One year ago my life looked very different than it does now… I was attending university, taking classes to complete my math degree, and already dreaming of summer break so I could travel, camp, and hike again. You may be wondering how this is any different than my life currently? And you’re right… it’s not really. But at the same time it was SO different!

A year ago I was beginning my second year at a local university in B.C. that is widely known as a “commuter campus.” Almost no one lives on campus, so the mind-set is that you go to class, sit down, take notes, and leave again. “Community” isn’t really a word that fit into anyone’s vocabulary. However, for myself that was what was missing! A couple years prior I had spent 6 months living in a wonderful community at a bible school in southern Germany. I was longing to experience something like that again… and my current university was not quite making the cut. I couldn’t imagine how I was going to get through the next few years of school in the environment I was in. So I began searching for other options, and before I knew it I was registered for CMU!

I knew that coming in as a transfer student wouldn’t be easy. Transferring credits is a real pain, never mind the fact that it’s difficult to jump into a tight-knit community of people and find a place you fit in or a group that you feel a part of. But the fears that I had were soon drowned out by the sound of people welcoming me to sit with them at snack time, and classmates asking how my transition to a new school and province was going. Professors and advisor’s doors were always open, and they genuinely seemed to care about not only my success in the classroom but outside of it, as well, something that I had never experienced in university before.

I could tell that CMU was a school full of people who were intentional about building friendships, and welcoming others, like myself, into that community life. This open and welcoming environment is what has made all the difference in my university experience so far. My hope is to go on to complete my Bachelor of Education degree with the desire to teach internationally one day.

Guest blogger Daniela is a math and social sciences major.