January - Mariana Villada Rivera

Mariana smiling at an outdoor location on campus
Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 3:51pm

Mariana is a fourth-year undergraduate student completing major in Biology for Health Science and minors in Sociology and French. As an active member of the UTM community, she is involved in the UTM Governing Council as a member of the Academic Affairs Committee, Vice President of the student group UTM Because I Am A Girl, and Communications Programming Assistant for the Centre for Student Engagement. Mariana is also a Program Facilitator at Visions of Science Network for Learning. This month, she helped plan and execute various fundraising initiatives, in the form of weekly food sales such as the Kernels Popcorn Sale, Krispy Kreme Sale, and BIAAG-SAGE Cinnabon Sale. The funds raised through these efforts will serve to help sponsor four children from several developing countries around the world. Moreover, This month, a new funding opportunity for student groups was also launched, called the "UTM Community Engagement Fund." The preliminary proposal for this fund was created and submitted by Mariana. In the future, she hopes to go into in the fields of Public Health and Health Policy and Administration.

Mariana's Top 5 pieces of advice for the campus community.

  1. Focus on the good, not the bad!

Focusing on the bad from experiences is not always good. My advice is to focus on the positive aspects a certain experience may have taught you. Did you learn something new about yourself? Something you can apply in the future? Seeing a negative experience in a positive light may serve to help us grow and develop.

  1. Make sure you take time for yourself and the people you love

 Even if you have to plan a 30 minute block of time to grab coffee with a friend, don't forget to take time for yourself and for the people around you. Not only a great form of self-care and a great de stressor, but connecting with people around you can help you put challenges into perspective, help you feel supported during busy times, but also take your mind off a few things - even for 30 minutes!

  1. If it's meant to be, it will be

Do not stress out too much if things do not work out. If things do not turn out the first time, that may be a sign that this certain opportunity was not meant for you at this certain moment of time. There is always something better that can come along in the future, you just have to remain patient and positive that it will happen.

    4. Don't be afraid to say yes to trying new things

 Saying yes to trying new things can literally change your life! You may meet a new friend, come across a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and more. What you want in life is on the other side of fear and can be achieved if you step out of your comfort zone.

    5. Plan ahead

Having a plan A or B or C to Z is not a bad thing. If you plan ahead and anticipate every outcome, you can be prepared for how things turn out in the future. Always remember that a plan B or C or D may be even better than the plan A you originally anticipated for!