Start thinking and start thinking differently...

Winter 2012

Jen-Ai Lai

Schulich Leader at University of British Columbia

University is a place where you can start thinking and start thinking differently...

The beat starts up. BOOMING. LOUD.

A party? But wait a second, I thought it was only Monday night. Have I been studying so hard that I’ve lost all sense of time? No way.

Cautiously, I enter the residence hallway and ask “What’s going on?” Someone replies, “Chill dude, its university!”
And I suppose he is right, or at least in part –these are realities of first year university. But beyond that, university presents a world of opportunities, just waiting for those who desire to, to grab hold of them.
Ever since my arrival at UBC, there has rarely been a moment to spare. From attending lectures to hiking along the beautiful BC coast to extracurricular like cultural clubs and dance, I always find myself occupied and engaged.
First year science at UBC is fairly structured and requires students to take all of the core science courses including chemistry, biology and physics, as well as several credits in math and English. While this doesn’t leave much room for choosing electives, it does provide students with the fundamental knowledge and skills to build their degree.

But more than the classes themselves, university is a place where you can start thinking and start thinking differently. One of my primary interests is in medicine. However, my passion isn’t solely restricted to the scientific aspects of medicine; I’m also deeply passionate about its human and ethical facets. Just the other day, I participated a debate held by the UBC Doctors Without Borders Club regarding the importance of neutrality in providing foreign aid. Surrounded by brilliant, young and articulate individuals, I was challenged to think in ways I’d never thought of before, challenged to think about my way of thinking itself and challenged to go beyond my comfort-zone. UBC students come from a diverse background of many colors and cultures. As much we are here to learn from our professors, we are also here to learn from our peers and to teach from our own unique experiences.

Through our interactions, we engage in constructive, collective learning and build powerful, lifelong networks. I’m excited about what this means for the future of my charity and my development as person who will make valuable contributions to her society. Again, another shout-out of appreciation to Mr. Schulich and all of the individuals working at Schulich Leader Scholarships for making this possible!