1. What was the most memorable moment of your Carleton experience?
My most memorable moments at Carleton also happened to be the most impactful. They were the experiences, conversations and friendships that navigated the rest of my university career. I started first year as a Bachelor of Journalism student in the Department of Public Affairs. It was a program I enjoyed that offered a skill-set I had long hoped to acquire – but it wasn’t my passion. Here are three examples of my so called “impact moments” from first-year.
About halfway through my first-year I met a girl who started talking about a course she was taking, called Introduction to Linguistics. As a traveler and an avid language learner this course sounded like the place for me. This conversation led me to the Linguistics Department where I not only took courses as electives but as part of a concurrent study to teach English as a Second Language.
Finding like-minded people seemed to be the right way for me to create passion in my university experience so I started following my heart. I then found my way to the language department where I eventually declared a minor in Spanish. I took many languages as electives – so many in fact that some of them won’t count on my degree. But it was in those classes, whether it be German, Spanish or French where I connected with more wanderlusters – just as keen for a new language as I was.
Finally, I found the Carleton Ski and Snowboard Club – otherwise known as CBUS. Here, I got to meet all the outdoorsy people I could ask for. This crew became my Carleton family. As part of this club, I had friends who were not only interested in skiing and snowboarding but also rock climbing, hiking, camping and biking.
From the memorable and impactful moment of discovery to five years down the road these three communities helped make Carleton University feel more like home.
2. Which service centers were instrumental to your success as a student? Which community members made a difference in your time here at Carleton?
Service centers on campus were instrumental to my success. As were the specific people working behind the desk that I am forever grateful to.
I’ll be forever grateful for academic advising– both at the main office in the Tory Building but more specifically and relevant for me, as well as other journalism students, Joan Thompson. Joan Thompson is the undergraduate academic advisor for students taking a Bachelor of Journalism.
Without Joan’s unrelenting support for my multi-department degree, I would not have been able to graduate after a mere 9 semesters. We sat together for hours trying to map out what my academic calendar looked like and what steps it would take to get there.
3. What achievement or experience are you most proud of from your years here?
Successfully completing my degree is without a doubt my biggest accomplishment while at Carleton. First and foremost, because it was done efficiently – I had 9 semesters which I did back-to-back, fall and winters for the first four years. My ninth and final semester – due to course registration – was not going to be possible until the winter semester of 2018. With that in mind, I planned to work in Asia for 6 months in between semesters to gain experience in the field I had been studying as part of my degree – namely teaching English.
I am proud to walk across the stage on convocation day and accept my Bachelor of Journalism degree with a minor in Spanish and a concurrent study in teaching English as a Second Language.
Through my own hard work and the inspiration and aid from others, I’m able to graduate when I planned.
4. What advice would you give to a new Carleton student?
My advice for future Carleton students comes down to three main points.
First, make sure you are doing what you want to be doing. If it’s not a program you’re passionate about find electives to make it more engaging or don’t be afraid to change programs. There’s no point studying for something with a lot of hard work and time involved if you don’t feel like you’re going to be getting out of it what you’re putting in. So find you passions, have conversations with others about what they’re taking and see if it’s a fit for you.
Next, get involved. Whether it be working on campus, joining a club or being an active member of a certain department, program or course. Find a group of like-minded people and network. Share what you know and create new experiences for yourself and others both on and off campus.
Finally, ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your academic advisor, professor or whoever it may be. They’re there to help you and they want to see you succeed. Sometimes things that don’t seem at all possible at first can be rearranged in a way you hadn’t thought of before. So ask those questions and keep asking them until you feel you’ve shaped your university career into a pathway most beneficial for you.
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