Monday, 13 October 2014

Advice From Our Grads...

Since 1961, almost 20,000 Steveston, London and Steveston-London graduates have gone on to contribute to society through a wide variety of careers and live interesting lives in Richmond and all over the world.  Former Packers, Legends and Sharks have gone on to become accountants, actors, administrative assistants, architects, artists, carpenters, chefs, dentists, doctors, electricians, engineers, entrepreneurs, financial planners, firemen, fishers, horticulturalists, landscapers, lawyers, librarians, mechanics, nurses, optometrists, photographers, physiotherapists, pilots, police officers, principals, professional athletes, realtors, researchers, restaurant owners, salespeople, software developers, strength and conditioning coaches, surgeons, teachers, university professors and everything in between. 

We usually learn of “where are they now?” anecdotally.  Someone goes to a wedding or an event or are just out and about and they bump into a former student or classmate and stories are shared.  This past year, I asked our most recent grads what they are up to, and, now that they have left our school after five years and gone out into the post-secondary world, what advice do they have for our current students. 

Here are some paths that a few of our 2014 grads are on and the remarkable wisdom they have to share:

Louise Bell
Well here I am, and actually, I am happy to be alive!  This summer I went through a lot and was in and out of the hospital for test after test and also being told "you need to prepare yourself, as you could have cancer.”  I also moved out on my own in a basement suite and I have learned so much about life this summer, it has been insane!  Mostly, I have learned to appreciate everyday for both the good and the bad!  Anyways, now that my incredible summer is over, I am back to school. I am currently attending Langara College taking English, Sociology, and Religious Studies! It is hard as there is a lot of work and the due dates seem to come fast, but it is also a lot of fun!  Advice...well to be completely honest, I did a lot of things wrong in high school. I lot of things I would take back, and I was not always the person I wanted to be. However, I would tell the students of SLSS to get out your "circles", go introduce yourself to as many people as possible! Oh, and by the way, there is no such thing as “losers”, and “populars” at all, that is something I really realized in college! Another piece of advice, make strong connections with your teachers and counselors - I know if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have made it through high school without them.  Thank you SLSS students and staff for being a chapter in my story!

Jamie Chan
Hi Steveston London! I am currently enrolled in Land and Food Systems at UBC (If you don't know what that means, it's like Food and Nutrition). I also got a job during the summer working as a martial arts instructor teaching children, which was definitely a challenge, but a rewarding one. The first few weeks of UBC were difficult to adapt but as the weeks went on, it got better and better. As for advice, I encourage everyone to join clubs because it's a great chance to meet new people and develop enriching experiences with others. The photo attached is an example of why people should join clubs because it's FUN! Another piece of advice is to review whatever you've learned today for about 20 minutes or more each day. Although this may seem like nothing, it actually helped me a ton! While it's important to study, don't neglect your health! Wishing you all the best! 
Triny Fong
I'm currently studying kinesiology at UBC. The first week was quite stressful but I have now settled into university life. I even find the commute bearable now :)  My advice for current SLSS students is to find a way to get involved in school and enjoy high school as much as possible! Appreciate your time in school now and enjoy the great environment it provides!  Sorry I don't have a picture of me at school but here's a picture of my UBC card.  Have a great school year!

Ethan Freund
I am at UBC’s Okanagan campus and, so far, I really love it here; Kelowna is a beautiful city and UBC has a very nice campus here. Living on residence has been really good so far, mostly because it is so convenient. Classes are all going well, they are challenging but interesting as well.  I am on the varsity volleyball team and we play in the CIS (the best league in Canada – same league as UBC Vancouver) and I really love this team and just the atmosphere of UBCO athletics in general, as everyone is so friendly and inviting. The feel of the team is great as everyone has a fiery passion to get better and compete every chance we get. I have already learned a lot about volleyball and more generally about being a student-athlete at a high level. Also, our team has a solid balance between being academically driven (we have 8 engineering students on the team) while still having fun along the way. For me personally this year is about building skills, getting a lot stronger in the weight room and getting good grades and even though it will be difficult to accomplish all this, I am enjoying embracing the challenge. I wish everyone at Steveston-London good luck with this school year and my advice is simple:  High school will be as amazing as you choose to make it.

