“Don’t worry. No matter how high, like legit how high your expectations are [for SHAD], they will be exceeded”.
-Alice Peng, SHAD Fellow 2016
I didn’t believe her. I thought it was too cheesy. If you asked me what SHAD was two weeks ago, my answer would’ve been along the lines of an academic camp. My answer today would be quite different – SHAD is a family.
We woke up to another hot but gorgeous day at the Fredericton campus of the University of New Brunswick. We were supposed to be tired from the constantly filled schedule, yet the humid atmosphere couldn’t contain our excitement. Today was Multi-Cultural Night.
After breakfast, we split into our lab groups, where we experimented with robotics and astrophysics. My group gained a surface understanding on the subject of general relativity, taught by Dr. Seahra. Followed by a competitive afternoon of geocaching, sprinting around the campus with friends while learning Geodesy and Geomatic Engineering, what more could one ask for?
We didn’t have dinner at meal hall tonight. Instead, everyone gathered in the residence area to prepare for Multi-Cultural Night. A time to embrace our differences, to express our true selves, and to make lifelong connections. We wore outfits that we believed to represent our backgrounds and prepared cultural dishes. Eating traditional food from many cultures foreshadowed the rest of the night. After the skits, songs, and discussions, we felt like a stronger community, a group of 79 who were willing to learn about others. We showed respect for diversity, pushed past our comfort zones, and we are all proud to be a part of SHAD UNB 2017.