The university experience extends beyond the classroom. It’s not just about coursework and studying, but about the connections and friendships that can last a lifetime.
But for many students, and especially for first-year students, it can be challenging to get over the feeling of discomfort that can accompany trying to meet new people.
One way to overcome that discomfort for math students is to get involved with some of the societies and extracurricular activities associated with the Faculty of Mathematics. There are lots to choose from, and so many groups and initiatives welcome new members with open arms.
When encouraged to join a society or organization, one objection that students bring up is that it will take away from their studying. Students sometimes say extracurricular activities are a distraction and worry that getting involved might affect their grades.
However, the flip side of that coin is that getting involved and finding ways to give back builds a solid support network that students can then lean on if they get overwhelmed. Getting involved also means being exposed to new ideas and new ways of thinking about mathematics and research. In this sense, joining an organization or volunteering can reduce stress and help keep students on track.
Join us to explore the top 6 ways for students to get involved with the Faculty of Mathematics.
- Mathsoc. The official student society for the Faculty of Mathematics, Mathsoc has many opportunities to get involved. Consider reaching out to members and attending a meeting of one of the various clubs to see what it’s all about. The society looks for volunteers for events and even for some of the positions in the executive. Visit the Mathsoc website.
- Hackathons. There are several hackathons linked with the Faculty of Mathematics. Two prominent ones that are always looking for students to get involved as volunteers are Hack the North and Technovation Girls.
- Peer-mentorship program. An initiative of the Faculty of Math’s Student Health and Well-being Committee, you can either get a mentor or become a mentor. Peer mentors meet with other students to help them learn about the university experience or overcome difficulties. Learn more at this link.
- mathNEWS. The unofficial student newspaper of the Faculty of Mathematics, mathNEWS is a way to get involved if you’ve got an interest in writing and a creative flair. They won’t automatically publish everything that’s submitted, but they’re always looking for content. Check out mathNEWS.
- Get entrepreneurial. The Faculty of Mathematics is fertile ground for startups. You can join one of several initiatives if you’d like to learn more about the business side of math or even if you have an idea for a new company. Check out the possibilities at this link.
- Get involved in research. Even as an undergraduate, there are lots of opportunities to get involved in research. The Faculty of Mathematics has resources and programming for students interested in research. You can also attend weekly seminars to learn about the innovative work happening in math.
By the Numbers is a weekly series that reflects on the lighter side of student life, research and innovation in the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo. Stay tuned to this space for the next installment.