The Alumni Effect – mixers, matches and more!

Bonjours mes amis!

…One of these days I’ll start blogging in French as well…but I don’t think even two languages can provide me with enough words to explain how awesome HOMECOMING WEEKEND was!

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If you’re not sure why homecoming is a big deal – don’t fret, because most people don’t! Allow me to share with you 🙂 Homecoming weekend is an annual tradition in universities where the school welcomes back alumni. This massive influx of grads on campus gets everyone involved, and there truly are activities and events for everyone! I attended two fantastic events that were incredibly memorable for me.

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First of all, I was invited to the kick off the weekend at the York University Alumni Association’s Annual General Meeting and Alumni Mixer (If you like acronyms, that’s YUAA’s AGM&AM…wow). I was asked to attend the event because I was to be presented with a scholarship, and though the presentation of my award itself was about two minutes in length, the rest of the evening was way more exciting!

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The atmosphere was so unique, with the event being housed at the Toronto Board of Trade. Grads from all colleges at York showed up, whether they were Board members, faculty, what-have-you. Everyone was friendly, which was so comforting to me because I was really the only current student…waltzing up to ‘real live adults’ with cool careers would’ve been SO intimidating otherwise! The opportunities for networking were unreal too. Alums from all walks of life were there to celebrate York, reliving the glory days – whether those glory days were 2 or 20 years ago! If you wanted to shoot the breeze about social media relations – there’s a grad for that. If you wanted to discuss politics in Eurasia – there’s a grad for that. Not only was everyone enthusiastic about attributing their success to their York roots, but they were all genuinely interested in what I wanted to do during my undergrad…and after! Career planning with a group of strangers; who knew?

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My favourite part of the night HANDS DOWN was when someone overheard me saying that I was a Glendon student and decided to bring me to a circle of proud Lionhearts! I had been enjoying getting to know the broader York community, but being around Glendon alumni was like coming home. Whether we were comparing our craziest “quad stories” or talking about a beloved prof who’s still kicking after 30 years, our sense of community was built instantly. The President of the “Friends of Glendon Alumni Association” told me about upcoming Glendon-specific mixers and ways to connect with York and Glendon alumni who would be wiling to mentor me throughout my time here. HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE?

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A completely different facet of homecoming was the York Lions vs. Ottawa Gee-Gees football game. It was fun to see alumni and students alike wearing their YU spirit proudly. Never have I ever seen so much red and white! Different colleges set up booths with tee shirts and snacks, and the York Cheerleading Squad blew my mind with their amazing acrobatics! Sure, we lost the game against Ottawa, but it was a beautiful day that was spent in great company. 

Deep in the heart of the York U jungle

You can hear the Lions rumble!

Ooo! Ooo! Y-U, Y-U!

Ooo! Ooo! Y-U, Y-U!

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If you ever have the chance to join in on homecoming celebrations, DO IT! This weekend was a great way for me to celebrate and be proud of all that I have to look forward to in the coming years at Glendon…and life after that. It just goes to show that once a Lion, always a Lion!

Until next time, DFTBA!

– K

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