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How to take care of yourself on World Mental Health Day

Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 09:26

October 7-11 is Mental Health Awareness Week, so we’re taking a moment to pause on this important subject. While university is full of opportunities, it is not without its challenges. We want all Gryphons and future Gryphons to know that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes, and that you are never alone. Today we’re going over some on- and off-campus mental wellness resources as well as some de-stressing tips!

If You Need To Unwind

  • Hang out in the Arboretum: Spending time in nature is proven to improve your mood, so taking a rest in the Arboretum’s peaceful forests and gardens is always a good idea.
  • Toss a frisbee with a friend on Johnston Green: Physical activity, beautiful views, and spending time with friends means a triple shot of a mental wellbeing boost.
  • Visit the quiet study floors in the library: Sometimes a little peace and quiet is just what the doctor ordered. Check out the basement and the second, third, fifth, and sixth floors of the library for a peaceful atmosphere perfect for studying, reading, and relaxing.
  • Drop-in for an Athletic Centre program: Whether you relax best by doing some yoga or by boxing, you can get those feel-good endorphins flowing at the Athletic Centre! The AC offers a wide range of drop-in recreational activities that are free for all students. Drop-in sessions are also a great way to make new friends!
  • Unplug with a book, notebook, drawing pad, musical instrument, etc. in the Conservatory Gardens: Take some time out of your day to pursue your hobbies. The Conservatory Gardens is a great place to find inspiration or just find your zen amidst the beautiful scenery.
  • Academic Action Program: If the source of your stress is academics, you may wish to consider joining the Academic Action Program offered by the library. This program pairs you with an Academic Coach who helps you manage your workload, avoid procrastination, and prepare effectively for midterms and exams. Academic Coaches also encourage a holistic approach that balances schoolwork with the rest of your life, helping you ensure academic expectations don’t take over your mental wellbeing. Learn more about the Academic Action Program on the Library website.
  • Schedule selfcare: Make sure to be kind to yourself and set aside time in your week for whatever brings you joy or relaxation. It can feel hard to squeeze in time for selfcare when you’re juggling schoolwork, relationships, jobs, and more; but the more packed your schedule, the more important it is to take time-outs to avoid burnout and stress.
  • Check-in with your physical health: Physical health and mental health go hand in hand, so your eating and sleeping habits can make a big impact on your mental wellness. If you need help creating healthy habits, there are oncampus resources ready to assist you. The Student Nutrition Awareness Program (SNAP) encourages students to develop healthy eating habits by providing nutrition education and peer support. In addition to answering nutrition questions and concerns, SNAP provides nutrition resources to help students adjust to campus life. If you have concerns about your sleeping habits, you can book an appointment with the on-campus Physician Services. One of the physicians will help you address those concerns.

Arboretum

If You Need To Talk To Someone

  • Student Support Network (Peer Support Services): The U of G Student Support Network (SSN) offers dropin peer support during the school year. A team of student volunteers, extensively trained in active listening and communication skills, is ready to provide a supportive ear to any member of the campus community. Dropin peer support space is located at the entrance of the JT Powell Building, as well as in the McLaughlin Library (Room 111).
  • Counselling Services: Counselling Services offers individual counselling sessions to help support students as they work through the personal challenges that impair their ability to succeed at school and in other areas of their lives. Oncampus counselling services are free for all students.
  • Off-Campus Counselling Services: If it makes more sense for you to seek help offcampus, there are several mental health resources available in the city of Guelph. The University of Guelph Student Health Benefit Plan covers 80% of the cost of treatment by a psychologist to a maximum of $500 per year. Check out the Family Service website for more info.
  • Helplines and Online Counselling:
    • Good2Talk is free, confidential helpline providing professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to post-secondary students in Ontario
    • Here 24/7 is a 24-hour crisis help and referral to Waterloo-Wellington Addictions, Mental Health & Crisis Services
    • Ontario Mental Health Helpline - Connex (1-866-531-2600) is a free, 24-hour confidential helpline providing about mental illness and support services available to help.

gryphon

Online Resources

  • Learn more about all the oncampus services offered by U of G Student Wellness on their website! You can also go here to book appointments and volunteer!
  • Follow @wellness_uofg on Instagram to keep tabs on all the student wellness resources and events on campus!
  • Check out the Library’s great guide to mindfulness apps, podcasts, and websites!
  • Follow us on Instagram and Snapchat (both @uofgadmission) and tune in this week as our Social Media Ambassadors share how they unwind and destress on- and off-campus!

