A transformational experience

Elizabeth Chima | BCom Class of 2020

There aren’t enough words to describe my time at McGill, but if I had to pick one word, it would be enriching.

On the academic front, McGill facilitated a significant amount of learning; it gave me a foundational base of knowledge that I can build upon as I enter the workforce and, frankly, the real world. By giving me opportunities to develop my critical thinking skills, it helped shape my way of addressing problems and seeing the world. I learned to develop a healthy dose of skepticism; to always ask questions and never take anything at face value.

On a more personal note, studying at McGill gave me several opportunities to learn about myself and about relating with other people. A lot of the more tangible and practical skills and experiences I gained were from the different people with whom I met, interacted, and developed relationships.

By engaging in different clubs and initiatives during my time at McGill, I learned the value of relationships and benefited from our unique ability to mobilize resources and generate significant impact. When I look at who I am today and compare it with who I was when I first came to McGill, I can see how transformational the last few years have been and how much I’ve gained and learned during my time here.

My advice to my first-year self, or to any incoming students, would be:

  1. Don't be too hard or put too much pressure on yourself! You've made it into one of the top schools in Canada, which is already an achievement in itself.
  2. While at McGill, you're going to come across challenges, academic or otherwise and, at least once, you're going to fail. Those moments of failure are just as important as the successes and it's important to learn something from each and every one of them.
  3. Expect to be challenged! McGill is a top school for a reason. Your classes may prove to be more rigorous than expected, but that's a good thing!
  4. You will have many opportunities to stretch and enrich your understanding of some of the most basic concepts, as well as the more complex ones. Enjoy it all and take every opportunity to learn something new.
  5. Be as open as possible! Don't be scared to put yourself out there and talk to as many people as possible; some of your most valuable experiences will come from doing so.

Elizabeth Chima
BCom Class of 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated: 2020/10/01

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