How to make the most of your undergraduate degree

How to make the most of your undergraduate degree

Your Degree Is More Than Just Courses And Grades! How To Get More Out Of It

As an undergraduate student, it can be easy to get lost in the daily motions of university life and come out 4-5 years later feeling like you had not accomplished much. In this blog post, I will explore a variety of ways you can make your journey through university a more memorable and worthwhile experience.

Join a club! Clubs are some of the easiest ways to generate long-term connections with like-minded individuals. Chances are if there is something you are interested in, there is likely to be a club about the topic, or one very similar to it. Getting involved in clubs – especially those at your local university is a great way to find volunteering opportunities in fields that interest you, allowing you to accumulate volunteer experience, form connections with others, and get leadership experience. Many students apply to multiple clubs to test the waters, allowing them to develop a good idea of what clubs they prefer and which ones they do not.

In a similar vein, extracurricular activities are a great way to obtain self-fulfilment, increase a feeling of community involvement, and act to strengthen your résumé. Traditionally, many students choose to participate in community-related activities, such as volunteering at their local hospital or homeless shelter. However, there are alternative choices that students can choose to participate in, such as volunteering as a coach for a local soccer team. What extracurricular activities you choose should be based on your interests and your plans for your degree.

Form connections with your professors! Many undergraduate students want to use their degree to propel their career, whether that may be towards a professional degree (medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, etc.), academia, or entering the workforce. No matter what path you choose to take, references from professors who know you well can play an essential role in determining whether you are able to succeed or not. The best way to get references is to meet regularly with your professors. Although it may be difficult to meet with professors – especially in the context of the pandemic, many professors choose to host ‘’office hours” during which you can meet with them and discuss different topics. 

Lastly, two of the most vital opportunities that students can miss out on are research and internships. These allow students to develop high-level skills which can be used in industry and act as a bridge towards joining the workforce, academia, or help in bolstering professional degree applications and come in handy when applying for the workforce. Additionally, these can provide very strong reference letters – especially in the case of research. Often time getting involved in research involves reaching out to professors to discuss research opportunities, then applying for scholarships, such as the NSERC scholarship available at multiple universities across Canada. Internships, on the other hand, are usually applied to through a university–related portal.

Although there are many ways to improve your university experience, at the heart of it all is you. Above all else, it is important to try and enjoy your time as a university student. I wish you the best of luck and hope you can be proud of your time as a student.

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