A sense of familiarity and comfort abounds in the air as we welcome students back to campus. Whether walking through the doors of the Dr. Murray O’Neil Medical Education Centre, playing a game of foosball in the lounge, or just deciding where to eat lunch – we are all excited to be back home.
Throughout the summer, Schulich Medicine – Windsor Campus students have participated in various activities, ranging from international electives to research projects across the country. Many have taken personal time to vacation and recover from the toils of the previous academic year.
As we all eagerly share our unique summer adventures, we must also come to realize that this is a time of change. The new academic year marks a period of transition for all students. Some will travel across Canada for their electives, some will leave the classroom and spend their days on the wards, and some will be faced with new responsibilities as seniors on campus.
However, what brings us all together is the excitement of welcoming our new colleagues. We should draw on our own experiences as first year students, as we assist the incoming Class of 2021 in their transition to medical school, and for many to a new city.
From the anticipation and excitement of Medical Foundations Week to the nervousness about the first day of class, we all experienced a range of emotions. However, after the first week we found comfort in knowing that we weren’t alone and that there was a strong supportive staff and student body around us that would help ease this transition.
To illustrate this support, I asked a couple students from my class to describe their emotions leading up to their first day. I hope that our readers will be able to identify with the responses below, and find comfort in knowing that others have been in their shoes.
“I was excited to build bonds with new classmates and the Windsor community” – Nathan Tam, Medicine Class of 2020
“I was a bit nervous, but ready to finally start training for a career I couldn't imagine myself not doing” – Raman Kalaichandran, Medicine Class of 2020
The journey in medical school will undoubtedly bring about a lot of challenges, obstacles and moments of triumph. But remember, you can always look to your seniors for guidance and to your peers for support. It is important to be cognizant of how you are feeling during these transitional times, and to prioritize your physical and mental health. Understand that there are several supports available to you if you need them (Student Support Team, Learner Equity & Wellness), and never be afraid to ask for help.
There are many exciting opportunities that await you as your start your first year. Soon you will be able to join a whole host of extracurricular clubs that suit your interest, take part in Integration Weekends to form new bonds with your London colleagues, and make new friends right here in Windsor. As always, if you have questions, concerns, or just want to chat I am willing to lend an ear.
Look forward to seeing you in the hallways.
VP Windsor – Hippocratic Council