“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!

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Why I’m really excited for 2015

Hey friends! It’s back to the school grind after the Christmas break where I spent too much time eating chocolate and too little time doing anything school-related (now I pay the price).

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It’s also a new year (captain obvious Becks here). People sometimes complain about those who find the new year as a way to start over but hey, people find reasons to complain about everything (me included). Nevertheless, I am really excited for 2015 for a few reasons:

1) I’m graduating: In September, I was really nervous about leaving Glendon because I am so comfortable here. But, I’m feeling that push now to take what Glendon has given me and apply it to my new graduate life. I don’t want to be in a rush to become a real life adult but I’m looking forward to what the future has in store for me. It could (hopefully) be more school or starting a new job. Speaking about school…

2) I’m not done: Over the Christmas break, I applied to two post-graduate certificate programs. They’re both in public administration and both have work-placement opportunities. I’ve been fortunate to work for the past two summers in a government and public sector summer student position so I’m almost certain that’s what I would like to be doing for my career. I haven’t heard back from them yet but I’m excited to find out what happens with them!

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3) 2014 is in the past: My Nan whom I was very close to passed away January 10th 2014 and so, 10 days into the new year 2014 became an awful year for me albeit there were exciting times like becoming a Canadian citizen. I wouldn’t say that I would like to put that event in the past for me because I’m still in a continuous grieving process which I’ve learned to experience and not push away or hide from but I am definitely optimistic about a new year. I am still in the grieving process and dealing with grief but I was proactive about it in 2014 (see post here) and I think I’m starting 2015 better because of it.

4) It’s a surprise: I still don’t know what my life will look like post-April or even tomorrow so even though I can only list 2 or 3 things right now, there will hopefully be a ton more things to be excited about as the year goes on.

What are you excited for? Let me know in the comments and remember, you can always tweet me @beckielhgl to discuss Glendon, the new year, and everything in between!

Fall semester is over….sorry, what?

Hey friends! I can’t believe that as of tomorrow, my fall semester will be completed and over with. It’s my last fall semester of my undergrad – what?!

By far, my favourite class of this semester was my Transnational Crime and Corruption class. It was with Professor Gutterman whom I’ve had three classes with over my four years of undergrad. It was a little bit intimidating in the beginning as the class is a fourth year (4000 level) seminar-based class which means LOTS of discussion but I survived!

We looked at topics like human trafficking, terrorism, drug trafficking, transnational bribery, money laundering, and lots more. If you ever have a chance to take a class with Professor Gutterman, do it! She’s an incredible and inspiring professor who I’ve always enjoyed having classes with.

I also had my last Keele class of my undergrad. I’ve taken 3 classes at Keele as part of my Refugee and Migration studies certificate. This class was called “Migration, Citizenship and Identity” and it was a 3 credit course which means it runs for half a year.

Professor Molavi was really interesting to listen to because she was personally invested and extremely knowledgeable on the case studies we looked at. The case studies were when I became really engaged with the course matter as we looked at the Second Iraq War, the G20 summit, the Occupy Movement, the Twitter and Facebook revolutions in Iran and Egypt, and the Israel-Gaza conflict.

My other classes are 6 credit so they’ll carry over into next semester. But, I’ll be taking a few more 3 credit classes such as Public Law II which is a class that looks at the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Public Administration. Also, I’m taking a class called Global Civil Society and International Economic Organizations. We shall see how these two go!

You can always tweet me @beckielhgl and if you haven’t already, there is a Facebook group called #GL2019, class de 2019 that is available for all Glendonites planning to join us in September 2015.

Time to make some big decisions

Hey friends! I’ve kinda been losing my mind lately. A brief example would be this morning in the Starbucks line at Keele. Waking up for my Thursday class is always hard because my body likes to stay up until 3am on the regular. So, there I was at 4am the night before…still awake…and had to be up in 2 hours for the shuttle to Keele. Running on two hours of sleep, I wasn’t really functional. You know when you’ve sometimes reached your hand out for the wrong drink and then realized and it’s all a little awkward. Well, not only did I reach and take her sandwich which she had to remind me was hers, I also reached out for her drink that she had to, again, remind me was not mine. Shout out to her though, she was super sweet when I told her I had only had two hours of sleep.

