Author: Student Ambassador (Page 2 of 21)

The Pros and Cons of CMU’s Many Study Spaces

It’s that time of year again…the time of year when you’re breathing a sigh of relief from finishing all your papers and assignments, yet holding your breath for your upcoming exams. Well, hopefully you’re doing more than just holding your breath for your exams and actually doing some studying as well. That makes finding a good study spot integral to success. CMU has a vast array of study spaces, each with a different vibe. So how are you supposed to choose? Here are a few helpful hints to get you started:

Study Rooms:

Study Rooms - The Pros and Cons of CMU’s Many Study Spaces

Some days, these are the most coveted study spots on campus, so you had better be on top of things if you want one. There’s a reason they are so well liked; you can create your own study atmosphere. It’s just you and whomever you invited to study with you, so everything from dead silence to heavy metal jams is cool. Most of them have windows to let in natural light too, so that’s a bonus. And there’s whiteboards in each room for those of you who are visual learners.

Folio Café and The Mezzanine:

Folio Cafe and the Mezzanine - The Pros and Cons of CMU’s Many Study Spaces

You shouldn’t ever have trouble finding a study buddy here, as these places are constantly bustling. Unless you go late in the evening, in which case it can rival the library for quietness. But if you’re going during the day, expect a constant din in the background and a steady flow of friends to distract you. But if you’re struggling to stay awake, at least you can grab a cup of coffee.

Library:

The Library - The Pros and Cons of CMU’s Many Study Spaces

It’s hardly even fair to consider this one study space, since there are a variety of study space options within the library. Whether you prefer a large table, a comfortable chair, or a study carol, it’s all there. On top of all that, you’re sure to get plenty of natural light during your study session. And even though the sunlight might tempt you out of your study habits, the silence that surrounds you is sure to keep you on track.

North Campus Lounges:

North Campus Lounges - The Pros and Cons of CMU’s Many Study Spaces

The only place that has couches that rival those of CMU’s lounges is the Blaurock Café…and that’s because they have the same ones. Seriously, comfort will be the least of your concerns in the lounges on north campus. Trying not to fall asleep, however, might be a little more challenging. The lounges are relatively small too, so they have a nice intimate feel. And you know they won’t be as busy as Marpeck Commons, so if seclusion is your thing, this might be the place for you.

Blaurock Café:

The Blaurock - The Pros and Cons of CMU’s Many Study Spaces

“The Blau”, or CMU’s original café, is still the cosiest spot to study on campus. With comfy couches abounding and warm beverages brewing, it’s a great place to set up your studies for many hours, particularly in the cold of winter. And despite popular belief, you don’t have to be a music student to study there. Just like the north campus lounges though, napping is a serious threat to productivity here, especially with the warm, dim lighting.

Jason Friesen is our lead blogger, and he’s in his final year of a Communications and Media degree at CMU.

On the Court and in the Classroom: A Challenging Transition

Growing up in Morris, Manitoba just south of Winnipeg, I was involved in sport starting in elementary school. I participated in many school sports, but invested most of my time in basketball, playing competitively from grade five until grade eleven.

Jess Edel - On the Court and in the Classroom: A Challenging Transition

In grade ten, I began playing club volleyball, and continued into my graduating year. It was then I decided volleyball was the sport I wanted to pursue further at the University level.

Transitioning from high school into university has been a challenge on and off the court. On the court, the level of volleyball is an adjustment. We practice 3 times a week along with fitness once a week.

Having practices so often and league games every weekend takes time away from studies. This makes juggling homework and volleyball difficult. Though being a student athlete has its challenges, it’s helping me develop good time management skills.

Jess Edel - On the Court and in the Classroom: A Challenging Transition

Another benefit of being involved in team sports is the sense of community that develops. Your team starts to act as a second family. They always have your back, and if you ever have a problem, they’re willing to listen and give feedback.

Being on a sports team has made the transition from high school to university much easier, creating opportunities for new friendships.

When I first came to CMU, I was skeptical of what university life was like. Being part of a new environment where you don’t know anyone, while trying to get to know the campus can be extremely intimidating.

