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Student View

When you envision yourself graduating from high school and journeying into university life, you imagine yourself becoming the person you want to be. You see yourself as being fully immersed into a whole new world filled with uncertainties, fears and challenges.

How does one prepare for such an endeavour? A sense of belonging and community is essential in order to achieve that unique identity.

Memorial prides itself on being a university where people and ideas become. It is a place where students will become the person they want to be, by making friends, getting involved, challenging ideas and discovering who they are as an adult.

This is all part of the experience.

But I cannot help but wonder what if some students feel completely lost and misguided by their time at Memorial. What if they lose their sense of self and neglect to pursue their individuality?

I believe that a strong sense of belonging is directly correlated to the individual faculties at Memorial.

Let me explain.

As a business student, I feel as though our faculty is very closely knit and there is a friendly and relaxed, yet challenging, atmosphere. We are grouped together in the same building, we pass each other in the hallways frequently and most times we even call our professors by their first name. We also have many associations which students can join to facilitate becoming a member of the business community.

We are constantly connected.

However, as an Arts student, I feel like a lost puppy walking aimlessly through the hallways. I do not feel as though I am truly a member of the Arts faculty as I have not had much interaction with the students or faculty members.

To be honest, it is a completely different ambiance, more stoic.

In fact, many Arts students have voiced this opinion and it was not until it was brought to my attention that I realized that I, too, feel the same. I find it to be a radically atypical environment and it is sometimes difficult to adapt to going back and forth between faculties daily. Shouldn’t all students feel the same sense of belonging no matter what faculty they are part of? We are all students at Memorial, after all.

I suspect that all faculties that have an ample amount of students, such as Science and Arts, experience a similar disconnect. There are so many students that it is easy to get lost in the crowd and fade into the background.

It takes a little bit more motivation to make new friends and get involved in faculty associations and clubs, especially for first year students. Feeling like an outcast amongst the sea of students certainly does not encourage students to take part in extracurricular activities and feel like a member of the student community.

Although Memorial’s campus is large and can be overwhelming at times, you do not have far to go to meet like-minded people. Memorial has several clubs and societies that help students connect with others who share their interests. Students and faculty members alike must ensure that students are involved in the community and therefore developing as an individual.

It is the membership in associations and societies and the interaction with faculty that provides you with distinct character traits that mould you into the person you are to become as an adult. Your four years spent at university are considered to be some of the best years of your life and it is where you meet potential lifelong friends. Do not be shy. Get out there and become!
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