Some of our most amazing, interesting and mind blowing experiences in our lives may be the time we got married, have kids and even accomplished many set goals such as getting a degree, buying a house or even buying a car. And of course, these were the highlights of my life, accomplished some years ago especially, coming from a humble beginning where my mom died at a tender age and my dad had to work really hard and sacrificed so much to make sure my siblings and I got the best of everything he had.
I thought life was settled after my accomplishments, however, life had another plan for me, my big move to Canada and Centennial College!
My New Story
Being a new international student, I had to face reality, my new beginning, my new experience, my new story.
My experience at Centennial College has taught me so many different lessons. But, one of my most fundamental lessons is that life is unpredictable. For example, my grades were always unpredictable. Every time I do an exam, I am scared to look at my grades, it is never what I thought I would be. It is always either higher or lower, even when I am positive of how I did.
But for sure, failing was never an option for me.
I utilize all the resources and learning tools that the College provided us with to make sure I am prepared for all my assignments, labs and exams. The College provided us with tools such as group study rooms, quiet study rooms, free tutoring, free counselling, free learning strategists and free access to computers and other learning devices on all four campuses as long as you have your student ID card.
My Life at Centennial is a Perfect Blend of Happiness and Hardships
My program has mostly international students. I had the privilege of meeting people from various countries, cultures and backgrounds. I got to interact with them, have fun with them, learn their culture and share my culture with them as well.
However, culture shock and difference got the best of me a couple of times. I got misunderstood, I also misunderstood and mis-communicated a few times. Oh how ashamed I was to learn that I had so many “single stories” and many pre-conceived ideas that I thought was the truth. After my first few attempts and a couple of getting familiar weeks in my new diversified and multi-cultural environment, my communication skills were sharpened even more. I was able to communicate effectively. I was able to observe and understood different people’s behaviour and expand on my life skills.
I learned how to adjust and enjoyed some really engaging and exciting lectures AND sit through the really boring ones too! Hey, life isn’t perfect. I had the hard task of many sleepless nights, studying for exams and nail biting moments of trying to meet deadlines for assignments and lab report’s while balancing work. Through this all, I had the support of friends and family members constantly encouraging me with one of my favourite lines, “You will soon see the light at the end of the tunnel.” I was also told that this will get better with time, so perseverance is my best option.
I am now in my final semester, my final leg. One professor told us, “This is your critical control point.” We all laughed when he said it because as Food Scientists, we understood what that term meant. Centennial College provided the platform for me where I was able to successfully complete a Distinction in my Leadership Passport and earn the Global Perspective badge by participating in many workshops organized by the Centennial College Student Association Incorporated (CCSAI).
I am now the President for the Food Science Student Committee- FSSC (club), I participated in many activities on campus while maintaining high grades, balancing work and personal life and I also got the chance to become a FoodGrads Campus Ambassador
…What a wealth of experience! I never predicted this…See, I told you this experience was unpredictable!
I had many moments that carry a lot of attached sentimental value that I will miss greatly. The new friends I made, the professors that I ran to all the time and bombarded with numerous questions, those who looked out for me, go above and beyond to make sure I understood, provided feed back and supported me with my personal problems (I had a lot) to ensure I do not fail their courses.
I am rapturous, I am grateful and I feel accomplished. I am in my bitter-sweet moment, I will definitely miss Centennial College. My first Canadian Experience!
Author: Sashana Chattoo-Edwards
(Photo, from Right to Left – Rahul Talwar, Nicole Gallace, Sashana Chattoo-Edwards, Karena De Souza)
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