Jamaican me crazy for Newfoundland
By Heidi Wicks
Xavier Campbell was terrified, wondering if he could take leaving his home in sunny, warm Jamaica to live in a frigid North Atlantic climate for four years. Tempted by watching NTV with his nan, he decided to take the chilly plunge and move to Newfoundland.
"As cheesy as this sounds, Memorial turned out to be the place where I came, to become," he said. "Cold weather, schmold weather."
He started off wanting to do medieval studies, history and art.
"I wound up in English and political science courses, and I was intrigued. I wanted to excel," said the chair of the Political Science Student Society.
Crediting the faculty in both departments, he feels that being surrounded by teachers who care about their subject matter and their students provided him with everything he needed.
"And in terms of resources that are not human," he chuckled, "Memorial has those in spades. My all-time favourite thing to take advantage of is our library. The QEII is filled with copious amounts of academic material – if it's not on the shelves, it's somewhere online, in a journal that you have access to. I spent countless nights in the library, especially during exams during extended hours."
He also applauded the staff at International Student Advising (ISA), Answers, Student Recruitment and Academic Advising.
"I've had some amazing teachers over the last four years," he remembered. "Dr. Gerard Collins was my English 1080 prof, and it was because of him that I fell in love with literature and decided, two weeks into my first semester, that I ought to major in English."
In addition to the valuable help and guidance he has received from his professors, Mr. Campbell has also utilized the Writing Centre, adding that, "the tutors and Ginny Ryan are always helpful, and I took all of my papers there to be edited."
And as for that weather, he urges those considering joining the Memorial family to not be deterred.
"St. John's is a small city with a really big attitude. The weather may suck sometimes, but the city is so alive, the cafés, restaurants, art shows, theatre, history – the city will never bore you and the city itself keeps you positive."
Mr. Campbell will bring his Jamaican flare with him as he walks across the stage to collect his BA, in his new hometown that he now just can't fathom moving away from.