Interview with Hudson College Alum, Sarah Robinson
When Sarah Robinson started at Hudson College, she was coming from a big school to a small one. She says the welcoming community and supportive teachers helped her grow as a student. Her advice to new students at the midtown Toronto school is to get involved in the many opportunities that Hudson has to offer. As well, she says, don’t forget to simply hang out in the common room and play ping-pong. It’s a great way, she says, to feel the benefits of the Hudson College community.
Highlights from the interview
I think Hudson College gave me a very well-rounded education, which I definitely appreciated a lot coming into university. At Hudson College, I was able to push myself quite rigorously with my academics—which is something that can be a bit difficult when you’re a high-school student. But after becoming a university student, I realized it has helped me greatly. I went through my first year and obviously, it was hard, but Hudson College definitely prepared me for it really, really well. So I am very grateful for that.
All the extra opportunities with extracurriculars at Hudson College were great. Joining clubs and just being part of a school community was definitely something that was very beneficial to me, and I carried that over into university as well. At a bigger school, it’s harder to find those opportunities, because I feel like it’s harder to get involved in the school community. But at a school like Hudson where you know everyone—and all the staff and teachers are just super friendly, and they want to get to know you too—it’s super easy to get involved. That’s something that has impacted me greatly, and I definitely think the staff were a big part of it.
The teachers at Hudson College want you to succeed, and they really want you to do well, which is something that helped me a lot. They’re always there for extra help—after school, before school, or at lunch. The teachers are just super helpful and super friendly.
One thing I also enjoyed is that the teachers at Hudson College treat you like the young adult that you are. It’s nice to be in an environment where the teachers don’t talk down to you, and they treat you very respectfully. I find that you make really good connections with the school community that way.
Welcoming, friendly, and inspiring is how I would describe the personality traits of Hudson College. I found the school community was welcoming as soon as I was there. I actually joined Hudson College in the middle of a semester but I found right away I was very welcomed into the school community and I got to know everybody very quickly. Friendly—all the staff members, the teachers, and all the students at Hudson College were very friendly and inviting, and they made you feel comfortable. That’s definitely important, because if you enjoy going to school, you’re going to succeed a lot more than you would if you didn’t enjoy going to school. The community really fosters that enjoyment.
My advice to a new Hudson College student would be to get involved in everything that you can. Be a part of the school community. There are so many opportunities there to have fun and to get to know people better. Don’t be afraid to go sit in the common room and play ping-pong with people, or just have a conversation. I know it can be a bit nerve-wracking at first, but everybody’s pretty open and willing to talk, and it’s just nice to get to know everybody and be a part of the community.” make you feel on-edge or nervous about being there. And then inspiring—there are so many options at Hudson College that it can inspire so many great ideas in you.
As far as common character traits of students, friendliness and inclusiveness were a big part of Hudson College. A large percentage of the student body is international, students come to Hudson College from all over the world, and they get welcomed into the student body quite quickly. That was nice to see because, at a lot of larger schools, I know it’s easier to fall through the cracks and not get to know people very well. But Hudson’s student body is super welcoming and inclusive of everybody. I guess that also has to do with the school’s layout. We had a common room and a cafeteria where you could go sit and talk with people, and you’d be invited to chat. It was nice to have a very inclusive student body.
A big motto of Hudson College is ‘be yourself,’ and I definitely saw that a lot. Through the clubs and the classes, there were so many opportunities to do what you wanted to do, and there was no being forced to do a certain thing, or take a certain class. It was very up to you. If there was something that you desired to do, you could start a club to do it. I found that the teachers in the Hudson College community really inspired you to be you and to find what you liked and what you enjoyed, and to just carry that with you after you graduate.
From my own personal experience, having been at such a large school before Hudson College and going to such a small school, I found what surprised me the most was the number of opportunities. Sometimes you would think that at a smaller school there’d be a lot fewer opportunities for students, but that was just very much not the case. At Hudson College we had anything you could imagine. Anything you wanted to do, you could do, which was just great. I was a little bit worried, coming from such a large school—with a bunch of sports teams and a bunch of club opportunities—that I would be missing out on some of that, but I didn’t miss out on any of that at all. I ended up becoming more involved in the school once I got to Hudson College, and there were more opportunities than I ever had before.
Attending Hudson College has just taught me a lot about myself. It’s taught me to find what I enjoy and to roll with that and not just try to do what is expected of me. To push myself to do more and find what I enjoy and just to follow that throughout my life—because that’s just what makes life a lot more enjoyable. Hudson College definitely taught me a lot about that.
After going to university, and seeing where I was at compared to my peers, I saw that Hudson College definitely gave me a great advantage, especially with academics, and I appreciate that greatly. Going into university, I had learned things a lot of my peers hadn’t, which made my first-year classes a little bit easier for me. But as well, being encouraged to be so much a part of the school community at Hudson was something I appreciated. Sometimes you’re like, ‘I don’t want to have any school spirit right now. I just want to go home,’ but after going to university, you really learn to appreciate school spirit and getting involved in your school community. And Hudson definitely has a lot of that and a lot of opportunities to do that, and I’ve appreciated that a lot more after I’ve graduated.
The biggest reason that someone should choose Hudson College would just be the teachers. The teachers are so supportive. They help you through any issues you’re having with classwork, and they are always there to help you. In math, sometimes I struggled with my homework, and I would go and sit with a math teacher after school for an hour, and he would help me work through the problems and think everything through. That was something I didn’t really have before coming to Hudson, and I think that’s definitely a big reason to go, just the support the teachers give you.
At Hudson College, we have our House system, which I definitely benefited from, in terms of all opportunities. As much as being involved in the school community is great, you can also get points for your House for doing it, and it just creates more school spirit and fun.
I would recommend going to Hudson College because of the close-knit-ness of the community. When I graduated, I knew every person in my graduating class. When I graduated from my elementary school, a very large school, I did not know every person in my class, not even close. It was quite nice to get to know everybody, but also the teachers and the staff. My principal knew me by name, my vice-principal knew me by name, and we’d have conversations all the time, which was something I never had before. I don’t think I ever even had a conversation with my principals at my old schools.
I found when I came to Hudson College, I really grew as a student. I was given so many opportunities, and I was encouraged to succeed, and to be better, and to do better. That’s something I would have really missed out on if I didn’t come to Hudson.