Looking back, there are a couple of things that I would change about my first year at Laurier. I would have loved to get more involved with the school, taking advantage of all the clubs that were offered on campus. I also wish I would have attended more trips like going to the aquarium or Halloween Haunt. However, it can be difficult to get involved when you’re in a strange environment and surrounded by even stranger people.
Those would be my personal challenges, however many different bodies and minds funnel through Laurier Brantford, grasping on to different memories that are valued to different degrees by different people.
Anna Gracyk, an alumni of Laurier Brantford who graduated last year, has her own memories and journey made at Laurier Brantford.
What program were you in?
Health studies – arts and science (now called public health).
Did you participate in any extracurricular activities?
I was the Health Studies Student Association (HSSA) President in 2014-2016, and was an icebreaker in 2015.
What are you up to now?
I am now attending the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto to become a naturopathic doctor.
What is your dream job?
My dream job was and is to become a doctor and work at an integrative health-care center or in public health.
How would you describe your whole experience at Laurier Brantford?
My experience at Laurier Brantford was incredible, if I had to do it all over again, I would totally be okay with that. It’s such a small and intimate community, that I had the ability to get to know all my classmates and professors on a first name basis and build lifelong connections.
What were the big changes from first year to your last year?
One of the biggest changes from first year to last year was me. I originally entered the program being so science oriented and thinking that the social science aspect of my degree was ridiculous. Then I started learning about the issues in our healthcare system and how I wanted to help change that. Now I realize that science is only a small aspect in the grand scheme of health care and that there are so many things we still need to do to be able to provide everyone with the health care they want and deserve.
How was the transition from graduation, to the next step of your life?
The transition from graduation to medical school was not easy. Waiting to hear back from grad schools is horrible. I began to get really discouraged when I wasn’t hearing what I wanted to hear after working really hard for my degree…and paying a lot of money. Then I got an interview at CCNM and was offered a spot in the program. In the end of all that uneasiness, I believe that this was the path I was chosen to go down.
Best memories at Laurier Brantford?
My best memories at Laurier Brantford were the ones I shared with my friends and professors. Being in a small program we all knew each other really well. I was able to meet so many people by being the HSSA president and an icebreaker. I wish I had gotten more involved sooner. All the people I have met along my undergraduate journey are amazing. I wish nothing but the best for my colleagues and the professors at Laurier Brantford.
Advice for future students of Laurier Brantford?
Advice for future students is to slow down. I had this crazy idea that I had my whole life figured out and I didn’t, and still don’t. One thing I wish I did was maybe take a class or two less and become more involved in school. By doing this you can build a great resume filled with many extracurricular activities and experience, while still being able to keep your grades up because you have less of a course load. Plus, grad school and jobs love this. In a way you’re thinking about your future while not rushing to get to it. So don’t be afraid to go at your own pace and soak in as much as you can.
So, be as it may, we all wish we had done things differently at any point in our lives. But it remains important to remember that the path we have walked down has led us to where we are today. Without a kerfuffle here and there, how would we ever learn?