“What the University Isn’t Telling You” panel offers advice to students from students

Panelists (L to R): Danielle Doucet, Dana Dodsworth, Kelsie Armstrong, Luke Duffley, Hannah Wallace, Shivam Sabbarwal, Meghan Clark. and Sara Babin.
Panel moderator Angela Morris

As part of Communication Week, the Golden Key Society presented a ninety-minute panel on Thursday evening titled “What the University isn’t Telling You.” The panel brought together upper year students from various disciplines to offer advice to lower year students on tips, tricks, and advice on navigating UNB Saint John.

The resounding theme of the evening? Get involved and to get involved early.

“Become more involved and go outside and don’t just stay in your room all night,” said panelist and Engineering student Shivam Sabbarwal, “Because that will happen in your first year, especially if you are in engineering.”

“Try to get involved early and try to get involved in whatever you can,” Kenya Plut, panelist SRC President-Elect, agreed. “Don’t just try and be like ‘well I’m an engineer so I’m going to stick to the Engineering Society or Business. I volunteer with people in Arts, I volunteer with some of the Science students. You can get to do all these really interesting things and you get to meet new people, which is the number one thing. But, you also get to find new things you’re interested in. So definitely try to get your hands in everything.”

The casual atmosphere of the evening invited a less formal discussion on ways to get involved on campus. An activity started by panel moderator and Golden Key co-chair Angela Morris challenged each panelist to name a club or society on campus and what they do, returning ten unique societies which really only scratched the surface of the many clubs and societies UNB Saint John offers to students.

“I wish I would have been more open to other options earlier,” panelist and Bio-Psyc student Hannah Wallace commented in regards to opportunities at UNB Saint John.

Panelists a part of “What the University isn’t Telling You”

Another point that all the panelists agreed on early in the evening was to meet with professors and befriend them.

“Once you get to know [your professors] you get to realize that they’re all moms and daughters and just regular people who go home to families,” panelist and Business student Dana Dodsworth commented.

“I think that’s the benefit of UNBSJ,” panelist and Education student Danielle Doucet added. “I don’t have to write my student number on my midterms or assignments because the profs just know who I am. They are so willing to help you if you are willing to put in the effort to go and see them.”

The night was full of advice concerning time management, meeting with counsellors, and working on a system that works best for each individual student. Panelists came from different backgrounds, each offering their own advice on their own specialties. For example, panelist and Business student Sarah Babin offered advice on applying for co-op programs and Morris offered information on studying abroad.

While there was room for advice on specific details of the UNB Saint John student experience, it was clear that the panelists were interested in creating a support system for students. They each wanted to make clear that all students are in it together and offered more general advice to help shape the student experience.

“Do not be afraid to fail,” Golden Key co-chair and Dal Med honours student Luke Duffley said. “If you are torn between doing something and not doing something, like, because you think you’re not going to do well at it or not be successful, like, go for that something and fail at it and learn from that rather than wishing years later that you would have done it.”

“If you want something, you should go for it,” Morris concluded, offering parting advice to close the panel.

“If you want to change something, you should change it. If you’re not going to change it, who else is gonna do it?”