Brock University through the eyes of a 15 year-old

My name is Mahad and I’m a 15-year old high school student from the GTA.

As March break was approaching I started to think about what I wanted to do for the week, and I didn’t feel like staying home for a whole week to play outdoors with friends and binge watch Netflix shows. So after much pondering, my family members suggested that I should go out somewhere I’ve never been before. That was when I thought that I could take on a volunteer opportunity. In the end, I decided to visit my older brother Mohamed at Brock University and would help him at his work and shadow him for the week. I wanted to know how it felt like to be a university student, and I did not know exactly what to expect when I got there, but I hoped that I’d have a good time!

My parents dropped me off at Mohamed’s apartment on the morning of Saturday, March 11. He gave me a tour of the place: from the rooms to the many commodities of the area. I still can’t fathom the amount of freedom he actually has living away from home. I think that I am going to enjoy living at his place for the week, and even more excited thinking about where I’ll be able to live when I move out for university.

Saturday afternoon I stepped inside the Brock University campus for the first time. I was quite astonished by the structure of the area. The place was huge, and it seemed that you could easily get lost if you didn’t know where to go. Luckily, Mohamed was with me, and he walked with me to where his office is. The environment was nothing like what I have seen in high school. It was a lot more “free”; you could do whatever you want whenever you want, so long as it fits in your schedule. While in the office, me and my brother were relaxing, since there was no work to do on a Saturday. We didn’t do much that day, but I got a feel of the campus which was great. It felt like a small town, a tight-knit community. I loved it.

Monday morning, bright and early my older brother woke me up the same time he does which is 5:30AM. I thought this was March break and I could sleep in… guess I was wrong. He said he had a meeting that morning and I was welcome to join. I got to meet with some members of the Brock Badgers Athletics Department during a meeting concerning the upcoming Athletic Banquet event. The meeting was controlled and to the point. For a majority of the meeting we discussed what will happen during the event, and the production of it. We also discussed about deadlines for the plans of the banquet to be complete. There was a notable open environment for all questions and concerns to be addressed, which I enjoyed. I was able to add my recommendations and opinion on things and they all welcomed my ideas and even decided to execute on some of them. I definitely found it to be a productive and collaborative discussion between us. Some of the members of this meeting that I would like to thank for this experience include Neil Lumsden, the director of Brock Sports, and Robert Hilson, director of Business Development and Partnerships. They really helped me feel how it is like to be in Mohamed’s shoes, and obtain the full University experience. After the meeting, we decided to head back home to do some work from there.

On Wednesday, I went to my very first university level lecture. It was a Psychology lecture for PSYC 1F90 (Foundations of Psychology) class. When I stepped inside the lecture room, I was overwhelmed by the amount of students that were attending the lecture. Initially, I had made the prediction that roughly 50-100 students would attend the lecture. My prediction was off, like WAY off. Approximately 300-400 students had attended the lecture, which is about twenty times larger than a high school class! One thing I would like to note about the lecture is that the room became extremely silent once the lecturer began to talk; all internal discussion was shut down. I also found tone that the lecturer was speaking in was very formal and controlling. The interactions between the students and the lecturer were present; however, there isn’t as much as I thought. To top it off, trying to keep up with the lecturer and constantly writing notes was something that I found fairly frustrating. Perhaps this is a skill that I should build on now that I am in high school before I reach the university level. After the lecture, me and Mohamed didn’t do much- we stayed in the office for a while doing some work, and then we went back home. Overall, today I learned quite a few new skills, from note taking in lectures, to participating in intense office working sessions.

One of my favourite parts of my experience here at Brock was my introduction to BioLinc. In case you didn’t know, BioLinc is a business incubation facility that promotes the growth and commercialization of businesses and discoveries right at Brock University. I have heard of stories of people who grew a full scale business project from nothing, and for them it had all started with BioLinc. I was interested in what goes around here, so Mohamed took me for a tour around the place. At BioLinc, there was all the things an entrepreneur needs: workspace, tools, and technology required to start up a business. I would love to work in an area such as BioLinc one day, I have some great ideas that I want to execute on in the near future. So maybe I can go to BioLinc even sometimes during the summer as a high school student to learn from them!

My overall experience of Brock University, based on my week here, is that the campus brings about a positive environment every day, and gives every student a chance to pursue their own interests and make a name for themselves. All the students, staff and faculty were supportive and truly care for each other. I definitely would like to visit campus again one day, whether I’d be a student here or a visitor. I feel that this one-week experience at Brock has opened my eyes to a whole new world and I’m very excited for my future university experience.

One Response to Brock University through the eyes of a 15 year-old

  1. avatar Shukri says:

    I’m excited about your future Mahad. Your writing, analysis and your passion is already at a university level so I’m looking foward to what you will accomplish not only as a university student but after gratuation as well. I see bright future for you…..keep it up. I’m so brought of you.

    Much love.

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