An Open Letter to First Year Me

Dear Beckie,

To begin, prepare for the four most exhilarating, challenging, and quickest years of your life. You thought that high school went by in a breeze? High school’s got nothing on how quickly four years goes by in university. Nevertheless, you made the right choice. Glendon is the right school for you. You’re going to be a little bit nervous when you first confirm your offer – will the tiny campus still give you the university experience you want? Don’t fret. You’ll have an even better experience than most of your friends at the big universities.

The small campus will become your home. You’ll also get to take classes at Keele to get the big university ‘feel’ but you’ll always prefer Glendon to Keele. Glendon was not just a school for you; it was a home away from home. You’ll miss that when you graduate I’m sure but you’ll always be thankful that you were able to have that experience at your university.

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These years will not go by without some setbacks. After your first year, you’ll go on the most exciting trip you could imagine – going back to England for the first time in 8 years! That trip will end up being the best decision you’ve ever made. Mostly, because it will be the last time that you will spend time with your Nan as she will pass away in your third year. This will always be a hard memory to reflect on but you’ll go in life knowing that you were able to have those moments to remember for years to come. This will be a surprise to you but you’ll end up scheduling counselling appointments to deal with grief management and in the end, you’ll be thankful you decided to. It helped you to understand what you were feeling and to balance grief with school. You’re a better person for asking for help.

You’re not going to find the prince charming you were hoping to find after 4 years of not finding him in high school. This will be an insecurity of yours but you always find a way to remember that while people your age were falling in love, you were dealing with real life situations.

This isn’t to say you’ll never find boys that you like – no, there WILL be a few (because you’re so unbelievably picky) but again and again, it won’t work out for a number of reasons. Despite this fact, you’ll remind yourself of what “Our Glad” always said – to focus on school and let everything else fall into place when it’s ready to.

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You’ll worry about your whether you chose the right program but you did. First year me can read this blog post to understand more. By fourth year, you won’t be a complete expert in your field but you’ll have worked really hard in all of your classes and your marks reflect that. And hey, you’ll also score a really great summer student position in your second year that helps you pay for school on your own!

When you graduate, you’ll have become a determined, strong, funny, and confident young woman. And…you’ll have an idea of what you want to do when you graduate. You’re set to go into a post-graduate certificate program in public administration. This is something you’re passionate about – not necessarily knowing specifically where you want to work but to work in a position where you can help people by answering their questions as quickly and efficiently as you can.

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You’ll become friends with some of the most amazing people you’ve ever wanted to meet. Seriously. You’ll find friends who find you funny and witty and let you do what you love to do – make people laugh! You’ll stay up, even in your fourth year, with friends playing the Sims; you’ll go to pub nights or dinners out with your close friends and laugh uncontrollably and make the memories you couldn’t fit in a memory box because they’re not tangible – they’re inside jokes and silly memories you can’t put into words.

You’ll stay friends with some of your closest friends from high school; some of them you may lose touch with but the moment you talk again, it’s like time hasn’t moved. Nevertheless, there will be those that you decide to cut loose because you were done trying to be their friend when they weren’t trying to be yours. All in all, you’ll graduate knowing that the friendships you made at Glendon will stay with you for years to come.

Love,

Becks

“Trust Your Gut, Becks”

Hey friends! I hope that those attended the Open House last weekend had a great time. It was really bittersweet as I’m graduating and it reminded me of my first March Open House way back in 2011. There’s a Storify of the Open House event that you can view here. Remember that you can join the #GL2019 Facebook group to get to know other potential Glendonites and to connect with Glendon’s eAmbassadors like myself.

At the event, I was talking to a fellow eAmbassador Jasmine about my experience with Political Science. As a Fourth Year nearly graduating, I’m really happy that I picked Political Science. And now, I’m ready to complete a post-grad certificate in Public Administration. I have a general idea of where I want to go in life and that makes me feel very relieved.

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Although, something had completely slipped my mind until this conversation. I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t always felt as though I was in the right program. In my First Year, I had gone through a moment of “is this program right for me?” and so, I thought it might be a good thing to blog about for this week.

Disclaimer: It is totally okay to switch your major. It is totally okay to feel a little worried in your first year. It is totally okay to change your mind. For me, this experience was a reminder to trust my gut and I’m happy I did. But this advice is totally subjective – everyone’s university experience is different.

I knew in Grade 11 or 12 that I was interested in the area of immigration and that I might, at one point, be interested in working for the Canadian Border Services. I had spoken to my Grade 11 civics teacher at the time about what university program would fit me best since there isn’t a degree in “Canadian Border Services or something like that….maybe Citizenship and Immigration Canada?”.

She advised me that Political Science might be a good option for me. It would be a great foundation for whatever I want to pursue after my undergraduate studies. Political Science can open the door for careers in the public sector, in politics, law school, journalism, communications, etc. After thinking about it for some time, I decided that I would apply for Political Science.

September 2011 came and I was a First Year at Glendon College studying Political Science. It was so surreal. But, I remember heading to my Introduction to Canadian Politics course and feeling slightly overwhelmed. I felt as though everyone participating knew so much more than I did. I was interested in politics but I definitely didn’t know everything.

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About a month in, I felt as though I needed a quick fix. I felt as though my knowledge and involvement in politics wasn’t at the same level of everyone else and I panicked. I sent a text to my parents and let them know that I wanted to switch to Sociology and that it would all be fine. I switched my program and I felt kind of relieved…but not entirely. It was as though I had to keep rationalizing my decision to switch out of Political Science to be okay with it.

I would say probably a week later I had what some would call “an epiphany”. It really was though. I suddenly thought to myself and I quote, “no Becks, you got this. You know what your goals are in life and you picked Political Science for a reason”. In short, I was telling myself to trust my gut and myself.

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I knew that I wanted to work for the Canadian government at some point in my life and that Political Science revolved around learning about government, public policy, public administration, etc. The program was a good match for my ambitions in life. And I knew that I had thought long and hard about what program to apply for; it certainly hadn’t been a rushed decision.

So, I switched back. And I’m very happy that I did. If you would like to read more about my experience as a Political Science major, click here.

If you have any questions about Political Science or Glendon, you can tweet me @beckielhgl or you can comment in the #GL2019 Facebook group and tag me in the post under ‘Beckie Louise’.

Until next week!