Your post-secondary experience is much more than a credential

Credit to Author: Geneviève Beaupré and Susan Qadeer| Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2020 03:16:26 +0000

Your post-secondary experience can be much more than getting a credential. It can include making friends, getting work experience, and obtaining good references. It can also provide you with opportunities to broaden your interests, learn how to research and write, receive support from mentors and get intellectual stimulation to inspire you for a lifetime. Full-time students and, in some cases, part-time students are eligible for many services and opportunities. Don’t deprive yourself. Seek them out, use them and reap the benefits.

The people

There are many people you may meet as you pursue your education. Faculty may become your role models, mentors, referees as well as your teachers. Your classmates may help you; they may become part of your professional network, your friends and even romantic partners. They can help you develop new interests and skills as you influence each other. Staff can help you understand the institution and may become your employer if you work on campus.

The services

Post-secondary schools offer a variety of services. Counselling can help with personal and learning challenges and is often a good source for information about the other services available on campus and in the community. Career Services may help you in getting job ready through resume writing and interview skills development, and some schools invite employers on campus to hire. Most schools provide health services, which may also include access to mental health counselling with shorter wait times than in the community. Other services include free tutoring and writing centres where becoming a better student is the goal. Find out what services are available at your school. Most are free and exist because students need them and it is expected that you will make use of them.

The experiences

If you limit yourself to just going to class, you may miss out on experiences that could be very useful personally and professionally. Participating in student government, either paid or voluntary, is an opportunity to sit on committees, meet others from different fields of study, write position papers, obtain experience in marketing, public speaking and budgeting, and anything else that a student government takes on. There are also events that that happen through school which offer you the opportunity to socialize – whether it is a ski trip, a coffee house meeting or listening to a local band.

Work opportunities

Many schools offer work experience as part of their program, which could be an internship, placement or cooperative experience. Also, opportunities exist for students to work on campus to help support expenses, gain career related training, and to participate as part of student administration, peer programs or institutional life. These opportunities may help you develop skills in time management, team work, and can be something you can add to your resume. They can also help you with improving language skills and provide you with a better understanding Canadian culture.

A broader knowledge base

It is common for a school to invite speakers who are experts in their field to present their research, work and ideas. These events are usually free and open to interested students. By attending these events, auditing courses, or taking additional electives you have the opportunity to get more intellectual stimulation, broaden your knowledge and find new ideas and interests. There is much more to school than just your classes. You put in the time, effort and money – so why not make the most of it. Take this opportunity to enrich your life further.