Thursday, December 10, 2015

cha gheill!

It's been 5 and a half years in the making... but my chapter at Queen's University is coming to an end! It's kind of a bittersweet feeling.

There are many many academic things that I have learned in my time at Queen's. I did my undergraduate degree in Health Studies, and graduate degree in Public Health. Ask me anything about population health! I'm your gal. But I learned more than just information in my time at Queen's. I've sorted some of the main takeaways in 4 categories, that coincidentally all start with Cs. So here are the 4 Cs of my time at Queen's!

Christian Life and Community

It was here at Queen's that I joined a Christian community, and came to know Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I don't even know how to summarize my entire experience in one paragraph. I have changed, a lot. My mission in life has transformed, and my values have shifted all because of my encounter with Christ. I now know Him to be the one who takes on my sins and gives me eternal life in exchange for my faith in him. It is absolutely the greatest gift I have ever received, and I want all that I do to point to God's glory. It's really a weird and wonderful thing to explain, but who wouldn't want to know the goodness of God?! Queen's may be known to be a predominantly secular caucasian school, but it was here at Queen's that I met the largest number of Chinese Christians. And for that I am thankful.

Critical Thinking

Learning to not take things at face value is a major skill that I've taken away from university. The art of asking questions is not something I understood as a kid. My brother was always the negotiator between the two of us. I'm pretty sure I just did whatever my parents told me to do, and never questioned or strayed. My brother, on the other hand, challenged everything. Probably annoying to my parents, but I think his mind was built for university. Here, I really learned the "why" behind so many things. You learn to wonder, and to find answers. The first step to anything is to understand the issue at hand. So don't always do exactly as you are told. Learn to understand what the problem at hand really is, and you will become a better problem solver.

Creative Communications

This is something that I am passionate about, and want to incorporate into my future career. This year, I started my own small business, Simply Steph Ko, doing fun creative things like calligraphy and greeting card making. I love the integration of creativity and Christianity that I've found. So I also wanted to try to integrate this passion into my public health career, too. So, this year my friends and I applied, and won, the Sheela Basur Communications Award! We created a communications plan to increase physician adherence to gonorrhea treatment guidelines, as well as an implementation and evaluation plan for this initiative. It was an intense week where we put our heads together to come up with our plan and presentation, but it was also some of the most fun I had. Communications is definitely something I want to integrate into my future career.

Continuous Learning

Just because I'm leaving school, and will no longer be a student for the first time in my life (since I was a baby, haha), doesn't mean that the learning stops here! I really enjoy attending seminars, conferences, workshops, and webinars. Especially webinars, because then I can attend from the warmth of my bed, haha. But these continuous learning opportunities have been so invaluable for the thought provoking talks, and for the constant push to improve. Stay curious, friends! Not to mention, you can't be the expert in everything. You can be an expert in something, but there will always be someone who knows more about some other facet of life. Learn from others, and teach what you know -- constant knowledge exchange!

And that's that! There are so many things that I will miss about Queen's University, and Kingston. But these are the things that I will be taking away with me. I don't believe in goodbyes, so instead I'll see ya later, Queen's!

Cha Gheill,

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