Gabriel Freund
I moved to Victoria to attend Camosun College and play volleyball for the Camosun Chargers. This was not an easy decision, but its not one I regret. This is a totally new experience because Camosun does not have residence, so I am living in a basement suite with fellow SLSS alumnus Mitch and another team mate. I am studying general arts but focusing on philosophy and I am loving it. Things were going really well with volleyball until I dislocated my ring finger quite gruesomely. I haven't been playing for two weeks and I'm missing our first league games. This has been really difficult, but I'm learning a lot of patience I suppose. Anyways,  I hope all is well at Steveston-London.  As for advice for graduating students, I would say that they should try (as difficult as it is) to not follow the many pressures surrounding them and try to pursue something they love. A lot of people told me not to do college, that I should go to a good university,  but I found an opportunity to do what I love at Camosun and it'll make all the difference. Also,  I apologise for the picture but I felt it was fitting - a little adversity can be a good thing.

Paige Gelfer
I am currently at UVic studying very general humanities. Fortunately, since I currently don't have a program to have prerequisites for, I can take all sorts of interesting and wacky courses like African HandDrumming! I'm trying to pursue new hobbies, meet new people and gain better study skills, with some success. Advice? High school and university are completely different ball games. High school is certainly not the be-all-end-all when it comes to figuring out who you are. That being said, I'm not quite sure yet if university is either. What university is for is to attempt to figure out what kind of lifestyle you want to lead. You probably won't make good decisions, but at least they are (hopefully) YOUR decisions. And maybe one day you'll do something (like join a synchronized swimming club) and think, 'Hey! This is a lifestyle choice that I'm really digging, I want to keep this up!' (You probably won't think those exact words). Discover who you are, apart from other people. You, as your own separate entity. Unrelated, but being from Richmond and meeting someone else from Richmond is a GREAT conversation starter, and it also means you have a buddy to carpool with from the ferry!  I want to thank SLSS for everything.  I was truly lucky to go to SLSS and I maintain that it is probably one of the best schools in existence.

Sylvie Glisinski

I am currently living in Kingston, Ontario, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree at Queen's University.  I want to major in psychology and become a psychologist.  However Mr. McBurney encouraged me to consider law, so I am keeping that in the back of my mind (for now). I am living in residence and

though university life is an adjustment in many respects, I am enjoying it so far.  I am a little concerned about the winter though. I am going to run for a Residence Society and Alma Mater Society positions, both are very similar to Student Council (some things never change).  I also hope to write for some campus publications and participate in the drama productions here (in addition to LOTS of studying, of course!) My advice SLSS students (and anyone else) is pretty simple: be open to new opportunities.  Moving away for school was not, for most of my life, part of my plan.  Yet I am so glad that I am having this first year experience.  Even if it does not work out, every opportunity is a chance to learn something, so be open to what comes your way. Better yet, seek out new experiences and challenges.   My final bit of wisdom is twofold.  Firstly, never write a provincial exam in pencil.  Secondly, grade 8s (and everyone else) do yourselves a favor and join the drama club, I promise you won't regret it :)

Ricky Guan
I'm currently studying engineering at SFU. Just from my first week
experience, I can tell you that university seems more stressful and there is a greater expectation of independence, work ethic, and time management. Apparently, staying up late to play video games isn't an option anymore, especially as I have to wake up everyday at 6 in the morning for an 8:30 class! For engineering students, particularly ones going into SFU, enjoy your high school summers while they last, because you won't get any after high school. I am sure I will learn to enjoy it more than high school, because of the freedom associated with university. In the end, it's all about attitude - it's best to stay positive and keep your eyes on the prize, whatever that may be.

Alyssa Hirose
I am at UBC where I am currently in the Media Studies stream of the Coordinated Arts Program. I am thoroughly enjoying what I am learning as it has everything to do with media: television, film, journalism, visual arts, creative writing and lots more! Some of the coolest things I have done so far are writing an imagined monologue from the perspective of a Chihuahua and learning how to create a GIF. I am also playing soccer in a women's league and I will audition for a role in a play in the spring! Tell them from me? I would urge all SLSS students to do what makes you happy. Whatever interests you, go for it, no matter what anyone tells you. Also, go watch all of the school plays! In the photo, I am in one of UBC's lecture halls and the room was not empty when the shot was taken. All the world's a stage!

