In The Media

A centre of boundless creativity, enrichment, and opportunity

By Grace Wang • Schulich Leader at Western University
Winter 2012

Change is a daunting thing. Whether we know it or not, each and every one of us cling to routine, holding on to immovable rocks in the ceaselessly flowing river of life. We’ve become accustomed to unchanging course schedules, and we’ve grown fond of 75 minute lunch periods and 30 person classes. Back then, the mere prospect of stepping onto a university campus where the student population is increased at least ten fold was frightening and shrouded with the unknown. But now that I’m here, I must say, entering university has been one of the greatest changes I’ve ever experienced. Contrary to popular belief, university students aren’t wild, nocturnal creatures (alright, some of us are). But the vast majority consists of highly accomplished young adults who are friendly, intelligent, mature, and extremely well rounded. The university is a centre of boundless creativity, enrichment, and opportunity.

My time at Western thus far has been absolutely phenomenal. The transition was easier than I had expected, as the university welcomed us with open arms and put on a spectacular Orientation Week. Residence life has been the best change so far. I could not have asked for a better floor to live on: each and every one of my 40 floor mates is exciting and great fun to be around. We’ve become a tight-knit community, a family of sorts, and I look forward to spending the year with them.

My classes, on the other hand, took more time to get adjusted to. The course load is unquestionably heavier, midterms come quickly, and distractions are plentiful; developing better study habits becomes a necessity. I am currently taking Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, and Psychology, all of which have 300-800 students. I am also in the Scholar’s Electives program at Western, which allows me to add an Arts seminar course to my first year timetable and then pursue scientific research with a mentor next year.

One of the greatest things about university is that there are just so many opportunities to get involved. With clubs, events, and resources everywhere, Western makes it impossible for one to “not fit in”. I joined the UWO Red Cross Society (of which I am now the Fundraising Commissioner), as well as Friends of Médecins Sans Frontières and Operation Smile. I am so excited to dive into these clubs and help run events over the course of the year.

Although I have only spent two months in university, I’ve already honed a great deal of both academic and social skills that I believe will prove integral in becoming a successful Schulich Leader. The Schulich Leader Scholarship has instilled in me the motivation to continue giving back to my community, pursuing my highest aspirations, and aiming to become a STEM leader. I simply cannot express how honoured I am to be a part of the Schulich Leader Network, and I look forward to meeting you all some day. For now, I will continue embracing change and enjoying my time here at Western! :)