Woody Woody WHY Should I Get Involved At Woodsworth?
The past few weeks have contained a lot of lasts for incoming Woodsworth students— last months spent in high school, last summer before university, last weeks pretending to care about [insert subject you find horrific and unbearable and look forward to never taking ever again], last school dances/musicals/debates/lunches. The collection of lasts performed in your senior year sets the scene for a series of firsts that will in time become your life at the University of Toronto. Everyone going into their first year of university sits somewhere on a spectrum from excited to terrified. For me to tell you that there’s no need for anxiety, that you’ll meet some of your best friends in the world here in the 6ix, and you’ll be immensely grateful you braved the transition to post-secondary education would be utterly useless. You already know all that, and it probably isn’t going to magic away your nerves.
What I can tell you is that you have a lot to look forward to in joining the Wolfpack— a college of student activists, performers, writers, politicians, artists, and most importantly, family. I can also tell you that joining clubs, volunteering, working on campus, and any other means you can find to get involved with your Wolfpack WILL enhance your U of T experience. You’re going to hear that a lot. It’s the kind of phrase that is so blindingly obvious that it seems almost redundant, but once you’ve survived first year and you can look back on your decisions (questionable or otherwise), it’s the kind of lesson a lot of us wish we had taken more seriously.
So, while you’re studying for exams, saving money, getting ready for prom (make good decisions, Wolfpack-to-be), and generally wrapping up your high school experience, take a minute to breathe. You’re about to enter a new chapter of your life, as cheesy as that sounds, and you should be excited! If you have any reservations, remember: your Orientation Executive Committee is here to help you get acclimated, involved, and ready to run with the wolves of Woodsworth!
As such, I asked your OEC some questions about why they’re happy they got involved at Woodsworth— and why they think you should get involved too! Here is what they had to say:
What has being involved in Woodsworth done for you, and how has it influenced your experience at U of T?
“None of my friends came to U of T, so as a first year I felt very alone. I didn’t think people would like me and being a commuter made me feel like I’d never be able to make friends. At first I wanted to transfer out of U of T, but once I got involved at Woodsworth, I felt like I finally had a university family and a reason to stay at U of T. If I didn’t love Woodsworth, I couldn’t love U of T as much as I do.” – Alyy Patel, Orientation Coordinator.
“Woodsworth has made U of T so much more exciting than I thought it would be! I’m constantly doing different cool, weird, unexpected things— whether it’s going to shows, running around preparing for an event, spending 13 hours in Kruger Hall with close friends running said event, or staying in the residence lounge watching youtube videos with new friends until 2 in the morning even though I’m a commuter… Woodsworth makes me feel like I have a home base at U of T, and I honestly don’t know what I would even be up to if I hadn’t gotten involved. It’s a running joke amongst my friends— what would I be doing with all that unwanted free time? Knitting? As it currently stands, I’m extremely glad I haven’t spent my first two years of university failing to make scarves (I’m not knocking knitting, it’s a really cool hobby, I just can’t sit still long enough).” – Simona Presutto, Promotions Manager
“I had just immigrated to Canada and came to U of T as an awkward and terrified first year student. I thought I’d never fit in. By some miracle, I decided to get involved in Woodsworth. I ended up finding my best friends here, who are practically my family now. I felt like I was a part of something bigger than myself. Woodsworth has become my home away from home.” – Novera Khan, Woodsworth College Student’s Association (WCSA) President
“It allowed me to practice my time-management and interpersonal skills, and has maintained my rhythm in life.” – Ongio Tsui, Woodsworth College Alumni
“Last year as an orientation leader, I met some amazing people who gave me that push to get involved. I’ve never looked back and I’ve never regretted it. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s given me a support system and a family. It’s helped me find my way through this year. Frankly, It’s just amazing how much work we all put in to serve our community. We all do this because we love our college and we love the people in it.” — Amanda Li, Orientation Coordinator
“I made practically all my friends at Woodsworth, so it has definitely enhanced my experience!” – Julia Standish, Orientation Leader.
