My Hillel story by Ashlee Woolfson

My Hillel story  by Ashlee Woolfson
Queen's Hillel co-President 2011-2012

I came to Queen's without knowing a single person, anxious that I wouldn't make any friends, that I would never find my niche, that Kingston would never feel like home. My very first Hillel event was one geared to welcome first years. Nervously, I attended the event and made small chat with a few other people who had also come alone. The large crowds of friends - the camp crews and the high school groups - intimidated me. How would I ever feel comfortable here?

The answer came in the form of two girls who made all the difference in my life at Queen's. One was a frosh rep - she was the epitome of everything a member of the Hillel Executive should embody. She approached me at Hillel events and engaged me in conversation, making me feel comfortable at the Hillel house, and ready to talk to other students. The other was not on the Executive, but saw I was alone, and, true to her kind and caring nature, brought me into her circle of friends, and always made sure I felt welcome.

Two years later, in my third year, I was honoured to be elected as co-President of Queen's Hillel. I cannot emphasize enough how much this experience changed my life. To be so involved in something so wonderful, so accepting, family-like, and fun was the highlight of my Queen's experience.

Throughout my involvement, I have learned how to be a leader, how to face challenges, how to work with my peers, and how to think outside the box. I have made my best friends, I have found my niche, and I have found my family. To Queen's Hillel, I can never give back enough. I can only thank every single person who has made my journey so memorable.

So remember - the next time you see someone alone at a Shabbat dinner, talk to them. You may end up changing their university experience, and finding your new best friend in the process.

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