As a mature student it can be difficult to get involved on campus while going to school and managing all of your other priorities. If that is what is stopping you from taking part in various York University events, that’s completely understandable and your goal then is to find activities that don’t encroach too severely on your schedule. Some of you may also be a bit confused about how you can get involved on campus. In this post I want to talk about the little things you can do to be an active member of the York community.
York University offers a multitude of workshops that take place year-round. Generally, a workshop is about 1 to 2 hours in length. So, if you can spare about 2 hours out of your day, I recommend taking some of the workshops that are offered. These workshops are a great place to work on academic skills, but they are also a great place to network. Some students just go to a workshop and listen and once the presentation is over they leave. If you really want to make the most of your time, introduce yourself to the people around you and the faculty members that are holding the workshop. By showing some initiative, you just may develop a useful bond with someone in attendance.
Don’t Miss Out on Open House Events
During the first few months of school you may have noticed different faculties or student groups holding Open House events. Essentially, these are “meet & greet” events, where you can mingle with the staff of one of York’s colleges, a student service such as the Career or Writing Centre, or a student group like YUMSO, and learn more about the activities that take place at the various organizations.
The best thing about these events is you don’t have to stay for the designated time slot. If you can only manage 40-minutes, then drop by the event and use that time wisely. The main reason you’re attending the Open House is because you want to find out more about the organization. Listen to the presentations or the speakers (if there are any) and find out if you would like to get further involved. Getting involved may be as simple as jotting down the web page so you can find out when they have events you can volunteer for. Or speaking to one of the representatives and letting them know that you would like to help out, but you have certain time restrictions due to other commitments. As a special perk, Open House events normally have refreshments and appetizers for you to munch on as you make your rounds.
Go to a Seminar
Every now and then York will let you know about various seminars involving guest speakers or professors. These can be very beneficial experiences if they relate to the program that you are majoring in. At these seminars you will learn more about topics that you are interested in and you will also be able to connect with someone specializing in the field of study that interests you. Attending seminars are a great way to apply what you are learning in the classroom to other experiences.
Browse the York U Events Page
You can access the event page by clicking the Event tab on the York University main homepage. The following link will also take you to a full listing of York U events: http://www.yorku.ca/yuevents/index.asp
The event page is a comprehensive daily calendar of everything that is going on at the university. This is the easiest way to learn about the events at York and to find out how you can take part in them. If you are looking for events that are directly related to your program of study, head over to your faculty website and browse their news and events pages. You can also visit your college website or your college Facebook page to find out more.
If you’re unsure what your faculty is or what college you are associated with, visit our contact page and we will be able to help you.
Volunteer for events
An easy way to get involved in anything is to volunteer your time. I understand that as a mature student your time can be very limited, but by volunteering for events instead of organizations or clubs, you aren’t committing yourself to a schedule so you won’t be busy with the activity every day or even every week. Volunteering can be a great way to meet new people and enhance your understanding of the university or course material.
Become a mentor
There are several different mentoring opportunities at York for students who have the experience, knowledge and the drive to give back to their university community. If you would like to support other mature students and help with the transition from work/home to university with first-year students, then you can participate in the ACMAPS Peer Mentorship Program.
You can also become a mentor through your faculty or through your college. Visit the various faculty websites to view their mentor programs: York University Faculties
Be an active member in a club
For those with a little more time, think about joining a club. Joining a club can be a great place to establish connections, or de-stress from all the schoolwork and academic pressures. If you really want to get the full benefits of joining a club, you have to be an active participant; this of course requires an obligation. Being an active participant does not mean you have to be an executive of the club, but it does mean that you should take an interest in what is happening within that community.
The York University Mature Student Organization (YUMSO) is a great community for mature students searching for companionship and camaraderie. This club was established with mature students in mind and consists of members that share the same experiences. However, there are many different clubs at York and I encourage you to browse the YU Connect website to find one or two that may fit some of your hobbies. I’m eager to hear about the clubs that catch your eye and some of the activities that you’ve tried. Feel free to leave a comment about your experiences or stop by the ACMAPS office to discuss some of the things you’re taking part in.