P.O.V.: School work and life lessons

P.O.V.: School work and life lessons McGill University

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McGill Reporter
May 29, 2008 - Volume 40 Number 18
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Home > McGill Reporter > Volume 40: 2007-2008 > May 29, 2008 > P.O.V.: School work and life lessons

P.O.V.

School work and life lessons

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CLAUDIO CALLIGARIS

As I reflect on my past four years at McGill University, it seems almost impossible that it is all coming to an end. I still remember my first couple of days here, from Frosh Week to my first class, as I sat with 800 other students in Leacock 132. I sat there wondering how I was going to be able to withstand the next four years, as everything seemed so intense and daunting. I almost have to laugh at these first impressions because within a few months I had adjusted to life at McGill and had already begun an amazing path towards this upcoming day, graduation.

My four years at McGill have been full of remarkable life lessons. In my first year, I lived in the New Residence Hall where I met many new friends. I also had an amazing floor fellow who helped me adjust to university life. My next year, I moved out of residence into my own apartment and it was the hardest thing I had ever done. Although it was wonderful to finally be on my own, I had to learn how to cook, clean -basically how to live! Since then, I have not only been enriched by my McGill education, but also by the experience of becoming an adult.

This final year has been especially hard, as I have begun to realize I will no longer be in the comfort of this university and this city. I have been looking back at the past four years and it is amazing how fortunate I have been to study at this exceptional institution.

Studying at McGill has also opened up many doors for me. Because it is located in the beautiful city of Montreal, I have been fortunate to live in a European-style city full of rich, French history. It's almost as if I have been studying abroad, but still close enough to be within reach of home.

I have also met a diverse array of students from many countries around the world. This is one part of the experience I would never trade for anything. Lastly, I have had the amazing opportunity to study in Florence, Italy, with McGill. This is something I will take with me throughout life as it gave me the chance to explore the beauty of Europe.

I have also been fortunate to participate in many activities. A large part of my life has been dedicated to volunteering and it became essential to find an activity that connected with my passion. In my third year, I became one of the co-presidents of the Students' Society of McGill University (SSMU) Volunteer Program. This has been a most rewarding activity as I have planned volunteer fairs every semester, matching students with various volunteering opportunities around the Montreal area. I also became a co-ordinator for the Internet Project at the Yellow Door, an organization that works to lessen seniors' isolation. This opportunity allowed me to actually work one-on-one with volunteers. Lastly, this past year I became a tour guide for McGill. It has been my pleasure to show students around our campus and hopefully guide them toward choosing McGill for their studies.

In all, my time at McGill has been marked by immense growth and realization. I have learned to be independent and to find my way in this large world. I feel this university has left a lasting impression on me and has really prepared me for my next path in life. It seems almost surreal that my university experience is about to end, but I look toward my next path in life in eager anticipation.

Safiyya Dharssi just earned her BA from the Faculty of Arts & Science with a double major in International Development Studies and Biomedical Sciences.

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