Thank you for reading our post on de-stressing tips and mental health resources at the U of G! If you’re struggling with mental health on campus, help is never far away. We hope you found this post helpful and that you take the time out of your day to take care of yourself today. Always remember: you are important, and your mental health matters.

Program Spotlight: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

Posted: Friday, October 4, 2019 - 11:00

Do you have a passion for design? Do you want to make a difference in people's lives by beautifying and enhancing the outdoor spaces around them? If so, our Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) program might be the perfect fit for you!

Today, we’re going to explore the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program at the University of Guelph! We’ll go over what Landscape Architecture is, what makes our BLA program unique, and what kind of jobs our grads get. We’ll also look at the accomplishments of one of our BLA profs, check out what kind of courses first-year students can expect, and see what it takes to gain admission into this unique and coveted program!

What is Landscape Architecture?

Landscape architecture is a profession that combines art and science to design attractive, functional, and sustainable outdoor spaces. The work of landscape architects can be seen in urban plazas, parks, conservation areas, golf courses, resorts, and more. Not only do they beautify and enhance life for humans, but they prioritize environmental health to conserve our outdoor spaces for generations to come.

landscape architecture at work

What makes the BLA program at the U of G unique?

  1. The BLA program is the ONLY ACCREDITED BLA program in Canada. This means our students can go on to apply for entry into professional associations of landscape architects across Canada, North America, and abroad!
  2. The U of G program is partnered with over 20 universities around the world, giving lots of international exchange options. You can also apply for internships under professional supervision (Canadian Society of Landscape Architects member of equivalent) and go on field courses!
  3. The BLA program is a small community with a famously strong sense of belonging. Students work closely together over 4 years and make friends for life. The supportive family dynamic lives on after graduation, and current BLA students frequently connect with alumni practicing all around the world.

What jobs can I get with a BLA degree?

  • Landscape Architect in a private firm or private sector
  • National Parks planner at Parks Canada
  • Zoo exhibit designer
  • Chief Administrative Officer for a rural township
  • Urban designer
  • Resort designer
  • Story-boarder and lead designer of theme parks
  • Artist for public space
  • Conservation Officer with Conservation Authority
  • Residential garden designer
  • Digital illustrator for a video game company
  • What will I study as a first-year?
  • As a first-year, you’ll have the opportunity to study:
  • Design and Communications Studio
  • Humans in the Natural World
  • History of Cultural Form I
  • One of: Anthropology, Philosophy, Psychology, or Sociology
  • Foundational Design Studio
  • Planting Design
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Philosophy of the Environment

Wait, do I need to be an artist to apply to the BLA program? Do I need a portfolio to apply?

No and no! To succeed in the BLA program, all you need is a love of design, a willingness to work hard, and a great team player attitude.

In addition to meeting the prerequisite requirements, you also need to submit a Background Information Form (BIF) as part of your application. In this form, you will demonstrate your interest in the program and what you think you can contribute to the field. For fall 2020 admission, the BIF must be submitted by March 1, 2020.

Professor Spotlight – Nathan Perkins

Nathan Perkins, PhD, is one of the BLA programs’ Associate Professors. One of the ways Nathan has improved life with landscape architecture is through the therapeutic environments he has developed for hospitals like the Homewood Health Centre in Guelph. Introducing changes to these facilities such as woodland paths, gardens, and accessible green spaces are just some of the ways he created healthier environments for hospital patients.

Ready To Learn More?

Interested in learning more about the BLA program? Visit the program website and connect with them on Facebook.

