Year 1 is done. Are there still things to know?
Congratulations! You are either completing or have completed your first year at Renison!! How does it feel?
You will have found during your first year that there is so much information in so many places, but now that year 1 is done, what information do you need to know now?
The below will offer you some resources that will be relevant to know as an upper year student and that you might have a different perspective on after having gained a year's worth of experience already.
Enrollment and course registration
You may be an expert at course selection by now, but just in case you are not....
By now you may have selected a major and gone through the course selection process at least once.
If that is not the case, that's okay! There are many ways to learn how to do this as you will be responsible for choosing your own courses after your first term.
Check in with your Academic Advisor for some guidance on when, where and how to some of these things. You can also take a look in your uWaterloo Microsoft 365 email account as information would have been sent there.
Lots of information is available on the uWaterloo Registrar's Office website:
Note: If you have transfer credits or if you are at Renison only to complete the prerequisite courses, you may need help with registration. In which case, send a message to your Academic Advisor.
Language Assessments and Waitlists
If you completed a language assessment during your first year and ended up not taking the course, the assessment may still be valid as they are typically good for one year (12 months). If you fall into this scenario, reach out to the Renison Registrar's Office and ask if you need to submit a new assessment.
If you completed an assessment and passed the course, but now you want to take the next level, you should be able to register yourself in the next course on Quest.
Every term a waitlist form is created for all Renison courses in case we need it. The fact that one exists does not necessarily mean you need to complete it. Always check with the Renison Registrar's Office to see if you actually need to submit one or if you can simply be added to the class.
The use of transfer credits may change depending on your selected major and how many courses you want to take at Renison or uWaterloo. There are only a certain number of transfer credits that can be counted toward a degree.
When in doubt, reach out to your Academic Advisor.
Academic support and information
All through your student career, there are many supports available to you. Don't hesitate to reach out. You never know what you might learn that could make your life so much easier.
It's a good idea to keep a running log of what requirements you have or have not yet completed. You can do this by way of a checklist that you make and keep, or one that you create with your Academic Advisor. You can use the same document throughout your degree which would prevent you from needing to create a new one each year, but even that is sometimes good practice.
There are a number of nuances to what is required as part of an undergraduate Arts degree so it's always a good idea to check in with an Academic Advisor to be sure you are maintaining your trajectory.
If you are a student enrolled at Renison to complete the prerequisite courses for the Bachelor of Social Work degree, be sure to check in with both your Academic Advisor and the School of Social Work. Meeting people who are working where you are hoping to take classes is a great way to build community and learn things you didn't already know.
Academic Advising and Support
As you hopefully learned during your first year, your Academic Advisor is there to help you. Continue to reach out or check in and let them know how you're doing.
If you have not yet met your Academic Advisor, it is never too late! They have a lot more information than only answers to your degree requirement questions. They have information about other student involvement and student leadership activities in addition to many more things that might benefit you during your time as a Renison student.
You may or may not have reached out to this group during your first year depending on your personal desire and need for support.
Something to keep in mind though, is that, even if you did not register with AccessAbility Services during your first year, you can still speak with someone and have them assist you with any accommodations or information you need at any time during your journey as a student.
It's never too late to reach out and ask for support.
Enhance your degree
For those of you who want to get more out of your time at Renison and uWaterloo.
There are many short-term international experiences, some that involve travel and some that are offered in-house, to gain experience that stretches beyond your every day.
There are also funding opportunities available to students who study abroad or take part in an international experience.
Try something new. Gain experience. Contact RIO.
EDGE - Experiential Education Certificate Program
Organized through uWaterloo, EDGE is an opt-in experiential education certificate program for undergraduate students in regular (non-co-op) programs of study. Students who complete EDGE develop their professional skills, explore their career options and learn how to market themselves to employers.
Global Experience Certificate (GEC)
By completing a combination of credit courses, international experiences and a reflection of what you have learned and your experiences, you can earn a Global Experience Certificate and position yourself as a future leader and give yourself a competitive advantage.
