Shifting from hammock to desk  

Sadly, summer’s over. Luckily, here are tips for an easy fall transition

By Russ Cooper

Students chat with a student mentor (right) outside H-110 between sessions at Counselling and Development’s Start Right workshop on Aug. 26. Magnifying glass

Students chat with a student mentor (right) outside H-110 between sessions at Counselling and Development’s Start Right workshop on Aug. 26.

On Aug. 26 and 27, more than 750 new students started the new school year right… a week and a half before classes started.

Those enthusiastic pupils were taking part in Start Right, an orientation workshop offered by the New Student Program in Counselling and Development, aimed at providing students tips and strategies to succeed in their studies, as well as in life and career development.

If that interests you and you missed it, don’t sweat. If school is looking daunting, relax. There are numerous resources to guide you through the hectic first weeks and year-long success.

Where to start?

To gather helpful tips and valuable advice to understand the administrative side of things, zip over to the Front-line Administrative Services Team website. From there, you can link to a wealth of information that can make the crazy first few weeks a little less so. There’s information on registration, important dates, financial aid and all kinds of ways to navigate red tape.

Maximizing your time

Once you’ve taken care of registration and such, it’s time to get down to making the most of your studies. To get ideas, check out the Counselling and Development website.

There, you can register for Fall seminars and workshops on a number of subjects to help students of all levels get the most out of their university experience; learning and study skills, life skills and personal success, career planning and job search, leadership, workshops for first-year and international students, and much more. Through the fall, there are more than 60 different sessions to choose from, with another batch in winter.

“Of course, it’s tricky balancing school and life and everything else. It can be quite overwhelming,” says New Student Program Project Manager Lynda Guy. “These sessions are a way to make adjusting easier, but also fun.”

Guy will be holding the Connecting to University Life seminars on Sept. 14 and 17 in H-440 and AD-103 respectively. She’ll be linking new students with upper-year undergrads in the mentor program. While not certified counsellors, mentors pass on first-hand experiences and advice to help newer students with life at Concordia and in Montreal.

Students can head over to either of the Student Success Program Centres (AD-103 at Loyola and H-481 in the Hall Building) to access a face-to-face resource that can give advice on anything that will ultimately help a student’s university life – everything from acing dreadful exams to facing dreadful roommates. Raining outside, or just need a quick answer? Just check their site.

Volunteering makes a difference

An easy way to get engaged in the community is to volunteer with a local organization, and a great place to get started is Concordia's Volunteering website. Launched last spring, the website is for anyone who wants to experience something new and support a cause you believe in. While volunteering is unpaid, it can build valuable skills that translate directly in the job market.


Concordia University