By Gunit Kaur


Why did you decide to study psychology?

I had decided on my major before coming to UBC. Psychology has always interested me, in particular, the clinical side of psychology. I had always desired to make a career in psychology as helping people has always been a passion of mine. Furthermore, there needs to be more discussions around mental health as it is often not spoken enough about due to stigmatization.


Who was/is the most inspiring person in driving your studies/future goals?

Personally, it’s both internal and external motivation. For example, I do have a background of volunteering with the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade Cadets. I recall that at the Backstreet Boys 2019 concert, I had a patient who had a panic attack and seeing them improve, with their shortness of breath going away and being able to witness improvement provided me with joy. Moreover, psychology itself is a field promoting well-being and improvement. This is the event when I realized that clinical psychology is what I want to do in my life. With regards to inspiration, I wouldn’t say there is one I can think of right now, however, what motivates me in my future goals is the ideal of helping people and creating and being able to create a meaningful impact.


What is one piece of advice you could give to incoming UBC (psych) students?

Explore your life, after all you got only one life to live, so why not try to make the most out of it,if not all. Do balance yourself out, especially with academics, extracurriculars, and social life, all of which are important. Don’t be too hard on yourself, I know in East Asian cultures there is a huge pressure of expectations towards academics, and as a result, you may feel like you’re burning out. Additionally, I would also advise you to only take in as much as you can, and don’t jeopardize your mental health and overall well-being. Take a limited number of courses which you can handle and balance with yourself. Don’t hesitate from dropping courses, a W standing would not hurt. I personally did not take a full-course load in my first year, as I wanted to see how I can balance everything. Everything will get into place with time. Remember to take care of yourself, you’re just in water trying out new things. Not everything is about school, enjoy yourself, socialize, engage in extracurriculars. Take advantage of what the university has to offer including, the student discount offers hehe.


How was your experience with UBC returning back to in-person modes of teaching?

Honestly, I can’t say that I have much of an experience with online classes as this is my second year at UBC. In my first year, most of the classes were in-person, however, I did have some hybrid classes during the first winter term. Through that experience I can say that I am not much of a fan of online classes. I prefer in-person classes as they are a far more easy way to be organized and get a hand over the course. Moreover, another reason I preferred in-person was due to the challenge in finding motivation when taking a course online. Although it does take around two hours, including transiting to and back from campus, I did enjoy my experience of commuting, and would try to make the most out of that commuting hour since I can read a novel, take a nap, or do some studying. So yeah, in-person classes are more fun and engaging, therefore, keeping me motivated to continue.


Tell us about how you stay organised and manage your time during school. How do you prioritise and motivate yourself?

As I said I am a commuter and I try to make the most out of my traveling time as well. Except those hours, I recommend using Notion app, it’s really convenient and customisable. This makes me stay on track with my assignments and deadlines. I like to do things in between my classes and it is a really good time for me to study, read and do whatever I need to do. I do think meal-prep is a really good choice for those who want to be mindful of their budgeting, as food on campus is not cheap.


What are your other interests outside of Psychology?

I really like to read and the most convenient time for me is my bus ride to and from campus. Moreover, I love to draw portraits, listen to music, and play the piano in my free time. I make videos and post them online on youtube, mostly about gaming and stuff! I haven’t posted for a while though as I am exploring more hobbies right now!
I recall my participation in a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer)) Workshop which strived to break down the stigmatization of talking about suicide, as well as ways in which we can support someone who may be experiencing sucidal thoughts using the QPR technique.


What are your professional goals and plans for the future? What do you see yourself doing in 5 years’ time? 10 years’ time?

For a fact, I am certain that I will need to do more schooling as I hope to pursue clinical psychology or at least a career in the field of psychology. Currently, I am living in my present and flowing with what life has to offer. My goal in life since childhood has always been to help people, and I do want to be able to create a difference and change in peoples’ lives.