Dealing with big change in your life

Group of students volunteering to make change for the better

My name is Brennan, and I am in my second year of studies in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at Western University in London, Canada, with plans to pursue a business degree beginning next year. My ultimate goal is to land a job in the field of health care or in the not-for-profit industry; developing programs and initiatives to support others in the community is a great passion of mine currently, and I would like to carry that passion into my future career! The biggest challenge that I faced thus far was the transition from high school into post-secondary education. From different academic challenges, to newfound social pressures, university became a time of major shift. About halfway into first year, I realized that the best way to deal with change was to (1) be open to it, (2) work hard in advance, and (3) make sure to stay involved. These lessons still stick with me to this day.

Being open to change and having the ability to remain fluid is critical in a university or college setting. I came into university knowing that change was imminent, but I did not expect it to happen so quickly and repeatedly. By approaching everything with an open mind and accepting that anything was subject to modification, it helped me better adjust to the post-secondary lifestyle.

Getting started on things early had always been tough for me. But when the work began to quickly pile up early on in my first semester of studies last year, I knew I need to change my habits in order to make the workload more manageable. Since then, I have always organized my to-do list in bite-sized chunks, to make sure I am not leaving things to the last minute and that I am keeping time available for other projects that I work on outside of school.

Staying involved has definitely made the biggest contribution to my success in university. By continuing to support awesome clubs on campus, participate in amazing activities, and run my own organization Pledges for Change, I have been able to enjoy the full university student experience. I am a firm believer in the need for a holistic education (one that supports both academic pursuits and social involvements); a balanced student life keeps learning exciting and motivating!

Students on stage celebrating volunteering

My biggest champions throughout my university life so far have been my parents. Despite the various challenges that arose, my parents always kept me grounded and driven. Through tough situations, they always reminded me to think big, step outside my comfort zone, and stay positive. Where I am today would not be possible without their care and support (they even bring me home-cooked meals to campus sometimes)!

Access to meaningful education and student-centered higher education have been two of the many issues I have championed since a young age. I wanted to find a platform that wouldn’t only allow for me to advocate on behalf of my peers and students across the country, but would also provide me with the chance to directly create meaningful change with the support of a reputable organization like Pearson. The Pearson Student Advisory Board (PSAB) was that perfect opportunity to act on my passions.

I am currently working with members of PSAB to organize the first annual idea jam, an event that will bring together bright student minds from across the continent in an effort to innovate and create novel ideas for social change within the education system. We are hopeful that this project will excite students to actively collaborate to co-create a future for higher education that reflects the needs, interests, and passions of youth today.

I look forward to continuing to advocate for the youth voice within education, with the support of Pearson and the PSAB amplifying our thoughts and perspectives. I look forward to seeing what our PSAB can achieve by the end of our term in June!