A new setting, higher expectations, and an increased workload. This all seems familiar looking back at my first year. It can be tough, but here are some simple ways to make the most of your undergrad experience.
1. Join Clubs and/or Student Unions
I know it can be overwhelming to join student clubs and engage in extracurricular activities in your first year. However, showing up to info sessions or elections is a great way to educate yourself on the roles and responsibilities held by each position. If you feel like taking up an executive role is still too much for you during the first semester, becoming a general member is a great way to get involved!
You still attend weekly meetings and volunteer when you can such as merch sales, tabling, etc. However, you don’t have any major weekly responsibilities. This gives you an opportunity to get involved with little commitment!
Although work experience is important, it is highly crucial that you volunteer when you can during your undergrad. There have been many times I have brought up my volunteer experience during a job or academic interview and trust me when I say it always helps! I know many students believe that volunteer experience must be directly linked to their program, but this is not true. All that matters is that you find the volunteer work interesting, and it gives you an opportunity to explore outside of your program. For instance, I’ve volunteered with kids and after-school programs as a Crim student!
Some organizations I suggest getting involved with:
SFU TDCEC has great volunteer and paid opportunities listed on its website. Here are two opportunities I have personally been involved in and enjoyed:
Wrongful Convictions Collective
Of course, the CSA, and we hold elections each semester!
3. Attend Events
Don’t miss out on events, they are a great opportunity to meet new people! The CSA holds socials for criminology students each semester and were having one this month!
We also just had a study social this past week on topics from Crim 103, 102 and 104! Winners got prizes and snacks were provided.
Some other events the CSA regularly holds:
Alumni series: a great opportunity to learn what past undergrads have done with their degrees!
Coffee Chats: Meet new professors, ask questions, and listen in on some very cool topics!
4. Study with Peers
Make new friends and go study for midterms and finals together! It’s a great way to hold each other accountable and best of all you can test each other on course content!
5. Office Hours
Don’t be afraid to attend office hours, they are extremely useful! Office hours are great to ask Professors and Teaching Assistants any questions you may have about the course content or simply to learn more! These hours are also a great way to introduce yourself to professors and form academic relationships for the future!