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Taking the Scenic Route to Graduation: How the GLP Changed Me for the Better

By Jessica Kornhaber, Bachelor of Business Administration with a Bachelor of Arts (HRM, Psychological Sciences)

I’ve always loved stories and reading since I was young but was never quite the storyteller. Don’t get me wrong, I could whip up a great fantasy or sci-fi plot, but I’m actually talking about my own personal story. Everyone has one, a journey through life with each day the start of a new chapter. When I started university, I like to think of it as I started a new book, a book that I’m now bringing to a close. So dear reader, I hope that today you’ll join me going back in time to some of my favourite moments that would have not been possible without the GLP. How I went from someone who just wanted to get stuff done to tick off a list, to actually caring about how I get to my goal – taking the scenic route.

Let’s start from the beginning, once upon a time there was a girl who just wanted to finish university, buy a house, have a family and happily ever after. Right? Well, it didn’t take me long to realise that’s a bit hard to do if you talk to nobody and just come and go from Uni just for classes. Little did I know that in a couple of year the big old COVID-19 would hit, and I would miss having the chance to talk to people. But pardon me, I’m skipping ahead! So, I decided to do something that would force me to talk to people, and for me that was the GLP. I started by just attending my Colloquia, which I soon completed all of which led me to the Experiential Credit. I had tried to make some friends in the Colloquia, but I was having trouble being myself and getting to know people in such a short amount of time. Enter Macquarie University Mentors, hands down the best decision I have ever made in my life – and has led to many life changing decisions. I had just applied to join to get Experiential Credit and something to look good on my resume, but I didn’t realise the doors it would open, the lifelong friends I would make, and that I would find my purpose in life.

One of the first things I volunteered to do as a part of Peer Mentors was run a trivia event during O-week all the way back in 2018. This was a light bulb moment for me for a few reasons – 1. I was an extrovert, I loved hosting and making people laugh, more importantly I was damn good at it, 2. I made two friends whom I still talk with to this day, one of which I would consider my best friend despite living in a different state, and 3. Helping others was my passion, I would go on to realise this more and more in my 2 years as a mentor and mentor team leader. In fact, that last point make such an impact that I changed my degree from majoring in Japanese Studies to majoring in Human Resource Management and Psychology.

During my time in the Peer Mentor program, I had many opportunities that I took on, that I only got the chance to participate in because I had made that initial choice to start the GLP. A fond memory of mine is participating in the filming of the Macquarie University 2020 campaign. I even went to the movies one day and saw myself on the big screen in an ad!

I was having a ball of time, and then COVID. We all know that story. It was hard for everyone to go from making new friends every week and going out having fun, to well, home 24/7. Classes felt longer, lectures may have been put on 2x speed, and in general just hard to stay motivated. So, I decided it was just time to stay busy and put myself out there. 2020 and 2021 ended up being two of the best years of my life that I look back on fondly. I attended career sessions virtually that I found through the GLP and put my head in my books – philosophy, self-care, life education. I was starting to get that confidence back that I discovered in the Mentors. And with that I also found the love of my life. Not long and luck was on my side, I got an internship with NSW Health Share in HRM, I got a job at the University working in Philanthropy and the Graduate roles started rolling in. Honestly though, this all comes back to me making the decision to join the GLP. It pulled me out of my depression, calmed my anxiety, and most of all showed me that I was capable. And now with this, my time with the university and the GLP has sadly come to a close. I know I’ve talked a lot about me and the GLP is so much more than just self-development, but I really wanted to express what the GLP can do for you if you make the most of it. So, why not take the scenic route to graduation, it might be long and hard at times, but it sure is pretty.


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