Jules Hizon
Hello SLSS! I am at UBC where I am studying in the Faculty of Arts and my longer term plans are to pursue major in Economics.  My advice to current SL students is simple, make sure you pay attention in class, especially if you think you’re getting an ‘easy A’, because you never know when you will encounter this subject again in university and it will help a lot if you actually learned something!

Vicky Hui
I'm studying in the faculty of arts at UBC this year. Although I'm not sure what kind of advice I could give to SLSS students, I think the general feeling at the end of high school would be that high school passed by very quickly, so I think the best advice that I could give would be not to spend too much time worrying.  In the end, we probably remember mostly the happy memories, and worries from the past will seem quite unimportant, so my hope is that even as the current Sharks are trying to figure out their goals and futures, remember to enjoy yourselves along the way! I wish everyone well at SLSS!

Jenny Im
Hello!  I am now a student at the University of British Columbia studying business. I used to think that a walk from Mr. McBurney's class to the Gilbert entrance was long, but that is nothing compared to the ginormous campus I now go to! I still have no idea what I will be majoring in, but I have realized that this is totally normal. Many students are still trying to figure out their passion. If you can relate, especially those Grade 12 Sharks, don't freak out at the fact you don't know what you want to do. Take your time! Remember to enjoy yourself at Steveston-London. Talk to someone you never talked to before. Have a conversation about life with your teachers (they seriously know everything). Get involved! Steveston-London is not a small school, and you may not realize this now, but high school is such an intimate setting.  Take advantage of it while you can!

Emily Ip 
Other than playing ultimate all summer (our team won silver at the nationals in Ontario), I also got a new job! I tutor gr.7's and 9's at a math center and it's much more relaxing than flipping burgers at McD's 6 hours straight!  I just finished my 2nd week of college studying Kinesiology at Langara, and I must say this transition has been the biggest change I have encountered in my life thus far. Although many SLSS graduates are attending Langara, none of them have mutual classes or break times with me. I'm currently adapting myself to a new environment and to unfamiliar individuals of all ages. Without a doubt, I'm enjoying my classes (ex. biodynamics, sports in society, & biomechanics), but being given all my class syllabus' on the first day had overwhelmed me to a certain extent. Not only that, I get pretty lonely in school and on transit. There are no set breaks/lunch times like in high school for clubs, and the heavy homework load is stressful. The life as a college student has its similarities with high school, but there are definitely more differences. People come and go at Langara, and I miss the "family feeling" of strolling into Steveston- London every morning and greeting my beloved teachers and friends. However, I'm optimistic that I'll click in soon and meet a group of people to share my college experience with. I certainly see my progression at school, and I'm slowly breaking out of my shell. I tried out for the basketball team and made the practice roster, but it didn't feel right to me, committing 6 days a week for practices and not seeing any floor time. However, I will be representing Langara on the badminton team!!! Practice days are more flexible for my course schedule, and I'm ecstatic to be receiving the benefits as the players gets free travel expenses, jerseys, track suits, t-shirts, backpacks, lockers, a YMCA pass, and most importantly, earlier registration dates for courses!! My first tournament is in October and it will be held in Nanaimo!  Now being an SLSS alumni, I have a few pieces of advice for the students and staff. Students: 1) High school is just the foundation – learn outside of school. Find volunteer opportunities, apply for a part time job, and get yourself involved in the community. You only learn so much from school... so go out and experience the diversity! 2) Take on a leadership role - apply to be a camp leader, introduce yourself to individuals you don't know, or apply to be an executive member on a club. Get to know all the students in the school and not just the ones in your own grade – looking back, it is an incredible opportunity to meet people and, who knows, maybe some friends for life! Staff 1) Break down the barrier you have with students and get involved with school spirit.  The best part of high school is being able to build connections with everyone, not only your colleagues. The school atmosphere is much more lively when everybody participates with school activities. More importantly, students love it when teachers perform at Breakfast With Santa and involve themselves with the multiple events SLSS has to offer. Step out of your comfort zone, be ridiculous, and have fun! 2) Make sure your students to feel noticed and cared for.  When eye contact occurs in hallways with students, don 't hesitate to say a simple "hi" or smile. It truthfully means a lot to students. Don’t just look away and continue walking. Also, a short conversation wouldn't hurt either!

