Skip to main content

Life Experience

life experiences

The following authors provide an alternative perspective to academic and professional challenges, as they encompass a range of invaluable experiences that contribute to self-growth and understanding. You will see how gaining life experience can happen through travelling, learning about different cultures and ways of life, and overcoming challenges with the self, community, or society as a whole.

A picture of Vancouver's Gastown while snowing.
Blog
Things to Do During Winter

It’s getting chilly outside, and you might feel like there’s nothing to do. Never fear, there are always options for fun here in Vancouver.

A group of people sitting in front of a stage with a Welcome banner on the side.
Blog
Advice for Your First Semester at SFU

It’s that time of year again! OLC staff member Terae Walters reminisces on past school years and tells us about her tips for sailing through the first year.

Terae standing in front of a field, holding an umbrella.
Blog
How I Succeed as a Woman in a Male-Dominated Field

Behind every career is a story with its own victories and challenges. OLC staff member Terae tells her story to us and goes into why being in a creative field as a woman has its own unique problems and how she found strategies to overcome them.

Seven people walking through the hallway.
Blog
Welcome Back to Campus! Let Us Help You Rebuild Your Social Life

Now that SFU is reopening, many of you may be excited to kickstart your social life again! We want you to feel confident about how to get involved, make friends and feel fulfilled - in clubs, peer leadership, volunteer, jobs or work.

Pink carnations coming out of a manila envelope
Blog
Letters to Myself: My Co-op Journey

Co-op can be an exciting, rewarding, and terrifying experience. Sometimes, we wish we could tell things to our past self, get advice from our future self or just reflect on how far we've come. In this blog, Katie writes letters to her past, present, and future selves about her co-op journey and the progress she's made. 

Arua standing in front of window, looking at camera
Blog
Conquering Unexpected Industries Through My Co-op Journey

Throughout this past year, I got to try out a variety of roles working in completely different industries. While all of my positions were marketing-related, each of them tackled a different aspect of digital marketing, challenging me to grow personally and professionally. In this article, I describe my entire Co-op journey and the things I learned along the way. 

Erica Standing in front of greenery, smiling
Blog
How a CMNS Student Ended Up in Healthcare During a Pandemic

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the perfect job sector for a Communication student? Social media? Probably. Marketing? Most definitely. Healthcare? Read about Erica's experience jumping into a job at Vancouver Coastal Health - during a pandemic no less!

picture of Bill
Blog
Shifting Co-op Experiences: From Office to Home

Over Bill's five terms of Co-op experience, the past two (in Summer and Fall 2020) have provided a rather unique experience. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bill was given the opportunity to work remotely from home and found himself needing to adapt to a very different work environment in terms of task planning and time management. In this blog, Bill hopes to share some of these experiences as well as some challenges that he faced while working remotely

multiple students during a class looking at powerpoint slide
Blog
Advice for Your First Year as a Teaching Assistant

Kandice, a Public Health Graduate student, never expected to be a Teaching Assistant (TA). But with the encouragement from family and friends who were former TAs, Kandice took the plunge. Now as her first year comes to a close, Kandice shares some helpful tips on how to have an enjoyable semester as a TA!

person fixing their tie
Blog
How to Ask for More Out of Your Position

Deriving inspiration from her first post, "4 Reasons You Won't Regret Working in Customer Service", Sydney is back and ready to share more knowledge with you from her time in retail. In this article, you'll find Sydney's strategy for negotiating wage raises, work-term extensions and permanent positions. 

eight jackets hanging in order of the rainbow
Blog
4 Reasons You Won't Regret Working in Customer Service

After spending 5 years in retail, Sydney was ready to pursue a career related to her studies. Looking back, although there were trials and tribulations, her time in customer service was a spectacular triumph as she developed new ways of communicating, leadership skills, and other attributes that have propelled her professional and personal development. 

Person standing in front of the sunset
Blog
15 Amazing Perks of Being an SFU Student

Not many people know about all the perks of being an SFU student, such as huge discounts, free access to normally paid services, and cheaper subscriptions to popular products. Here is a list of everything you can take advantage of as an SFU student!

Lead Image
Blog
Wrapping Up 2020: Our Top 12 Inspirational Blog Articles

2020 has been an unprecedented and extraordinary year. What we at the OLC have been pleasantly surprised by is how inspiring our contributing authors have been. Many of our posts touched on the reality of the pandemic, but they were written from a place of positivity and resilience. To wrap up 2020 at the SFU OLC, we've curated our top 12 inspiring posts and summarized how they can continue to inspire you in the New Year.

