Day 4New York based television sitcoms have taught me one thing –keep the fancy shoes in your purse and wear comfortable shoes to walk!
I live a 12-minute walk away from campus, 12 minutes isn’t bad, but in heels under the blazing sun, it’s got potential to be a little bad. So this afternoon (I can’t get into ‘arvo’), when the university had a formal welcome to the class of 2013 (oddly, they name classes by the year they started, not the year they graduate), I donned a ‘formal’ dress and took out my heels, put it in my purse, threw on my flip flops and walked to school.Smartest. Move. Ever.I got to campus and quickly slipped on the heels and made my way to the “Princeton Room” where we received “Class of 2013 pins” and were greeted by servers with drinks and platters of sushi. I mingled a little and then took a seat, the Vice Chancellor spoke about the history of the university. It’s younger than I am and was created by its namesake, Alan Bond. It’s a private not-for profit institution, meaning the (crazy) tuition we pay is used solely by the university, for the university. What brought me to Bond was the accelerated program. A degree that would take 4 years back home is only taking me 2 years here, so it was a no brainer; I’m ready to get lawyered! On the other side of that coin though, because of its accelerated programs, Bond has received its fair share of finger-pointing and credibility-questioning. From what I’ve experienced so far, this university and what it has to offer has been greatly underestimated. As the Vice Chancellor spoke, there was no arrogance or pretention, but humility as he explained the initial walkways were not made of the sandstone we see today, but yellow tape and iron rods that guided the way to classrooms in ‘89.
A former student shared his experience, upon graduating he worked for the marketing department of the university and now works in Brisbane city. His ‘speech’ reminded me of when I was with the recruitment team at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) and we would go to high schools, talking about the university, why we chose UFV, the student clubs and associations, the importance of getting involved and the institutions interest in our growth and development. For a moment I wondered whether one day I’d be doing the same thing for this university. After all, they were starting to sound very similar…UFV didn’t have a great reputation, in the sense that it usually wasn’t a first choice right out of high school. It was considered the “back-up” school, in fact, it wasn’t until UCFV become UFV that I became a student there. Since its introduction as a university and its coinciding rebrand, the institution has come leaps and bounds ahead, making much progress in deconstructing that old school mentality/stigma of a transition institution. It might not have been my first choice, but inevitably became the right choice. Proving once again, that sometimes life knows what’s better suited for us than we do. In retrospect, I wouldn’t trade my UFV education to go anywhere else. UFV didn’t just give me an education; it gave me opportunities, experiences and outlets for everything I wanted to pursue. My gratitude towards UFV, the instructors who invested in me, the marketing department, student life, the centre of Indo-Canadian studies, the faculty and staff whom I had the pleasure of working with, the mentors I found along the way, and the friends who found me, is abundant. With all that I have taken from that university, whenever I am given the opportunity to give back, I will.
Today, as I was inducted into another institution, my “home” for the next two years, I felt deep appreciation for the home I left behind in UFV. In honour of that and for so much more, it’s time for me to show Australia what this Abbotsfordian has to offer.
Talk about build-up, hey? 😐