As I looked over the last of my schoolwork a couple weeks ago, it started to sink in that the work was actually over. That I had made it through the program, relatively unscathed. But it wasn’t until I signed the paperwork for my new job that it really hit me: I had not only completed the Therapeutic Recreation Program and became a Therapeutic Recreation professional but that I also had gainful employment before I even graduated. That is an accomplishment!
When I graduated from University two years ago, my friends and I stood on the steps of Convocation Hall and said to each other, “Well, now what?” I am so thankful that I am not doing the same this time around. Instead of “Now what?” we’re saying to each other, “When does your job start? How is it going so far?” This is one of the major reasons that people succeed at Stenberg: they set you up in practicums that often hire you or lead to a job shortly after graduation. I think the majority of our class, save a couple, already had jobs before they left practicum. In fact, I think one or two were actually being paid for part of their practicum! What more could you ask for!?
And Graduation! What a great event! It was a lot easier to be on the receiving end of the celebration (rather than the working end like last spring). It was really nice to see the majority of my classmates that one last time altogether. Many of us will go our separate ways but I have a feeling that we will probably cross paths here and there over the years to come. Did I mention that I was nominated for Student of the Year? I didn’t win but it was really an honour to have someone think that I was deserving of that title. However, my classmate and close friend, Faith, was also a finalist to be Student of the Year. She didn’t win but she was Valedictorian for the entire graduating class (not just the THR students!) I was so proud of her and felt privileged to call her a close friend and colleague. I’m just glad I wasn’t the one who had to give the speech!
(Dani’s Cheering Squad: Mom Sandy & partner Nick, photo courtesy Patrick Lo)
Even though there is still much ahead for me to learn about being a Therapeutic Recreation professional, I am really glad I had the opportunity to attend Stenberg College and meet the people that I did. Not only did I make some great friends along the way but I also made useful contacts and networked in the field I’m currently pursuing. These connections will become priceless in the years to come as our field grows and develops.
Seeing as I’m no longer a student and have moved on to becoming Alumni, this will be my last blog entry for Therapeutic Recreation (Gerontology) Class of 2014. I hope my entries have helped inspire you to follow the path that is right for you, whether that be in THR or anything else you can imagine. I hope you will find your place at Stenberg and change yourself into the person you’ve always wanted to be. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. And just to be cheesy like that, I’ll leave you with a quote that reminds me to continue adapting and changing in order to overcome the obstacles that I face:
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” – Bruce Lee