting university. I felt disconnected as I was not physically on-campus to meet my peers and professors as well as get the experience of being in university for the very first time as a student. Despite starting this new journey in an online environment with a lot of uncertainty, I used this to my advantage and saw this as an opportunity to get involved in campus life in a new, yet exciting way.

The first thing I did was register for a CliftonStrengths workshop and that was truly a life-changer. It helped me understand myself more than I could’ve ever imagined and taught me how I can use my strengths to open doors to opportunities. This gave me the confidence to push through these hard times to continue doing the things that are important and add value to my life.

Moreover, the FYE program supported me as I attended several workshops to learn of ways I could improve my experience being in a virtual setting and gain fundamental skills that I could use in various aspects.

What do you think you personally have gotten out of becoming involved?

Due to my decision of taking the opportunities provided and the support available, I’m glad to say that I now have jobs on campus and will soon be starting a student club. I’m more excited going into my second year since I have something to look forward to. All of this would not be possible had I not taken those workshops and learned more about myself and ways to improve my experience at Guelph-Humber.

I urge students to explore some of these opportunities to get involved and meet amazing staff and faculty members as well as other students. You can do this by volunteering, working on campus, taking on a research project, joining societies and clubs, participating in case studies, attending events in-person and online, and much more. This is a great way to build a strong network within the community and add these opportunities to your resume. You might even discover new interests and surprise yourself of all the things you are capable of accomplishing.

A lot of learning happens outside the classroom, so take advantage of the support available to help you succeed academically and professionally.

Ruth Oudit, 2nd Year, Justice Studies

Ruth Oudit
Photo courtesy of Ruth Oudit

What initially inspired you to get involved in campus life at UofGH?

I have always loved being involved, whether it was in high school or my community. My sister and other UofGH students inspired and encouraged me to become more involved. I also wanted to gain more experience and skills, meet new people, and connect to the UofGH community.

Why would you urge other students to explore some of these opportunities for getting involved?

I would urge other students to explore some of these opportunities because they can get the most out of their university experience by getting involved in societies, FYE, LSP, CliftonStrengths, and more. These are terrific opportunities to meet new people, make friends, and stay connected to UofGH. For instance, FYE groups are safe and positive spaces where students can participate in activities, connect with other students, and stay updated with what is happening at UofGH. Also, students can connect with like-minded individuals in societies and learn about something that interests them. There is so much they can learn, gain, and experience from getting involved! 

What do you think you personally have gotten out of becoming involved in campus life? 

I can truly say that I have grown tremendously from becoming involved in campus life. Through Alpha Phi Sigma, the Criminal Justice Honour Society, I have met other individuals who share similar interests. There were several intriguing and informative sessions or events that I attended, including Wrongful Conviction Week and the Toronto Police Service’s Integrated Guns and Gangs Task Force. Through participating in these sessions, I gained networking experience. Also, I have learned a significant amount about myself and my strengths through all the CliftonStrengths workshops I participated in. I now transfer these strengths to my role as an FYE Leader. As an FYE Leader, I have met amazing people who I now work with, and I have gained a myriad of skills that I am grateful for.  

Ashley Rodrigues, 3rd Year, Psychology

Ashley Rodrigues
Photo courtesy of Ashley Rodrigues

What initially inspired you to get involved in campus life at UofGH?

Like many students, I came to UofGH without knowing any of my new peers. All of my friends from high school went to other postsecondary institutions together, and I was the only one who had decided that Guelph-Humber was the school for me. While not knowing anyone was nerve-wracking at first, I quickly realized just how tight-knit the community truly is here and how easy it is to make new friends, explore your interests, and be engaged. Getting involved in campus life was a great way to do all of these things, as societies and various paid and volunteer opportunities piqued my interest and allowed me to meet like-minded people.

Why would you urge other students to explore some of these opportunities for getting involved?

Getting involved with campus life is vital to a well-rounded university experience and has so many benefits for every student. While our courses are important, exploring various opportunities helps deepen your connection to the school community and your studies. A perfect example of this is getting involved with any societies related to your program or future goals.

As a Psychology student who plans to go onto medical school, my involvement with Psych Society, Psi Chi, and Pre-Med Society has been great for learning more about fields I am interested in and connecting with faculty, staff, and students from all years of study. Whether you take on an executive position or join as a general member, you can take advantage of the knowledge and potential connections while enjoying interesting and engaging activities and events. A personal favourite is Psi Chi’s and Alpha Phi Sigma’s Criminal Minds event, which allowed students to learn about and discuss the criminal mind and criminal psychology from a GH professor!

Additionally, these opportunities all have unique experiences and transferable skills that help your development. Campus jobs and volunteer positions include public speaking, collaborative work, activity organization and hosting, and more. These are helpful things to learn no matter your field of study or career plan, and it is never too late to start improving these skills. Through my Sr. FYE Leader, and formerly FYE Leader, role with Student Life, I have gotten the chance to connect with and mentor incoming and new students, host workshops and social activities, and create engaging content and graphics to share with students. As a CliftonStrengths Peer Coach, I have even gotten the chance to have one-on-one coaching sessions with my peers to help them learn about and engage with their top Strengths. These are just two examples of the many different ways to get involved on campus and aid in your personal, academic, and career development. I encourage every student to explore what’s out there and take the leap to engage!

What do you think you personally have gotten out of becoming involved in campus life this way?

I have developed many friendships within my various roles, which was my primary goal when I started to get involved. Besides everyone being incredibly kind and great to be around, it’s also great to find peers with similar goals and interests to work with and bounce ideas off of. My connections and networking opportunities with faculty and staff have also been incredibly valuable, especially regarding research opportunities on campus. My supervisors in each of my roles, whether research, society, job, or volunteer, have been nothing but understanding and extremely helpful. I could not be more thankful for what they have taught me and allowed me to accomplish at UofGH. My experiences and skill development help me currently, especially in my courses and enjoyment of my university experience, and will continue to help me in the future. Being involved in campus life has helped me appreciate the university, my academic interests, and our community in a whole new way. I can honestly say that I am excited and proud to be a student at the University of Guelph-Humber, which is all that I could hope for when starting here two years ago.