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Other than that, I’ve also been trying to decide what to do after graduation. I have a few ideas. I’ve always been a fan of the idea of going to college after university. It’s a new trend that’s been happening for the past few years and it’s a way for students to get hands-on skills that can set them apart from other individuals when applying for the same job. At the same time, I’ve been thinking about master’s programs but because it’s not always been in my “game plan”, I’ve neglected giving that idea the attention it probably deserves since applications would be due soon. I kinda wish I had at least given it some attention so that I wouldn’t feel so rushed to get everything in order in case applying is something is I want to do.

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Post-graduate certificates or masters. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Last week, I texted my mom telling her I was feeling overwhelmed and not really sure if I knew what I should be doing with my life. And she reminded myself about something that I do find to be very true: life has it’s way of figuring things out. Choosing Glendon was one of the best decisions I ever made – really and truly not trying to plug the school, it’s my honest opinion. I say this because Glendon wasn’t my #1 but somehow it sort of worked out that way. I visited the open house and whatever York events I could attend and everything figured itself out.

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Many of you may be going to the open house at Glendon on Sunday from 10am-2pm. All of the eAmbassadors and student ambassadors will be there – including myself. I will be going through the same thing this weekend also, just on the Saturday. I’ll be attending the Humber open house to talk to their student ambassadors and recruitment team about the program I’m interested in. From going to the Glendon open house in my last year of high school, I know how daunting it can be thinking of going to the campus and trying to figure everything out. What I can say is to have fun with it. Really try to #experiencegl (sorry, had to) and see if it fits into your game plan!

As always, I post every Thursday. Follow me on Twitter if you’d like @beckielhgl.

See ya!

It’s okay to ask for help

Hey friends! This week’s post is going to be a little bit different from my past few but I think it’s one that will allow you all to know me a little bit better. In January of this year, my Nan passed away. Although she had been sick for a few years with esophageal cancer, her death came unexpectedly. We were very close and she was (and always will be) somebody whom I idolized.

NanI had never returned to England since we had emigrated in 2004. The idea to take the trip struck me unexpectedly but I’m so glad that it did. I can say without a doubt that going to England in 2012 was the best decision I have ever made. I got to re-establish a relationship with my Nan. She had visited Canada a few times but the last time I had seen her was when I was fourteen and in 2012, I had just turned nineteen. Needless to say, the trip was a sort-of “coming of age” experience. Spending that time with her helped me to have an idea of what kind of person I wanted to be.

When I returned from England, I vowed to my Nan that I would call her every Monday. And I did. I loved talking to her on the phone. I loved talking about her to my friends and family. She was this amazing person who I wanted every person to know about. I loved to make her laugh and I like to think that our conversations took her mind off of everything that was going on with her health. I really did love to brag about my relationship with her, I’ll admit it!

When she passed, I was in the middle of getting ready to take my Canadian citizenship test and starting a new semester at Glendon.  To be honest, I had a really hard time trying to figure out how to handle it all. I’m very much like my Dad in the sense that I try to keep going on with things as best as I can. And I did just that – I went straight back to school. It was difficult, of course. I was trying to balance staying on top of school with trying to understand and express my grief at the same time. I finished the semester and my grades went unaffected but January to April was a really difficult time for me.

When I started back at Glendon in September, I felt that maybe accessing the personal counselling services at Glendon would help. My Nan’s death was not the first time that I had lost somebody close to me. I had an Uncle whom I was very close to pass in 2009 and sadly, a few weeks into starting back at school in September, my cousin suddenly passed away. All of these had happened whilst I was in school and when my cousin passed, I knew that I really needed some help. This was not an easy thing for me. Much like my Nan, I’m a pretty independent person and I don’t like asking for help. But I’m extremely thankful that I did.

It’s not easy to ask for help. I’ll be honest, I e-mailed the counselling services to set up an appointment and when they returned my email asking for availability, I ignored the e-mail for about a week. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go through with it because I didn’t know if it would even help me. However, I’ve had two appointments now and I’m finding that talking to somebody who really is there to listen to what I have to say is incredibly beneficial. It’s a way to organize and understand your thoughts and feelings so that you can take care of yourself a little bit better. I’m planning to continue with counselling throughout the year so I may make a post here and there with an update on how it is going.

The important thing that I really want to put out there is that it is okay to ask for help. For any number of reasons, you may feel that you need to speak with somebody about something going on in your life. This is a really brave thing to do. It’s essential that we take care of ourselves and asking for help may be a way of doing that. All in all, I’m really happy with my decision to make an appointment with Glendon’s personal counselling services because I feel like I took a pro-active step in dealing with grief in my life.

Keep up with me on twitter @beckielhgl. I post every Thursday, see you then!