While school is important, a TV personality is encouraging students to think outside of the classroom during their years in college.
Jessi Cruickshank, famous for interviewing celebrities for MTV and E! Canada, stopped at Confederation College Tuesday to talk to students about making the most of their college experience. The University of Toronto graduate said that when she thought back to her school days, it wasn’t the academia she remembered.
Instead, it was her time in drama clubs, student council and sports that helped shape her to become an on-air personality and ambassador for Free the Children.
“I realized in that process that those were the things that meant the most to me and I think that mean the most to most graduates,” she said. “Of course it’s important to pay attention to your studies as well as you can but I also think it’s important to balance that with a wide variety (of activities).”
Confederation’s senior academic VP Judi Maundrell said it’s an important message, especially as 2,300 first-year students go through orientation this week.
“I’d like to say ‘my goodness student should come here and devote every waking hour to studying’ but we know everyone needs to be a well-rounded person. They need to have fun when they come here,” she said.
A lot of students are away from home for the first time and need to find support at school. Maundrell said students are three times more likely to be successful when they get involved in the school community. It’s one of the reasons orientation is so important.
“Most importantly they get to meet the staff and they get to meet each other,” she said.
Getting involved was another theme that Cruickshank touched on. Although she’s famous for talking to people who are famous for being famous, such as the cast of The Hills, Cruickshank said people need to step away from the pop-culture bubble sometimes.
She said she was expecting a lot of questions about celebrity status or who her favourite Hills’ cast member is – it’s Brody Jenner, by the way – but students at the speech seemed to be more interested in her charity work instead.
That showed her that students want to get involved in making a difference.
“There’s always The Hills questions and the Tom Cruise questions and I was blown away that that wasn’t here,” she said. “It’s really exciting.”
That’s not to say though that people should stop keeping up with the Kardashians though.
“I think that that’s fine as long as you find that balance and know what’s going on in the world around you and you know what’s important and you don’t value your own happiness based on those silly things,” she said.
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