• InstituteUniversity of Alberta
  • ProgramChemistry
  • RegionEdmonton

I’m from a family of doctors, yet here I am taking random classes at university to figure out what really interests me.

My childhood was spent in beautiful British Columbia! I was born and raised on Salt Spring Island where most days consisted of adventuring around in the forest or by the ocean with friends. My mom and I left BC when I was eight, eventually landing in Edmonton. As a kid, school was a breeze. I hardly studied and still got top marks.

In high school, my life was filled with non-school related things, and my grades started to drop. As I got closer to graduation, I didn’t know what direction to go or, more importantly, how to start taking the necessary steps forward. Next thing I know, I’d graduated with an average that provided few options. What next?

I decided to take some time off to figure out what I wanted to do and make some money. First there was one job, then a second, then a third. I discovered that no matter how many hours I worked, without any real experience or schooling I was stuck in entry-level jobs. It was during the coldest months of winter, while working a labour job outdoors, that I decided I needed to make a change.

I needed to upgrade. This led me to Centre High, a place that totally changed my outlook on school. Everyone there actually wanted to be in class, there were loads of resources and support, and the teachers really cared. I found myself excited to go to class, motivated to get good marks, and finally thinking about my future. I improved my high school average by almost 30%!

With better grades I had more options. After narrowing things down the main options were medicine (I come from a family of doctors) and architecture (I love drawing and am decent at math/science). After meet with a few professionals in both fields, I realized neither were a good fit for me. So I applied to general science at a few different schools so that I could explore classes before choosing what to focus on.

Now, I’m in my final year of Chemistry at the University of Alberta, minoring in Psychology. Post-high school Kiyo never would’ve seen that coming! The past few years I’ve maintained good grades, taken time off to travel, tried different campus activities and groups, and explored different courses. Post-secondary is awesome. Perhaps the best part is the freedom to try new things: whether its clubs, classes, or sports, there’s something for everyone!

Jun 19, 2017
Nov 23, 2016