A Tribute to my University Years

This week I’m reaching a milestone. I’m finishing my degree in Civil Engineering! After five years and six work terms, they’re finally letting me graduate! I wanted to take the time to write a little tribute for the last five years and how much I’ve appreciated everything that I’ve experienced throughout my education.

Engineering has definitely been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding. I had the opportunity to live and work in Malawi and England, and I discovered my huge passion for traveling and international development. I’ve learned so much from all of my work terms and I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many incredible people. I’ve also been lucky to work with a great group at school over the last three years and I’ve made some great friends. We ended the term on a great note last week, finishing up with a presentation on our senior design project presentation. So a special shout-out to my wonderful classmates: Steve, Jess, and Will. We drive each other crazy sometimes, but I still love you all for some reason.

Steve, Jess, Will, and I after completing our final design presentation

Steve, Jess, Will, and I after completing our final design project

After my work terms, the best decision I’ve made was to get involved in on-campus organizations. I’ve worked with Engineers Without Borders for the last five years and I’ve gained more from that experience than from the rest of my engineering degree. I’ve met some incredible people through EWB who have challenged me, coached me, encouraged me, and helped me to grow. I’m glad that I can look back on the work I’ve done with EWB and be really proud of what I’ve accomplished and what I’ve helped other people to accomplish. The MUN Chapter won ‘Volunteer Society of the Year’ last month and I really can’t think of a more deserving group of individuals. I’m so thankful for all of the opportunities that I’ve had through EWB and for the opportunities I believe I will continue to have as a result of what I’ve gained from the experience.

An amazing group of EWBers from the MUN Chapter

An amazing group of EWBers from the MUN Chapter

I write my last exam tomorrow and on Thursday I get my iron ring. I haven’t lined up a job yet for post-graduation, but I’ve decided not to stress too much about it yet. In the meantime, I do have some pretty awesome plans for the next month. It turns out it’s pretty hard to get me to stay still for too long, so on Friday, Seth and I are heading out on vacation for 4 weeks. This time the destination is Peru!

My key motivation for wanting to go to Peru was to hike Machu Picchu and to visit the Amazon – so that’s exactly what we’re going to do! We’re spending the first 10 days backpacking around Peru, and then we’re going to settle into the tourist capital, Cusco, for the rest of the trip. We’re planning on hiking the Salcantay trail to Machu Picchu for five days and we’re volunteering on a conservation project in Manu National Park in the Amazon for another five days. My goal is to try and write a blog entry for each portion of the trip, so stay tuned!

Beyond that, I’m pretty happy to be finishing my degree and I’m ready to move on to the next chapter of my life. Throughout my time at MUN I’ve learned a lot, made some great friends, and even met my wonderful boyfriend. After Peru, I’m planning to be around Newfoundland for the rest of the summer and I’m hoping to do some road trips around the province. Please give me a call if you’re here this summer. I feel like I have so many people to catch up with and I’d really like to see you!

Love Maria


2 thoughts on “A Tribute to my University Years

  1. Congratulations Maria. A job well done with much hard work and many accomplishments. I’ll be around all summer so maybe we can catch up and enjoy a couple days together. Visit me at 61 Jasper Street anytime.

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