Golden Hawk community makes the first-year transition a breeze

Whether it be moving to a different city or attending a new university, we have all experienced periods of change in our lives.

These periods are often accompanied by mixed emotions. There are feelings of nervousness and intimidation as we are unsure about what lies ahead. However, there is also the excitement and anticipation that quickly follows. We slowly begin to understand and welcome the reality of our unfolding situation.

As an incoming first-year student, I can connect to all of these feelings. I can also tell you that it is completely normal for you to be feeling this way as you prepare for your first year at Wilfrid Laurier University. After all, we don’t know what to expect.

With that being said, I have come to feel that there is something about the Golden Hawk community and its welcoming atmosphere that brings a sense of comfort and relief to us first-year students. The friendly environment makes us feel like we belong, helping us ease into our new home.

From my experiences, I believe that the upper-year students play an integral role in creating and developing this atmosphere.

Why? Well, first off they are all very approachable and friendly. I still remember the first time I took a tour of the Laurier campus and residences. The senior students acted like mentors and were happy to answer any of my questions during the tour.

I was initially unsure whether to major in economics or business. I knew I wanted to pursue law as my future career and was aware that there was no specific pre requisite for law school. I told my tour guide, who was also a third-year business student, that I had taken economics courses in the past and wasn’t completely interested in business.

He was patient and ready to listen. He encouraged me to take economics, explaining that it  would it provide me with the critical thinking necessary for a career in law, while allowing  me to do something I was passionate about. This way I could maintain a high GPA and also concentrate on other extracurricular activities, maximizing my chances of getting into law school.

Today, I know that choosing to major in economics was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself, a decision that was impacted by a helpful upper-year student.

He put himself in my shoes and reinforced my decision. This made me feel comfortable and I am certain that many of you have shared similar experiences.

Along with the tour, senior students often provided tips and valuable advice. This included pointing out the best places to study on campus, sharing how to balance academics with a social life and suggesting the residence style or building that was right for me. The senior students also reminded me of the importance of getting involved with the student body.

Senior students also gave us a tour of their own residence. This allowed me to imagine exactly how I would feel as a student living on-campus.

The information I gathered from this visit to the school, prior to moving in, was so beneficial that I can only hope that my first-year peers also took advantage of such programs—programs that meant so much more coming from someone who had also experienced Laurier for the first time.

Ultimately, university will be a big change for all of us. However, having a group of people to look up to who are friendly and easily approachable will surely make the transition smoother and help us feel like we belong. They’ve all done this before and you’re bound to find a friendly face when you need it.

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