Hello, your friendly university writer is back. This time, we will be discussing getting involved in school. Believe it or not, there are the right and wrong ways of doing it. This article was inspired by Rebecca McCormick, who was my amazing mentor in first year.

Let’s start with the “Why”. You are in university, you are attending your classes, getting grades, and meeting new people. But often, academics are not enough. Usually it is the getting involved, and the volunteering that allows you to experience new things and expand your network. Getting involved looks different for everyone. Maybe you would like to be a part of a Telfer club (some of them are hiring right now, check their Facebook pages) or maybe you’d just like to go to different events. Start your journey by thinking about what matters to you and your priorities.

As for me, I started my involvement by becoming a Telfer Career Centre Ambassador, and then joining the Women in Management Network (WMN). I have also started attending different community events such as Creative Mornings, and Local Talks. In the beginning of the year I was selected to be a part of the Executive Mentorship Program, which I highly recommend to everyone - you apply, and are paired with a high-up executive in your field, with whom you then meet throughout the year. I was pretty much as involved as can be.

I was so involved that I started to not study as much because I did not have the time, and I felt like my priorities were shifting. I realized I needed to balance out my schedule, but I did not know how. Funnily enough, I figured it out at an event, and a grandiose event at that - The Career Centre Celebration. My mentor from first year, Rebecca, was at the event and I asked her how to stay on track and keep up with school but still get involved.

Here are my takeaways:

Decide what you want to associate yourself with.

For me, that is 3 things: WMN, my workplace, and Telfer in general. I will be VP Career at WMN next year, so I will be supporting all of our events and participating as much as I can. I want to be associated with my workplace, because marketing is a big network of creatives, and you need to know people in the industry. And, of course, Telfer, since I want to support my school, and make my mark here.

Make an appearance.

If you have an important event to go to, but also like 500 other obligations and finals coming up, don’t worry. You do not have to stay for the whole event, especially if it is a networking event. Make your rounds in the room, make sure everyone important sees you, grab a canape or two and you are good to go!

It is so easy to become overwhelmed in the many exciting opportunities offered at Telfer and in the community. However, by attending everything, you will not only confuse yourself, but can also miss out on actually important events; that is why Takeaway #1 is crucial. As well, balance overall is so important, and school should be the first priority. After all, this is why we are all here….Right?

SO, narrow down your involvement focus, and organize your schedule while keeping in mind your personal priorities. Good luck on finals! Summer is so close.