Interview with Angelina Ge, Community Leader
Our first Spotlight of 2019 features Angelina Ge, a first year science student at the University of British Columbia, who also serves as an NSN Regional Ambassador. A recipient of the Burnaby Youth Citizenship Award, Angelina has served as an executive on numerous committees, including the director of the Sleep Tight club. In our interview, Angelina reflects on lessons she’s learned from her extracurriculars, shares some advice for high school students applying to post-secondary, and reveals some of the differences between high school and undergrad.
Looking back to high school, you were extremely active and participated in many clubs, and engaged in various extracurriculars. What are some important take-away lessons from your participation in various opportunities?
Getting involved is such a valuable experience as it allowed me to develop essential life skills such as leadership and meet other successful individuals. Contributing to the community helps one build character and teaches compassion. From participating in athletics to organizing science conferences to playing musical instruments, my activities have also taught me that time management is so important. If one is able to organize their tasks, work effectively, and overcome the pull of procrastination, there is so much time available in one day. Additionally, I think that it is important to participate in activities that you genuinely care about and enjoy, and they will become something that you can look forward to. Nonetheless, make sure to not overload yourself and have time to relax as well! By being active and trying new things, I have been able to discover what I am passionate about and obtain a better understanding of who I want to be in the future.
Previously, you were the director of the Sleep Tight club. Can you describe what the club does? And what did you learn from leading the club?
Sleep Tight is a club that aims to support, fundraise, and break down the stigma that surrounds underprivileged individuals. As a club, we organized an abundance of fundraisers, raised awareness, and volunteered at the soup kitchen. From collecting over 200 articles of clothing to degrading the stereotypes that surround underprivileged individuals in our school, we are proud of our work aiming to provide hope for the impoverished.
By leading this club, I have learned the importance of organization, problem solving, and responsibility. I have been able to build confidence as a leader and discover what I am capable of. By relaying my passion and encouraging others to join me in the fight against poverty, we can ameliorate the lives of many. This experience has taught me that with determination and dedication, anyone is capable of making a positive impact. By helping underprivileged individuals overcome barriers and promoting volunteerism, the revitalizing feeling I receive has become what I value most in life and constructed my perspective of working hard in attempts of making something happen.
As a first year undergraduate student, what differences have you noticed between high school and university?
As a student living on UBC residence away from home, the transition from being a teenager to a young adult was stark. One key difference was the gain in independence and freedom, as I am now in charge of my own finances, meals, education, etc. University is the place where I have truly understood what it means to be responsible and to learn how to motivate myself.
The academic setting is also exceedingly different. There is less class time, but more independent study is required. The workload is definitely larger, with grades hugely depending on final exams. Added to that, lecture sizes are much bigger, with my largest class holding around 200 students. As a result, it is much more difficult to interact personally with professors in-class. Therefore one must make additional efforts to do so, such as by going to office hours. Competitiveness amongst students is also more evident as everyone is equally as ambitious and intelligent, but this can be seen as motivation to work harder!
What advice do you have for high school students applying for post-secondary education?
I would definitely recommend starting early! During one’s senior year, there is so much pressure regarding post-secondary and obtaining good grades. By writing your applications early, you can alleviate some of this stress. Additionally, it will give you more time to allow others to edit them, which is essential. Starting now, I would compile a folder of all your accomplishments, extra-curriculars, notable events, and certificates that you would like to consider putting on your university application so it is easy to find in the future. Be yourself in your application, rather than trying to write what you think the university wants to hear.
Also, start researching your post-secondary options early so that you can plan out your future and decide what is best for your situation. Talking to current university students in your potential university will also be helpful.
Finally, if it is your senior year, make sure to enjoy it!
What are you most looking forward to in university?
As a new beginning in my life, I am looking forward to starting fresh and developing as an individual at UBC. I believe that a very important part about university is networking. Thus, I am excited to interact with like-minded individuals, build connections, and meeting new people who have accomplished amazing things. One is able to learn and gain so much from simply talking to others!
Additionally, I look forward to gaining new experiences and participating in the many phenomenal opportunities university has to offer. I have already been able to try a multitude of new things such as hosting events, working in labs, and representing first years in science. Moreover, I can’t wait to take different courses to explore more options, see what I like, and learn new skills. As I gain more independence, I am excited to build my own unique path for my future!