The Glendon Experience of a Political Science Major
I had the opportunity to chat with Robyn LeLacheur, an interesting Glendonite who shared some insights with me on school-related topics:
Q: What is Political Science? Why did you choose this major?
A: Political Science is everything. There isn’t a single thing in this world that isn’t political in some small form. The way I see political science, is how to move throughout the world. History and philosophy are large components of political science, but we also study the psychology of world leaders, and the sociology of group mentality and collective action. Political science is the study of the way the world works.
In grade 12, I didn’t know what I wanted to study. I had danced around with the ideas of being an accountant, a nutritionist, a lawyer, but I didn’t know what to do for an undergrad. I ended up going to my favourite teacher who taught my politics class I took in grade 11 and I mentioned my worries to her. She suggested I study political science, and since that conversation, I’ve never looked back.
Q: What do you like about Glendon’s Political Science Department?
A: What’s there not to like? The political science professors at Glendon are beyond exceptional. Even if there are professors I didn’t enjoy in a teaching capacity, all of them are phenomenal people and have taught me something along my journey to obtaining an undergraduate degree.
Q: In which areas does the GL Political Science Department need to improve?
A: When I first started at Glendon, I didn’t have a great idea of what I needed to complete to graduate. I didn’t know what an academic calendar was. Since then, Lion’s Den has incorporated peer mentors for the incoming freshmen, myself being one, and I feel as though that has really helped incoming students understand what they need to do to graduate.
I would really like to see the political science department bring in more speakers and have conferences. I would really like to see workshops to help students find what their passion is within political science. There are so many fields within political science that many don’t have the chance to explore: international relations, comparative politics, political theory, public policy, law. I’d love to see workshops that help students learn about the different fields and explore their options.
Q: Which student leadership roles have you had? Which was your favourite?
A: I have been First Year Representative on the GCSU, a member of YGL-GIG, a volunteer at Open Houses, a member of the Glendon Conservatives, a Frosh Leader (2015 and 2016), a member of the Intramural volleyball and soccer teams, a peer mentor at the Lion’s Den, and I’ve recently joined the Foreign Affairs Council of Glendon.
I’d have to say my favourite leadership role was being First Year Representative on the GCSU. I was on an incredible team of student leaders and had fantastic role models and friends on council. I was also offered opportunities to meet other First Year Reps from the Keele Colleges to coordinate cross-campus events.
Q: You’ve stated to me that you have ADHD. What is ADHD and how has it affected your life?
A: ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD is split into three categories and I have Type A: Inattentive Type, formerly known as ADD. Essentially, ADHD makes it very hard for me to focus on the smallest of tasks. However, it also comes with a host of benefits. I have an incredible memory, and I think much faster than the average mind.
The hardest thing about ADHD is that I was diagnosed with it so late in life. I was 19, and I had already gone through my first year here at Glendon with more than a few bumps along the way. However, ADHD is what makes me so successful in my field. As I said earlier, I think much faster than the average mind, and when debating politics, it definitely comes in handy.
Q: What does it mean to be a student leader with a learning disability?
A: It’s not something that I see as disabling in comparison to other students, however I do have to consider that I can’t stay focused as long as my colleagues. The best thing I can do to compensate for my inattentiveness is to make sure that I schedule time to just relax and allow myself to not pay attention to anything. I allot a certain amount of time to schoolwork and extracurricular responsibilities and also time to just relax.
Q: What is your favourite academic memory at Glendon.
A: It was last year in my third year, in my Introduction to Comparative Politics class. I had recently written an article for Pro Tem that made the front page, and my professor actually dedicated a lecture to my article because he liked it so much. Another one would be getting an essay back from my sociology TA and I received an exceptional grade, and in his comments, he told me I helped him better understand the theory I had written about.
Q: Describe your favourite co-curricular memory at Glendon.
A: My favourite co-curricular memories have to be from Frosh Week, as a froshie and a Frosh Leader. Frosh Week welcomed me to Glendon and I love being able to do the same for incoming students.
Q: I know that you are currently preparing graduate school applications and that you are aiming for Carleton University’s International Affairs program. What tips do you have for students who want to pursue a Master's degree?
A: My biggest piece of advice I tell high school students who are applying to university is to figure out what they don’t like first. It’s hard to figure out what you’re passionate for, but it’s really easy to discover what you don’t like and that helps narrow down potential fields of study. Approach your professors, ask them which schools they recommend, talk to an academic advisor, do your research. Find the program that has everything you could possibly want and work hard to get there.
Q: What legacy do you want to leave behind when you graduate Glendon in June 2018?
A: These last four years at Glendon have been the best four years of my life. I’m not worried about leaving a legacy at Glendon, but rather have Glendon leave a legacy with me that I carry for the rest of my academic and professional life. But if I wanted to leave a piece of me behind at Glendon, I’d like it to be my ability to challenge many people’s way of thinking.