Today marks the last day of classes for the spring semester at the University of Alberta, and while the school will continue to offer classes and see students walk through its doors throughout the rest of the year, for some it is their last class in their undergraduate careers. I personally still have one more semester to go before I leave these beautiful green and gold walls behind, but last night I had dinner with a few friends on campus who were saying good bye to the University of Alberta. As the night progressed we started to talk about lessons learned and I decided to take note of some of their thoughts and share them with you. So weather you just applied to the University of Alberta, or are nearing the end of your degree like me, here are some lessons learned from the class of 2012.
Take time to breathe. This was one piece of advice I kept hearing from graduating friends over and over again, and what they basically meant was that it is so important to take time in your undergraduate experience to appreciate the opportunities you have, and relax and spend some time with friends. You will, or have noticed, that it is possible to get consumed during the school year with errands to run, work, classes, study groups and volunteering that before you know it another month has gone by, and then another, and then the end of another school year has passed by. While keeping busy and filling your time with new experiences is important to having a fantastic university experience taking time to focus on your social life is good to. Remember memorable experiences are not made in a library cubical, their made with people. So take the time to walk to the Sugar Bowl and enjoy a bite to eat, or have coffee with some friends in Dewy’s on campus, or maybe go see a concert at Dinwoodie Lounge in the Students Union building. Just remember to take time to breath.
- Meet with Profs and ask them questions! (And not just about home work…)
The University of Alberta is blessed with a wide array of academics who have accomplished amazing things walk through its doors every day, and many of these academics teach classes at the University of Alberta. To give you an example, one of my Marketing profs serves on 3 boards of Not-for-profits in the city, runs his own company, and is in the process of just releasing a book. He is always ready to give advice out to his students, and many students go to his office hours just to ask for advice on career direction, or life in general. A wealth of knowledge is available to you if you take to time to get to know your professors and ask them questions!
- Join Student Groups
Whether it be Engineers Without Borders or the Chinese Student Club, or the University of Alberta Dance Club, there really is a club for everyone and every interest at the University of Alberta. Joining a club will help make the transition from home life to university life so much easier as you meet other students with similar interest and grow in your knowledge and passion for a variety of interest. There are over 150 different student clubs on campus, so make sure you take some time during clubs day at the University of Alberta to check them out!
- Go to Conferences, Go Abroad, Travel
The University of Alberta has a number of scholarships, grants, and funds to help students further develop their academic experience by funding travel experiences aboard for students. One such example of a professional development fund at the University of Alberta is the Green and Gold Professional Development Fund. The Green and Gold fund provides funding to undergraduate and graduate students to develop leadership skills through conferences, events, classes, basically anything that will allow you to grow academically, personally, and professionally. Check out their website for more information and remember to check with your faculty for other sources of funding!
By: Nathalie Batres