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Lists are love, lists are life. Today on the YUBlog I bring to you a quick list of 15 resources and tools — some known, some not so well known — that York students of all years can use and benefit from. Below you’ll find a motley collection catering to a variety of needs, ranging from skill development to mental health, but all have one thing in common: overall student success. Have a look:
(It should also be noted that the following list is composed in no particular order.)
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#2 Learning Skills Services (LSS) Workshops
Adjusting to university is no easy feat. Besides difficult study materials, you may notice that your study skills — the how of preparing for exams and getting your academic work done on time — aren’t quite up to par. One of the easiest ways to remedy this problem is by attending free workshops with LSS. You can even get a certificate if you attend eight or more! Topics include: Academic Anxiety & Stress Management, Critical Thinking, Exam Prep, Learning Style, Math & Science Problem-Solving Skills, Presentation Skills, Reading and Note-taking, Time Management and Writing Tips.
#3 Health Ed
Health Ed is another amazing free resource run by professional health educators who lead teams of student volunteers. The teams include: Alcohol and Other Drugs; Glendon; the Health Educator in Residence; Leave the Pack Behind; Mental Health and Stress; Nutrition; and Sexual Health. You can find the teams in Vari Hall on various days running an assortment of fun and informative activities, all meant to assist you in practicing and incorporating into your daily student life useful health strategies.
#4 RED Zone
The RED Zone is an amazing team of student ambassadors who have wide-ranging and in-depth knowledge of York. They are located in the center of Vari Hall and are available from 10am to 4pm daily. Go and bring them your pressing questions, ask for directions or simply check in for a student-to-student chat. To make sure you’re always in the loop, check out their home page and follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter.
#5 Student Community & Leadership Development (SCLD)
Student Community & Leadership Development, otherwise known as SCLD, forms an essential part of the Student Success Centre and is a fabulous on-campus resource. As the centre of student life on campus, SCLD seeks to help first-years transition to University life and to develop leadership skills in all students — all while building great York pride. Getting involved with one of SCLD’s various units offers a sure way to become a proud YorkU citizen and will open up the door to many more opportunities.
#6 Academic Advising
Degree requirements can be tricky to understand, especially in your first years of university, but also throughout. To make sure you’re on track with your degree progress, or to seek help if you would like to make some changes along your academic path, seek out advisers often. They can go over topics such as:
- understanding Faculty legislation and policies
- program and degree requirements
- degree options: major, minor, certificates, etc.
- understanding your grade report and academic standing
- the petition process
- peer mentoring and study groups
- information and referrals to academic and campus resources and services
All the Faculties’ advising information is available on one simple page.
#7 Counselling & Disability Services (CDS)
York also provides a number of other important (and free!) resources. Personal Counselling Services, for example, offers individual, couple and group counselling. Because there is often a short waiting period before counselling becomes available, I recommend, if possible, signing up for this service early if you intend to use it. They also have crisis intervention and on-the-spot distress counselling, so if you need to walk in and talk to someone, you can. The unit further offers workshops and mini series on eating disorders, grief and loss and more.
Also available is Disability Services, which covers LDS (Learning Disability Services), Mental Health Disability Services (MHDS), and Physical, Sensory, & Medical Disability Services (PSMD), all of which offer a variety of support, including access to resources, academic accommodations (such as assistive technology, longer exam times, etc.), and in some cases even additional funding. Please note that you do have to have a diagnosis from a health professional and will be required to provide a completed form to register, though you do not have to provide the specifics of the diagnosis.
SPARK is a great online resource at York that will guide you through writing a successful academic paper. It features videos and tips and covers topics such as: Understanding the Assignment, Time Management, Academic Integrity, Choosing a Topic, Books Journal & More, Gathering & Noting Ideas, Research Strategies, Effective Reading Strategies, Essay Structure, Creating Bibliographies, Writing Strategies, Revising your Arguments, and Essay Editing. If you need further writing assistance, you can also visit York’s Writing Centre or the Learning Commons to receive help from a professional.
#9 Career Centre
The Career Centre is one of York’s most valuable resources. Not only do they have online job postings for current students and alumni (up to two years after graduation) but they also offer a great students page, which features more free supports such as workshops, individual advising and access to a number of other career-related online resources such as Career Cruising. They also run great events such as the Career and Volunteer Fairs or the TASTE program, which matches current students with successful alumni to talk professional futures over lunch.
#10 YU Connect
One of the best things you can do as a university student is to get involved. Not only is it fun but it will also help you gain hands-on experience, build your resumé, relieve your stress, manage your mental health, build friendships and more. YU Connect features all the available clubs and associations on campus. You might decide to join a group related to one of your interests, such as the Ministry of Magic (for Harry Potter fans) or the Martial Arts Club. You can also join associations linked to your program or Faculty. You can even join volunteer or professional groups! On YU Connect, each organization lists its contact info, including social media, and has a mini profile and side links for news, current members and more.
#11 Centre for Aboriginal Student Services (CASS)
The Centre for Aboriginal Student Services offers a wide array of support resources for Aboriginal students attending York. With the help of extremely welcoming staff, Indigenous students can look to CASS for such services as help with background identification, integrative support, assistance with financial aid, community building and student and staff networking.
#12 YU Experience Hub
As the name implies, the YU Experience Hub identifies, structures and implements opportunities for students to take part in experiential education. As part of the curriculum, these offerings include field trips, the opportunity to work with non-profit organizations, to take part in community-based research projects, and to gain experience as a workplace intern. Experiential education, which can come in a wide range of forms, offers you the possibility to gain real-world experience while you work toward your degree requirements.
#13 Study Hub
The Study Hub is an online service available to all students where you can find or start a study group, locate peer mentors, connect with fee-for-service tutoring groups, and/or advertise your own tutoring services to other students. The Study Hub provides a large selection of free services and resources, in addition to some fee-for-service offerings.
York prioritizes student safety, and one of the services in place to ensure it is goSafe. If at any time you feel uncomfortable walking on campus (or to or from campus from the Village, for example) or would rather have someone wait with you until a bus arrives at night, you can request the services of goSafe, who will send a team of two student escorts to accompany you. You can call goSafe directly from the free York U Safety App, which provides one-stop access to all of York’s safety resources.
#15 Office of Student Community Relations (OSCR)
The Office of Student Community Relations, or OSCR, assists any student who is facing an acute crisis, for example in the form of critical illness, sexual assault or attempted suicide. The approachable and expertly trained staff at OSCR will support, make appropriate referrals, liaise as necessary, arrange for accommodations or financial assistance and the like. Members of the team also help provide dispute resolution in conflict situations that involve students.
Taking advantage of any of the groups listed above should prove a huge step in the right direction, and if you know of any other York resources that I may have failed to mention, let us know in the notes below; you might really help out a fellow student!
Note: This post is based on one written by my blogging cohort Megan back in 2014. I made some revisions, updated images and links and added five extra resources.