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Jackie Nguyen talks about fifth year

A day in the life

Jackie Nguyen talks about fifth year

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My own personal growth and development over the last two years, just because I was getting involved, has been amazing. I can’t even put a value to it.

Connecting to the arts community

 

Jackie Nguyen, who is finishing a combined honours in Biology and English, is still committed to becoming a doctor even after she fell in love with studying English in her first year Introduction to Literature course.

Like most pre-med students, she started with science to prepare for her next degree, but when faced with a potential conflict between arts and sciences, she saw opportunity where many others saw speed bumps.

She didn’t want to be someone who graduates with a degree only to wake up one day and ask themselves, “Oh my god, four years of my life, what did I acquire? I learned all this stuff, but I don’t feel like I’ve really grown as a person. I’ve just crammed my brain full of studying!”

So she kept taking English courses and decided to do a combined honours degree. She loves how it complements her scientific mind.

“It’s such a different way of thinking.” she says. “Studying English and Biology is like having the best of both worlds. There’s so much growth that you can get taking an arts degree.”

Studying literature wasn’t the only thing that kept her here for an extra year. The English program got her more involved in university life.

She became Vice-President of the English society and sat on the Council for Dalhousie Arts and Social Sciences, giving students a voice on faculty decisions. Add her work as the President of Cancer Society of Dalhousie and volunteering at the Halifax Sexual Health Centre and you wonder where she found the time to study.

“My own personal growth and development over the last two years, just because I was getting involved, has been amazing. I can’t even put a value to it.”

Wherever she walks on campus, she bump into friends. She learns something new everyday and feels valued at the university.

“One of the important things [in life] is finding what you are passionate about and linking community and your own life and just trying to do it,” she says.