Henrietta Ip
For all you Rachel Zane fanatics out there, becoming a paralegal is harder than just looking pretty on screen. But I'm so glad I had found an area of study in which I'm crazily passionate about. That's my advice for any graduates: do what you love and follow through with it. Easier said than done, I urge you all to try and ignore the societal pressures of attending a school just because it's "well-known" or has a "good reputation". Sure, that may sound cool but if you're not content with what you're doing, then what's the point? At the end of the day, it's about you. Not your parents, not your friends, not what society thinks, but you. You and your happiness. I had taken "the road less travelled by" as Robert Frost had suggested, and it had made all the difference. Every morning I wake up, take my 2 hours long commute, and sit in classes with subjects I find utterly fascinating. It helps that the lessons are extremely entertaining and the professors are beyond helpful. I mean, just the other day in English class, my professor linked coherency to cheese and failure pass BM(??). Anyways, I digress. Aside from sharing most of my classes with people who already have a degree, or in some cases, children (talk about intimidating, yikes!), I also had zilch friends going into Capilano's Paralegal Program. So of course, it's scary. My fellow graduates will probably agree. No one has it easy taking that leap from high school and into the real world, but it's up to you to make it less difficult. I wish post-grads, future grads, teachers and administrators, all the best in future endeavours. If not, at least have Louis Litt as your spirit animal.
P.S. I have made friends since then. 

Matthew Lay
First of all, I would like to say that my time at Steveston-London had really changed me as a person, from being the biggest slacker to a slacker who also tried to positively impact both our community and school. Now in my first semester of post-secondary at the University of British Columbia, I am still as clueless as ever, maybe even more now than before. However, despite this confusion of what I really
want to do with my life, I am enjoying every moment of it. Being in this new learning environment alongside over 300 other students from around the world (in each of my classes), I find school to be even  more interesting and enjoyable. Without a solid vision of my future, there is really no way for me to plan courses, so I have registered into many different kinds of classes ranging from Anthropology to Computer Science. Advice from me to you? Get involved and build lifelong connections. It's extremely easy to get involved at SLSS, especially because of the friendliness that is instilled into each Shark. Make a new friend or two, maybe they'll end up being your best friend or even future significant other, who knows?  But most of all, find something(s) that you are passionate about. Something you want to pursue or maybe simply something you want to do from time to time. Whatever it is, make your life that much more interesting and lively. I wish both students and teachers at SLSS luck and thank you for everything. Once a Shark, always a Shark.

Nugent Lew
I am at McGill University in Montreal, currently living on campus. I'd say to anyone living in residences to prepare to not be able to focus while in your room. The library is your best friend! Also, start learning to get ahead of your class content. Though not necessary, having some notes before a lecture is so helpful, and that's coming from a person that hates doing extra work.  Overall, university has been great so far! It's very easy to make friends whether you're outgoing or not, especially in residence. The workload is tough just due to the sheer volume, but it's definitely manageable with a bit of diligence, and the professors make themselves very available for help.  Good luck to all SLSS students!

Carmen Li
As graduate of 2014 and a fresh first year student at SFU, my first week at university was full of new faces and new experiences. I'm the Interactive Arts (SIAT) Program, which is basically a fusion of art,
design and programming. My classes are located in the Surrey campus, which I was initially upset about since most of my SLSS friends are at Burnaby. However, it gave me the opportunity to meet new people, and actually forced myself to leave my comfort zone! My classes involve A LOT of group/project work, which is a scary idea to me. I hope to keep up with my readings and to avoid procrastination! One thing that is a big difference from high school is the large range in the ages of students. If I were to give myself advice, it would be to avoid being so nervous about the change, because there are many new students in the same boat as me. For the grade 12's, this may sound over used, but whether you are involved in clubs, sports, or just have a close group of friends, make the most of your last year in SLSS! 