Also, be sure to visit us at Fall Preview Day on Sunday, November 3rd this year! You’ll be able to meet with BLA students and professors, tour their building, and get a first-hand glimpse of what makes this program so special. You’ll also be able to take a tour of our beautiful campus and see examples of landscape architecture at work!

BLA studio

ICYMI: OUF 2019

Posted: Monday, September 30, 2019 - 16:01

This year's Ontario Universities' Fair (OUF) was a huge success! Although our voices were a little hoarse by Day 3, our hearts were still filling up with Gryphon pride as we neared the end of an amazing OUF weekend. We met so many awesome high school students, answered great questions, and had fun in our booth (our little Guelph away from Guelph) until the fair closed its doors until next year.

In case you couldn’t make it, here’s a recap of what you missed.

1. A whopping 120,000 students and parents visited the fair this weekend!

If you couldn’t be one of them, don’t worry! We now have an OUF 2019 Highlight on our Instagram Stories so you can catch up on everything you missed.

2. We had 22 Beats by Dre headphones winners!

By scanning an OUF passport at our booth, students were able to sign up to receive more info about the U of G. Everyone who scanned also won a prize with our top prize being Beats by Dre headphones. One winner was even celebrating a birthday that day, making it an extra fun moment!

OUF20192.jpeg

3. We shared that it’s OK to change your mind in university!

We talked to a lot of prospective students this weekend who were worried about the thought of having to pick only one program and/or major to study. So, we filmed a quick series to share that, actually, you DON’T have to have it all figured out when you start university!

Students shared their success stories of switching majors, we learned about the flexibility of the U of G’s programs, and how the common first-year within programs makes it easy to switch majors if you find your passion someplace else. We also heard the perspective of a program advisor, who emphasized that at the U of G we want you to find the right fit, so there’s tons of resources to help students successfully make the transition. Make sure to check this series out on our IG Stories at @UofGAdmission!

4. Our presentation room was packed

Liaison Officer John-Bosco spoke about his academic experience, his time playing intermural sports and how he has continued to be engaged in the U of G community. If there is one takeaway we can share from his presentation, it’s that when you come to Guelph, you’re not just a number – You’re a Gryphon!

5. We invited everyone to visit our campus

Our enthusiastic tour guides and U of G Ambassadors were the life of the party and did a great job of encouraging #futuregryphons to visit Guelph. We truly believe the best way to find the right university-fit is to visit campus!

Visit our events page for details on visiting us this Fall.

Thank you to all our amazing volunteers and fair staff who made #OUF2019 such a success. You represented the welcoming, inclusive, and fun culture of the U of G well and inspired so many future Gryphons!

OUF20191.jpg

2019 Road Warrior Series: Lauren Dietrich

Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 08:00

Lauren Dietrich

Name: Lauren Dietrich

Program: Major in Criminal Justice and Public Policy; Minor in Family and Child Studies

What is your favourite thing about U of G? What was your most memorable experience here?

My favourite thing about the U of G is the strong sense of community. The Gryphon colours that shine bright on campus give off a feeling of warmth and inclusivity. I love how passionate and creative the students are… as demonstrated by new Cannon designs weekly!

Please describe your campus & community involvement while at U of G (i.e. clubs, athletics, student organizations, jobs).

In my time at The U of G I got involved in a variety of intramural teams on campus. I juggled these teams while playing competitive hardball for the City of Guelph. Although balancing a busy schedule, in between my studies and working a part-time job off campus, I found time to volunteer with Family and Children Services of Guelph and Wellington County, and The Canadian Mental Health Association. In my last year as a Gryphon I travelled to Fiji to volunteer in a village, helping to run nutritional workshops and fresh water to the local school.

What prompted you to become a Liaison Officer? What excites you the most about this position?

In becoming a Liaison Officer I wanted to share my UofG story will future Gryphons in the hopes that they will create their own amazing journey. What excites me most is visiting schools and speaking with excited students and parents. I am eager to share all of the wonderful memories I had at The UofG, and to ease any worries students or parents may have!

