In order for me to tell you about what Student Life means to me, I need to tell you about my life before it.
I never would have guessed three years ago that I would be here right now. I was 17, on my way to Toronto to study film for four years. Oh how crazy I was. Looking back on it now, I was a little too young. I didn’t yet know what it took to survive in post secondary school. Never-the-less, I made a lot of life long friends, I learned how to live on my own, and I experienced a student council.
After my first year though, I did not return. I left behind all my friends, my studies, a part of my life really… I left a lot behind to pursue something else. I didn’t know what, all I knew was that a post secondary school is for learning first, and all that other stuff shuffles in afterwards. And I didn’t want to learn there anymore.
I took a year off. A lot of people would get excited about a year off... but it was hard work. First there are all those people expecting so much out of you. Friends and family, and you feel as though you have let them down. I had no idea whether I had or not, but I felt like I had.
I did a lot of thinking about what exactly I wanted to do. My interests were so broad. I ended up getting into the same thing I had loved all through school. My interest in film led me to Television Broadcasting. I applied and was accepted into the program at Conestoga College. I was quite excited.
I found my self fit in pretty quickly. I felt a lot more comfortable at Conestoga than I ever had in Toronto (when it came to the class room anyway). I became more and more confident in myself and realized that broadcasting is my future. It’s what I want to do.
And then one day, a young lady named Bonnie Lipton came into class. She announced that there was a filming job opportunity at Student Life for a first year broadcast student. I new it would be tough to get the job, but as I said, I new that sort of thing was what I wanted to do.
In the interview I didn’t do anything special. I was just honest. I new who I was and if I wasn’t the type of person that Student Life needed than that was fine. I left the interview happy with what I had done. I felt like whether I got the job or not, I was on a path towards a better future.
Well I had no idea just how right that path was. I got the job. I remember the first day coming in and Bonnie asking me what I thought Student Life was. I told her that they organized events for the students and provided certain services. It end’s up, that is only the surface of what Student Life actually does. Merely the tip of the iceberg as some may say. Student Life connects people of all sorts of races and religions and sexualities. We unite the students here at Conestoga and try to get everyone involved! Believe me, if we had the money and resources to employ every single student, we would. I am a firm believer in the atmosphere Student Life is trying to create, and other governing bodies should work towards it as well.
Carol is the best boss I have ever had, and I am quite aware that she could possibly be the best boss I will ever have. She has a goal but she doesn’t just work towards it, she lives towards it. She doesn’t just want me to be kind to others, but she is kind to me as well. A true leader by example.
Bonnie, also my boss, is there to talk all the time, and about anything. Her passion for her work is incredible. She is so proud of what happens here in Student Life and always wants to get more and more people involved. She once told me (after I had had a rough week) to go out and do something I’ve always wanted to do. I thought for a second and then responded “I am doing that right now.”
And it’s true. What I am doing right now is what I have worked towards for the last few years. I may not have known it at the time. Like I said earlier, I left everything behind to pursue something. Well I realized this year that I was searching for myself. Student Life helped me do that and we can help everyone else too.
I am looking forward to continuing my job over the summer and into next semester. I have already met so many incredible people and I can’t wait to meet more. I love working with people everyday who love what they are doing. I’ve been working here for three months now and I have made some very good friends. At the very least I have met some people who have helped me look at the world in a different way.
So Student Life isn’t the beginning of my story, nor is it the end. It is just my present. It’s where I am right now. And I must say, I like where I am right now…
Matthew Ethier, Student Life Productions Assistant
Broadcast Television, Year 1