How long have you been a student at Aberdeen Hall?
I have been a student at Aberdeen Hall for the past 4 years.
2020 has been a year of transition in many ways. How do you feel you’ve personally changed or grown over the last year?
2020 has been a difficult year for many, including me. It was shocking that the ordinary things that I used to do every day suddenly became forbidden. The world is rapidly changing. However, I am still able to find some benefit from it and learn many important life lessons. For example, since I had to finish my Grade 11 year online, I learned how to become an independent learner and seek-out additional resources to deepen my understanding of class concepts, something that will serve me well in my post-secondary education. I was also able to make valuable connections with my teachers through the numerous Zoom tutorials that I attended. The pandemic and other challenges this year made me realize that it is possible to find the positive in every situation, no matter how difficult it might seem at first. I believe that if we stick together and stay strong, the hardships of this year will soon become just a memory.
What changes have you seen in society as a whole that you think are a result of the political and social upheaval we’ve experienced this year?
This last year I’ve noticed people expressing their opinions very openly and strongly on a variety of topics, and I see that being partially linked to the pandemic and mask-wearing. Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has become mandatory to wear facial masks or coverings. Many individuals viewed this as an infringement of their rights and were not following the recommendations. In the US, wearing a mask (or not), seemed to be a partisan act, with one party showing clear reluctance to mask-wearing. The opposing views on this topic emphasized the political divide in American society, with both constituents and party-leaders openly expressing their beliefs. Locally, I often see people protesting on the streets and encouraging people to accept their point of view. Personally, I believe that unnecessary disobedience is causing nothing but a divide between people and in extreme cases violence. I think that if we all followed the rules, we would be able to beat the pandemic much faster.
How can we as a school ensure that we are doing all we can do to change and grow along with the changing times?
I think that the community at Aberdeen Hall is very supportive and understanding of the current situation and the challenges that we have been facing. The students are following the rules regarding mask-wearing and social distancing, which shows an exemplary level of maturity. Due to safety concerns, if they are showing symptoms, students are often absent from school, which has been a source of stress for many. However, the teachers have done an amazing job of posting the assignments and instructions online, so that no one gets left behind. The school counselor's assistance has been very helpful for many since the start of the year. The new changes are not easy, and having someone trustworthy to talk to makes this time a lot less difficult.
What do you think are the major challenges the world will be facing over the next five years?
I am hoping that the pandemic will be in the past soon; however, readjusting back to “normal” will be a long journey. In my opinion, the hardest part will be for people to keep their guard up regardless of the statistics because that would prevent a third or even a fourth wave. Many people miss the activities that we were able to do without worrying about masks, and I am sure everyone is eager to live an ordinary life, but that could have negative consequences. It is important to stay responsible, and slowly but surely, the challenges will be in the past.
Speaking of the future, what are your post-secondary plans?
After I graduate high school, I am planning on going to a Canadian university to study electrical engineering. While I am working towards my bachelor’s degree, I would love to go on exchanges to countries like Scotland, Singapore or Russia to gain valuable experience and knowledge that might be unique to certain places. Since at this time, travelling abroad is not the best option, I am also looking for more local alternatives by researching different specialized programs in Canada.
What are your career aspirations? How do you see yourself contributing to your community?
I am planning on going into electrical engineering at UBC, which is a degree that will open many doors and provide me with career opportunities in different fields. I am not exactly sure where I want to work, but I know for a fact that I would like to do something that improves the world in one way or another. I am considering working in the healthcare industry, for the government or towards developing a software that would improve the lives of citizens. Home automation is something that fascinates me, and I believe that further extending it would be beneficial to the elderly, and to people with disabilities and special needs.
Do you have any words of wisdom for future AHPS grads?
Graduating during the pandemic has taught me the importance of being grateful for what I have at any given moment. Now, the most ordinary things that the grads of previous years got to experience will not be the same for us, which truly puts everything in perspective. My words of wisdom for future AHPS grads would be to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. Now, looking back on the things that I experienced and how much more well-rounded it made me, I am very grateful that I got the chance to volunteer for numerous establishments, plan school events, play on school sports teams and learn new things on school trips. Participate, step out of your comfort zone, and live as if every day is your last! I promise it will all be worth it in the end!
At Aberdeen Hall, we seek to admit well-rounded students who choose to be at our school. We are looking for students who demonstrate leadership through academic performance, involvement in co-curricular activities and civic engagement. We care about our students and seek those who value education and are prepared to enrich our incredible school community.