Ellie Valle, Community Development, Class of 2019
Why did you decide to study at Acadia?
I knew I wanted to go to a Canadian University because I wanted an international experience without being too far away from home in the U.S. We visited a bunch of schools and I really liked Acadia, it had great programs.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to your “first-year of university” self?
Be more involved at the beginning of your time here. I was part of the Improv. club during my first year, which was fantastic and an amazing choice. But I really became more involved during my second year, that is when I really started liking university and being happy with where I was because I experienced homesickness during my first year and slowly became more involved, I wish I’d done it sooner. I was an RA and SRA for 4 years in Crowell Tower, which was really wonderful, I had a lot of personal growth, it’s not an easy job but it really forces you to grow.
What will you miss the most about Acadia?
I know I’m going to miss this place a lot, especially because I’ve spent so much time here. I guess just the fact that Acadia’s really felt like a home and I’m going to be away from home basically for the first time in five years. I’m also going to miss working with the Community Development faculty, they are truly amazing.
What is the most memorable moment you experienced at Acadia?
One of the most memorable moments for me has been going on the international trip to India with Community Development classmates because it was a completely new, life-changing and beautiful experience. We learned a lot about different people and how they live and different cultures. It was great going sightseeing as well. Also, I think every year I really liked Welcome Week because I’ve been involved in every Welcome Week in the past five years, first as a student and then the next four years as an RA. Getting to see new students come up and being able to hear these new young adults’ energy and spirit and helping them transition into University life is very rewarding.
Do you have any advice for future Acadia students?
I know everybody will say to get involved, but I would add, actually talk to your professors and go to their office hours. Their office hours will be very helpful. Since we’re in a small school, we have the ability to have more one-on-one time with our professors and that’s truly valuable, we should take advantage of that. When you’re close to your professors, it brings a whole new layer to the classroom experience. In the Community Development department we do get really close to our classmates and professors. I just got back from the trip to India I previously mentioned with one of my professors and my classmates. I was able to see my professor as a grandfather, which was very beautiful. So definitely, interact with your professors. You have the opportunity to make friends with them!
What are your plans post-graduation?
After Graduation, I will be attending Boston University on a full scholarship and I will be doing my Masters in Divinity and possibly also a Masters of Social Work. My goal is to become a Minister.
Congratulations, Ellie! We wish you the best of luck!