Build your university support system with these five tips

Photo credit: Mackenzie Gerry

Photo credit: Mackenzie Gerry

All students need to construct a support system while at school in order to stay healthy — physically, emotionally and mentally. Knowing where to find help on campus is important. Here are a few resources to help:

One great tool for your support system is brocku.ca/bu4u. Take some time to explore BU 4U before your course load gets too heavy. It’s your guide to all things Brock. These easy access sites help with getting involved, campus safety, academics, finances, wellness and life at Brock. The site links students to areas like Brock Sports, which provides information on accessing the pool, track or gym. If you need a faith refresher, you can also find that on the BU 4U site by accessing the Faith and Life Centre. If you need someone to talk to, you can find information on how to access personal counselling here as well. If you have questions about something on campus, check here first.

Two sites that provide students with helpful information regarding health care are brocku.ca/swac and www.studentvip.ca. If you come down with an illness, brocku.ca/swac (Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre or SWAC) directs you to services like walk-in clinics. If you need help with mental wellness, access to the crisis hotline or other resources — they all can be found there. Additionally, www.studentvip.ca offers information regarding student’s dental and health plan coverage. If you have coverage through another insurance provider like your parents’ plan, this is where you might be able to opt-out as well. Mark your calendar because opt-out is only available from September 1 to 30, 2019.

Three important pieces of information to note are the emails, office hours and office locations of your professors and teaching assistants (T.A.s). Print your syllabus for all your courses because you will refer back to it many times throughout each term.

Four important words in every student’s vocabulary are “visit your academic advisor.” Make an appointment to see your academic advisor by going to your Brock portal and selecting “Appointment Bookings,” then choose “Advising Services” and choose your respective department. Ask any questions you have about your credits, requirements, or ask for clarification about your program. If you have a goal in mind or need to make a change in your courses, they can help guide you along the way. Advisors can help you avoid missing an elective or taking too many first or fourth year credits.

Five (or more!) new friends can be great resources. Meet some new friends in your classes that you can bounce ideas off of, study together, or just hang out. They may know an easier way to access a site or have other good tips. Grab those friends to help better orient yourself with Brock. Try to find Union Station or the big green Confucius statue at the Glenridge B building, the new Goodman School of Business or Pond Inlet. (For future reference this is usually where the therapy dogs visit during high stress times. Keep it in mind if you ever need a puppy fix). University is about the future you want to build. Any building starts with a plan. While at Brock, plan to build your own support system to shelter you when a storm comes in. There will be moments that tear you down and those that help build you up. Make sure to use what is around you on campus to make your university experience a success.

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