As an individual who just recently graduated from university, I had put little thought into what I wanted to do down the road – in 10 years time; 5 years time; or even what I wanted to do next month! I had completed one of the toughest and most character-building chapters of my life, and all I wanted to do was live up the time I finally had to myself.
Only after a summer of light travelling, working, and relaxing did I started thinking about that eventuality known as the future. It was then that I realized I didn’t have a game plan; no road lay before me. I knew it was all up to me – I had long ago grown out of the age when other people planned my life for me, and I needed to do something about it.
I thought back on my interests that I focused on while in school, and realized that a pattern began to emerge in my last few semesters of my undergrad. I, unlike many of my peers, did not know what I wanted to be “when I grew up” and so my undergraduate degree began to look like a mosaic; I took courses that I thought were interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, diverse, and fun. I realized that I had developed a strong interest in international development, gender, human rights, and the issues that surround these when they become intertwined. With that in mind, I began the process of asking myself what I wanted to do with this knowledge.
I decided on applying to graduate school and looking for meaningful work and volunteer experience. The work experience I was lucky to attain: that is where Youth Challenge International comes in! I am currently learning so much about what it takes to be a part of a development organization, and what kind of role I eventually want to take in this diverse field. For school, I decided on graduate programs related to international development – specifically those that tie in many comprehensive courses and faculty so that I can continue to keep my education diverse and creative. I realized after my time off from university (which was much needed!) that I enjoy the learning process, I enjoy the challenge that school provides, and I thrive on research and discovery. Plus, with my love of travel and curiosity for people and places the world over, this path seems like a step toward being able to one day live and make a place for myself outside of Canada.
I am also looking for ways to make myself useful as a volunteer. Anyone can tell you that a strong education is a great asset, but without meaningful experience, you haven’t got a leg to stand on. As the only member of the YCI team who has yet to go on a volunteer trip, I am looking to try my hand at some volunteer experiences right here in Canada – after all, you need to know where you’ve been before you can know where you’re going!
- Sarah Tuckey, Administrative Assistant
If you’re interested in graduate programs in International Development, check out these select links:
For more information on volunteer experiences in Canada and abroad, check out: