It’s September friends! It’s the season of both new beginnings, and endings. I am beginning my fourth and final year of International Studies, and it’s already bittersweet. Glendon Frosh Week 2016 just ended which means that summer is officially over, and it is time to be back on schedule for another year. I am looking forward to all fourth year has in store for me. Motivating me is the idea “Destination Graduation” – a phrase that that resonated with me when I heard it at the welcome ceremony at Keele Campus on the York wide Orientation Day . A friend who is on the Pro Tem* board approached me to write a piece with the prompt “Why Are You Here?” This prompt also inspired this week’s post – I want to reflect on the journey that has brought me to this point in my academic career.
Like many students, I chose Glendon because of the bilingualism, the community feel, and the International Studies program – if you want more info about that, you can look at this post (or this one) – but I would like to look at the question, Why Am I At Glendon – how has Glendon brought me to the place I am now?
Jumpstart and Frosh Week were two of the most important events that I participated in during my first year. These two orientations helped me get acquainted with Glendon life, and I started to feel like I could find a home. I met some of my closest friends, and I met some people who became my mentors throughout the year, and continue to be people I look up to now. These two events set the stage for the rest of my Glendon experience. I felt immediately welcomed into to the Glendon community, and was encouraged to participate in all that our campus has to offer. The foundation that was built during Jumpstart and Frosh Week led me to take a chance, and sucessfully co-found the GLmetowe club at Glendon, to run for the Glendon College Student Union Council, to apply to be on the eAmbassador team, and to become a D-Frosh. This community has truly become my family.
Of course, I am at Glendon for academics over other things. My first class of university was International Society (ILST 2644). From the first day of class, I was excited to learn about the international system, and to analyze issues from different viewpoints. Le français est important à moi aussi. I decided to participate in the Explore program after completing my first year so that I could improve on my french skills in a completely french atmosphere. Explore was one of the best experiences of my academic career. I became far more confident in my language abilities, and I made some amazing friends (I also wrote a post about it here). Another memorable experience was enrolling in summer courses. I found that summer courses are a great way to either get caught up on credits, or to get ahead in a more relaxed atmosphere. I took a course that became one of my favourites, Transnational Religious Social Movements. In that course we critically analyzed religious movements that affected groups of individuals transnationally. I enjoyed it so much because it was an area of International Studies that I hadn’t been exposed to.
The last thing that has brought me to the place I am now is the opportunity to study abroad for a year in Middelburg, Netherlands. The application process, while incredibly stressful, helped me reflect on the decision I was making. My exchange was the most influential year of my life both academically and personally. I was exposed to countless academic and cultural experiences that could not be gained in any other way than studying abroad. I’m not sure if I would have had the same possibility to go on exchange if was not at Glendon, but I know for sure that I would not be graduating with an Bilingual International Bachelor of Arts in June if I had attended any other school. I have a year’s worth of blog content about my exchange, which you can read here because I cannot eloquently recap my year in one sentence.
And now here I am, a fourth year International Studies major; allergic to nuts; lover of hugs, dogs, harry potter, and music; passionate about social issues, equality, feminism, and justice; and nervous for the future. I’m excited for everything that this year is going to bring my way, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Song of the Week:
Titus Was Born – Young the Giant (I’m going to see YtG on Wednesday and I’m SUPER STOKED!)
Jolene – Pentatonix ft. Dolly Parton (No explanation needed for why I included this one <3)
RISE (Katy Perry Cover) – SUPERFRUIT, Mary Lambert, Brian Justin Crum, Mario Jose (Y’all should know that I can’t make decisions, so 3 songs it is this week)