Wear Your Colours

There was a fabulous array of colours, university names, and accessories in assembly yesterday! We invited the Grade 12s and the school faculty (K-12) to sport something that represents their university of choice for the day. On display were t-shirts, bags, scarves, hats, a light blue academic gown, and even one rather large purple blanket. The diversity of paths chosen was evident and we hope that it generated some interesting conversations and a desire to dream big.

One alum who dreamed big returned this week to present in the Grade 11 graduation transition plan classes. She talked about her experience as a student who went directly from SMUS in 2010 to the first three years of her medical program in Scotland at the University of St. Andrews, and then moved to the University of Manchester for her final clinical years. Along the way, she has picked up the certification in France to practice medicine in French, worked for the WHO on the health impacts of climate change and for the UN as part of the disaster response team, enjoyed a stint on a transplant team flying around the UK, and was one of a small group (5-10% of applicants) of international medical graduates who secured a residency spot in Canada. I would imagine that her diverse range of experiences, her willingness to take risks, and her total commitment to her path contributed to her success in getting that coveted spot. She is happily back in Victoria doing her residency in family medicine (with sub-specialties in integrative medicine and emergency & trauma) and doing her best to find the right look (and preserve some anonymity) as a 23-year-old doctor treating patients.

Finally, for my last fashion-themed note: the University Counselling team, normally a colourful group, all arrived at work on Monday morning in rather somber sartorial splendour.

B&W MondayHow is it that we would all choose to wear just black and white on a sunny June day? Perhaps it is reflective of an intrinsic need to wear serious clothes for serious work during these last few weeks of school which are very full? When we stood together for our meeting on Monday morning at 9 a.m. and looked at our lack of diversity, we all had a little chuckle.

We do know that our Grade 12 students are busting to get out of their uniform and wear their own colours. We look forward to the opportunity to don our academic robes (mostly black) and see the Grads of 2016 in theirs as they walk across the stage, ready for their next adventure which is bound to be very colourful, no matter what path they have picked.

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Alison McCallum
Alison McCallum is Head of University Counselling at SMUS and one of the Academic Advisors.

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