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Student Leadership Showcase: Alexandra Macbain

November 26, 2019

Alexandra MacbainAlexandra Macbain, Third-year Collaborative Nursing. 

Alexandra was selected as the Peer Leader of the month for October 2019. 

How did you get involved with the Peer Leader Program? 

I was involved with the Ambassador Program in my first year because I wanted to be involved on campus and wanted to be apart of the campus community. Through the Ambassador Program, I heard of the Peer Leader program and I was immediately interested. I wanted to become a Peer Leader because I am a mature student and I wanted to help other students like me.

What do you enjoy the most about being a Peer Leader? 

I enjoy the activities that we do to support other students at the school. A friend of mine and I have planned Praxis Progress Record (PPR) sessions for first and second-year nursing students. The students were able to attend the session so they can practice in the lab. I was able to meet a lot of my mentees at the session. I was able to ask if they had any questions and show them around the PPR. I was also able to meet other students who weren't my mentees and were interested in having a peer leader. Its activities like these that make it all worth it. 

Are you involved in anything outside of the Peer Leader program? 

I am the third-year representative for the Nursing Student Community. In this role, I mingle and talk to other students about the type of activities they would be into or answer their questions of how they can get involved. I have to be very social for this role and I am a very social person. I like the fact that I can use my social abilities in a positive way and I can meet so many people.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned during your time in university thus far?

You cannot do it alone. 

My dad told me to make friends, at least two or three. This is important especially for me because I’m a mature student and I have kids. Stuff happens where I won’t be able to attend a three-hour lecture and if I didn't have friends and a support group to get notes and updates I would not be here in the third year. I know some people have the mentality that they are here for learning and not here to make friends but it’s about the support you can get from your peers. When times get hard it’s good to talk to others about how they are also struggling or finding it really hard.

What do you like to do to de-stress?

I like to paint and draw so when I need to de-stress that is my go-to activity. I admit I don’t do it enough since I’m a mom, I work, and I go to school but when I do it, it’s my favourite thing to do.

What is your favourite study snack?

Sour patch kids or any type of candy. I need the sugar rush when I'm studying cause I study at night after my kids go to bed. Once you already had three coffees for the day having another cup isn't going to do anything so the candy would be my go-to.

What does your ideal Friday night look like?

Friday night is my homework time so I can do something with my kids or husband the following day. I try to get all of my homework done on Friday to have the next day off.

What advice would you give to your first-year self?

Don’t stress so much about the little things. In first-year, grades meant a lot to me and I had super high expectations for myself. Eventually, I saw my mental health decline because I wasn't getting enough sleep and it is not healthy stressing so much. Over time I have gotten better trying to manage that stress. Success doesn't have a number! If you get 80 per cent that's great, but getting 70 per cent or 60 per cent doesn't mean you weren't successful either.

What would you say to someone who is looking to get involved?

I would definitely say do it! You get to meet so many people. The peer leader program is a bit of a commitment but it can do it, it will be an amazing experience. If your not able to give that commitment I would say do the ambassador program as that is another great alternative to get involved and its so much fun. Doing the Ambassador Program is a great way to start as well, that way you can gauge to see if you would be able to commit to being a Peer Leader.