Meet a real UVic student Part II: Lauren

Lauren came all the way from New Brunswick to study at UVic. Why? Because she considered her options, and decided that UVic was a fantastic fit for her (she was also debating about attending a fine arts school).

She said that the environmental studies program here was unlike any other in Canada, and BC has so much political and social activism happening, there was nothing stopping her!

Lauren fell in love with her choice; it has inspired a passion for the environment around her and how we interact with the land around us.

The views when entering the beach. It does not get much better than these! We are so lucky to study on this amazing island.

Ever since first year, Lauren and I found ourselves taking mini trips up and down the island to be outdoors. One of our favourite spots was Sombrio Beach (you must see it in person to witness the spectacular beach).

I decided to surprise Lauren a couple weeks ago with a surprise drive up to Sombrio, and a mini interview to discuss her studies.

What is your favourite course at UVic thus far?

So far my favourite course has been ES 321 Ethnoecology. It truly opened my eyes to alternative ways of knowing and taught me the importance of place in my research, studies, and everyday life.

What have been the most significant changes about adapting to island life?

I would say the shift in local culture! Coming from a smaller city in the Maritimes, the sheer number of people, shops, and services was astounding. Moving from a province whose economy is currently struggling to one as prosperous as Victoria’s was much more shocking than I would have expected.

What do you enjoy doing for fun (besides hiking)?

Lauren and I taking a selfie in a naturally formed cave!

There are other things to do besides hiking?? I love spending time at the local beaches and inlets, heading to local concerts, exploring new places to eat, and bouldering indoors and out!

What tips would you give to prospective students?

University is the perfect opportunity to take some chances! Whether you’re unsure about whether you’re ready to move away from home, or nervous about making friends in class, I’d say just go for it! You’ll never know just how much you can grow unless you put yourself out there and try new things.

I truly believe as young adults we’re at the most resilient point in our lives, so there’s no better time to take a risk and try something new.

What tips would you give to current students?

It’s easy to get caught up in school and forget what your original goals are. I think it’s super important to take a step back every once in a while, to make sure you’re still doing what’s making you happy. And if what you’re doing isn’t exactly doing that, don’t be afraid if you need to modify your path a little.

How has UVic changed your life?

UVic has undoubtedly made me more aware of my surroundings, and I think that’s one of the most important aspects of my education thus far. I’ve gained a greater appreciation for our world and the complexities of our society, which will help me navigate social, political, and environmental issues in the future.

Where do you see yourself after UVic?

At this point, I’m open to anything. Like I said before, I think this is my best time to get out and explore the world, so I’m up for whatever adventure comes my way! (But I’m crossing my fingers for an outdoor gig post-graduation!)

If you see Lauren on campus, say hi to her! She is super friendly, and is happy to answer any questions you may have of environmental studies!

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