Heather Li
Hey Steveston-London! I am currently studying Criminology and Economics at Simon Fraser University. So far, it has been a great experience with meeting some new people and being exposed to an entirely new environment. I am still working as a part-time sales associate at Tommy Hilfiger even though time management can sometimes get a bit mucky. As for advice, I would have to quote one of Steveston-London's most sincere teachers, Mr. Mah. While suffering from crazy amounts of stress, he simply told me that "dinosaurs died off because they couldn't adapt". As simple as it may sound, it took me some time to understand that whether it is continuing in post secondary or spending our days at work, this is the path that we have chosen and this is what we fought for. Despite the stress and frustration, we must adapt in order to pull through. This thought has helped me through many many sleepless nights and hopeless moments and I hope it will help you guys too :) Have a wonderful year! 

Andy Lin
I hope that everything is going well at SLSS. I am currently in the Faculty of Applied Science studying Engineering at UBC and so far it's been a busy start of the year (as expected of university life I guess).
As for advice for current SLSS students, I've always been a firm believer that you should make the most of your time in high school, academics are important, however they're not everything. I'm really thankful for SLSS staff and teachers for providing students with such a strong foundation in academics as well as great extracurricular programs and sports. I will definitely find a time to go back and visit the school as soon as possible so I'll hopefully get to see you soon but until then take care!   As I pass by the big red E cairn each morning on campus, it reminds me that I am heading down “Engineering Road”, quite literally.

Rachel Lin
Currently, I am at UBC enrolled in the Arts CAP program, studying the media stream. (fellow 2014 SLSS grad Alyssa Hirose is also studying in the same stream as me - what a coincidence!!) In this photo I am in front of the Koerner Library. There were these hideous beanbags strewn across the entrance of the library for resting purposes, so I am taking full advantage! For advice, I highly recommend that
students learn to read ahead. In high school, I wasn't able to use this technique much because teachers would jump through different chapters and sometimes it was difficult to predict which chapter we would be reading next. However, a new thing that I noticed in university is that all the professors provide syllabuses with their schedule all planned out, so it is much easier to plan and read ahead. This will help you understand concepts before class and you can ask the teacher questions after/during class!! (I know that this was a piece of advice that Mr. A mentioned before during assemblies, but it's really helpful...) Also, use your agenda. Force yourself to write in it!! Doodle in it if you have to!!! You probably can't remember everything and it's good to write down your own schedule.  Another piece of advice would probably be to sleep early... please don't deprive yourself of sleep kiddos – and have a great year at SLSS!

Zack Pang
My first couple of weeks at UBC have been fairly hectic as expected but nonetheless really cool. Amidst the papers that are due and all of the reading, university has already been loads of fun. By fun I don’t just mean new friends, parties and the like, but rather interesting classes with dynamic and knowledgeable professors, classmates with different perspectives and backgrounds, and exciting new opportunities with clubs and organizations. I’m taking Poli Sci 100 (my favourite course), History 103 - 20th C world history, Economics 101 - microeconomics (a little dry but very interesting) and French 122. All of my courses are going really well though they are challenging. Even in these first few weeks I can already see the difference in what we learn in university compared to high school.  Lenny, Eric and I are forming a volleyball team in the UBC Elite Rec league with some other friends who played at other schools in Richmond. We hope to try out for the varsity team next year but till then we’re looking forward to kicking some butt in the rec league!.  That pretty much sums up my first few weeks here! Hopefully the strike ends soon so we can come by and say hi to everyone.

Angela Peng
I am studying at McGill University in beautiful Montreal, Quebec. I am currently enrolled in the life sciences program, and I intend to major in biochemistry in my second year.   My advice for current SLSS students: try your best in everything you do; don't be afraid of change; if you have a slight interest in something, try it out; and remember, any bad experiences will eventually become valuable lessons. Always cherish the moments you have with your friends and loved ones. Finally, thank you so much for caring about us grads. It really means the world to us! 

