Get ready for the next four years of meeting new friends, exploring a new city, picking up new habits, learning a lot, discovering yourself, and making memories that will last a lifetime. You have probably heard this a million times already, but make sure you take the time to cherish every moment because the four years will go by in a blink of the eye. Thinking back on my four years, the three most important pieces of advice that I can give are; try not to stress over the little things, get out of your comfort zone to try something new, and it's okay not knowing!
DO NOT STRESS OVER ALL THE TINY LITTLE DETAILS! University can be overwhelming at times. There will be times that you feel as though you have too many things to do and not enough time. At the end of the day, one assignment isn't going to make or break you. It's okay to get one bad grade or have a bad semester; there are more important things in life than your GPA.
TRY SOMETHING NEW! Some of the best memories that I have from Queen's came from doing something that I usually wouldn't consider doing. One of the best parts about Queen's is the wide selection of clubs to choose from. I've had friends who were involved in sports teams, music groups, animal activism, conservation biology, stargazing, rock-skipping, cooking clubs, dance teams, fashion shows, and humanitarian organizations. There are so many things to choose from that I can't even begin to list them all. Make sure that during your time here at Queen's, you get involved and make connections as best you can. The university experience is about so much more than just school, and finding your group of people is the best way to turn Queen's into your home.
IT'S OKAY TO BE UNSURE! Whether it is regarding course material, an answer on a test, or even what you want to do in the future: it is okay not knowing the answer, and it's okay to ask questions. I have realized that there is no need to have a set plan for everything because sometimes, even the most well-thought-out plans fail. I still don't know what I want to do in the future, but now, instead of worrying about making a decision, I am enjoying the chances that I have to explore different opportunities. I am starting a master's program that will allow me to experience an alternate side of research and make new connections with people. If all goes well, I could see myself continuing in the research field to pursue either a Ph.D. or another degree of some sort. On the other hand, I could also see myself applying to medical school and chasing the dream of becoming a physician. I am also excited about the opportunities to meet new people who could. There are still many exciting opportunities ahead for me to meet new people who could open my eyes to new areas of healthcare and other potential career options.
Over the next four years, you are going to experience some of the best moments of your life. Make sure you take the time to enjoy it all because it will be over before you know it.
Queen's Scientista Graduate Student Representative