However, being part of a sports team at CMU has given me a way to get to know other students through my teammates. All of the sports teams are relatively close too, so I’ve been able to connect with students on the other teams as well.

In high school, I relied on the Bible verse Philippians 4:13 to encourage me whenever I felt like giving up.

Jess Edel - On the Court and in the Classroom: A Challenging Transition

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength,” reminded me at many low moments that I can do all things, especially through the power of Jesus Christ. This scripture has continued to encourage me in life at CMU, both on the court and in the books.

The classes are larger, the professors are tougher, and the assignments are longer. This adjustment is hard for everyone coming out of high school, and can be even more challenging coming from a small, AA school in Morris, with 400 students attending from K-12.

It can seem intimidating and has its challenges, but I believe that with determination, hard work, and a strong faith, anyone can do it. If it weren’t for my amazing teammates, coaches, and peers, adapting to university life at CMU would be far more challenging.

Jessica Edel is a first year student, and member of the CMU women’s volleyball team from Morris, Manitoba.

CMU’s School of Music: Why the Many Hours in a Practice Room Are Worth It

So far, the three years I have spent studying music at CMU have been the most challenging, but also the most rewarding.

Emma Heinrichs - CMU’s School of Music: Why the Many Hours in a Practice Room Are Worth It

Studying music is unique because you are constantly able to see how the things you are learning in the classroom directly relate to your individual growth as a musician.

This allows us to see how our hard work is paying off, and provides a reward for the endless amount of hours spent in a practice room!

CMU takes a more holistic approach to music. The music program aims to develop well-rounded musicians, as opposed to musicians who are only proficient in one area. And it addresses many areas of musicianship that are often overlooked and not covered in private music lessons.

I have also found that CMU values you as a person. Yes, you are here to get an education, but your success as an individual is also valued.

Within the larger community of CMU, the music school feels like a tight-knit family of students and faculty, who support and care for one another. I feel comfortable asking my profs questions about my degree, assignments, future, or even just what’s going on in my life.

Within the music degree, CMU places value on collaborative work, which allows you to share in the process of music making with your peers.

For me, collaborative work has given me the opportunity to work together with various vocalists and instrumentalists, sing in and accompany choirs, lead music in chapel, and play in the Mennonite Community Orchestra.

Emma Heinrichs - CMU’s School of Music: Why the Many Hours in a Practice Room Are Worth It

Several highlights for me have been singing in CMU ensembles with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, accompanying a vocalist for their credit recital, and playing in the Verna Mae Janzen Music Competition. All of these are experiences where I have seen my learning applied practically, and how it’s paid off.

It’s tough to truly experience what I mean if you’re not in the music program at CMU. But every once in a while, the music program gives a glimpse into the tight-knit family that it is. And there’s probably no better place to witness that than at Christmas at CMU.

Though it’s not a requirement to be a music student to be in one of CMU’s many ensembles, the strengths of the music program that I mentioned, such as the holistic education and community, really shine through at the make-your-own Christmas concert. So get in the holiday spirit, and come to Christmas at CMU on Saturday, November 25th with concerts at 2:00 and 7:00!

Emma Heinrichs is a 3rd year Music student at CMU.

Living on campus: Close to class, closer to community

You live 15 minutes away from here? Why do you live on campus? Isn’t it way more expensive than living at home?

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Well the practical answer is easy. Look at our roads right about now. Look at your thermometer, or, the weather app on your phone. Check your bus schedule, and find out that your daily commute is over an hour each way, and that’s when those Winnipeg buses are actually on time. 

So if I choose to live at home, I can either spend a pile of money on a car, or spend my most valuable resource – time – out in minus-40 weather.

That was enough to sell me on dorm life, and I hadn’t even set foot in Poettcker Hall yet.

The first thing I noticed was how great dorm life is as a stepping stone to adulthood. There’s no one checking in on you, making sure you follow rules or get to sleep at a decent hour, but you don’t have to worry about what to cook (or how to cook) every day. Ted Dyck and his crew take great care of that, and the food is unlimited!

