What the NSN Team is Thankful for in 2014

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a co-worker who had recently immigrated to Canada. There was one thought-provoking snippet of conversation that has lingered in my mind: in her impoverished home country, the government does not offer student loans. So, if your family cannot afford tuition, you cannot go to university.

I can’t imagine being denied the chance to attend university and the resulting opportunities to explore your interests, to learn for the sake of learning and to grow from your experiences. Perhaps, the most devastating is to be denied the hope for improving your position in life and creating a better future.

That conversation certainly put things in perspective and sparked some reflection on the privileges that we have. Out of those reflections, the idea for the NSN’s gratitude piece was borne. I asked members of our exec team to take a few moments and think about what they were thankful for. Here are our responses:

Vivian Kwan, Regional Chair: Looking back, I am grateful for having multiple opportunities to work with passionate individuals towards achieving a common goal, whether it was to enhance campus health, mentor students, or advocate for student rights. It was definitely not an easy path, but it was made easier by the help we provided each other along the way. There were tears, illness, and laughter. I am truly thankful to have these wonderful people be a part of my life this year, and I hope that they will stick around for a long time! I would like to thank my family, friends, and my boyfriend for their support; I couldn’t have done it without them.

Natalie Ashton, National Team Member:  I’ve been fortunate enough to live a very blessed life, full of things to be thankful for. This year, I am particularly grateful to be pursuing my Masters’ degree. After several years of uncertainty regarding my career path, I finally feel like I am on the right track. I am grateful to be learning in a city that I love, surrounded by people who support me. I recognize that there are so many people who will never have the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education, and I am truly appreciative that I live in a society which allows me to do so.

David Mak, Regional Chair: I am very fortunate to be able to attend school and pursue my future in such a beautiful city. I can’t imagine pursuing my personal and professional goals in a place other than Vancouver. I am also very thankful to my classmates in my honours program. Though there are only 8 of us, we have become very tight knit and we never hesitate to help each other out when one of us is struggling. I am also thankful to my friends and family for their relentless support and for always believing in me, even when I have lost faith in myself. Looking back, I know that I would not be the person I am today or have achieved so much without their love and support. To those people, I would like to tell them that I couldn’t have done it without you, and that no matter where I go or what I achieve, you will always have contributed to those successes.

Jessie Wang, National Team Member: There is so much to be thankful for! I am thankful for a new beginning every morning when I wake up, for the sunny days in Vancouver when I love to be outdoors, for the rainy days in Vancouver when I can focus on studying indoors, for being able to live on campus with four Christian companions, for having my family close enough to Vancouver that I get to see my 7-year-old brother every weekend. One thing I am particularly thankful for this year is having room in my timetable for a music course, namely Women’s Choir, in which I finally get to explore my love for singing.

Jenny Lou, National Team Member: This year, so many people and experiences have enriched my life and contributed to my happiness. I’m thankful for the unwavering encouragement and love of my family, the immense support and mentorship of Dr. Dave Collins, Dr. Ji Zhang and their respective labs; the amazing flexibility and accommodation of my work schedule by Camilla, Jim and my co-workers at Shoppers Drug Mart. I’m also grateful to have lived on my own for the first time this summer (and more importantly, surviving from my forays into cooking!). Last but not least, I’m thankful to have my incredible friends who supply me with never-ending sweets, laughs, and “real-life” advice.

Lastly, our entire team at the NSN is grateful for your support! Since our official launch in May, we’re blessed to have grown immensely.  This growth would be impossible without you checking out our articles and opportunities, and sharing the NSN with friends and family. Thank you!

Readers, what are you thankful for this year? Comment below 🙂



Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc

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