Hi everyone! My name is Carrie Robinson and I am your 2020-2021 Director of Communications. In this short blog post I will tell you about who I am, how I ended up at BU and what my experience has been like at Bishop’s so far.
I was born and raised in Niagara on the Lake (NOTL), Ontario. It is a small town located about 20 minutes from Niagara Falls and about 2 hours from Toronto. NOTL is a historic tourist town famous for being the fir
st capital of Canada and the site of the War of 1812. Growing up I went to a tiny elementary school where I met people that I still consider my best friends today. We spent the days biking around town, hanging out at Timmies and swimming in the river/lake. I also spent summers out West in Alberta growing up, as my father ran a business in Canmore. I went to summer camp out there, hiked, swam and absolutely fell in love with the Rockies. I was lucky enough to travel a lot as a little kid. In my first few years I travelled to Australia, Hawaii, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and more. This really helped shape the person I am today and made me appreciate how much the world has to offer.
For high school I had to look outside of my little town and into the ‘big city’ of St Catharines, ON, about 20 minutes from NOTL. I chose to go to a highschool that had a huge focus on the Arts. I took part in choirs, musicals and bands throughout my highschool career and was normally at school from 7am to 8:30pm rehearsing for some play or gig. We were able to perform at many professional gigs and I had so many amazing experiences, trips and opportunities due to this.
When the question of where I wanted to go to University started I knew I wanted to broaden my horizons outside of Ontario. While most of my friends were looking at schools in the province, I started researching school in the East like Dalhousie, SMU and Mount Allison. After I toured Mount Allison I was pretty much set on going there, however, while touring Mt A they told me about the Maple League. My mother and I decided it was a good idea to check out Bishops because it was likely similar to Mount Allison but a little bit closer to home. The second I walked onto the Bishop’s campus I felt at home. My mind was basically made up by the time my tour was over.
I am now going into my third year at Bishop’s and I could not be happier with my decision. Throughout my first year I was hesitant to join extracurriculars — in part because of how busy I had been with them throughout high school. To be candid, I had a tough time in first year finding the right group of friends that would support who I wanted to be and would not judge me for wanting to put myself out there and be successful. After some searching, however, I found that group and it has made an incredible difference in my grades, motivation, confidence and academic attitude. Throughout my second year I became more involved in extracurriculars and joined PISA as a communications aide. I am so excited to be the PISA Communications Director this year and continue to improve the student experience for students in our department.
Now, I want to share with you some tips and lessons that I have learned the hard way throughout my BU experience this far:
Find the right friends. This is by FAR the most important thing I can say to any first year student entering Bishops. BU is filled with people who want to help you reach your full potential. Take a risk and reach out to people you think have similar goals and values as you, it will be worth it. If you do not feel like your friends are supporting you with the way you need, look around, reach out and make a change. It can change your life.
Take electives in other departments. If you have electives to spare, take courses in classes that you think may be interesting to you. In first year I took a psychology class and it definitely helped me to realize that it was not the direction I wanted to take in my career. By contrast, in my second year I took a Politics and Religion course and it inspired me so much I have picked up a minor in Religion!
Reach out to your professors. If you are confused, need an accommodation, or need clarification about something covered in lecture, go to your professor personally. Bishop’s professors want to help. Not only that, they take note of which students seem genuinely interested in wanting to learn and succeed. Once they know you are someone dependable who wants to go the extra mile to succeed, they will remember you and may reach out to you with RA positions, internships or other opportunities. Plus they are brilliant and friendly and picking their brains can be truly inspiring.
Go to events. Not only is it a great way to meet like minded students, going to events at Bishop’s is the only way to get the full BU experience. I am not only talking about Frosh Week, Winterfest and HOCO (although those are important too), but speakers, Student Voice Nights and workshops as well. These events will shape your Bishop’s experience and make it so much more interesting and worthwhile. It is easy to breeze through your undergrad and not grab every moment, but if you do it will enhance your life at Bishops and beyond.
So, those are my main tips. I also want to tell anyone reading that if you need help navigating Bishop’s you can always reach out to PISA or me personally. You can message the PISA instagram or facebook if you have questions about our events, how to get involved, classes or the program in general. Furthermore, if you see me around campus do not hesitate to say ‘Hi’ or ask a question. Anyways, thanks so much for reading and I look forward to seeing you throughout the school year around campus and at our events!
Thank you so much for reading,