CU Grads: Traleena

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Learning Logger Traleena
Arts, Psychology

Traleena

1. What was the most memorable moment of your Carleton experience?

The most memorable moment of my Carleton experience was when my team surprised me at our end-of-year Centre for Student Academic Succes (CSAS) party last year. As I rounded the corner of the library with one of my team members, I was shocked to find all five members of my workshop team with an overflowing gift basket and personalized card. It meant so much to me that they took the time to create something so thoughtful and meaningful. I was once again reminded of how our connection had morphed from one of acquaintances to one of “CSAS family members” within the span of eight months.

2. Which service centers were instrumental to your success as a student?

CSAS transformed not only my experience at Carleton, but my direction as a learner. From the first Skill Development Workshop I attended as a first year student, I recognized the incredible value and need for supplementary services to guide student growth at the postsecondary level. After observing that first workshop, I knew I wanted to be a part of such an empowering service. I was lucky enough to get involved in my second year as a Workshop Peer Helper and to serve as a Workshop Team Leader in my third and fourth years. The three years worth of workshop content I was exposed to utterly transformed my approach to learning. As I facilitated more workshops and learned from the staff members and students I interacted with, I developed a passion for incorporating the empirically driven study strategies and tips discussed at the Centre into my everyday life. CSAS supported me not only as a student, but as a student leader. For three years, I received invaluable support and training from student-focused staff members, which carried over to other extracurricular opportunities and my academic pursuits. The training I received helped me realize my passion for helping others and my dream of becoming a clinical psychologist, which I will be on the way to achieving this fall as I start my first year of my Clinical Psychology program.

Career Services was integral in preparing me for my future, as well. I brought many samples of cover letters and graduate school applications to their office in Tory Building, where professional and knowledgeable staff members would go the extra mile to help me. I always left Career Services feeling more confident about my future, knowing I’d have the resources and expertise of those at Career Services to guide me. The Paul Menton Centre also supported me as an undergraduate student suffering from chronic migraines by being a liaison between myself and my professors. The dedication and empathy of the staff members helped me focus on being my very best as a student.

3. Which community member has made a difference in your time here at Carleton?

In the three years I have worked with Lakin Dagg at CSAS, she has changed my life. She has given me the confidence to pursue opportunities I never would have considered, including applying for particular graduate programs, speaking up more in my personal life, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. She has been a wealth of resources and a constant support in my life. She has provided me with opportunities to grow and invaluable feedback that has guided me. By fostering a safe space where staff members feel both supported and encouraged to share their thoughts, she has contributed to the growth of a community bound by continual improvement and critical thinking. Lakin’s positivity, commitment, and kindness are traits that guide her leadership and impact those with whom she interacts. It has been this approach to leadership that has sparked my desire to be in a field where like her, I can empower others.

4. What achievement or experience are you most proud of from your years here?

Something I am most proud of during my undergraduate experience is the completion of my thesis. As an artsy student with a discomfort for statistics, I feared my fourth year thesis would be overwhelming. To my pleasant surprise, my thesis experience was incredibly empowering and rewarding. I benefitted from invaluable support from the Psychology Department, in the form of thesis classes and dedicated course supervisors, as well as from my own thesis supervisor, Dr. Evelyn Maeder. Through these resources, I persevered through setbacks, problem-solved through frustrations, and opened myself up to research, which reinforced my passion for learning and discovery. The positive reinforcement and confidence I received from my thesis supervisor, course supervisor, department, and fellow Carleton community members inspired me to enter the Young Researchers Conference at the Royal Ottawa, despite not having any previous conference experience. To my surprise, I won the entire undergraduate category. This unexpected achievement changed my self-view and has given me the confidence to fearlessly pursue my Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology.

5. What advice would you give to a new Carleton student?

I would advise future Carleton students to take chances, even if they are scared. I’ve learned that if you wait to feel ready before approaching an opportunity, you’ll be waiting an awfully long time. My second piece of advice would be to ask questions and not to be afraid of looking silly. I’ve grown the most when I’ve accepted my mistakes and been fearless in acknowledging my own vulnerability. I would also encourage other students to become involved. Campus clubs, societies, and services are all amazing ways to learn more about yourself and your campus, as well as make lifelong friendships that will change your life. My last piece of advice would be to remember that all the hard work you’re putting in will be worth it. All the sacrifices, long nights of studying, and chapters of reading will be so worthwhile. The quote I used in my high school yearbook was, “The view from the top of the mountain is worth the climb.” And it most definitely is.

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