Right now, you might be feeling a bit exhausted with endless school projects and assignments to complete. Add to that the pressure of ensuing deadlines to meet, every course, every day! Considering that you have just started your program, you might feel like there is too much on your plate already. Amidst this, you deserve a pat on the back for making it this far and surpassing all challenges. Congratulations!
As your exciting journey here at PACE has now began, I’d like to share one piece of advice to keep your cool despite the pressure of increasing workloads: HAVE FUN WHILE LEARNING! What I mean is be involved with various activities PACE holds that don’t require getting an “A+” or a “Pass.” This way, you won’t feel like university life is all about studying, working on assignments, and writing exams. Because sometimes, SCHOOL is more COOL if you close your notebooks even for a moment and join various extra-curricular activities.
GET A LIFE WITH STUDENT LIFE
The University of Winnipeg – PACE, in coordination with the Student Life Committee, has prepared several events throughout the year that you can be part of:
Thanksgiving Potluck – A traditional Canadian feast where students and instructors can share together a multitude of dishes to their stomach’s content. This is like going to an international buffet – less the costly bill, and add the camaraderie while having lunch together in one large room.
By the way, where’s my turkey?
Halloween Costume Contest –Have your spookiest and craziest costumes ready because PACE will host a Halloween Costume Contest very soon! Students will ramp like models with their Halloween attires; the winner gets a trick-or-treat prize! Plus, you get to eat some weird-looking yet tasty Halloween dishes! My personal favourite was the biscuits shaped like a human finger. Hmmm…sounds yummy.
Cultural Night – Celebrate diversity through U of W PACE Annual Cultural Evening this winter. Students from different countries showcase their talents in singing, dancing, and instruments. I was privileged to co-host part of last year’s Cultural Evening, which holds the biggest audience attendance to date! Check out this article about the event. Cultural Evening
Global Holiday Party – The newest event the Student Life Committee has set up to commemorate various holiday traditions all around the world. Coming this December, students dress up in their traditional holiday attires and feast with Christmas-inspired delicacies. ‘Tis the season to be jolly as students say farewell to 2015 with food, fun, and posts on Facebook.
YEARN FOR LEARNING
Aside from these must-awaited happenings, the Student Life Committee has initiated some networking events to enhance the professional skills of students. The top student favourites are:
Resumania – Around 8 to 12 industry leaders from your field are invited to sit one-on-one with you and give expert feedback to help improve your résumé for future job hunting. Moreover, this is a superb opportunity to expand your professional network, so better start updating your LinkedIn profile if you haven’t done so!
Conversation Circle – An exciting way to meet and greet industry professionals specific to your program. Listen to their interesting stories and grab the chance to interview them during the question and answer portion. You’ll get practical tips on successfully integrating into the Canadian workplace culture, among other topics on career development.
Toastmasters – If you’re looking for a place to practice your upcoming class presentations or wanting to improve your public speaking skills, we now have a Toastmasters club in PACE! Founded last June 2015, PACE Champions Toastmasters is a club composed of current students and recent graduates who share a common goal – to become competent communicators and leaders through the Toastmasters Education Program. To know more, visit the Toastmasters website.
CELEBRATE WITH CLASSMATES
One of the most valuable lessons I learned when taking the Managerial and Financial Leadership Diploma program was about celebrating small victories. Credits go to our Leadership Development instructor, Judy Mathieson, who introduced this concept to us. Whenever our class survived an exam week (normally after the Accounting finals), we plan together and try activities where we can rejuvenate our drained up brain cells. We played golf, battled in teams through paintball, ate at a buffet restaurant, and threw a few house parties. On the last day of our program, we culminated it by camping for three days at Grand Beach. There’s no better way to relieve the stresses of school life by enjoying time together with friends you’ve made along the way.
MAKE LEARNING FUN!
You might be contemplating how many more midterms you still have to go through before finishing your program. Although I’ll tell you from experience, it’ll be over before you realize it. That’s why, I encourage you to attend or more so volunteer at various activities the Student Life Committee has organized. Not only that they’ll give you a relaxing break from your courses, they’ll also help you increase your professional network, impart new aspects of learning, and instill the bond you’re forging with your classmates.
Finally, I’d like to sum up my thoughts from the words of Steve Jobs: “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.” Never lose that craving for learning, but let your life sometimes ride its crazy tides.
If you are interested in getting involved, please contact PACE Student Life Coordinator, Mekala Wickramasinghe at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more details on how to be part of the Student Life events and activities.