For the many commuter students at York University, I have one piece of advice that is probably the most important tidbit I can ever share with you.
Two words: BE HERE.
Before I came to York, I had a number of friends who’s siblings were current and/or former York students, and they all spoke about how there was little to do on campus, and how there is nothing here at York but concrete.
However, this is NOT the case. And the reason why this misconception is still passed around is simply because many commuter students do not spend time on campus, and therefore are not exposed to the rich campus life and many services that York has to offer.
Having a number of friends who are also commuters, I always ask them, “How are you enjoying your time at York?” Unfortunately, the answers I am given are almost always same…
I hate it.
There’s nothing to do.
York doesn’t care about students.
I haven’t met anybody.
Not surprisingly, when I follow up with, “Do you spend a lot of time on campus?”, the answer is almost always No.
The fact of the matter is, if you want to be an avid part of your university community – if you want to have the university experience that everyone dreams of – you need to spend more time on campus than simply the time between classes.
If you are here on campus, you will be exposed to life at York U. You will see that there are tons of places to hangout on campus; you will see that there are tons of clubs and councils to get involved with on campus (+450); you will see that there are amazing events and opportunities to meet other students going on all the time; and you will see that there are tons of great tools and services at your disposal on campus, and they are available to you simply by reaching out!
Need something to occupy your time so that you will, in fact, spend more time on campus? Here of some ideas of things to do while spending time on campus!
- GET A JOB
York has +1000 work/study positions available from students, with just over 300 at the Tait Mackenzie Centre alone! During school, you will be working around 15 hours per week, and they are very flexible, especially around exam time! (Plus, they pay better than minimum wage!)
There are many opportunities to volunteer on campus – for example, York is U is a great student organization that runs tons of awesome events (including York’s birthday)! They provide tons of volunteer opportunities, especially for new students, and you can even apply for a paid position after you’ve gained some experience!
- JOIN A CLUB
York has well over 450 different clubs, councils, and organizations – any interest you may have, York has a club for it. And even if it doesn’t, you and 14 others can make one!
- ATTEND CAMPUS EVENTS
Your college and your York Federation of Students, as well as many of the student clubs here at York, put on events all year round. Whether a pub night or a weekend trip to Montreal, campus events are great ways to meet people, get involved, and have some fun!
York’s libraries (there are five of them) offer great places to study for students – and they are great place to spend your time while on campus!
- LOUNGE AROUND
Every college (and many of the other buildings on campus) have lounges, common rooms, and quiet spaces available for students to utilize while they are on campus! Go to your college website to find out where you and your friends can hang out, or check out the York website for locations of lounges and common rooms!
So, the moral of the story is spend time on campus – because if you are here, you won’t want to be anywhere else!
~ Christopher Ford