What advice would you offer to potential U of G students?

The one piece of advice I would offer to a potential U of G student would be to take advantage of every opportunity possible and to be yourself! Now is your time to shine and to not sweat the small things. The sun will always come up tomorrow.

2019 Road Warrior Series

Posted: Monday, September 23, 2019 - 13:04

LO_LeChelle.jpgName: LeChelle Saunders

Program: BSc. Biological Science and Hispanic Studies

What is your favourite thing about U of G? What was your most memorable experience here?

My favourite thing about the University would have to be our Gryphon pride! The Gryphon Spirit runs deep, from the kindness of the people to the beauty of the grounds, you'll feel the Gryphon love all around!

Please describe you campus & community involvement while at U of G.

During my undergrad years, when I wasn't chilling with the fish in the Hagen Aqua Lab, I was super involved on campus, mainly within the Student Experience Department and a few organizations that worked closely alongside them. 

Program Facilitator for the START International Orientation Program (2016), Peer Helper with Student Experience Department, OV Team Leader, Social Affairs Co-executive with the International Student's Organization. 

What prompted you to become a Liaison Officer? What excites you most about this position?

I decided to become a Liaison Officer to not only spread word about the University, but for my own professional growth as well. They say life is not just about the destination but more so the journey - and in this role, that's what it's all about!

What excited me most? Haven't we all dreamed of Life on the Road?!

What advice would you offer to potential U of G students?

Take advantage of this time and be open to new and exciting experiences, don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone! BE BOLD! For every obstacle in your way, there are at least 3 hidden pathways!

Why Visit U of G at the Ontario Universities' Fair?

Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 10:45

The Ontario Universities' Fair (OUF) happens only once a year at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. We're breaking down the 5 W's of OUF, why you should attend and how to register in advance.

What is OUF?

OUF is the ONLY event where you can visit and talk to representatives from all 21 Ontario universities in one place. PS - it’s FREE to attend!

At the U of G booth, you can chat with current students, professors, academic advisors and admission reps – we can’t wait to share our Gryphon knowledge with you!

When is OUF?

Friday, September 27 to Sunday, September 29 from 10 am - 5 pm daily. That’s next weekend friends!

Where is OUF?

Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC), South Building, 222 Bremner Blvd., Toronto, ON. M5V 2T6. Visit their site for details on getting there.

WHO can attend OUF?

Anyone interested in studying a program at an Ontario University. This includes high school students, current university and college students, out-of-province students, International students and mature students. Parents can come too!

Why attend OUF?

It's never too early to start planning for your future!

OUF is the BEST opportunity to learn about the different programs offered at each university, as well as admission requirements and student life. It’s the next-best thing to visiting a university campus and it’s a sure way to narrow down your post-secondary options.

How do I Register for OUF?

Head to the Ontario Universities’ Fair website, click OUF passport then Register Online.

Remember to bring your bar code with you to OUF. You can keep a photo of it on your phone or print it out old-school. You’ll scan it at university booths and in presentation rooms to receive more info about campus tours and events, scholarships, athletics and university news!

Scanning your passport is also how you win prizes. At the U of G booth and presentation room you’ll have the chance to win some Gryphon swag! And, for the first time ever, we’re giving away Beats by Dre headphones!

We hope to see lots of #FutureGryphon faces at OUF this year!

2019 Road Warrior Series: Katie Jany

Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 08:00

Katie Jany

Name: Katie Jany

Program: BSc. Biological and Pharmaceutical Chemistry

What is your favourite thing about U of G? What was your most memorable experience here?

My favourite part about the University as a whole is how caring and supportive Gryphons are of one another – they welcome each other’s accomplishments! It is an environment that sets students up for success when combined with the academic and research excellence at Guelph. A memorable experience I would highlight would be my first class of MATH 1080 (Calculus) in first year. Our prof took off his shoes, sat on a desk at the front of the room, and made everyone grab the numbers of the students beside them so that they would have people to study with if they didn’t know anyone in class!

