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Chelsie Oan

SFU Student Undergraduate
Arts + Social Sciences › International Studies

Three students walking down a hall with backpacks on.
Courtesy of the SFU Image Library
It’s never too late to expand from your current social circle, even if you are close to graduating.

Whenever someone brings up life in university, we often reminisce about all the crazy things we had done in our first years. We talk about that one house party we spontaneously went to, the night we stayed up just to watch the sunrise at Burnaby Mountain Park (BMP), the time someone had too much to drink and threw up all over the kitchen floor — we even reminisce about the times we pulled three consecutive all-nighters as a group before finals season. Everyone remembers their first couple years in college because it is the mark of a brand new chapter, but no one talks about the last years because we’re all rushing to graduate and move onto the next one. 

As I stroll through the campus halls (now that we’re allowed back on campus), I see all the eager, fresh-faced first years walking amongst fourth and fifth year veterans. I see passion and enthusiasm and curiosity in their eyes as they make their way to class, which made me wonder: when did I lose these feelings of excitement? Being in my final semester, I might have caught a bad case of “senioritis.”

What senioritis is, according to Oxford Languages, is the lack of motivation and performance in one’s final year of high school or university. By this definition, senioritis has definitely hit me hard.  I knew I needed to find a way to snap out of it before I tumbled further down the rabbit hole. So, here are some of the things I’ve done that have helped me out so far. 

Tip 1: You Only Get What You Give

I’ve never really been a big fan of joining clubs. Between juggling two part-time jobs and doing school full-time, I didn’t really have time to take part in a lot of campus activities. But I remember chatting with a senior in my first year who gave me some sound advice: you only get what you give. I’m sure at this point you’ve heard it one too many times, but there are a plethora of activities you can join on campus.

Whether it be roasting marshmallows with strangers, playing ping pong, or joining a club, I realise every little interaction with someone new can bring you closer to where or who you want to be. For me, I decided to join the work-study program as a way to meet new people, hone my writing skills and earn a little extra income - a 3 in 1 package deal! I was lucky enough to have met great co-workers who were welcoming and big on meeting new people. If I hadn’t put myself out there and applied for the program, I never would have met such an amazing team. It’s never too late to expand from your current social circle, even if you are close to graduating.

Tip 2: Take Advantage of Being a Student (and the many, many student discounts)

I don’t know why we’re all rushing to graduate and be “out in the real world” when being a student has so many great perks (and discounts)! In an effort to be more active after 6 months of quarantine, I started bouldering in March 2020 and decided to pay for a climbing membership at the Hive Vancouver. Even with a student discount, I had to pay an extortionate price. Although the membership gave me unlimited access, given my busy schedule, I was only able to climb twice a week, which wasn’t ideal. I then remembered that SFU has its own climbing wall! With the push of a friend, I quickly switched over to an SFU climbing membership and the rest is history. My point is, being a university student gives us options. As a student, I was able to choose between staying with the Hive on a student discount or climbing with SFU without breaking the bank. 

Besides the climbing wall, being a student gives us access to a bunch of other resources. Did you know that if you’re taking credit courses at the Vancouver campus, you’re eligible to apply for a Vancouver Parks & Recreation Membership? This gives you access to a local gym, pool, and even an ice rink! We also get student deals at the Apple Store, Urban Outfitters and bars all over Vancouver. Being a broke college student isn’t great, but the discounts definitely help.

Tip 3: All About Perspective

Whenever I’m at the brink of giving up, I try to remind myself “I’ve come this far, might as well make the journey worth it.” Now, this may not sound like the most motivating mindset, but it really got me through a lot of late nights as I’m writing my papers. The truth of the matter is, finding motivation in your last couple semesters isn’t easy and life definitely gets in the way.

But look at it this way, you have X amount of time left before you graduate, why waste it worrying? Enjoy the student life while you can and in times where you can't, remember that perspective is everything. You can choose to focus on the unknown and the uncontrollable; or you can decide to give it your best, final push and end it with a bang! All things are temporary, the good and the bad, so soak up every last bit of it while you can.


Chelsie Oan

SFU Student Undergraduate
Arts + Social Sciences › International Studies

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