Back to School

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September 1, 2014

Every year in Waterloo, Labour Day weekend is a time of firsts, particularly for parents and for students of all ages.

The first day of kindergarten, of senior public school, and of high school are emotional experiences for all involved, consuming the thoughts of parents and students through all of this last long weekend of summer. The first day of university or college is just as full of apprehension, anticipation, and excitement as that very first day of school.

As a community, we have an important role to play in these firsts. We collectively finance public education and everything from crossing guards to playgrounds so students can learn, grow, and play. We encourage young people to volunteer, learning about and positively impacting our community.

We have the honour in Waterloo to provide similar support and encouragement to the more than 9,000 university and college students starting their first year at Laurier, Conestoga, or Waterloo. They will join the more than 50,000 students continuing their studies. Some of those students grew up in our region. All of them are still learning, growing, and playing with new responsibilities to manage in some of the most challenging years of their lives.

In addition to guiding students and parents around construction with signs and tweets, the City has an online guide to rental living and will be engaging students on how to get involved, connecting them to Uptown businesses, and demonstrating fire-safe cooking practices. I’m personally looking forward to greeting new graduate students at Waterloo tomorrow night as well as welcoming new undergraduate students on Wednesday.

If you have new student neighbours, consider taking a moment to say hello. I’ll be encouraging the students I meet to do the same. The strength of our community isn’t just our people, but what the diverse people in Waterloo do together at home, at work, and at play.