Over my four years at Waterloo, one of the things that I learned about myself, that I’ll definitely remember, is that I like to be busy. For me, it was just a lifestyle in high school; it just made sense to join clubs and committees, and I never gave it a second thought. Somewhere during second year I realized that I like to be busy. Combine that with my love of helping people and you get something along the lines of my involvement with UWaterloo.
I graduated from the French Teaching Specialization program in the Faculty of Arts in 2014, a degree which does a phenomenal job of preparing you to become a teacher with French being your primary teachable. While in-classroom volunteering is a mandatory component of the program, it’s hard to gain in-class experience when your courses take up the same time slot as the average elementary school day, and they’re not looking for volunteers during the spring term as school is wrapping up. This is very likely the reason that I started looking elsewhere for opportunities to help people. It started with something very simple: at the end of first year, on a whim, I applied to be an Orientation Week Leader, just to see what it would be like. 3 years of a snowball effect later and here I am, realizing that I will never not want to be involved and be busy, especially when I’m helping people.
Since graduating, I’ve been watching a lot of hockey and one of the lessons I’ve really picked up is there is no such thing as an unassisted goal. While you may put in the hard work and ultimately be the person who scores, you were not alone out there on the ice. While I put in the hard work to earning my degree at Waterloo, I have to say that without a doubt this University assisted me in every goal I scored. I have a very strong connection with the Faculty of Arts, who have supported me during my time volunteering for things like the Calling Campaign, termly open houses and the Arts Peer Mentors program. I also can proudly thank the Department of French Studies for supporting me during my time as Web Master and then as President of the Cercle Français. I also have FEDS, representing the entire student body, to thank for supporting me during my time as a member of the Federation Orientation Committee (FOC).
My Convocation is June 11th and as I sit here trying to memorize my Valedictorian address, I reflect on all of my irreplaceable experiences Waterloo has given me and can honestly say that all of my goals were not unassisted: the University was with me every step of the way. Without a doubt I will remember and draw on the connections I have to the University, including its faculty, staff, volunteers, and students. I’m certain they’ll always be on the ice as I aim to shoot the puck at further education and further down the line to a job!