When I first arrived at Victoria Hall, my residence building at Queen’s University, I felt overwhelmed by the number of students wheeling in their bags and the cars parked out front. However, everyone on my floor was very welcoming and their excitement rubbed off on me. I realized that this year held opportunities for new, exciting experiences. Through residence orientation and floor dinners, I got to know my floor mates really well. Not only was ‘frosh week’ full of crazy activities, I also got to experience what Queen’s was about and become a part of long-held traditions. From learning the Art-Sci dance to singing the Oil Thigh, I began to love the spirit at Queen’s. I remember frosh week as a culmination of sweaty coveralls, carnivals, and the Art-Sci cheers and chants. Above all, Orientation Week for me was the time during which I met some of my best friends and my Gaels from whom I received invaluable advice and tips on how to succeed in classes and enjoy campus life.
In terms of academics, I found my courses to be very challenging, but definitely rewarding as well. Being from a different province, especially, I found the curriculum to be very different and diverse. I discovered my interest in psychology and met some very inspiring professors. Between examples of shark steak and slippery pigs, biology courses at Queen’s have fuelled my passion for this field. I also really enjoyed the different topics, including Quantum chemistry that I got to cover this year. Looking back at my first semester, I recognize my new study strategies and a nurturing interest in human anatomy and physiology to be the most important tools I gained, which will help me fulfil my goals of pursuing a career in the health field. I am very excited to continue my exploration of science based subjects and learn a new language (French)!
First semester was full of first experiences, whether it be grocery shopping by myself or house hunting. To be very honest, the new responsibilities, a challenging course load, and a completely different environment did cause me a little stress. In addition, my mom’s delicious, spicy food was something that I missed a lot initially. However, I developed valuable coping skills and learned how to manage my stress. From dining at different restaurants in Kingston to volunteering, I discovered activities that made me feel at home and fostered my love for Queen’s. By attending events hosted by different cultural clubs, I got a chance to meet a variety of people and remain connected to my culture. Furthermore, I discovered how I wanted to be involved on campus. Through different clubs at Queen’s, like Oxfam, I continue to strive to raise awareness about health issues in Canada and partake in activities to learn more about pandemics affecting us.
My first semester at Queen’s University was a thrilling learning experience and I want to thank Mr. Schulich for the opportunity to attend the school of my dreams. Inspired by my experiences last semester, I am also going to be a part of the new chapters of Pencils for Kids and the Canadian Association for Research in Regenerative Medicine. If my first four months at Queen’s were any indication of the coming semester, I already know it is going be an exhilarating ride full of new challenges and opportunities. Cha Gheill!!!