February's Student of the Month: Amit Yadav
Amit Yadav is the Vice President of Finance for University of Toronto Mississauga Athletics’ Council (UTMAC), and is pursuing a double major in Biology for Health Science and Psychology along with a Geography minor. Amit introduced a new campaign called this February called “Fitness Stories of the Month”. Through this, monetary prizes are given to individuals if their fitness story is randomly chosen in the monthly draw. It is aimed to increase student participation in physical activity as a way of promoting a healthy lifestyle and a natural way of stress reduction. He also volunteered with Community on Campus for the past four years, which supports individuals with intellectual disability by allowing them to engage with student volunteers in various activities on campus. After graduation, he intends on pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health. After that, he wants to travel before starting work in his field. By providing for students both on and off campus, Amit says the student interactions helped him gain self-confidence and improve his communication skills. Ultimately, his involvements have helped him grow as an individual.
Here are Amits Top 5 Pieces of Advice to Students:
It is important to understand that there is more to your undergraduate experience than simply attending lectures and doing well on exams. Getting involved on campus is essential whether it be through joining a student club, sport team or volunteering in a professor’s lab. It helps to develop key transferrable skills such as leadership, communication and interpersonal. It also provides an opportunity to meet new people outside your program of study. Being involved on campus has been an enriching experience for me because it helped me learn about the numerous resources and services that are available on campus. In addition, speak with the executives of your Student Union (UTMSU) or Athletics Council (UTMAC) to clarify any questions you may have about getting involved on campus.
There are many ways to stay active on campus such as going to the gym for a workout, taking a nature walk around the campus, taking part in intramural sports or attending a fitness class. Academics can be overwhelming at times thus it important to make sure that you set out some time for yourself. Students usually forget to take advantage of services that are offered to them at no cost such as a complimentary personal training session at the RAWC or getting a personalized meal plan from the Dietitian on campus.
You have to step out of your comfort zone and do things that you have never done before. Previously, I never ran for any elected position because I was too nervous to outreach and I was scared of the fact that I might lose. To overcome my fear, I ran in the UTMAC elections last year and performed brief class talks in front of 500+ students. As Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
As an undergrad, we encounter many ups and downs. What matters is our resiliency to withstand the challenges and the learning outcome that each situation entails. Never give up when it gets tough. Friends play a vital role by providing the much-needed support during our hardships. This is especially true for some international students who do not have any close or extended family in Canada.
Enjoy the experience
Overall, you should enjoy your experience as undergrads because after graduation the environment completely changes. Before you even know it, you will be facing the problems of the real world by searching for jobs or buying a house. Just remember that the journey matters more than the destination. Your grades are just as important as your extra-curricular involvements. When applying for Master’s, medical school, or any other form of education these institutions do not only consider you based on your grades. They also look at your involvements and your uniqueness as individual. Perform your best in whatever you do and make sure to have fun while you are here.