My name is Fatima and I’m in my 2A term of Arts and Business, Economics major. I am an international student, so moving to a new country for school was a big change for me. Change is never easy, and adjusting to new conditions is more stressful than many would care to admit. Adaptability is an important skill that one will continuously have to develop. Things always change – seasons, schools, people, locations. One’s ability to adjust would always be tested, and some tests are harder.
Moving to another country, I had to get used to not only university life, but Canadian culture as well. Not to mention the geese and the winter. As big as such a change may seem, it’s hard to think of me not being used to it now. The thing is, when you're able to adapt, it's hard to think of a time when things didn't feel normal.
This semester is my first time as a Library Ambassador. I didn’t take any part-time jobs during the fall and winter terms last year because I was still trying to get used to being in university and being in a new country. Taking on a part-time job now requires me getting used to planning my schedule keeping both my work shifts and classes in mind. I am also in the process of applying for my first co-op term, so I don’t have as much free time as I did last year. I am a pretty shy person and my job requires me to engage with students at library events and booths. So there is obviously a lot that I need to get used. However, meeting some of my co-workers and seeing how enthusiastic and supportive they are has made the transition easier and made being a Library Ambassador really fun. Meeting great people and getting help and support makes the change not seem so scary.
At the University of Waterloo, there is a lot of support for anyone who feels they are struggling with change. Counselling services offer individual appointments. There are also seminars and workshops you can attend in person or online. To learn more visit: https://uwaterloo.ca/campus-wellness/counselling-services. There is also UW Mates, which is the one-to-one peer program offered by FEDs and counselling services.
The UW library is also there to help with your school work. Assignment to research help, Writing and Communication Centre drop-ins, board games if you need a break and quiet study spaces. There is also the new student lounges in both the Dana Porter and Davis Centre Libraries for outreach and wellness activities.
Change is constant and it’s necessary to have the ability to adjust. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed talk to someone and look for support. There is always support available and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. If you ever decide to take a break by attending one of the library events keep an eye out for a Library Ambassador in the “Ask Me” t-shirt. Just in case you need help finding something, you need some information or you just want to say hi, we love to meet people.