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Samantha Mitchell, Environmental Sustainability student

Why did you choose Lakehead-Georgian?

Growing up, I was very indecisive about whether I wanted to go to college or university. On one hand, college gave me the hands-on, practical experience needed for a workplace, but on the other hand, university offered theory and research. It was a difficult decision, made easier when I learned about the partnership program. For me, it was an easy choice. Two incredible schools so close to home and so involved in their communities. I was eager to experience the best of both worlds!

The environmental sustainability program offered me both theory and hands-on experience, while in a field of my preference. Also, when I toured both schools in 2019 I was welcomed with open arms and smiling faces, something I did not see at larger schools.

Second year environmental sustainability student Samantha Mitchell

What made you interested in the environmental sustainability program?

I have many passions, but also a lifetime to explore all of them. At this time in my life, my passion for a sustainable and protected environment is at the forefront. The program here at Lakehead-Georgian made sense for me. As I am already involved in my community, I wanted to stay local and learn about topics that were relevant to my life and community.

I was also interested in the program because of the schools offering it, and the numerous scholarships available to me that have made my education possible.

Environmental student Samantha Mitchell standing outside on a hill

What do you like most about the program?

I love the small class size! There are only 13 of us and we all get along very well. I look forward to going to class and being able to have a conversation that involves everyone. We study together most times too, which has been a life saver!

I love the courses, and I am very happy with the balance of hands-on lab experience and in class theory. I particularly enjoy the Law and Policy class, which I hadn’t realized we needed to take. Nicole Barbato (my professor) did an incredible job of incorporating local and relevant topics into the course, making for an extremely engaging experience in class.

Group Lakehead-Georgian students at Open House

Lakehead-Georgian students at Lakehead Orillia Open House Fall 2019

(Left to right: Kurtis, Samantha, Brendan, Jacky, Wade, Zach and Tolu)

What has been the most memorable part of your education so far?

The most memorable moments of my education so far have come in the biology labs. Chase is an incredible Lab Technician and one of the most relatable professors. We never leave our labs without a laugh, and he is always open to answering the most outlandish questions. His class is one that I will never forget!

Biology lab materials

What advice would you give to future Lakehead-Georgian students? 

I would tell them that it is very different from high school. Being a student here means you are part of a family, and everyone is willing to help you be successful. Be friends with everyone, be kind, and you will have an enjoyable experience.

Reach out to support staff, peers, and professors if you need help. Help will be given to those who ask. You are a family, and family will always be there to lift you up!

Come to class with an open mind, do your homework, ask questions, use your professor’s office hours, connect with your classmates, and most importantly ENJOY IT!

Also, don’t expect it to be easy. It will be hard! But you will learn to be able to deal with the stress and work, and will be a stronger individual for it.

Five students at Georgian College Open House

Lakehead-Georgian students at Georgian College Open House Fall 2019

(Left to right: Avery, Bill, Jacky, Wade and Samantha)