As I looked out over the sea of yellow residence t-shirts and anticipating faces, I found myself thinking back to my residence move in day – three years ago. I was just like all of the first years in front of me, at my very first Ryerson pep rally with my new floor family, unsure of what the next few years had in store for me. Now, in my final year, I was standing in the middle of the crowd just as nervous, but this time, it was different. I was there to welcome the new students.
On August 27, over 800 first year students walked over to the SLC from their new home at Ryerson for the Housing and Residence welcoming pep rally. Stepping into the SLC, every inch of the Amphitheatre was covered with students. Speakers from various branches of student life, from the RSU to Orientation crew, were there to introduce resources available across campus and to get them excited for Orientation week. As the presenters got one last practice in, residence staff engaged their students in spirited cheers. The students were slowly picking up the cheers, but still seemed reluctant to join in.
As each speaker went up I could feel the nerves getting the better of me, but seeing two fellow Specialists go up to speak before me – to introduce the SLC and the values of the SEAL Team – I knew that I could do it too. I had the rest of the SEAL team supporting me. Although I had never spoken in front of that many students before I knew that I wanted to give back to Ryerson and the SEAL Team after they had given me so much. To read a letter I had written to thank the SLC for all of the ways it had positively impacted my university career was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. As soon as I was finished speaking and the nerves had worn off I knew that I made the right decision.
Through the Ryerson community’s collaborative effort, I witnessed the sea of students in front of me go from unsure on how to act in a new place, to feeling completely at home. I pushed myself to do something new and in that time I watched new students grow confident, explore the building and meet new people. To me that is what the SLC is all about.
So what does the SLC mean to you? Share your thoughts with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we may feature you on our upcoming series “Dear the SLC…”!
Written by SLC Specialist Laura Burrett
Photos by SLC Specialist David Chau