Sabrina Shigeoka
As of right now, I am studying Psychology in the faculty of arts in beautiful... Edmonton at the University of Alberta. So far we've been lucky with the weather, and fingers crossed, the snow stays away. At first I was extremely scared to move to a new province not knowing anyone. However, I've made tons of new friends and even more wonderful memories. Living in residence has probably been the best decision I've made because not only did it help me make new friends, but also I gained a new family too. On September 7, I was voted in as Floor Coordinator(FC). Which is basically like student council in high school, only I am the voice of over 1200 students. I am one of three first years sitting on the council this year, and the only first year FC in Henday (my tower). Balancing classes and FC duties has been difficult, but totally worth it. Currently, we are in the middle of a 210 person game of assassins! Right now I'm procrastinating studying for my Biology midterm.. Fun Fact: I was written up in my first week of university for pulling pranks, and I've already met with residence services.. yay! My advice for you lovely SLSS students: university and high school are COMPLETELY different! I never thought I'd fit in this well anywhere. In university you'll meet so many people with the same interests as you (LOTS of people like Harry Potter for all you Harry Potter fans). Also, make sure to study more than 3 days before a midterm.. Just don't do it. But make new friends and try not to be stressed. University is full of new experiences, so try to sit back and enjoy as much as you can. Have a great year SLSS, and stay beautiful! Also, time does fly as it feels just like yesterday I walked across the stage at the Chan Centre and shook sweaty hands with Mr. A. But now look at me, I'm in university! I hope all of SLSS has a wonderful year!

Johwena Si
I'm studying Animal Biology in the University of Guelph, in Guelph Ontario and this is basically an hour or so away from Toronto. I'm actually terrified of the upcoming winter here, because it will be very different than our winters in Richmond. Anyways, uni life is so much different than high school life. You really need to learn how to manage your time well or else well, I'll let you guys imagine what will happen. Even after a few months of uni I still have trouble managing my time at times but I'm sure you grads will get a hang of it when you get to it. Honestly, for me being away from home sucks but I'm lucky enough that I have an aunt who lives here so I don't have to live in residence. However, if you are living in residence I've heard from a lot of my friends that it is also nice, especially for first year students since we don't know a lot of people yet. Also, if your post-secondary school has an orientation week or pep rally, I suggest to go to it because you will meet tons of people. Don't be afraid to go even though you don't know anyone because most likely a lot of the people going is in the same boat as you so don't be afraid and go for it! I also highly recommend that you join some clubs since you can also meet a lot of people there. Basically during your first year or even after that, be active and not just your academic life, but also in school events and everything. So I guess I'll end here and I just want to wish everyone at SLSS the best of luck! Enjoy high school while you're there because I promise you will miss that life once you get to university! Then again, university life has its own perks! 

Lenny Tabakman
I am studying engineering at UBC and I am having a great time so far. The work isn't too strenuous (yet). This is a photograph of me in front of the famous Engineering cairn on Main Mall at UBC.  Early
in September on a sunny Saturday, fellow SLSS 2014 grads Zack, Eric and I went to the UBC homecoming football game. Unfortunately, the Thunderbirds lost to the Calgary Dinos, but we still had a good time. We hope to keep going to Thunderbirds games together including the hockey team of course!  Also, the three of us are making a rec league volleyball team hoping to continue our success from last year. I have also checked out the campus radio station (CiTR) and will likely do some sports broadcasting and perhaps a radio show in the months ahead.  So far, university life has been great for me and I just wish everyone all the best at Steveston-London.

Morné Thompson
I am currently at UBC in the Faculty of Arts, and perpetually surrounded by books of all sorts. My Arts One class requires me to read a new book each week, and my part-time job at the Koerner Library on UBC campus means that I am never far away from literature!  I am really enjoying my classes, finding them truly interesting and with professors far nicer than horror stories in high school led us to believe! I am taking courses that hopefully will lead to majoring in International Relations, but I have been told that it is an extremely competitive application process, so he isn’t placing any bets! All in all, the only really depressing part of university is the hour and a half commute each way, which certainly isn’t the worst that could have happened. As for advice, I would love to expound the benefits of seeing your career counselor as much as you have need, because you’ll always come away from a meeting knowing something you didn’t before, and more often than not that something helps to save money! Otherwise, make sure to choose courses that you really want to take if you choose post-secondary, because buying textbooks is even worse when you don’t like the class! Lastly, everyone at SLSS should make sure they make the most of their grade 12 year, because it’s the year of possibilities, of living life with a crazy mix of planning and reckless abandon.  Plato said “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” So go out and live a life in the light, wherever that may lead you."

