In The Media

First semester here at Queen’s was an exhilarating and eye-opening experience

By Sophia Miao • Schulich Leader at Queen's University
Winter 2014
Category: 

First semester here at Queen’s was an exhilarating and eye-opening experience. It was difficult to say goodbye to my family and friends in Moncton, but the people here helped me feel at home in an unfamiliar place. Frosh week eased the adjustment process; through coverall painting, shaving cream fights, human pyramids, pier jumping, and the traditional tam ceremony, I met some of the most amazing people and began to feel a sense of belonging and fierce school pride.

Due to the nature of the students admitted to Queen’s, it’s a competitive process to get involved in clubs; however I was lucky to be accepted into the Literacy Outreach group as part of Queen’s Students for Literacy. Reading to children at a local women’s shelter every week is an inspiring experience; it’s so moving to see their smiles and realize that I can make a small difference in someone’s life. I’m also a part of the Arts & Science Undergraduate Society’s Graphic Design Team, where we make posters for other groups at Queen’s. Additionally, I joined a floor-wide intramural dodgeball team and though we weren’t the best athletically, it was the most fun I’ve ever had.

As part of the Science Living/Learning Community, I get the chance to have “Science Sundays” with sundaes hosted by our residence Don and discuss scientific issues. We also have lunch with a faculty member every month – a fun and enlightening experience. A highlight of being in the LLC was the opportunity to visit the human dissection lab and being able to handle the individual organs.

I’ve never realized how much I truly love learning until coming here. In tutorials, we have discussions about current issues relevant to the curriculum, and labs are just as stimulating. Though classes (and especially exams) can be a little intense at times, I think Queen’s presents the challenge that I was searching for.

For such a large institution, the sense of community here is astounding. Everywhere I go, I see Queen’s students looking out for fellow students and random acts of kindness: a smile, an encouraging note scratched on a desk in the depths of the library, a passerby stopping to help up someone who has just tripped…it’s absolutely amazing. I feel so blessed to be here as a Schulich Leader and I hope that the next few years at Queen’s are just as bright as this one!