Lessons from a returning alumnus

by | Apr 20, 2023 | Arts & Life

I started my first program at NAIT in the fall of 2016. I was in DMIT’s Digital Cinema stream. Due to my disability, I was on a reduced course load, which meant I took half the courses of the other students. Then in 2019, we started to hear the stirrings of a new, highly virulent version of the flu originating in China. We’d all later come to know this as COVID-19. Like many of you, I was stuck in isolation for two years. And due to personal stress, my already reduced course load became even more reduced.

It took me five years to finish a two-year program.

Regardless of those struggles, I graduated in April 2022. I’ve since started my new program, Radio & Television, and I’ve been loving it.

Regardless of those struggles, I graduated. And returning to campus has been a great, if not expensive, experience. And as somebody with seven years of experience at NAIT, I’d like to give you a few tips.

Use the computer commons

NAIT has four computer commons dotted throughout campus. Now that some programs at NAIT are moving to a “Bring Your Own Device” model, you’ll be glad to know that NAIT has these resources available. You’ll also be glad to know that all these computers have the Adobe products installed, and you can use them for free with your NAIT credentials. These labs are found at the following locations:

  • CAT215
  • W203
  • U310
  • U210

In addition to using them for school work, they can also be used for personal projects. But please ensure that the students who need a computer can use one.

It’s okay to file a formal complaint against an instructor

It’s a trope in many college-based films that you’ll get that one bad instructor who’s terrible to everybody. While that doesn’t generally happen here, I’ve had some not so great personal experiences with some of my instructors (who will go unnamed). These experiences led me to file a formal complaint.

But, you should do an informal report first and see if anything changes. When an informal report is filed, the head of the program sits down with the instructor and talks to them about what happened. I’ve seen this work before, but it’s not a guarantee. If it doesn’t work, or if you feel unsafe, you can make a formal one as well.

Get some food on campus

NAIT houses two amazing restaurants, Ernest’s and the Nest.

Ernest’s is a four-star restaurant located across from the V-building. It’s run by students enrolled in the Culinary Arts program. Everyone at the restaurant, from the host to the people cooking in the back, are NAIT students. While they welcome walk-ins, they suggest you make a reservation to ensure the best possible experience. These students are about to go out into the greater culinary world, so you can rest assured that you’ll get high-quality food for a reasonable price.

The Nest is an award-winning campus bar in the S-Building. The food is cheap and good quality, with a number of great deals peppered throughout the week. While it can sometimes be slow, the customer service is top-notch. I always feel welcome when I go to the Nest.

Check out Ooks Life

Last but not least, check out Ooks Life. I’m not just saying this because I’m a Club President either (the Gamers of Dungeons & Dragons, by the way). Ooks Life tells students all of the upcoming events on campus—and there’s a lot. Whether it’s a club meet-up or a NAITSA-run event, Ooks Life allows students to join the greater NAIT community. So get out there and attend an event. 

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