How to stand out amongst 70,000 Students
Our Student Contributors
I will let you in on a not-so-secret, secret: University is a lot bigger than high school. In my first year at the University of Toronto St. George Campus, I was transitioning from a small high school of about 800 students to campus of over 40,000 students.
However, as a Kinesiology student I found the transition to be a little easier because in the relatively small faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education I always felt supported by my friends and tight-knit student body throughout my leadership endeavours. I am now in my final year of study, and I am taking a full load of courses outside of my faulty. In many ways I feel like I am a first year student in the Arts & Science faculty: my classes are much larger and I am surrounded by unfamiliar faces. While I am now starting to experience some of the challenges of standing out in a larger crowd, I have come to realize a common feature of successful leadership that is present in both small and large crowds of students. Whether you are in a group of 10, 100, or 1000 people, true leaders take initiative and lead by example. This characteristic extends beyond frosh week and into daily living. For example, when sitting in tutorial, do you answer questions and lead discussions? Or, do you sit back and answer emails on your cellphone? A true leader takes initiative and leads, regardless of the situation. Answering questions in tutorial and leading your class in a discussion will get you noticed by your peers and professors. In turn, this can help you in future leadership initiatives like running for President on student council.
So my advice on how to stand out amongst the 70,000 students that attend the University of Toronto? Speak out, help out and take initiative in class, during frosh and in your community.