Older couple sitting on bench, looking out at mountain and ocean views
Blog
Planning Death in the Era of COVID-19

Like any other person, we have all thought about death at least once in our lives. Join Paneet in this honest conversation about end-of-life issues and what to do when such a tragic but inevitable discussion arises amongst loved ones. In this article, Paneet provides helpful advice and carefully selected resources to ease in to the conversation and to help prepare for the unpredictability of life.

Illustration of a boy and a girl walking next to each other whilst encased in smart phones
Blog
Online Dating and Keeping Safe

The pandemic has made online dating a more popular way of meeting new people. While online dating is a great way to e-meet new people, you might also find yourself in potentially uncomfortable situations with strangers. Read on to learn more about which red flags the Health Peers recommend keeping a keen eye out.

Building blocks with the letters A D H D on them
Blog
“You Have So Much Potential. You Just Need to Pay Attention.”: My Journey with ADHD

TW has been hearing this line over and over for a large part of her life. For the most part, she didn't know how to manage her ADHD symptoms, mostly because she didn't know she had ADHD. Read on to learn more about TW's journey and why going to SFU Health & Counselling was life-changing.

black and white photo of someone looking up to a light source
Blog
An Open Letter To My Chronic Pain

Diana Smith pens a series of poignant and moving letters addressed to her chronic pain. A must-read to better understand from a personal perspective what it is like to live with chronic pain.

Advisor helping student
Blog
From Advising in Person to Advising at Home – My First Co-op Work Term

JenJen was not quite expecting to be advising fellow SFU students as a Student Academic Advisor from the comfort of her home as her very first co-op experience. Read on to learn more on how she found her stride in getting used to a new work environment as a new co-op student in unusual circumstances.

Claire and her students
Blog
Heat in Catalonia: Lessons from International Co-op

A student desperately wanting to have class outside suggested we put the decision to a vote. An overwhelming amount of hands went up for having class in the sun and I paused to think about how I could adjust my lesson plan without a chalkboard. The students saw my hesitation and said, “but Claire, don’t you believe in our right to have a democracy?”. This was when I knew I would learn a lot more than just how to teach, from my international co-op term in Catalonia.

Toronto skyline with the CN Tower
Blog
New Job, New City, New Adventure

Considering a co-op outside of BC? Jenny shares 4 tips on moving to a new city based on her experience relocating to Ontario’s capital city, the 6ix.

A cup of coffee placed on a written planner with the word "goals" next to it
Blog
Getting Out of the Dumps and Back on the Hunt in a COVID Job Market

Like most soon-to-be graduates, Keeley was looking forward kick-start her career. And what better way to do it than to start looking for industry-applicable experience? But when COVID-19 hit, plans had to change. Read on to find out how Keeley overcame a saturated job market in the middle of a pandemic. 

Gloria Lai looking at the mountain view in Hong Kong
Blog
Table for One Please!: Solo Travelling Abroad

Have you ever considered travelling alone? Does it make your nervous? Well, you are not alone. There are many benefits to travelling alone and what better way to experience another country and culture than through a short-term International Co-op term? Read on to learn some tips & tricks when travelling alone.

An image of author doing a mic check for an interview with Stemcell Technology
Blog
Take a Chance: The Co-op Edition

In my first semester, I had no idea what type of co-op position I was looking for. This was somewhat stressful, but what helped was keeping an open mind to a range of positions, and taking a chance!

the author standing next to Canadian Western Bank logo
Blog
Moving From Retail to Corporate: Life as an Operational Specialist at Canadian Western Trust

For three years I worked part-time at TD Canada Trust as a customer service representative and eventually a personal banking associate.

Artwork
Blog
Dear Younger Self: Never Give Away Your Power.

Taking steps to prioritize your financial wellness can set you up for better overall wellness.

Canadian flag waving in the wind
Blog
Adventurous Vibes: Your Guide To An Incredible Study Experience in Canada

Are you thinking of studying in Canada? Are you about to arrive or have recently landed? Make the most of your experience with these tips for studying abroad.

Frogplum Solutions Inc. Team
Blog
Read Beyond the Job Description

"When you work at a start-up, literally anything can happen." Anmol takes us into a world where content is born out of chaos, and the landscape is dynamic, creative and challenging.  Becoming an integral part of a new company and seeing your creations make an impact can be one of the most rewarding experiences.  

Juliette on a hike
Blog
When it Comes to Your Career, Try Everything

Do you look into the future and see a thousand different paths after graduation? Juliette reflects on her time at Careers in Communications and reveals the benefits of figuring out what you hate before deciding what you love.  

Subscribe to Life Experience Subscribe to Life Experience