2010Sep 28

A day in the life of a SPAD Frosh: An interview with Brianne Pankoff

By Lukas Hayes, 4th Year SPAD Student

I recently had the opportunity to interview one of the SPAD Frosh students and find out a little more about her experiences with the program.  Here is what Brianne had to say regarding SPAD:

SPAD First Year students: Caroline Rankin(l) and Brianne Pankoff(r)

Q: “So Brianne, tell me how you came to find out about the SPAD program.”

A: “In my grade 12 Exercise Science class we had a SPAD student come in and tell our entire class about the program. I was originally planning in going into Kinesiology without much enthusiasm about the science aspect but I was willing to go into it because I wanted to do something in sports. When I heard about SPAD it was literally what I had been interested in all along and I had had no idea a program like that existed. The student made the program sound both fun and interesting. The key things that really stood out for me were when they mentioned the internship and the field trip. Until that point, I had never even heard of Laurentian. When I went to check out campus and the program, they had everything up for me for the day. I had a great tour guide and got to meet with Ann and learn more about the program first hand. This aspect was cool because how often do you meet the director of your program for any other program/school.”

Q: “How did you feel coming to SPAD? Did the introduction letter and facebook group help to alleviate the nerves?”

A: “I had heard so many good things about SPAD as well as how close the program becomes over time. I wasn’t really nervous at all because I figured there’re only so many people in this program and we don’t really have a flexible schedule. We’re all going to have to be friends and spend time with each other for the next 4 years. Also everyone was really good about the facebook group. A lot of upper year and student council SPAD students added you to facebook and offered advice and were totally open to any questions, SPAD or general university life related. It was also nice to talk to some other frosh before getting to Laurentian to kind of get to at least know some people before arriving. In my case, you pack up and move 6 hours north where no one you know is remotely going even close to the same school.”

Q: “Describe a typical day in the life of a SPAD frosh student.”

A: “My roommate and I are both SPAD frosh and we have the exact same classes, so it’s nice running on the same schedule and always having someone there. Basically we have 2 or 3 classes a day. Again since we have to take certain classes, there’re a lot of SPAD students in all our classes. We really do see SPAD students all day. As for me and my roommate personally, another girl in our apartment is 2nd year SPAD, so we’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of the upper year students and get to know them. We’ve met a bunch of people in the program that we see and now know all over campus.”

Q: “Have you visited and are you aware of www.spadblog.com?”

A: “Yes I am aware and have visited. This past year, previous to university, I remember reading about when some students drove all the way out to Vancouver for the Olympics. This was a very cool experience to read about. In the summer, I got to read about last year’s field trip and saw the pictures from all the places they got to go to. Even to see the most recent entry about frosh day from when we went paintballing was pretty cool. It’s a good idea and place to catch up with what’s going on in the program.”

Q: “Describe the culture amongst SPAD students.”

A: “As a lot of people said before even attending Laurentian and meeting SPAD students, SPAD really is a close group. Even when the SPAD student came to my high school class he really emphasized how close the program is. Already we’re not even a month into school and we’ve already made friends with a lot of our frosh year. I have no problem believing the older students and faculty when they say you become a family in SPAD. It’s cool to have the same people in all of your classes, and to have the people there who have already had those classes always around to help you out. We’ve learned SPAD students are recognized throughout campus, and the first week or so when we would be introduced to someone and had it mentioned we were SPAD frosh, we always got a positive reaction. Basically everyone is very relaxed. I’ve been in school for four weeks and it feels like four months.”

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