Nearly ten weeks ago I began my journey as a member of the University of Victoria community. As a newly branded “Vike”, wearing my fluorescent green wrist band marking me so, I was nervous, excited, and more than ever, ready to learn. UVic was so incredibly welcoming to its new students, that within the first week I felt like I had been there a month. After all, eating free pancakes, learning about the remarkable teams and clubs on campus and attending a season opener soccer game, is enough to make anyone feel proud of their school. Helping volunteer to raise funds and awareness for the fight against Cystic Fibrosis on Shine Day, and competing in the World Record Capture the Flag game was the “cherry on top” of a well-rounded start to my future as a Schulich Leader at UVic.
Each and every day I find myself amazed at how lucky I am to be at UVic and to experience what it has to offer. Not only do I get to walk to each of my classes surrounded by welcoming people and beautiful vegetation, but I also get to soak up interesting new material from professionals who love what they are doing. Just a few weeks ago, I was able to attend a lecture by Dr. Nigel Fisher, Assistant Secretary General for the United Nations stabilization Mission in Haiti! The high level of dedication I see by those around me, including my fellow Schulich Leader and Biology Lab partner, Aliya Khan, (what are the chances?), inspires me to expand my knowledge so that I can one day give back to my community as they do.
Of course, not all has been easy over the last couple of months in my new home. Moving away from my family and friends, adjusting to a new school schedule and workload, and on top of it all, allowing time to take care of myself, has proven to be a challenge. Remaining driven, realizing that success takes time, and taking comfort in simple pleasures, like the company of my newfound friends over dinner, or signing up for my residence’s soccer team, has helped me to properly accustom to life here in Victoria.