Involvement at York

The book is open now and the pen keeps on writing
the story of my life; it starts right here

Let’s get into introductions, shall we? I’m Ali, very nice to meet you.

I’m a second year university student, and I’m doing Specialized Honours in Bachelors of Kinesiology and Health Sciences. 

My favorite season is Summer, I don’t like splatterings of herbs on my food, spelling is not a talent of mine, I tweet a lot, I have my own opinions and beliefs, I enjoy writing creatively (mostly blogging), as well as singing (not creatively), and I’m somewhat – a little bit – good at Painting, Photography and Editing have a look through my portfolio pages! 

      

Well, I thought I’d start you folks with a brief introduction to my life..

As I decided to move..

In the late summer of 2011, I departed from Dubai over the very deep Atlantic ocean to land in Toronto, where I was to start university that fall. I realize now that, as a student applying to University I was very naive; I had no idea about different Universities and chose where I wanted to go on whether I liked the city. (Toronto!)

First year was a massive challenge. (surprisingly) I started looking for an apartment to settle in, learn how to cook, manage to keep up with cleaning and stuff, as well as, my assumptions of the educational system changed dramatically. Both what and how I study were completely different from what came before. (High School) The exams were different! Each lasted one hour and were sat within a two week period. There were seldom any past papers to revise from only the lecture’s topic areas. (Which I soon realized were key in the revision process) That pressure came along with slight depression. Unintentionally, I closed on myself, barely knew people (not that I tried to) engaging at the York community was definitely not an option.

First semester passed, and before I knew it, it was Christmas time. Immediately  I packed my stuff and went back home, spent some time with my family and departed back to Toronto (over those same deep ocean) when I was starting my winter term that winter. Honestly, I came back highly more energetic. I went to the York Lions football games. I made some new friends. I started volunteering in a nutrition lab with Dr. Hamadeh at York. Soon after I joined some clubs, I made a lot of friends and started to attend events, However I always wanted to be behind the scenes planning those events. One day, Ariel, a friend of mine who worked for YorkIsU at SCLD, invited me to volunteer on a major event they were planing. (YU SPIRIT DAY) 

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On my second year(2012-2013), My Lab work didn’t stop, as I’m very passionate about it.

I did join TOL organization, and applied for different positions. Volunteering in a Charitable Organization brings together a diverse range of people from all backgrounds and walks of life, especially in a place that is so diverse as YorkU. Both the recipients of my volunteer efforts and my co-workers were a rich source of inspiration and an excellent start to develop my interpersonal skills. Volunteering for Touch Of Love also offered an incredible networking opportunity. Not only did I develop lasting personal relationships but it was also a great way to learn about people from all walks of life, different environments, and new industries. I certainly want to return to my society some of the benefits that it gives me, and I strive to do so by volunteering with my time.

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 By Christmas I was in charge of event planning for YorkIsU (for the same event I volunteered for the year before) and on the team that was planning Spirit Day.  applied open, unbiased and creative principles while organizing and promoting for this year’s YU Spirit Day. The event attracted thousands of participants, as well as promoted inclusivity and school spirit. I learned to handle any task given to me. I learned to aim for the best, and work with resources provided for me. 

I learned to gain my team’s trust and responsibility, this was a major goal because they didn’t really know me, so I worked on gaining their trust, and responsibly.
One thing that greatly influenced my learning experience, that no matter how much you plan and try to cater for every single aspect of an event, there is always something you can’t plan, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Through all the different buzzes that came with organizing the event – the nervous buzz, the excited buzz, the stressed buzz..etc. I realised the best buzz is the one you see on your teams faces at the end, knowing that it all came together and you pulled it off!

Show your #YUSPIRIT! … huh?

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On the winter term’s reading week, I had a life-changing experience, I went on LeaderShape 2013.  LeaderShape completly changed my perception on how I want to get involved! After attending The LeaderShape Institute, I’ve learned the power of thinking positive. We live in a world where ideas have to be reasonable and most of us fail to take risks. At the institute, I learned that when I think in terms of possibility and positivity, the passion inside of me grows bigger, the vision gets clearer and my determination sparks an explosion of creativity and ideas. I’ve developed a strong sense of self, but the institute made it even more resolute. I know now that I can undoubtedly be my own person, live my own dream, and greatly impact others. I realized not only that I could make difference but also that I will. I learned to listen to the ideas of others, as each has something to say. I learned to always make sure that my actions and decisions align with my core values. I had the chance to start honest and transparent conversations. Connecting with such diverse group of students gave me hope that there is a world where tolerance and inclusion is possible.

It was not reading week, It was leading week.

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By the end of this year, and on my birthday, I was on the Galla’s’ team, as team leader, at the Spring Open House! Welcoming future students and helping them around has always been a goal of mine, as I had the chance to do so on that day.

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First year was definitely challenging, however, I did add to my personality lot. Being left out, and out of the picture was hard. I hated York during my first year experience. It did however, make me feel what new students are going through, and gave me the urge to help them enjoy their YorkU experience.

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