Tour Guide Thoughts: Mackenzie
Name: Mackenzie Lee
Program: Biological Science
Tour Guide Year: 1st
What prompted you to become a tour guide?
Ever since I went on a tour of the university with my parents in the Fall of 2015 and saw the UofG Tour Guides showing their passion for campus I knew it was something I would one day love to do! After volunteering as an Ambassador to show my residence room in East Residence to prospective students I wanted to broaden my knowledge of campus and show families everything the University of Guelph has to offer (especially the food)!
What is your favourite thing about being a tour guide?
My favourite thing about being a tour guide is getting to meet so many prospective students and their families. I really enjoy talking with high school students about their different interests to see how they can continue these involvements at the University of Guelph. With it being such a diverse and opportunistic campus, there is always something for everyone to do and the feeling of helping a student connect with that passion is like no other!
BEST spot on campus? Why?
Creelman Dining Hall is by far the best place on campus! The food is unlike anything I have ever tasted, Mom’s Kitchen’s chicken pot pie being my absolute favourite. The staff there are so friendly and take the time to learn student’s names, checking in with them during busy times of the semester like during midterms. Creelman has a different menu every single day and the weekly themes keep me coming back to try new foods and enjoy some classics almost every day. If I’m not there for lunch, you’ll find me there at dinner time!
Why should students come for a tour?
The best way to see if the University of Guelph is right for you is to come for a campus tour! See if you can picture yourself on campus, taking notes in one of our lecture halls, eating a plate of homemade lasagna at one of our dining halls, and making lifelong friendships while living in one of our residences! We’ll show you what life would be like here and what will best suit your needs and interests as a university student.
Any advice to incoming students (or their families)?
My biggest piece of advice would be to talk to as many people as you can throughout university. In residence, in your classes, through extra-involvement clubs or colleges, there are so many wonderful people at the university of Guelph that can teach you incredible skills, lead you to great opportunities and become some of your best friends moving forward in life. I realized in university just how important having support systems are, so I really encourage incoming students to make the most of their time at the University of Guelph and connect with others!
Are you involved in any extra-curriculars?
I try to be as involved on campus as possible! I have been on the University of Guelph’s Relay for Life committee for the last two years, where we run a 12-hour overnight fundraiser to raise over $100,000 each year to support cancer patients and fund lifesaving research through the Canadian Cancer Society. I am also the Co-President for the Me to We club on campus where we fundraise for children and families in need overseas by running engaging events on campus! Lastly, I volunteer with the Child Care and Learning Centre on campus, helping toddlers learn and grow through play and building relationships with others.
What’s your favourite stop/story/fun fact on your tour?
My favourite story to tell on campus is when I take my tour group to the Gryphon’s arena. It seems like such a small spot on campus from the outside but when I was in first year everyone on my residence floor would go skating here on Sunday afternoons and then fill up on Tim Horton’s hot chocolate. We taught our one friend how to skate here, since he was an international student and had never tried it before! Learning new things and making friendships that will last a lifetime are two things university has taught me to cherish and for that reason this special place on campus continues to remind me of that.
What made you apply & pick U of G?
I applied to U of G because it had the Zoology program I wanted at the time and because I really saw myself attending the Ontario Veterinary College down the road. But, after coming on a campus tour, meeting some of the staff and students, and experiencing a day in the life of a U of G student I felt completely at home and realized these were really the reasons I love U of G. I could instantly see this university would provide me with the environment to seek new opportunities to get involved in addition to my studies and succeed on any path I chose. I wanted a supportive, friendly community where I could be myself and share my passions with others, and the University of Guelph encompassed all of that for me
What’s your favourite memory from U of G?
My favourite memory is living in the East residence Leadership House in my first year. We were all students that had been quite involved in high school and wanted to continue helping others in any way we could! We attended events together, volunteered on campus, and went out for floor dinners which all allowed us to become close friends. Now almost three years alter I consider these people to be my best friends and people I look up to everyday as they lead others on campus and make huge differences for our students. I owe it all to Leadership House for bringing me these wonderful people and experiences!
Coolest thing about your program & favourite class you’ve taken so far?
Biological science gives you the freedom to take any science courses of interest to you, they can be from many different disciplines! Having many interests within the sciences make this flexibility perfect for me because I have gotten to take some really unique courses like Vertebrate Zoology, Discovering Biodiversity, and Epidemiology! My favourite class so far was a first year seminar class called Human Animal Dynamics, where we looked at the relationships between humans and animals through documentaries, group conversations, and self-reflective writing!