In The Media

Campus is a small city of which I am a proud citizen

By Alexa McAdam • Schulich Leader at University of Manitoba
Winter 2012

The first day of university had been an event of great anticipation for me. As I set foot on campus, my bag heavily packed with notepads and textbooks and my mind laden with excitement and anxiety, I was overcome by the enormity of it all. Geographically, the size of the campus made my high school appear like a blade of grass in a large valley. Needless to say I arrived breathless to most of my classes, having sped-walk halfway across campus and hiking up several staircases. Sitting in a lecture amongst over 150 other students truly instilled in me a sense of how small I was. Finally the realization that I was now ultimately responsible for my learning, was perhaps most overwhelming; independence had been thrust upon me during that first day.

I have since familiarized myself with the campus, such that it no longer feels like a alien country, but a small city of which I am a proud citizen. The discovery of many shortcuts has greatly reduced my walking time between classes and the knowledge that textbooks are not required in class has reduced my wheezing! The willingness of professors to offer help outside of class has also increased my sense of belonging.

By joining different clubs and groups, lecture theaters and hallways are no longer full of foreign faces, but filled new friends with whom I can share smiles and laughter.

Joining the Let’s Talk Science group has provided me with the opportunity to share my passion for science with younger students. I look forward to travelling to an Aboriginal reserve later this month to do a wide range of experiments, from gel electrophoresis to making slime, with numerous classes. I have also become a member of the climbing club. I thoroughly enjoy the mental and physical challenges of combatting different routes on the wall, though I’m sure my callused hands and sore muscles would disagree!

With the first semester over halfway done, I am glad to say that my University experience thus far has far exceeded any of my expectations. In addition to removing all financial barriers and stresses, being a Schulich leader has enabled me to meet some incredibly people who have dedicated themselves to offering me help and guidance as I pursue my aspirations. Each day I am grateful for the opportunity to study subjects I am passionate about with students and professors who share my love for learning.