DON'T GO IT ALONE
ULIFE HACK #4
We’ve covered the basics, making the transition away from home and exploring campus. Now it’s time to make ULethbridge home.
In this section, we’ll add making connections, student mentors, and ULSU ratified student clubs to your ULife toolbox!
One of the essential parts of making campus home is finding your community. Making friends is not always an easy process. Sometimes it requires extra effort to initiate conversation, set up a time to meet or study together and stay in touch. Unlike high school, you will eat lunch at different times than other students. You’ll likely find yourself alone more often and have less free time on your hands.
Finding a group of people you feel safe with who share your experiences and support you is crucial. Everyone needs a safe space.
It’s easier to stick with those you already know, especially if you have an established group of friends on campus. But you should be open to inviting more students into your friend group or expanding into new friend groups. One of the best ways to meet other students and grow is through student clubs.
Clubs are a fantastic way to meet people who share common interests inside and outside of your faculty. There are currently 60 student clubs at ULethbridge. There truly is something for everyone. And besides being a great resume builder, they’re a ton of fun. You never know which connection will change your life.
Learn more about ULSU clubs at clubs.ulsu.ca or by following their interactive Discord server.
The Campus Collective (formerly the Campus Women’s Centre) is ‘a student-led safe space’ located on campus, working to offer resources and support to students. From sex-positive resources, free pregnancy and menstrual products, and peer mentorship and support groups, the Campus Collective relies on ‘feminist funding’ and volunteers to operate. Join the collective and learn more.
Learn more about all-gender washrooms, university policies, procedures and research, and access student groups and support services. And check out Q-Space, a space of advocacy and inclusion for 2SLGBTQ+ students and allies during clubs week.
Stop in and say “Oki!” to the Iikaisskini staff! First Nations, Métis and Inuit students are encouraged to stop by the Iikaisskini (Low Horn) Gathering Place located in W650. Here, free, confidential support is available, including support from Indigenous students, Elders, Chiefs and business leaders. Gain access to peer support, cultural/spiritual celebrations, as well as the Education Resource Library.
Iikaisskini Indigenous Services is here to guide, encourage, and empower Indigenous students at the University of Lethbridge. The University’s Blackfoot name, gifted to us by Elder Bruce Wolf Child, is Iniskim, meaning Sacred Buffalo Stone.
New ULethbridge students are assigned a student mentor. You will receive email messages or ‘mentor mail’ from your assigned mentor. Did you know you’re more than welcome to reply to these messages and reach out? ULethbridge hires these students to be your guide, and you wouldn’t take a tour without asking some questions and interacting! Also, don’t forget to thank your tour guide. Meet your mentors.
The International Student Mentorship Program is a volunteer program that matches new international students with continuing ULethbridge students who can provide ongoing advice and information about university life.
If you are an international student who would like to have a mentor or a student who would like to volunteer as a mentor, visit the website.
English language assistance
If English is not your first language, and you would like to be paired with a student to mentor you, or you would like to volunteer to assist an international student in this capacity, visit the English Language Institute.
If you need help writing in English or would like to volunteer to help students with their writing, please visit the website to learn more.
WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT CLUBS, ACTIVITIES AND MAKING FRIENDS
Clubs & activities
“Sign up for as many clubs as possible, even if you’re not sure you’ll attend all the events. You can really diversify your opportunities for extracurricular activities this way by allowing yourself to choose events to go to based on your schedule. I joined the Spanish club my first year, and there were so many fun activities, from language lessons to potlucks. ULethbridge has such a diverse amount of clubs, and clubs are a great way to meet new people as well!” - Angelica
“Please, please, please join clubs or student organizations!! You will meet so many people who will help you grow and mature and make your university experience so much better. Go to Club Rush Week, find clubs you like, and go to a few events!” - Cayley
“I joined a lot of clubs so that I could experience them all and see what I liked. When you’re there, go talk to everyone.” - Jace
“You can always go to the first meeting of a few clubs that you are interested in to see which group you mesh well with.” - Tabitha
“I feel like joining a club seems harder than it is. The people running the clubs typically want more people to join. So just ask! Go to rush week and find out what you can.” - Makita
“Join a club of what you’re passionate about or very interested in and prepare to work hard. The more you put in, the more you get out. Participating in clubs can open doors for you in the future, whether through networking or something you can add to your portfolio and resume.” - Derek
“I know it can be scary, but go to the events! Before rush week, I looked up all the clubs online and wrote a list of ones I wanted to check out.” - Skylar
“Don’t be scared to approach clubs at rush week. They genuinely want you to join and be a part of their club. They will do a lot for you to make you feel welcome!” - Kathleen
“Volunteer. It’s the absolute best way to develop as a person, build your CV and help your community. Frontier College Lethbridge was one of my favourite places. I was fortunate enough to be able to help youth in my community improve their literacy and math skills. Enabling youth to get an education opens so many doors for them for the rest of their life and is a really great way to spend a couple of hours once a week” - Katrina
“I made friends by getting involved and reaching out to students in my classes. I participated in study groups where we helped each other, and I joined the Circle K International club in the fall semester and then joined Kappa Beta Gamma in the spring semester.” - Caileigh
“I made my first friends at ULethbridge through the Pronghorn Track and Field Team, which I have now been a part of for six years. Even though we all had different academic backgrounds, we had the common goal of loving our team and sport, and through the countless hours we spent together on and off the track, we became like a family. I am still very close to these friends. I highly recommend joining a team or club. They provide you with amazing friendships with people who share common interests with you!” - Madeline
“I think everyone has experienced the awkward small talk you make while waiting outside a lecture hall on the first day of class. You make a joke about hopefully being in the right place, exchange majors and hometowns, and there you go, your first lecture friend, who will send you notes when you miss class and study with you for exams.” - Amy
“It’s much easier to talk with others on the first day because almost everyone is a stranger to everyone. The first friend I met, we talked about coding and went on a walk through the coulees.” - Derek
“Making friends in university isn’t as scary as it seems. I made just one friend in each class. You’re in the same class, so you have something in common. We could sit with and study together, which helped with my classes a lot. It also led to meeting more people and eventually developing a pretty good network.” - Hana
“Biology lab! I found it was more intimate than the lecture, and it was nice to work one on one with my classmates.” - Haley S
“I was a part of the GCC (Global Citizenship Cohort) and was able to meet eager, like-minded people who were just entering university. Additionally, I participated in class and made an effort to introduce myself to people I found interesting. Odds are, your classmates think you are just as cool as you find them.” - Ziara
“I made my first friends striking up conversations on the very first day of class and then working hard to maintain the connections if there was a spark between us. Group projects eventually became wing nights.” - Angelica
“I ended up making the majority of my friends through clubs and student organizations! I became involved with the Students’ Union through volunteering and joined one of the sororities on campus in my second year. However, I met my best friend at NSO by just walking up to her and starting a conversation (and we’re still good friends four years later).” - Cayley
“I made friends at the archaeological field school this summer. We lived and did everything together for six weeks which made us close friends.” - Nicko
“I met a significant portion of my friends through the biology Research Internship Concentration (RIC). It was an amazing opportunity to enhance my CV while meeting like-minded people that I would be friends with for my lifetime.” - Katrina