Two weeks ago, after leaving my last utmONE Connect session, I realized that the expression “time flies” couldn’t ring truer when it comes to the program.

It seems like yesterday when I nervously walked down to the Davis’ basement for my very first session, and the initial discomfort that I felt at the beginning, as I stood in a room full of¬†strangers.

Looking back, I think that signing up for the program has been the best decision¬†I’ve made in university so far.

Transitioning to a post-secondary institution is a challenging process for most people, and I think that it is particularly hard for commuter students as, for many of us, university seems to be a more academically rigorous extension of high school.

Throughout the first few weeks of university, I remember being extremely worried that I wouldn’t make any friends. Since most of my classes are made up of at least a few hundred students, I would often become acquainted with people and not see them again as everyone picked a different seat at every lecture.

Because utmONE connect sessions consist of small groups, we were really able to get to know each other, and we literally became like a family who had reunions every Friday afternoon.

In-between learning about serious topics such as academic integrity and time management skills, we bonded through various fun activities such as playing the ring game and watching excerpts of “The Baby Bachelor”.

I was also lucky enough to have Kim as my group leader, and she couldn’t have been more perfect for the role. Her energy and enthusiasm kept all of us coming back week after week.

Overall, I would say that this is one of the best-ran programs of which I’ve had the chance of being a part of, and I believe that every first year student would greatly benefit from participating!