International Student Profiles 2021-2022
International Student Profile is a program where students who are in second year or above to share about their experiences at UTM. Students will share about their journey at UTM or being in Canada. Topics range from the stories of overcoming obstacles, re-adjusting plans and dedication in facing challenges, sharing their success stories with other students, and/or their personal growth. These student stories aim to motivate students to share their stories with other students to let them know they are not alone in these moments.
I went to high school in Singapore where we had to choose a stream in our second year of high school. I was 12 at the time and there was a lot of external pressure to pursue the “pure sciences” stream. Being so young, I yielded and decided to take up the chemistry/physics stream (my high school did not offer pure biology). This meant that when I would begin university, I would have to continue to pursue the sciences. At the time, I liked it enough to stay in the program even though, deep down, I knew my interests lied mostly in biology and the social sciences.
When I moved to Canada, I continued to pursue chemistry and applied to UofT’s Chemical and Physical Sciences department. In the beginning, I did well in CHM110 but soon enough, my lack of passion in the subject area caught up to me and my grades began to slip. It was very difficult to come to terms with the fact that I no longer wanted to pursue something I had been working my whole academic career for but after talking to the academic and student counsellors from the Office of the Registrar and the Health and Counselling Centre, I managed to find the courage to switch programs. I found a subject called “anthropology,” something I had never heard of before, and decided to take it to fulfil my distribution requirements. To my surprise, I became very invested in anthropology and rediscovered my love of learning and reading! I’m in my fourth year now, about to graduate with a specialist in anthropology. To all students out there, I encourage you all to follow your passions, not just what people expect of you. There is so much more to learning and education than the grades you receive.