There are a wide variety of leadership opportunities that you could add to your experience as a student at Renison. Some of them are paid and some are volunteer.
Find the opportunity that suits you!
Everyone's financial situation changes over time. One year is not always like another. Know what awards and financial supports are available to you.
Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries
There are many awards and bursaries that are available to students in upper years. This is true at both Renison and uWaterloo. You could be eligible for awards or bursaries at either location as a Renison student.
Each fall the awards application will open and students can apply to anything they wish to be considered for. Keep an eye out in your uWaterloo email for dates on when and where to apply.
Not sure you qualify? That's okay! Apply anyway and apply to everything and apply every year. Let us decide whether or not you're eligible. There have been years when thousands of dollars have gone unallocated to students because they did not submit an application, even though there were people who could have qualified.
Financial Distress or Urgent Need
Occasionally we can find ourselves in financial distress because something unexpected has happened in our life. Perhaps we broke our glasses, there was a fire at our home, or we lost our part-time job and are not sure where to turn for food if we're not on a meal plan.
There are supports available to you to help navigate this difficult time both emotionally and financially. These are available both at Renison and at uWaterloo.
Reach out to a trusted staff member on campus and ask what help might be available. You can speak to the Registrar's Office, your Academic Advisor, our Chaplain, a Student Experience staff member, or any other staff member you trust.
Living the life
You've got your academic routine all set and ready to go for years 2 through 4 (or 5 if you're in co-op). Did you have a chance to live the life of a student outside the classroom yet?
Student Experience Office
It's never too late to get involved! Student experience plans so many exciting initiatives for students that you don't want to miss out on being involved in or leading.
Check out their calendar, talk to a staff member or a coop student. You never know what great experiences and opportunities are awaiting you.
Parking at Renison
Parking passes need to be purchased every term if you are a Renison student or living in Residence. Be sure to keep an eye on your email to find out when the application for a pass is available.
Places to Eat at Renison
Moose Tracks Connections Desk has a variety of drinks and snacks. If you've got a craving or if you're heading off campus somewhere and want to bring something quick to snack one, take a look and see what they have. You may even find something new to try!
Renison's Cafeteria is open to both residents who have a meal plan and for anyone else who is here during a mealtime. In fact, it is not uncommon for students to eat alongside Renison staff and/or instructors for a meal. There are hot and cold meals available three times a day. Take a look at the meal plan website and learn more about what they offer.
Remember, you don't have to be living in residence to take advantage of the great meals that are prepared each day. They accept debit and credit as well as the meal plan card.
Looking for something else on uWaterloo campus? UW Food Services
The fine print still applies
All those policies will be relevant throughout your time at Renison. They rarely change, although occasionally, they do. It might be valuable to review them every year.
The main source of communication at Renison and uWaterloo is through your uWaterloo Microsoft 365 Email.
Any information related to your life as a student (academic or otherwise) will be sent to this email address. This may be a change from when you were an applicant, when you might have been receiving emails to your personal email account.
It is essential that you use or forward the emails that are sent to your uWaterloo M365 account. If you don't, you could miss some very important deadlines or information.
The Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar (the "Calendar") is the primary contractual document between undergraduate students and the University of Waterloo.
It is important that you read the parts of the Calendar that are relevant to you.
If you're not sure what those parts are, that's okay! We all don't know until we know. Reach out to your Academic Advisor and ask which sections you should read.
Student Related Policies
There are many policies that could impact decisions that students might make on a daily basis. It is important for students to be aware of these policies.
The main three policies are:
- Policy 33 - Ethical Behaviour
- Policy 70 - Student Petitions and Grievances
- Policy 71 - Student Discipline
If you're not sure what these are or what these mean, reach out to your Academic Advisor or the Secretariats Office for further clarification.
Academic integrity is the cornerstone of research, teaching, and learning. Members of the University of Waterloo community are expected to personally demonstrate academic integrity in their work.
Students at the University of Waterloo are encouraged to complete the Undergraduate Academic Integrity Module. The module is designed to introduce students to the values of integrity, and practice applying them to common scenarios.