“Whenever someone asks me to describe how I liked U of T, the first thing I say is Woodsworth. It has by far been the most significant part of my career here at U of T. From day 1 to the end of 3rd year, Woodsworth has continuously given me chances to learn, explore and gain integral skills.” – Radha Lamba, VP Internal of WCSA
“Being involved in Woodsworth has provided me with so many opportunities that I never would’ve known to be available to me. Had it not been for being involved, I would not have gotten my job as the 2015-2016 WDWOne Student Liaison for the Popular Culture Today Stream, which allowed me to, in part, mentor students in a topic that I have a deep passion for – Music! Through being involved, I’ve also met my closest and best friends at UofT. Joining a certain club or association brings you to like-minded people that have a passion for the same things that you do! It also helps you improve upon a whole bunch of different skills that are applicable outside of the university – make use of those things – they’re GREAT things to talk about in job interviews and they’re also great things to put on your resume!” – Kristine Sarah Medrero, VP Social WCSA
“For one, it has given me the opportunity to connect with like minds who are compassionate and care about the greater good. I guess the second part is that the process of being involved has forced me to be a better person and hold myself accountable for my actions. The experience has left a great memory in my mind and there is still so much more to come (hopefully)! As for the U of T side, Woodsworth has given me the tight-knit family you simply cannot find otherwise. U of T on its own offers very few chances to be in a close group.” – Dylan Forgas, VP Finance WCSA
What do you most cherish about your involvement at Woodsworth?
“Being able to foster safe spaces and opportunities for students to meet each other and get involved themselves. My favourite thing is knowing that what we’re doing is inspiring younger students to get involved and watching them get involved in things they love and making a difference at Woodsworth.” – Alyy Patel, Orientation Coordinator
“I literally cannot enter Wolfpack territory without seeing someone I know. I was fully prepared to feel like just another face in the crowd at U of T, but as soon as I started participating within my college, my social life exploded. Woodsworth has a very tight knit community of people who see each other at events, run clubs together, are involved in orientation together, etc. All of a sudden I knew people in my classes, at Robarts, even just milling around the St George and Bloor area. It’s not that I don’t have friends outside Woodsworth or I don’t know anyone in the greater U of T community— but it is supremely comforting to have this social circle of people who all miraculously happen to congregate in Kruger Hall at the same time.” — Simona Presutto, Promotions Manager
“My favourite part has been getting to meet wonderful new people everyday, looking out for and helping each other succeed, and being a part of each other’s journey here at U of T. I ADORE my Wolfpack.” – Novera Khan, WCSA President
“The fact that we’re all from different programs and walks of life so we can connect based on our interests, and not the classes we take.” – Dylan Forgas, VP Finance of WCSA.
Do you have any poignant one-liners for the Woodsworth’s 2016 first years?
“I guess I could tell you the classic line of, ‘everyone should get involved’. But the truth is that it takes effort to get involved and follow through. The happiest students I’ve met at Woodsworth are the people willing to exert that effort.” — Dylan Forgas, VP Finance of WCSA.
What can I expect to find at Woodsworth?
“A family.” — Everyone, unanimously.
Woodsworth Inclusive (WiNC)
Woodsworth Political Society (WPS)
Woodsworth College Students’ Association (WCSA)
There it is, Wolfpack! Thank you for reading this instalment of our bi-weekly frosh blogs! If you’re interested in getting involved at Woodsworth, you can participate in clubs, athletics, committees, WCSA, and/or the HOWL, Woodsworth’s official student periodical.
Ride with us on the journey to more success: your next blog post is coming Sunday May 29th!
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @woodsworthfrosh to keep up with us as we reveal important dates regarding orientation, drop hints about what we’re up to, and count down the days (literally) to frosh! You can also like us on our Facebook page— Woodsworth Frosh 2016.
WOODY WOODY WOODY!
— Simona Presutto, in collaboration with Alyy Patel, Julia Standish, Amanda Li, Novera Khan, Ongio Tsui, Radha Lamba, Kristine Sarah Medrero, and Dylan Forgas