Guest Column: Get the most and best from MRU
President of Mount Royal University
A big welcome back to campus to those of you returning, and a big welcome to those students attending for the first time.
I have said before that Convocation is my favourite day of the academic year. But, if Convocation is my favourite day, then early September is by far my favourite “season” of the academic calendar. There is a sense of energy and excitement in the first two weeks of the fall that is hard to match in any other environment.
However, it will only continue to be exciting if you make the most of the academic year. Here are a few ways to keep up the buzz and make sure you end the year with a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.
1. Make the most of your academic experience. Your undergraduate days may be the only time in your lives where, for months on end, you get to think about things you want to think about. Soak in as much as you can. Think of your university classes as a huge buffet serving food not for the body, but for the mind. Feed your intellectual appetite.
2. Appreciate your faculty. Mount Royal has the best teaching faculty in the country. Combine that with smaller class sizes and you have the recipe for a great classroom experience. Visit your professors during their office hours, show up to class prepared and make the most of your time with such gifted instructors. The same goes for staff at MRU.
3. Be a Cougars supporter. This is our first year in CIS and our student athletes are incredibly pumped about being able to play at the university level. Show you support by cheering on our men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, hockey and basketball teams. I try to make it to as many home games as possible. Not only is the competition fun to watch, but it is the most affordable entertainment a student can hope for.
4. Make use of the recreation facilities. While I am far from a varsity athlete, I do appreciate that a healthy body helps create a healthy mind. Staying fit will come in handy when the academic work seems to get more daunting.
5. Get involved in campus life. Visit the SAMRU offices, think about a campus club to join, volunteer somewhere. Mount Royal is a community of over fifteen thousand people. When you see an opportunity to participate in the life of this community, grab it. It will be a lifelong lesson that you will not regret.
6. Keep your eye on the bigger picture. Whenever you finish an assignment, ask yourself, ‘what did I learn on this project that I can use when faced with future tasks, especially tasks that seem totally unrelated?’ You will be amazed at how the bigger picture takeaways from a paper in second-year history will be important to your career as a doctor, lawyer, pilot etc. But don’t wait until you graduate to appreciate them. Reflect on them as soon and as often as possible.
7. Finally, and critically, recognize that the academic year has its cycles. There will be times when you have all kinds of free time and others when the workload seems never ending. Pace yourself. Don’t let the pressure overwhelm you. Our Wellness Centre is there for you. Your success is our success, so let us help.
Here’s to a great year. I hope to see you around campus as much as possible.