A few years back, the University of Toronto was a name that I associated to brilliant minds, a place I would probably never see in my life. But, fate always likes to mess with you and bam…in the Winter of 2015 I landed in Toronto and I too became an Eagle!
We are all from different places, different people with different destinations and yet, we are similar as our destinies meet briefly at UTM. I joined university with many doubts – Am I going to make friends? Will I do well in my studies? What will I do after graduation? And so on… However, I was determined to make the most of my time at UTM.
In my first year at UTM, I enrolled in LAUNCH Mentoring Program. This was probably the best decision I made in first year! LAUNCH is a great way to make friends with similar goals and interests and having a mentor makes the stresses of first year university so much easier to deal with. The benefits of attending LAUNCH encouraged me to attend utmLEAD, Leadership Bootcamp and other activities open to first-year students. In addition to these programs, I spent some of my free time volunteering for the Health and Counselling Centre. My co-curriculars were the best stress-busters for me, helping me become rejuvenated. I worked hard in my first year to balance my school work and extracurricular commitments and I am so glad I got involved in these activities.
Another thing I should emphasize is the importance of networking! In my first year, I went to as many events as I could (sometimes for the free food :D) and I met a lot of people. Attending these events around campus allowed me to become well connected and build my network. While I was attending one of these events a professional staff member approached me and suggested I apply for a position which actually resulted in me landing my current job on campus.
In my opinion, University life is a collage of experiences; these experiences await only those who are willing to actively seek these opportunities to get involved outside the classroom. “Seek, and you will find.”
Written by: Dariya Darvin