Starting off my first few weeks at the University of Ottawa brought many nerves, as it did for most freshmen. I couldn’t believe all the changes that were happening in my life, such as a new city, some new faces and not to mention a new team. I am a rookie on the Gee-Gees women’s hockey team and I am studying in the nursing program.
Walking into the dressing room for the first time, I quickly realized that most of the girls already knew each other and I began to wonder if I would fit in. This feeling only lasted a brief moment because upon my arrival, my teammates were extremely accepting of me and m ade me feel at home. We created an instant bond that continues to grow daily. Their ability to make me comfortable in my new environment within days allowed me to perform at my best which led up to my first CIS goal. One of the things I’ve come to love the most are my training sessions at the High Performance Centre. In this facility, we are united with many other student-athletes who are also striving to achieve their sports performance goals. We’ve generated a link amongst the Gee-Gees varsity teams and have become one family that supports and encourages each other to push past our limits.
If you’re anything like me, you might be a little bit shy and reserved going into this new journey, however I have a few words of advice for you. Remember that all first year students will most likely have the same mentality as you. Therefore, take the initiative to start conversations and to meet people. There are many activities and sporting events on campus that allow you to interact with those who have similar interest as you such as football games, yoga classes and even movie nights. Also, if you live in residence I would recommend that you get to know your floor mates as you will be seeing them quite often and they will always be there for you when you are in need of a helping hand. Once you find the courage and the confidence to come out of your comfort zone and socialize with others, you will be making lifelong friendships before you even know it’s happening.
Although it can be easy to get distracted with everything that is going on around you, it is important that you maintain your focus towards your education. After all, you did come here to study. When your high school teachers tell you that self-determination and commitment are going to be required once you’ve taken that big leap into your post-secondary education, they aren’t lying. As they say, with great freedom comes great responsibility, you have to keep yourself accountable. With that said, I’ve come to realize that all the tools for success are available to you, but it is your choice whether you decide to use them or not. There are so many different programs offered here at the University of Ottawa, there is no doubt in my mind that you will be able to study something that greatly interests you.
It felt like just yesterday I was receiving my high school diploma, but now that the first month of university has gone by I couldn’t be happier with the decision that I made to pursue my studies in the nursing program and to be a part of the Gee-Gees women’s hockey team.