As a student at the University of British Columbia, I was fortunate to have access to various support services.
Living on campus, particularly in the first year, is something I’d highly recommend. My Residence Advisor was incredibly supportive. She was always available to answer my questions about academics, social life, and adapting to life in Vancouver. She guided me through understanding the co-op program, getting involved in research, and exploring housing options. Whenever I needed advice, I’d find myself knocking at her door. Residence Advisors are well-trained to provide support in various areas, including mental health.
When it came to academic support, my professors were accessible and approachable. They held office hours, where we could discuss not just course-related issues, but also my long-term academic goals. The Psychology Student Association organized multiple events for networking with professionals from relevant career fields, which was super valuable. I only started attending these events in my third year and wish I had done so sooner. Participating earlier would have helped me to create a more structured plan for grad school and feel less overwhelmed during my first year. Advisors from UBC’s Academic Advising office were also able to support me in making sure I was on track with the right courses for graduating in time.
Lastly, when it comes to health support, I was lucky that UBC has mental health counselors in residence, its own hospital, and three clinics on campus – two for general health and one for dental care. There are also many virtual health options available at no extra cost to students with valid health insurance. However, in emergencies, it gets tough due to high wait times in BC. Many of my friends went through long, painful waiting periods. The wait times for specific scans can also be lengthy, which is problematic when immediate assessment is needed. This is an area in which BC can improve. Hopefully the wait times will be decrease in the future.