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Student Leadership Showcase: Maria Garcia

Maria GarciaMaria Garcia, Second-year Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Maria Garcia was selected as the Peer Leader of the Month for November 2019.

How did you get involved with the Peer Leader Program?

Ever since I was in grade school, I was always involved in leadership societies. I remember my orientation and I really enjoyed the energy that was there. I really loved what the peer leaders did, I remember my own peer leader and I love what she did. I wanted to do that too. So when I saw the application, I signed up right away, but I was a little hesitant. I asked my peer leader about signing up, and she really pushed me to do it. And now I really enjoy it!

What do you enjoy most about being a Peer Leader?

Being able to connect with my mentees, and being able to share my knowledge and tips that I thought were useful in first year because that’s really important since university is very difficult. Just having someone by your side and knowing you can rely on someone is important, and I want my mentees to have that experience.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned during your time in university thus far?

Working smart and managing your time is very important. In high school I did a lot of working hard, and I would try to do everything. When I came to university I realized I didn’t have time for that. I would record the lectures, try to listen to them, try to take notes and I didn’t have time for that. Work smart, not hard. 

Also, have other people around you and don’t do it alone. I think I chose the right school for that. There’s a lot of support mentally, physically, and academically. There’s a lot to offer here, and now it’s not as overwhelming.

What would you say to someone who is looking to get involved?

Definitely go for it because there’s nothing to lose! You gain experience, make memories, learn new skills, improve on skills that may be weak, and make new friends. There’s no harm in trying. I think it’s great that we have things such as the Involvement Fair to help you get engaged on campus. The Student Union website also has a list of clubs and societies that you can use to help find something to join. And you can always try starting your own club.

What do you like to do to de-stress?

I like to take naps. It’s a good way to clear your mind and it’s a good booster. I think a lot of us lack sleep. I also like to colour and watch Netflix. My favourite show right now is Jane The Virgin. I’m also a Disney person. I don’t have Disney+ yet, but I want to get it.