[dropcap]U[/dropcap] of T is known for its expansive environment, which can make people feel small and unimportant. But with over 450 student groups between the three campuses, there is not a shortage of areas for involvement. Before you know it, you will be seeing people you know all over the place.
The best place to start is the ULife website, because it has an extensive list of the recognized student groups. Here are some categories to consider:
Involvement with student politics and political interest clubs has many benefits. Not only can you help serve your peers, you also contribute to positive change. It serves as an opportunity to develop leadership skills — something lecture halls do not always teach.
Examples: (s)he, Debate Club, Model United Nations
Hobby and leisure
Rank a list of everything you love from one to 10. There is likely a campus group relevant to each of your picks. While studying our respective program material, we tend to lose sight of the other activities we love. It is important to keep those forms of personal enrichment, and it is also the best way to meet like-minded people such a large institution.
Examples: Hart House Chess Club, Electronic Music Community, Beekeeping Education Enthusiast Society, Harry Potter Club
Groups that focus on leadership development are invaluable, because it is not a skill you can develop on your own. Practice is key, which includes interacting with others, making connections, and building relationships — these experiences are at the heart of many campus groups.
Examples: college student councils, Black Ties, STRIVE, Greek life
U of T has a reputation for being dull and dreary. Social groups add much needed relief from the everyday grind of lectures, labs, homework, and exams. Forming new friendships is also a great way to learn, explore, and shape your experience at U of T.
Examples: LGBTOUT, Life Science Student Network, The U of T Commuter Club, Unhaltable Hackers
There is more to life than studying and community service groups can help you find just that. Generosity, consideration, selflessness, and altruism help enrich your soul while you enrich your community.
Examples: Best Buddies, Helping Hands, Supporting Grassroots Initiatives, Youth for Humanity
Work and Career Development
Let’s not forget that university is a training ground for your future. Groups that specialize in professional career development can lend an advantage in today’s competitive job market. Build experience, network your way to the top, and it will be smoother sailing when you graduate.
Examples: Pre-Law Society, Etiquette Club, Entrepreneurs Society, The Public Speaking Club