Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I decided to pursue a graduate degree because I've always wanted to pursue a career in psychology. Through my undergraduate and my gap years, I gained a passion for research and decided to pursue a PhD.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I came to UBC not only because of its amazing/renowned Psychology department, but also because of its location in British Columbia. Having lived on the west coast most of my life, my ideal criteria for school was somewhere relatively close to home as well as in a metropolitan setting.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I was initially attracted to the program for my supervisor's research and the amount of flexibility I would have when choosing my research path. Aside from working alongside distinguished faculty members, I loved the inclusive and supportive culture among the graduate students!
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I love how green Vancouver stays all year round! The winters may get a bit depressing when the constant grey, but I would say the times the sun does come out are completely worth the wait! It's great how close Vancouver is to nature (e.g., mountains, ocean, forest). Also, the asian food here is amazing!
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I believe the 2.5 year gap I took between undergraduate and graduate school immensely helped me prepare. During my gap years, I worked in a research lab to further refine my practical research skills as well as my research interest. In retrospect, I believe the life experience I gained in these years made me more motivated to come back to school. I think this shifted the way I perceived graduate school from thinking of it as something I need to do, to something I want to do, and therefore, was much more motivated to put in the work when I got accepted.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
The best advice I have is making sure you take time for self-care. Graduate school is a marathon not a sprint, and there is always going to be "something more" you can do, so its important to schedule regular time to decompress. It would also good to try to identify the times you feel most productive and schedule tasks accordingly. For example, I know that the hours I am most alert and productive are in the morning hours, so I typcially reserve those times to write or do more cognitively intesensive tasks, and save more low energy tasks (e.g., data cleaning) in the afternoon.