Please describe your campus & community involvement while at U of G (i.e. clubs, athletics, student organizations, jobs).

In first year, I was involved as a member of the IHSA equestrian team, and a floor representative in my residence. I began rowing in second year and rowed on the varsity team during third and fourth year, which did a lot to shape my university experience and allowed me to meet so many people. In fourth year, I was a Chemistry 1040 laboratory teaching assistant and Vice President of Communications on the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Student Council. In terms of employment, I held an Undergraduate Student Research Award after second year in the Physics department, and then worked the summers after third and fourth year in a Biochemistry / Microbiology laboratory on campus studying the mechanisms by which bacteria evade antibiotics.

What prompted you to become a Liaison Officer? What excites you the most about this position?

I love speaking to others about topics that I’m passionate about, and often find myself bragging to friends and family about Guelph – so why not get paid to do it? I’m excited to meet new people on the road, see new parts of Ontario, and inspire students to find what they’re most interested in!

What advice would you offer to potential U of G students?

I would offer the advice of making connections right from the day you get here. Connect with people in residence, your classmates, and get to know your professors – you never know what will help you to find a job or get involved in a new experience!

2019 Road Warrior Series: Ryan Padum

Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 08:00

Ryan Padum

Name: Ryan Padum

Program: Graduated in 2019. Bachelor of Commerce – Management Economics & Finance. Was apart of the first graduating class at the newly named Gordon S. Lang School of Business & Economics.

What is your favourite thing about U of G? What was your most memorable experience here?

My favourite thing about U of G is the community. From our amazing faculty, to the supportive staff and of course our incredible students. My most memorable experience at the University was being able to participate in many business case competitions. This past April, I was fortunate to travel to Orlando, Florida where I competed in an Entrepreneurship Challenge and received a Top 10 overall International finish.

Please describe your campus & community involvement while at U of G (i.e. clubs, athletics, student organizations, jobs).

In my time at Guelph, I was a part of the Guelph Student Investment Council. This team manages a $100,000 portfolio on the North American markets. I held the roles of Portfolio Manager as well as Internal Manager of the team. Over my time with the council, I saw the team grow from a team of 8 all the way to 50 in the 2018-19 year.

I was additionally a part of DECA U Guelph, a team which focuses on business case competitions as well as hosts their own invitational competition on campus each year.

Being a huge sports enthusiast, I participated in many intramural sports most notably basketball, where I was able to compete with some of my best friends on the court.

I had many other extra-curricular involvements throughout my time at Guelph including volunteering on many occasions with the Gordon S. Lang School of Business & Economics.

What prompted you to become a Liaison Officer? What excites you the most about this position?

I became a Liaison Officer to share my love with this institution with other prospective students. The community and feeling of being on campus at Guelph is unlike any feeling I experienced anywhere else. The University also presents so many opportunities to get involved and make your university experience so much more worthwhile.

What advice would you offer to potential U of G students?

My advice to prospective students is to step out your comfort zone and take chances! University is a time to explore and find where your passions lie! Get involved with teams and clubs you are passionate about!

2019 Road Warrior Series: Jessie Kennedy

Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 08:00

Jessie Kennedy

Name: Jessie Kennedy

Program: Child Youth and Family Studies, minor in Psychology

What is your favourite thing about U of G? What was your most memorable experience here?

My favourite thing about the UofG is the balance of academics, athletics, and student life. I was actively in involved in the Guelph community and it was the people that I met throughout these experiences that made my undergrad so memorable! One of my favourite memories form being a student is painting the cannon during the 1st year!

Please describe your campus & community involvement while at U of G (i.e. clubs, athletics, student organizations, jobs).

With so many opportunities to get involved on the campus, I made sure to try a bit of everything! I was a tour guide, athlete on the novice rowing team, and a student rep for my program where I spoke to prospective students and families at Campus Day Open House Events. My favourite job on campus was running the Admission SnapChat account during my 4th year!

What prompted you to become a Liaison Officer? What excites you the most about this position?

