Quest Student Profiles: An Interview with Sophia

Sophia is a 3rd year student from Vancouver. Sophia is a student tutor in the Learning Commons (http://www.questu.ca/learning-commons.htmland is currently serving as the Foundation Representative on Quest’s Students’ Representative Council (SRC; http://www.questu.ca/student-organizations.html).

What are you studying?

Political science, Middle Eastern studies, and European history. My question is “How can we resolve violent conflict?” and my mentors are Eric Gorham (Politics) and Jim Cohn (Humanities).

And what are your plans after Quest?

I want to go to law school, specifically for international human rights law. I will probably go back to the states for graduate school. In the field I am interested in, the better the school you go to the more mobile you are in your career so I will basically go to the best school I can!

Why did you pick Quest?

First and foremost, I really liked academics. I was drawn to the small, close-knit community at Quest as well, but it was the academics that decided it for me.

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What was the hardest part about transitioning to life at Quest?

For me, transitioning to Quest was not that hard. Yes the academics were more intense than I was used to, but Cornerstone and Rhetoric make the academic transition really easy and I did not have much trouble adjusting to Quest life. 

For me, it is harder to transition out of life at quest. You immerse yourself so much in the education here and put so much time into Quest that it is kind of hard when you leave for the summer to adjust to life in the real world again and to having so much more free time. 

Probably the hardest part of transitioning to life at Quest was getting used to being on the hill.

What do you mean by that?

When I first looked at Quest I didn’t realize how isolated Quest is from Squamish. It really isn’t that far, just up a hill from the town, but without a car you don’t really get into Squamish much.

If there was one thing you could change about Quest what would it be?

It would be nice to have more places on campus for students to hang out outside of the residences. Like a student union building or something where students can just hang out without being in someone’s room would be really nice. But it also makes sense that Quest doesn’t have one yet, as it wasn’t really necessary when the school was smaller. Now that it is bigger it is something I would like to see added at Quest.

What advice would you give to 1st year Quest students?

It is important to remember that whatever reason you were drawn to Quest, you are a student first and need to take charge of your education. Ask other students what tutors are best for certain classes, the tutor matters a hundred percent and can really change your experience with a class. Try to get a lot of foundations done first so you can figure out what you want to do and focus on that in your 3rd and 4th year. Go to the learning commons and use as many student resources as you can from the very beginning.

It is also extremely important to find a work/life balance that does not burn you out! Sometimes you have to do long days for classes to finish homework, but don’t make that a habit; try to make time for things you like to do to relax.

What is one of your favorite moments at Quest?

This isn’t really a moment, but at the end of 2nd/beginning of 3rd week of a block you tend to become super bonded with the rest of the people in your class, especially in harder courses. Everyone is really connected and has a bunch of inside jokes and it’s like you have a block family. It’s awesome.

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