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Welcome to the University of Guelph! My name is Melanie Harding and I am the Parents and Families Facilitator with the Center for New Students this year. It's my job to connect you, the parents and families of our first year students, to the Guelph community. I will be posting blogs several times a week with information about classes and academics, campus events, useful resources for first year students, ways to get involved and so much more! As well, you can send me any questions or concerns that you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don't hesitate to contact me... I would love to hear from you!
Orientation Week was a definite blast! I volunteered at a variety of events for Off-Campus students, mature students and students living in residence. It was great to meet our newest additions to the Guelph community. They were full of spirit, enthusiasm and excitement! Check out this video of our pep rally where each residence and the off-campus students did a boogie (also known as a dance routine) on the football field. They were evaluated on their spirit (no boo-ing allowed!) as well as their boogie. It was a ton of fun and the video really shows you what O-Week was all about; spirit, pride, new friendships, involvement in our community and a little bit of friendly competition!
And we can’t forget about the academic events! There were lots of opportunities to get in touch with the academic side of O-Week. There were several Academic Community Group meetings where students from each major could get to know each other, meet upper year students who shared some useful tips for academic success and learn about Courselink, which is a way that professors connect to their students online. Another important event was the Academic Program Meeting where students met with their degree programs (for example, all the students in Bachelor of Science) and learned about specific academic requirements, academic support that is available on campus and they were also able to meet their Program Counselors. There are several Program Counselors for each degree program and they assist students with choosing courses, answering academic questions and making sure they are on track to graduate. Aside from the more formal events, many majors had events like Meet and Greets and free lunches where students could get meet each other in a more social setting.
Now a little bit about myself! I am entering my fourth year in International Development Studies and I am specializing in rural and agricultural development. My degree involves a little bit of a lot of different disciplines, including economics, anthropology, agriculture and lots more! This is my third year working at the Center for New Students. In my second year, I worked as a Bounce Back Facilitator. In my third year, I worked as a Back on Track Facilitator and as a Senior Bounce Back Facilitator. I thoroughly enjoyed working with these programs and have come to really understand and appreciate the first year experience. When I was a first year student, my parents were (and still are!) a huge support to me and I’m not sure how I would have survived without them. As well, from working with first year students for the past two years, I have come to appreciate the integral role that parents and families play in their students’ lives! I am very excited to be working in this role and I hope that I can provide insight and resources that will assist you with understanding the first year experience at Guelph a little better!
Once again, welcome to Guelph! I hope that the next four years will be an incredible experience for not only your student but also for you! I hope to connect you with our community, no matter where you are!
Thanks for reading!