As the fall semester draws to a close and exams around the corner, I’ve been reflecting on my first term in university.
Moving from high school to post-secondary brought on a great deal of change, and there’re multiple things I’ve learned to appreciate so far.
Location, location, location
First, I’ve come to realize I take my city for granted too often. St. John’s has both beautiful scenery and rich history. Being one of the oldest cities in North America, it has such an incredible and long past.
As well, there are an abundance of scenic spots like dazzling Signal Hill and the Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site. The landscape here is unbeatable.
There’s something about seeing the massive headlands, deep ocean and endless trees on the way to school that starts my day off right.
“There is a sense of community at Memorial that you don’t get in larger universities.”
Entering university in your hometown makes the jump from high school to post-secondary a lot less daunting. It’s also fascinating to attend a school founded so long ago (1925!).
St. John’s is a smaller city than places such as Toronto or Vancouver, allowing for less traffic, noise and crowding. With the lack of traffic, commuting to university every day is faster and easier.
As Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have always been attributed with friendliness and hospitality, I find there’s always a warm atmosphere here.
There is a sense of community at Memorial that you don’t get in larger universities. Both students and staff are approachable and easy to talk to.
Thank goodness for the ‘MUNnels’
The “MUNnels” and skywalk system at Memorial are easy and convenient for getting around.
Most of the 16,000 metres of tunnels and overhead pedways connect to all the buildings I have classes in.
It eliminates the need for me to trek across campus outdoors, something I’ll be even more grateful for when it soon starts snowing.
Undoubtedly, the best quality of Memorial is its low tuition fees.
With government subsidization, Memorial University maintains one of the lowest tuition fees in Canada.
This was very appealing to me while applying to university.
Besides local applicants, the cost also draws in many international students.
More affordable tuition makes the transition into university a lot less difficult and gives more students the ability to attend.
Perks = The Works (and the QEII)
The Works is one of my favourite perks of being a MUN student. Students receive free admission to the gym facility with access to the running track as well as the toning, weight and cardio rooms.
There’s a multitude of exercise machines in the upstairs rooms for all types of workouts. It’s perfect for staying healthy throughout the semester and for de-stressing during exams.
The Queen Elizabeth II Library is another one of my favourite spots on campus. I often book group study rooms with my friends.
The single study rooms and the massive reading room are also great places to get work done between classes. The bottom line is there’s always somewhere to study in the library.
“I feel proud to be a part of a university with such open arms and strong initiative to help others.”
Recently, there was a vote to establish a refugee program at MUN that, for an extra $2 a semester, would allow one refugee student to attend Memorial for a year of studies.
The vote resulted in overwhelming favour of the program with 3,142 votes and 93 per cent in favour.
I feel proud to be a part of a university with such open arms and strong initiative to help others. Again, there’s a sense of community in Newfoundland and Labrador and Memorial that’s hard to find elsewhere.
The Memorial experience has many enticing qualities that I’ve learned to appreciate. It reassures me, especially as a first-year student, to know that I made the right choice for my studies.
Feeling comfortable and confident in your first year of post-secondary is difficult, but I’ve found it’s easy when you’re a student at Memorial University.