Written by: Aliisa Moffatt
Sometimes making friends can be difficult regardless of how old you are. There is one way to make friends quickly and in a fun way at TrentU Durham. You might ask how: well the answer is the Pen Pals program.
Some of you may be reminiscing on the memories you have found past years with pen pals while others are probably thinking “What is Aliisa talking about?“ Pen Pals is one of the most amazing clubs on campus–other than the Student Blog of course!
Not only do you get to write letters back and forth between yourself and your elementary school pen pal, but you also make a new friend and some amazing memories. Pen Pals is something I will never forget. It was so easy to be involved: all you had to do was write three letters to your pen pal and you had to show up to three activity days filled with arts and crafts, exercise, and, of course, yummy snacks. What’s there not to like about all of that?
Pen Pals is a great extra-curricular activity to join if you are looking to pursue a job in teaching, social work or even if you just want to make some memories that will last a life time. Being involved in Pen Pals helps you to understand that elementary school children are not like high school or university students: they need to be engaged and their attention is hard to keep… Okay, maybe they have a few things in common with university students.
It is the type of club where you make friends galore, whether it’s with an elementary school student or other TrentU Durham students that you would have never met otherwise. Some might even be in the same program as you, or even in many of your classes, without you even realizing.
This year was my first year in Pen Pals and it is definitely something I would continue to do. I gained many new perspectives and insights from this club. It helped me to better understand what it is going to be like when I become a teacher, and that I have to be mindful of the things I am saying around the students because they are so young and they aren’t taught the same complex things that Profs teach us in lectures. They are just learning the basics. Another thing that I learnt was to get outside of my comfort zone. I can sometimes be shy when meeting new people, and many people face the same problem. At first I struggled, I was scared that my pen pal would think that I am weird or that she wouldn’t like me… but then I took a step back and realized that she is only 7 years old and only wants to have a fun day with me, and that she doesn’t care about the things that society nit-picks about us.
So in other words, I’m done being an adult and I would like to be the same age as my pen pal because she is living the dream. Minimal homework, no lectures, naps, snack time AND recess!