I am extremely passionate about the University of Guelph and wanted the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience about the school to prospective students. I cannot wait to start the travel season and to meet the #futuregryphons

What advice would you offer to potential U of G students?

Come and visit our beautiful campus, the vibe at the UofG isn’t something that I can describe, you have to come feel it for yourself! The best way to learn about all the opportunities at the UofG for you is to go on a campus tour and hear from a current student! When you are on campus, make sure you see the Cannon, and grab a bite to eat at Creelman Hall, my favourite dining facility!

2019 Road Warrior Series: Sheila Mirafzal

Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 08:00

Sheila Mirafzal

Name: Sheila Mirafzal

Program: Bachelor of Applied Science in Family Studies and Human Development, Minors in Psychology & Family and Child Studies

What is your favourite thing about U of G? What was your most memorable experience here?

Although the food is phenomenal, it’s the community and interconnectedness of the students that is my favourite part. People are not afraid to reach out to you whether they know you or not. Supports are also everywhere you look whether it is mental health supports from Student Accessibility Services, the Wellness Education Centre, professors to small things like students handing out words of encouragement with candy during exam season or therapy dogs coming in during exam times too.

I have too many memories on this campus to name one but everywhere I look I am reminded of times that are close to my heart. Some notable ones are trivia at Brass Taps, painting The Canon, doing a 5k with my dog on campus and petting cows in between classes; this campus is a physical scrapbook of some of the best years of my life so far.

The one that stands out the most to me is when I was visiting the campus with my best friend, we got lost trying to find the science complex. This kind student noticed that we were lost and offered to walk us to where we were trying to go. That experience exemplified to me what a wholesome and inclusive community the University of Guelph fosters.

Please describe your campus & community involvement while at U of G (i.e. clubs, athletics, student organizations, jobs).

On campus, I was involved at the Wellness Education Centre as a peer helper, later promoted to Senior Peer of NAKED, the team that focuses on topics such as sexual health, healthy relationships and LGBTQ2SIA+ groups. I was in charge of leading a team of peers to put out relevant health campaigns and events to educate and support the students on campus. I also helped with the organization of Winter Pride, the STI Testing Event and the annual Sexpose.

I was also a representative for my program on the student council for the College of Social Applied Human Sciences.

I volunteered as a University of Guelph Ambassador, as a volunteer tour guide and was a student representative at Academic Open houses as well as Fall Preview Days for my program and served on panels as well. I even helped transcribe data for a professor’s research as well as edited another professor’s radio show for them.

I also was involved with Project Serve Guelph where I was able to go to high schools and teach students about sexual health.

I was employed as the social media intern for the Annual Guelph Sexuality Conference.

I was also a member of the badminton club on campus.

What prompted you to become a Liaison Officer? What excites you the most about this position?

I thoroughly enjoyed speaking at panels and fairs representing my program to prospective students and answering their questions! I also love speaking to people and public speaking! During the training for the peer helpers, a girl approached me and told me that I was the reason she was at Guelph. I was stunned to hear such a thing and honestly was a bit confused. She then went on to clarify that she attended one of the panels where I talked about my experiences as a student in the program and told me that I was a huge help to her because I stayed and answered all of her questions after the panel ended. To hear such a thing was so shocking but really showed me that you can make a difference in someone’s life whether you are aware of it or not. That’s what prompted me to go after this position, so I can continue to make an impact on students’ lives and help them out with what they perceive as a stressful time in their lives. With that being said, I’m looking forward the most to answering students’ questions but most importantly, lessening their anxieties over this process and reminding them that this will be a fun journey for them. When I was in their shoes, I remember freaking out about everything and looking back at it now, I see that it was unnecessary and wish I had someone who reminded me that everything would turn out all right.

What advice would you offer to potential U of G students?

Take full advantage of all the opportunities that come your way, you’ll never know who you meet/network with or you might even discover something about yourself you never knew before! Also, don’t be afraid to change your mind whether that be regarding your program, your interests or even what you want to do after you graduate!

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