Flashback to first-year Juan. He’s entering Glendon with the hopes and dreams of becoming a high school French and Drama teacher. He’s always loved school and education, and his high school teachers were huge influences on him.
He applies for the French Concurrent B.Ed program at the end of his first year. He’s been saying that he’s wanted to be a teacher since grade 4. He’s a shoo-in.
However, he doesn’t get in… His whole life was leading to the moment he would start his education to be a teacher, and now… he won’t be starting. After going through a number of emotions, he’s left with one question: now what?
At first, I was genuinely lost. I have a major fear of failure, so this caused a major hit to my sense of purpose, and even my self-esteem. So I was put in a position where I had to relearn what I wanted to do when I grew up, because despite the fact there were still options for me, I was too lost.
So with an open mind, and a world of possibilities out there for me, I started considering other career paths: journalism, public relations… Is there a way to watch Netflix professionally?
I started realizing that the mentors I’d found at Glendon were working in the education world, working with students and helping develop future leaders! And they all worked in this career called “Student Affairs”. From the Student Recruitment Officers I work with everyday, to the Student Affairs staff that I get to work with through clubs, ResLife & student politics, I realized that working a university would help me merge my two loves: education & leadership.
Currently, I’m actively seeking out as much information and insight as I can. I read numerous blogs about Student Affairs, student leadership and post-secondary education. Through my love of social media I am following numerous student affairs professionals, and reading through hashtags like #SAchat, #heWEB and #PSEweb. Watch out grad schools, I’m coming for you soon!
And obviously, I’m gathering as much experience as possible. Doing more work with Student Recruitment, taking on new positions in student politics and ResLife, and taking advantage of opportunities like consulting for campus organizations about student engagement, running and participating in conferences all contribute to me realizing more and more what I want to do.
None of this would’ve been possible though if I didn’t have an open mind. When I didn’t get into the education program, I could’ve moped for the remaining time I had at Glendon. I could’ve resolved that if I couldn’t be a teacher, there would be no way I could follow my passions.
Getting involved, having that curiosity about new, exciting career options and networking have helped me find my (current) career path! University changes you, that’s no doubt. This is just one way that it affected me, and I know many other people would say the same thing.
Whether it’s a new branch of psychology you hear about, a newly-developed passion for women’s studies because of one intro course you take or a new way of thinking about the dramatic arts, I believe that at Glendon, and in university, you are able to truly explore your passions and interests so you can pursue something you genuinely love.
Current students, have your university experiences helped you discover a new career path?
Future students, what career clusters are you most excited about learning more about in university?