10 Lessons I’ve Learned Since my First Summer as a Green Dream Blogger: What I Did Not Know I Needed to Know
For my next blog, I wanted to talk about some of the things I’ve learned throughout these past 3 years of working at Mercer, being a Green Dream intern and going to school. Most are simple things which may not seem like big lessons but have been important parts of the journey to where I am today and that I had not given much thought prior to starting at UAlberta. Hopefully these may be helpful to someone who is new to post-secondary or maybe it will help you to reflect on your own experiences!
- You CAN do almost all of the things you’re scared to do. Whether it’s starting a new job, your first day of classes or writing a blog. Not trying something because it is outside your comfort zone is a recipe for lost opportunities!
- Returning to the same summer job can compound your experience, working at many different places is not always better! If you have the chance to return as a summer student to a previous position, consider it! Your knowledge will build on itself, making the experience richer, and you’ll form better connections with the people around you that next time.
- Speak passionately about the things that interest you. You will never sound more intelligent than when you are talking about a subject that is important to you and that you’ve learned about because you care. This sort of knowledge is far more noticeable than what is on your transcript.
- Not all lost opportunities are losses. There are many opportunities to do internships, volunteer work, seminars, certificates and more while in post-secondary. These can be valuable, fun and look great on a resume, but you are not failing if you can’t do them all! Focus on what is important to you and fits your goals and situation. Be proud of what you accomplish and put your well-being first.
- If you have the option, walk to school! If there’s one thing I miss about in-person classes it's my refreshing half hour walk to school in the morning. Being able to walk from home to school gives you so much more freedom than public transportation or driving to class through traffic, and gives you a chance to get some exercise. If you’re considering moving or looking for somewhere to live when you start school, think of your potential walk.
- Environmental education at a young age is so important! After helping out with school field trips during my three summers at Mercer and seeing how well some students receive them, I’ve been thinking about my own time outdoors and on field trips as a kid and realizing the positive impact they’ve had on me even now. If you get the chance to talk to young minds that are interested in the outdoors, take it!
- Four years of university goes by way more quickly than you think! Don’t be fooled by the second year lull where you think the end is nowhere in sight. Soon you’ll be applying for graduation and going out in the world, so don’t rush your time in school or wish it away.
- Don’t discount the wildlife that you’re used to! If you’re in a degree like mine you probably have a passion for nature and may dream of working near mountains or beautiful oceans. However, reconnecting with my love for the ecosystems near my hometown has shown me how much I still have to learn and has made my summers here more rewarding.
- Find something to motivate you to reach your GPA goal each semester. It’s tempting to go through your university experience without seeing much value in getting the best marks possible when you are doing well enough to graduate. However, using something like being eligible for a specific scholarship or award (even if they are not guaranteed) is a great way to put some meaning and motivation behind striving for that 4.0. Make sure you are working towards something specific each semester!
- Don’t underestimate the value of computer skills. If you’re like me, filling your class schedule with biology labs may sound like more fun than spending your days in a computer lab, but the knowledge you gain with the latter is so valuable. If you have the chance to take course electives in topics such as using GIS software, take advantage of it! They may be challenging but they make you an asset in forestry and many other fields.
Thank you for reading!