6th year

Right from the start, you find out that there are always exciting events on campus, and there’s something for everyone. From incredibly talent-filled coffeehouses to Blazer game days at the Loewen, and everything in between, there’s always something to do. You’re a 30-second walk from chapel twice a week, Wednesday Night Worship, fellowship groups and many more opportunities to discuss and worship God.

There are some challenges as well. Chances are you will quickly have a new sense of appreciation for your mattress at home, or simple things like laundry machines that don’t require your hard-earned-Bible-camp salary to operate. You might come back to your room on a Sunday night to find 2000 water-filled Dixie cups covering every square inch of floor and table space, but hey, you left your door unlocked so what do you expect?

1st year

Most importantly, living on campus is the best way to experience community at CMU. I’ve lived in dorm, then at home, and now in apartments on campus and it’s clear that I’m closest to the people here when I live here. In my first year, I found myself staying up until two or three in the morning regularly, engaging in deep faith discussions with other first years. These were people going through the same life changes, anxious and stressful moments as me. I can honestly say that I learned more about my faith in those talks in my first semester than I had in any sermon or lecture.

CMU is a community, and the best way to experience it is being present all the time, and engaging in everything it has to offer. Take the plunge, move in, and you’ll feel it.

Thomas Friesen is a senior Communications and Media student from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Beyond the Books: Why you won’t regret getting involved at CMU

Here’s a scenario for you: You’re in elementary school and you come home from school, only to have your parents ask, “What did you learn today?” What did you respond with? I’ll bet you responded with, “I don’t know,” and then proceeded to tell them all about what you did at recess, or your lunch hour club.

Jason Friesen - Beyond the Books: Why you won’t regret getting involved at CMU

You may not be in elementary school anymore, but are things really that different? We learn lots in school, but the memories that stick with us come from everything in between classes. That’s why getting involved at CMU is so important. It’s the moments like playing a game of pool in the second floor Poetcker Hall lounge, volleyball games, or going on the Fall Retreat that stand out.

That’s why getting involved at CMU is so important. 

There is just as much to be learned and experienced from extra-curricular activities at CMU as there is from the classroom. That includes anything from learning how to be a good friend from the community life, to learning various skills from being on student council.

Jason Friesen - Beyond the Books: Why you won’t regret getting involved at CMU

But you have to be willing to put yourself out there. It’s tough not to be intimidated about getting involved early in your university career. Looking back, I could have gotten more involved earlier in my time at CMU. As a communications student who loves to write, you’d think I’d have thrown my name in for The Doxa right away. Instead, I waited until my fourth year. Why? That’s a question I still ask myself.

Writing for The Doxa was one of the best decisions I’ve made at CMU in several ways. It was a great way to connect with other students and have a time to get away from the regular homework at weekly meetings. It gave me an opportunity to do something I loved. But it also equipped me with some valuable tools for a career in communications. For one, it gave me some starting pieces to add to a portfolio of published articles; something that any communications professional will need no matter where they apply for a job. It also helped me hone my writing skills, and let me experiment with different styles of writing in a safe environment.

Jason Friesen - Beyond the Books: Why you won’t regret getting involved at CMU

Better yet, the opportunity I had with The Doxa gave me opportunities outside of CMU. While people are often aware that smaller universities offer plenty of places to get involved within the school, they commonly have the misconception that they don’t offer as great of opportunities outside the halls of the institution. That couldn’t be more wrong in CMU’s case. Being involved at CMU and joining The Doxa helped me get a job at the Winnipeg Sun this past summer, and prepared me for a practicum at True North Sports and Entertainment this year.

Being involved at CMU and joining The Doxa helped me get a job at the Winnipeg Sun this past summer, and prepared me for a practicum at True North Sports and Entertainment this year.

What’s the point of this story? Well, it could happen to you too. What better place is there to build a foundation, and make some friends? Where else will you get opportunities like you do in university? These things get tougher after university life, so make the best of them while you’ve got the access to them. You won’t regret it. 

Jason Friesen is our lead blogger, and he’s in his final year of a Communications and Media degree at CMU.

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