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Quite the ride

By Catherine Burgess

Preparing for a feature story in the Gazette last month, I had a major discussion with students about their experience so far here at Memorial University.

Students had a great deal of positive things to say about their university, about its sense of community, and academic programs and student services that fit their interests and suit their needs.

Of course, as I listened to my fellow students’ stories about their various endeavours at Memorial, I reflected on my own journey through university undergrad life, which will come to an end at the May Convocation. The last classes have ended, the studying has finished, and the exams have been graded. Although I have not yet actually graduated – I believe the term for my peers and I until Convocation is graduand – and although the end of the term is still fresh, already I can say that the entire journey has been quite the ride.

I admit that in the beginning, I wasn’t entirely sure that the path I had laid out for myself in university was the right one. I shifted my plan around, testing courses from various departments like so many undergrads do – an arts elective here, a science class there – tailoring an undergraduate program for myself that I would enjoy and that could take me where I wanted to go.

I allowed myself five years to complete this undergrad. I had the option of clewing it up after my fourth, with a bachelor of arts in linguistics under my belt, but I chose to stay on for one more year to add to the experience of my BA by finding out where else Memorial’s diploma in professional writing program could take me.

It was through this program that I began a work placement with The Gazette before becoming the student columnist, which has certainly been one of the most valuable learning and working experiences of my undergrad years.

Some may call it roundabout, given that I knew that I wanted to pursue an education in journalism before I even began my studies at Memorial, but I knew that I wanted the foundation and experience of a bachelor of arts, to hone the skill set that would come with a BA, before diving into any journalism field.
And I am so pleased that I decided to stay for an extra year.

Things are certainly coming together; I’ve been given the tremendous opportunity to work with CBC for the summer as the CBC Radio Peter Gzowski Intern, and I will begin the journalism program at the University of King’s College in September. The past five years at Memorial are what have helped me prepare for this exciting new stage of the game.

Memorial’s students come from wildly diverse backgrounds and the unique paths we’ve chosen to follow at this university are just as varied.

As I talked with my fellow undergraduates last month about the community life and the academic programs it was clear: Memorial makes for a fantastic undergrad experience.