How to get involved while living off campus

Photo credit: Foundry Lofts

Photo credit: Foundry Lofts

So, you’re a commuter student. It sounds disheartening already as living on campus is generally touted as part of the ideal university lifestyle. As someone who was once in a similar spot, it felt like an entire chunk of my university experience would be missing if every other first-year student and on-campus event wasn’t around the corner.

But, with the assistance of Brock programs, things don’t have to be that way. Even if you’re not in residence, you can still have a full university experience while living off-campus. There are plenty of ways to get involved on campus that will allow you to meet new people and they kick off right at the beginning of the year.

One of the communities Brock offers is the Brock Society of Off-Campus Students (SOCS). For $60, SOCS provides students who are commuting not only the opportunity to meet others, but a number of events and activities that help ease the transition into their first year. The events and programs that SOCS provide take place over the first nine weeks of the school year, offering campus involvement, engagement within the Niagara community and an upper year group mentor who will assist in making sure the transition into first year is a smooth one. For more information, visit brocku.ca/student-life/socs.

Scheduled around the day that first-year students move into their residences, Brock annually holds a week of events catered to new students: Welcome Week. By attending Welcome Week, you’ll get acquainted with the campus and your fellow first years. The festivities begin with a kick-off event and end in a concert, with a number of activities scattered throughout the week. There’s always something on the lineup to appeal to everyone’s tastes, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for (brocku.ca/orientation).

Vendor Fair also takes place during Welcome Week. This is an event spanning two days in which various clubs and organizations at Brock as well as local businesses come together to connect with students and share what they have to offer. Vendor Fair is an opportunity for new students to find places to fit in on campus, showcasing clubs and volunteer opportunities. Getting involved on campus is the best way to meet and forge connections with other students during your time at university. Seeing as these friendships are born out of mutual interest, bonds may come about easier than those made in residences.

Something else worth looking at is Brock’s website for commuter students (brockocl.ca). Not only is it a great tool for finding a place to live, a roommate or subletter for your room, but it also provides resources for students to make their experience living off-campus a successful one.

With a plethora of new experiences on the horizon, the beginning of university is intimidating enough on its own. Don’t make it worse by weighing yourself down with worries that your experience won’t be the same as if you lived on campus. Opportunities for off-campus students to get involved and blossom socially are plentiful, and you’ll be sure to find a place on campus to call your own.

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