Danny Wang
So Hey guys! I am currently at UBC in the Faculty of Arts and I'm planning to study economics. I still cannot get over the fact that my farthest 2 class apart take me 15 minutes to get to and I often frantically run to be on time! Staying up late to Skype friends is no longer an option, as to I have to wake up early for 10am classes (plus traffic) and I get home around 6pm. That leaves no time to waste, every minute, every second counts. One piece of advice to the fellow Sharks is that university is really BIG on time management and work ethnic, which challenges all incoming high school students. I wish the best to the SLSS students!

Vivien Wong
I am at UBC and grateful to be studying in the Science faculty this year. The picture that I have attached is a skeleton of a Blue Whale in the UBC Beaty Biodiversity Museum (part of the Blue Whale Project).  The university is incredibly vast compared to high school and there are so many different events and activities going on at UBC every single day, it really is an amazing sight. If I could pass on some advice to my fellow friends at SLSS, it would be that hard work can take you very far in life, so never stop trying.  All the best!

Lily Xie
I am currently living in Edmonton and studying sciences at the University of Alberta. I've only been here for a little over one month, so I do not think I am in the position to give any super helpful, life changing advice. I can only say that there is a huge difference between going to school in high school and going to school in university. For example, students in university must spend more time dealing with school work outside of class since the time spent in class is reduced significantly. However, I find that university is not as difficult as many people think it is. Professors are not evil villains, they truly want their students to succeed! So if help is needed, professors are willing to give it. 

Mazal Yeung
I am currently studying a foundation program for arts and design in London, England. The title of my school is University of the Arts London, where I am enrolled under one of their six colleges,
Camberwell College of Arts. A piece of advice I would like to share is to never limit yourself. Do not refrain from applying to different scholarships and schools just because you think you won't make it, you may be surprised with your results. It never hurts to give it a try, perhaps maybe getting laughed at by your family, but by chance if you do get in, who's laughing now?  To anyone considering studying outside of Canada: KNOW THE DEADLINES, KNOW THE COST, KNOW THE REQUIREMENTS! I cannot repeat that enough, a lot of my international friends here have ran into some trouble because they didn't spend the time to do research and read through the details. Also, learn to be time efficient and independent, especially for those not living at home next year. There will be nobody to tell you to do your assignments, no one will cook you dinner, no one will do your laundry or wash your dishes!  Enjoy your senior year and I wish the best for the Grads of 2015!

Mark Yi
Hello Steveston-London! I am currently enrolled in the criminal justice program at Langara College. I hope to pursue a career in either law enforcement or anything similar in that field in the future. My advice to the SLSS students is, when you’re in class, try not to talk a lot when you're supposed to be listening. Also, enjoy the variety of classes and assignments that you have in high school as once college hits, it becomes a whole new ball game and the work level required goes up considerably. 

Aaron Yim
I am at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and the first month has been beyond hectic. I have heard that we have about 50% more instructional hours than many other engineering programs, not to mention
homework.  I've also discovered that my program some of the highest admission averages of any engineering program in Canada, so I am surrounded by very capable students. I'm actually studying Mechatronics Engineering, which involves any mechanical system that is controlled by electronics, such as robots, planes, photocopiers, cars, etc. Some of what I've already done includes disassembling, reassembling, and testing a go-kart engine. I'm also in the process of designing, assembling, and programming an autonomous fuel cell vehicle. One of the student design teams that I'm involved in is called FormulaSAE, where we design, machine, build, test, and race a vehicle. I've found Mr. Tillotson's drafting courses VERY helpful, along with Ms. Lau's programming courses. However, at university, we've managed to go through a whole semester's material in about 2 weeks! It also looks like I'll be job-hunting in a couple months for my first co-op term. Blackberry and Amazon are offering a number of attractive jobs - some of which include hardware design.  I would like to wish the very best of luck to you, all the staff and the Grads of 2015!

Other 2014 grads – it is not too late! Please send me your update and I will add your chapter to the story and we want to hear from you if you're going to school or working or traveling.  Exploring diverse paths often makes for more interesting people.

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