By Aliya Khan • Schulich Leader at University of Victoria
I decided to wait until the end of the summer to write this post as this was my first summer staying in Victoria and I was determined to go on many adventures and have lots of exciting things to report back. While still working as much as possible, I was really looking forward to spending times with my friends and exploring all the things this island had to offer.
The amount of places to eat in Victoria is notable and I definitely went to too many to count. My friend and I have a rule where we cannot visit the same place twice. While it got challenging at times, that rule really helped us discover some hidden gems and some not so note-worthy spots.
I also explored Vancouver Island to a larger extent. Another friend and I took a road trip up island to go to the World Parrot Refuge in Parksville. It was amazing! There are more than eight hundred birds of varying species housed in a large building and I was able to pet and hold a great number of them. I would highly recommend giving the Refuge a visit! While in Parksville, we also checked out the Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and got to vote for our favourite. This year’s theme was heroes versus villains and the pieces were very thought provoking. My favourite was the winning sculpture “Relativity”, which featured Albert Einstein and his indirect link to the use of atomic bombs in World War II. I also went on many little adventures close to my house and discovered great hiking trails and beaches.
Another highlight of the summer was house sitting for friends that were out of the country. With the house came a dog named Jeff who is now my favourite dog. I had never owned a dog before so there was definitely an adjustment period but it turned out to work great and Jeff is now part of my family.
I spent the latter part of the summer taking a lab course and preparing to write the dreaded MCAT. While it was very stressful, I was constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be able to pursue an education and be given opportunities that allow for personal growth. As I enter my fourth and final year, I am looking forward to finishing my degree. I am excited for the future and all of the moments that are to come!