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‘Precious opportunity’

Student writer says Welcome Weeks most 'festive' time for her

Student Life

By Leisha Toory

As the festive season approaches, I am celebrating what I consider the festive time at Memorial: Welcome Week.

Leisha Toory wears a yellow coat with sunglasses on her head on a sunny day with Cabot Tower behind her.
Student contributor Leisha Toory enjoying a sunny day on Signal Hill in St. John’s.

Welcome Week goes beyond event planning and execution and extends to the acquisition of important skills, the golden opportunities to attend professional and personal development sessions and the amazing chance to meet other students and grow network connections.

Multiple skills

As a lead with the Welcome Week peer network team this fall, I had multiple opportunities along the way to acquire leadership, teamwork, time management and event planning skills.

Through the peer mentor training modules, I learned about professional barriers, empathetic listening, lollipop leadership, informal leadership, mapping motivation, understanding allyship and accessibility and the different ways to communicate with students more effectively.

Through the informative professional and personal development sessions, I had the privilege of broadening my knowledge on career development, building resumés, email etiquette, video conferencing, communication and intercultural awareness.

“I have gathered that goals become easier to achieve when solutions are drawn from an array of experiences.”

Professionally, this fruitful experience has encouraged me to be open-minded, to have a vision, to have the eloquence to clearly convey every detail from organizational goals to completed tasks and to illustrate optimism to boost team spirit.

I can personally vouch that the Welcome Week team operates as one solid unit. Collaboration fostered creativity and improved productivity while boosting student morale and motivation.

Furthermore, with team members of different communication styles and unique personalities, learning with purpose at every meeting became routine. Also, I have gathered that goals become easier to achieve when solutions are drawn from an array of experiences.

Working as a team towards a common aim revolved around supporting each team member and communicating freely. In a team, one does not work to become better than the other; rather, we worked to make sure every teammate felt appreciated.

There is no stronger memory than that of our “firsts.”

I am expressing my gratitude to the Student Experience Office, the experience designers, the operation leads and the volunteers from whom I learned so much every single day with every new task assigned.

Finally, the platinum reward of getting involved for Welcome Week: making a difference in our students’ lives. As current or former students, we have all been a first-year: new journey, new educational institution, new schedules. There is no stronger memory than that of our “firsts.”

When I embarked on my new journey at Memorial, I was both enthusiastic and nervous: my flight landed in St. John’s at 3 a.m. Five hours later, I excitedly attended my 8 a.m. class because I did not want to miss my first day of university lectures.

Our first day/week/month(s)’ experience is unique. It has the power to change our world and it will be an unforgettable moment. It can be thrilling and accompanied with a tinge of fear and worry.

Welcoming connection

Getting involved in Welcome Week gives students the precious opportunity to contribute to making first weeks on campus victorious and incomparably joyous for first-year students, which can create a welcoming connection to our university.

My favourite memory at Memorial this year was getting involved in the fall Welcome Week; it makes me even happier that we will be starting the New Year with the Winter Welcome!

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