10 things nobody told me about UTM
A student’s guide to surviving life at UTM
As the new school year starts and students return to the University Toronto Mississauga (UTM), many find themselves feeling disoriented and overwhelmed. With UTM’s return to in-person classes and events, students may be unfamiliar with campus life. To help with this transition, here are 10 things that nobody told me about UTM that I wish I had known sooner.
- There are many interesting clubs and student groups on campus. From sports groups to academic societies to religious and cultural associations, there is no shortage of opportunities to meet people with similar interests and backgrounds.
- The Office of the Registrar and individual departments offer seminars, information sessions, and academic advisory appointments. These services provide critical information about Programs of Study applications and degree requirements, in addition to helping students in planning future years of study and career paths. Services such as these are especially helpful for new students, or those considering switching programs, as they can help navigate these transitions, and answer any questions along the way.
- DegreeExplorer is a helpful tool found on ACORN that helps in researching and planning future years of study. DegreeExplorer allows students to drag and drop courses into a degree plan to ensure that all program requirements and prerequisites are fulfilled, re-assuring you that you’re on the right track for your graduation. It also makes course enrollment less stressful in the long run, as all of the necessary research and planning for future years of study is already completed.
- Geese literally rule the campus. This may seem like an odd thing to mention but as a first-year student, I was shocked to see how many geese there are on campus. It’s not uncommon to see a flock of geese sitting in the middle of the road—holding up traffic. For the most part, UTM geese are friendly.
- The Recreation, Athletics and Wellness Centre (RAWC) on campus is home to UTM’s fitness centre, drop-in sports, and fitness programs. In addition, they offer services including personal training and group fitness classes. The RAWC is open seven days a week (with exceptions for holidays), which makes it very convenient to fit in a workout before, after, or between classes.
- Several movies and television shows have been filmed on UTM’s campus. Film crews are a familiar sight on campus. Some examples include Amazon Prime’s The Boys, and Disney’s Zombies 2, Shazam, and Hannibal.
- There are many quiet study spaces available on campus, offering students areas where they can be focused and productive. The library is a convenient place to study as there are computers, printing and copying services, books, study resources, quiet areas, and study rooms (available by booking) for student use.
- The UTM Library is also home to many collections for students to borrow. Students have access to data and statistics sets, archived newspapers and government reports, books, maps, and articles, which are useful for coursework and assignments. The library also has a recreational book collection of both fiction and non-fiction. Additionally, the library is home to collections such as the Syd Bolton Collection of over 14,000 video games, making it one of the largest video game collections in North America.
- UTM’s Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre offers a variety of services to help students identify and develop critical academic skills. They offer workshops, one-on-one sessions, online resources, and programs to help students improve skills such as technical writing and mathematics, all free of cost.
- The University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) has many services available for UTM students. Some examples of the UTMSU’s services include shuttle bus tickets, U-Passes, printing services, health and dental coverage, and events. Students can also look to the UTMSU for discounts and coupons for places such as Cineplex, Domino’s, and Canada’s Wonderland. The UTMSU also advocates for student rights and needs such as affordable healthcare, tuition, and transit.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of all the Easter eggs around campus, but it is just enough to get you started on your journey at UTM. The best part of it all? Discovering your own hidden treasures around campus.