As an upper-year student, my go-to piece of advice to first-year students is to get involved. When I was in first year, I was not aware of the opportunities that were right in front of me. I didn’t know how to find clubs I wanted to join, let alone how to join them. I’ve learned a lot about getting involved throughout my time in university, and I want to share some low pressure ways to get involved if you are unsure in your first year.

Talk to upper years

Most upper-year students want to help. This was something I didn’t learn until late in my second year of university. If you participate in orientation week, you’ll likely meet a lot of older students in your program. Use these students as a resource to learn what extracurriculars upper-year students are involved with, and ask them for advice. It’s also totally okay to ask someone you see at an event or in your school’s buildings how they got involved with something you might be interested in.

Look at your school website

Your school’s website likely has an extensive list of clubs and societies on your school website. Take a scroll in your first year to see what you might be interested in. There’s usually a club for you, no matter what you’re interested in. My school has clubs focused on anything from anime, to hip-hop, to cheese. 

Attend events

Clubs and societies hold events all the time, and they typically advertise through posters around your school’s buildings. If you’re interested in getting involved with a club, but you’re not sure if you want to commit to joining it yet, attend their events! Attending events can allow you to get a feel for the club atmosphere and chat with people in the club before you join. 

Getting involved has been a major part of my university career thus far, and I regret not getting involved sooner. I hope these tips help you get involved in university sooner than I did.

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