The Choice That Changed My Life

The Choice That Changed My Life

 

Hello, future and current Gaiters!

My name is Sarah Langham and I am a third year Sociology and Political Studies major. In addition to my studies, I am a member of 3 different clubs on campus. Before coming to Bishop’s, my majors and extra-curricular activities are things in which I never would have thought I would participate. When I arrived at BU, I was very conservative – things had to be black and white in order to make complete sense. However, during my time here, I made the choice to accept rather than resist change and this put my life on a completely different track. Now, as each year passes, purple runs deeper and deeper through my veins and I could not be happier to call myself a Gaiter.

First, I want to share with you how I ended up at Bishop’s. When I was in grade 12, my dad suggested that I apply to Bishop’s. Why? Because the men’s lacrosse team had won the championship in 2011 (I come from a big lacrosse family). While there were a couple of things wrong with my father’s desire for me to go to this school, seeing that I wasn’t a lacrosse-playing man, it was the first time I had ever heard of this small school. So, I made the choice to learn more about Bishop’s and this choice changed everything for me.

I am from Ottawa, Ontario, a city that has two major universities. Many of my close friends had already committed to either one of the two but they didn’t seem that excited about this massive life decision. They were following the path most traveled and I didn’t think that my undergrad should be spent in the comfortable borders of Ottawa, seeing the same people and places every day. I chose Bishop’s because it had the potential to be my own little secret. No one at my high school had heard of it and everything about the town was a mystery. The next four years of my life would be an adventure that no one back home would completely understand. That thought both excited and terrified me.

In February 2013, I got accepted into the sociology program with a concentration in Criminology, Law and Social Policy. Before coming here, I had never taken a sociology course, which was very intimating. However, through the use of the school’s Student Accommodation Services (which are spectacular and a big reason why I decided Bishop’s was right for me), I have been able to achieve my major in sociology and pursue a politics major. One thing I noticed about Bishop’s is that you can have set interests in your first year but by your third year, you will have realized that you are interested in many more things that you might not have considered before. Now, I absolutely love my politics classes and often they relate well to my sociology courses. I am just truly blessed to go to a school where courses are so flexible and where we are encouraged to go out of our comfort zones to see the world in a different light.

Sarah1

The way I chose my extra-curriculars is a different story. As I mentioned before, I am a member of 3 clubs. They are: the Prison Letters Group, Best Buddies and Jack.Org. All of these clubs are very different from one another but each one acts as a reminder of the personal lessons I have learned from my time spent here at Bishop’s. During my first two years, I took many criminology courses and, from my professors, I learned that it is important to not look at a criminal in black and white shades but look at the life around them. Though I am not taking as many criminology courses anymore, Prison Letters acts as a reminder that in order to fully understand a person you must understand their circumstances. This is a lesson that I will take with me back to Ottawa once I graduate next year. The second club I joined was Best Buddies. Best Buddies is a club that allows people with both mental and physical disabilities to come together for planned events and socialize with each other and student volunteers. During my third year, my roommate was going to a Best Buddies event and I decided to tag along. During the event, I couldn’t help but notice how excited everyone was to be there. Everyone had a smile and no one was complaining about anything. This club has done a lot more for me than I initially thought it would have. Sometimes, especially during university, you forget how important it is to ground yourself. It is very easy to get caught up in our own lives and forget about important things, like being a nice person, or calling you parents. By joining Best Buddies, I gained a better outlook on life and am constantly reminded to cherish those around me. Finally, I joined Jack.Org. This club means a lot to me because it represents a huge part of my academic career. During my second year, I experienced the hardest year of my life. However, through the services provided by the school, I am currently having the BEST year of my life. This experience gave me a desire to get involved with clubs supporting mental health on campus. I wanted to help other people going through situations similar to the one I faced in second year and Jack.org has given me this chance. The club hopes to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health and create a conversation that is not intimating and hostile but rather encouraging and understanding. It has been a very rewarding experience so far. In sum, the clubs I have joined are extensions on the most important lessons I have learned at my time at Bishop’s.

Life is full of choices, choices that set you on a path that can change your life forever. The same applies at Bishop’s. Whether it’s choosing your frosh team (surprisingly a very important decision) or choosing what clubs to join, each choice made here is significant. That being said, I am not writing this to scare you, but rather excite you! Bishop’s has changed every aspect of my life (for the better) and has changed the way I perceive the world. If you are looking for an adventure on the road less traveled then the road leads right to Lennoxville, Quebec!

Until next time,

Sarah

 

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