If you’re not on Twitter and you’re a social media fan, you definitely should be!! #jtl11 was the hashtag that the U, the attendees and the volunteers used on Friday and Saturday to tweet about the awesomeness that was this year’s Jump the Line!!

Due to wedding rehearsal complications, I was only there on the Saturday, but I heard the Friday was lots of fun, with Eric speaking about “25 minutes of University truth,” as he called it, and some fun times being had – including s’more making!

I arrived at the PE track Saturday morning just in time for the session on preparing for academic success. I know that’s a dry topic, but it was exceptionally well delivered and is crucial to your University career. We want you to have fun, absolutely! But never forget that the reason you’re here is also to earn your degree, which takes determination and lots of planning. Another important thing that was brought up was the idea of controlling what you post on social media – because those statuses and pictures don’t get deleted. Even if you think they are, that stuff is cataloged and backed up on Facebook, and can come back to haunt you a year from now or even 25 years down the road. This is especially relevant for degrees that are in the public eye, like Education or Management.

So now that I’ve given you the serious part, let’s talk about the awesome! I was given a camera, and my job was to walk around and take pictures of everyone enjoying themselves. And in all seriousness, that wasn’t difficult. Everyone was smiling and chatting, touring the booths set up, reserving textbooks, getting ID cards or even buying some U of L merchandise to get ready for fall! I had the privilege of speaking to numerous future students and I have to say it was an absolute treat. I met a girl all the way from Brandon, MB, coming in the fall to take Addictions Counselling (which is the only program of its kind in Canada, by the way). I answered some questions at the Faculty of Education booth when it was a little busy, and met a wonderful girl from Calgary who wanted to know about a Spanish minor (great idea for a boost in this job market). I also met a group of three hilarious boys who, even though they had to get up at 5:30 a.m. to drive in from Airdrie, were very excited about the sessions and especially coming here this fall!

I met people who were living off-campus and in Res alike – one girl was a little nervous about living in UHall, but I promise once you’re down there, it’s actually lots of fun. I met people from Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba. It was so exciting to hear how far people were coming to attend the U of L, and I promise it’s an amazing decision!!

There was also a tour, which I was lucky enough to quickly breeze through. I saw Markin Hall, our newest building, which I’ve never been into before. It’s so beautiful! Huge windows and comfortable couches and natural wood… I’ll be spending more time there for sure. I also learned some fascinating U of L facts:

1. The University Theatre has a 50 foot “fly tower,” which extends above the theatre. This is used in productions to give actors and actresses the illusion of flying above the stage. From what I understand, it’s a very complicated pulley system, and one of very few in any Canadian universities.

2. The University built brand new digital recording studios, and one of them contains a $150,000 soundboard that is one of only two in all of North America.

3. The University of Lethbridge houses one of the most important art collections in all of Canada, which has over 13,000 pieces of art from the 19th to 21st centuries. We even have a Picasso and an Andy Warhol!! All these pieces are available for students to see, you just have to place a request if they’re not currently in the exhibit.

There’s so much more, but I can’t bore you with every minute detail of the whole day! I had a blast, the organizers had a blast, the volunteers had a blast, and from what I heard from the participants and the spouses and parents who accompanied them, they had a great time as well.

Whew! All this excitement makes me look forward to NSO!!


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