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How Laurentian changed my life

By: Sim Desjardins

If someone told me four years ago that I would be excited to enter my fifth year of university, I would have called them crazy. I have always enjoyed my time in school as an elementary and high school student, but university was a foreign and horrifying territory for me.  I vividly remember waking up early on my first day of school, doing my hair and makeup and going out to wait for the city bus with butterflies in my stomach. How would I know where to go? It’s 1000 degrees outside, did I sweat through my shirt already? What if the bus doesn’t come and I’m late for my first class? What if I don’t make any friends?

To sum it up, that city bus ride down Ramsey Lake Road was the longest ride of my life. So many questions were running through my mind, ultimately making me even more nervous than I already was, somehow. I remember getting off the bus close to the Classroom building and trying to find my French class, which was in the Arts building.

I searched for what felt like hours but was probably more like 10 minutes when a sweet stranger noticed my frantic facial expression and asked me if I was lost. This man not only pointed me in the right direction, but he actually walked me to my class to make sure I got there on time. He was so friendly and I could not believe I had met someone within my first 15 minutes at my new school who was kind enough to help someone they had never met. This made me think about high school a lot — back in the day when the upperclassmen would laugh at freshmen as they wandered around the school with no clue where to go on their first few days of classes.

It didn’t take me long to realize that university was nothing like high school. I didn’t have to worry about asking someone for help, I didn’t have to be embarrassed about anything, really. In university, everyone is mainly concerned with themselves, and they could not care less what you’re doing with your life. Honestly, I felt a lot better by the end of that first day.

Me on my first day of school back in 2014 taking a classic mirror pic in the arts building bathroom (and yes, for those of you wondering, I did sweat through that shirt! Blame it on my nerves, or the fact that I was wearing a leather jacket in 30 degree weather).

Once I finally became more comfortable with myself at my new school, I began to change into the person I am today. The Sim you see in the above picture is not the same girl who is writing this post, and I can thank my years at Laurentian for that. Through my program I have been fortunate enough to take part in many placements, workshops, career and volunteer opportunities that have molded me into a brand new gal. That’s not to mention all of the courses I have taken that have helped me to discover more about who I am and what I am interested in — women studies courses, English courses, French courses and education courses just to name a few!

I honestly don’t know what I would be like if not for my education at Laurentian, and I’m not just saying that. I really and truly have no idea what kind of person I would be if I had not opened my eyes and my mind to all of the information and opportunities I have been blessed with over the last 4 years. With all of that being said, I encourage anyone reading this blog post to just focus on the things that are important to you during your university career. For me, that was English and education courses, and by spending the majority of my undergrad focusing on things that I loved, I was able to make the best out of my four years of university!