Post-secondary life may still be school, but it is very different from middle or high school. It might be overwhelming at first, but it can be an amazing experience. Read this section for what to expect when you first get into post-secondary.
First of all – congratulations! You got into the program, and that itself is a success. Now that you’re starting a new school, and maybe moving to a new place, what’s next? Your post-secondary life doesn’t have to be just books and studying, it can be so much more.
There are many opportunities for getting involved with your new school community. These are a few great options to help you get to know your new school, and meet new people:
- Orientation programs and activities for new students: Schools often have a “week of welcome” for new students. They put on fun events such as campus tours, barbeques, concerts and parties. These activities can be a great way to meet new people and learn about the school as you go. Due to COVID-19, orientations and seminars are currently taking place virtually and you may receive a welcome package in the mail. Look for alternative ways to connect with classmates over social media or email.
- Join a student group, club or volunteer: In September, student groups and clubs are often looking for new members. There will often be a “clubs day” around the start of September to explore what clubs are available. Due to COVID-19, many groups may be inactive. Go online to your university website to find a list of active clubs and volunteer opportunities available.
- Follow your school social media pages: Keep an eye out for things you can get involved in on your school’s social media, website, newsletter or bulletin boards. They often post about events, opportunities or initiatives that might interest you.
- Join a sports team or fitness class: Most schools have intramural leagues (sports leagues within the school). These leagues offer many sports for people at all skill levels. They also have many fitness opportunities. Try joining a league or class, even if you haven’t played that sport or are new to fitness.
- Connect with your professors: Many professors are happy to talk with students about research, initiatives, or career paths. It can be rewarding to develop relationships with professors and learn from their experience.
Self-Care during College/University
It’s important to take care of yourself and your health. University and college can be pretty stressful. Starting school means new routines to adjust to, however all schools have have services and resources available for students. Schools often have a variety of programs and ways to support student health. This can include things such as stress management skills, programs to promote resiliency and numerous other options – even puppy therapy! Check your school website to see what is available.
See the list below of possible services at your school:
- Counselling: Trained counsellors are available at most universities and colleges to support their students. Students may see counsellors for any reason, such as struggling with classes, stress or relationships.
- Physician and nursing resources: Schools usually have a medical clinic. It may include a full medical clinic with physicians, nurses, and other health professionals depending on the size of the school. Search your schools website to see what health services are available.
- Services for students with disabilities: Many colleges and universities have resources to support students with various disabilities. They will have information about accommodations such as equipment and more time for exams. They usually offer support with talking to your instructors about challenges you face or supports you may need. Students with disabilities may also get help from STADD Navigator Services available throughout BC and at Foundry Centres.
- Academic resources: There may be free workshops on topics like study skills, completing assignments, and managing university life. Your new school may have a writing centre where you can get help writing outlines or proof-reading your work. There are also writing resources online to help with essays and other writing assignments
There are also many ways to practice self-care on your own as well. These could include things like journaling, spending time with loved ones, or downloading a wellness app.
Career services: School is a great time to explore different careers by volunteering or in work experience placements. Most schools have advisors and services to help you find work during school and after school. You can get advice there on choosing your major or what to do after graduation. Also take time to talk to people who work in the areas that interest you.
Health insurance coverage
As a student, you are required to have health insurance while in school. Usually when you pay tuition, a part of this is to pay for student fees, which includes insurance services. Some insurance plans help to cover things like physiotherapy, massage, glasses, orthotics or other non-insured medical services.
There are also a number of provincial resources and services available to you, free of charge and confidential. Check out our Get Support page for more information.
Want to explore and learn more? Here are a couple options that will help you.