A Heartfelt Letter for Future Gaiters

Having spent the last four years studying, volunteering, and discovering herself, Gabrielle Lesage, a graduating Honors English Literature and Psychology student, has penned an inspiring letter to future Gaiters as they prepare to navigate through the next chapter in their lives at Bishop’s University.

There is no easy or perfect way to start an article about the Bishop’s University experience because, to me, there are not enough words to describe the significant impact that this school has had on me. As a graduating student, these past few weeks have been filled with reflection on the years I have been a student. These last four years have been crucial in my development, and there are countless memories that have taught me many incredible lessons that I will cherish forever. I laughed, I cried, I made my voice heard, I listened.

This article is for those who are considering coming to Bishop’s, but need some reassurance and want to hear from someone who has just finished their studies. I remember when I first decided I was definitely coming to Bishop’s. I was terrified! Not exactly the feeling you want when deciding on moving hours away from home to a place where you do not know many people. But it’s the truth! I was terrified because I was venturing into a whole new territory. But you may ask “Weren’t you scared? Why dive into something that scares you?” Some would say that I could have gone to a university closer to my hometown, but to tell you the truth if I could do it all over again I would choose Bishop’s every single time.

Presenting at the Jack Summit taking place in Toronto in 2016

Bishop’s has shown me who I am and who I can be. As a child and now an adult, I suffered from a lot of anxiety. My parents were extremely supportive and compassionate and have always been there for me with my struggles, and my whole life I have worked to never let my anxiety hold me back, but things are easier said than done! When I received my acceptance letter from Bishop’s I decided I wanted a clean slate and fight that voice in my mind that said I couldn’t do it. Looking back at my years here, I am eternally grateful for all the support and opportunities Bishop’s has given me. If you were to tell me five or ten years ago that I would become a research assistant, nominated for a leadership retreat, be a teacher’s assistant for several semesters, co-lead of a mental health advocacy group, flown across the ocean by myself to England to study Jane Austen on a B.E.S.T. Project Fund, and completed an honors thesis, I would have laughed and said “In what alternate universe?!” But the truth is I have done all of these things, and so much more, and I know my story is one of the many ways that this school has impacted the lives of students throughout generations.

At the British Museum in London, England

The beauty of Bishop’s University is that you have the chance to discover your interests, strengths, and weaknesses. You enrich your academic knowledge and broaden your horizons. Our campus is a safe space for you to develop into the person you were meant to be. You create long-term friendships and learn so much not only about others but also yourself. Bishop’s gives you the opportunity to pursue your dreams and help pave the path to your future. Whether you are here for one semester or four years, wherever you go, whatever you do, it will always be there to support you, because Bishop’s is not only a community, it is a family.

I hope you do decide to come to Bishop’s. It is a life-changing experience that will help you become the best person you can be.

To learn more about the #1 university in Canada for student satisfaction: http://www.ubishops.ca/future-current-students/

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