Profile: Sarah Van Dusen

Living in the present while planning for the future

Sarah-van-Dusen-thinker_webSarah Van Dusen, a first-year student, first heard about Brescia University College when a representative came to do a presentation at her school, Northern Collegiate Institute and Vocational School, in Sarnia. She got all of her questions answered, and also learned about the Take the Lead public speaking competition. She was intrigued. But it was at Brescia’s Fall Preview Day last year that she really learned that Brescia was the place for her. She recalls applying to Brescia online the very next day. When she entered the Take the Lead competition and won first place, the deal was sealed.

Sarah appreciates the leadership outlook that Brescia has to offer women, and feels that “leadership is all about choosing to get involved: that you do not need to be specifically qualified. You just need to make the choice to take action.” She continues, “This outlook is a large part of why I ran to be on student council. I felt that I had the enthusiasm for the position, and hoped that all of the knowledge needed would follow.” She attended BUILD 2011, a weekend immersion experience on campus, and fell even more in love with Brescia and what it had to offer her. She wanted to get as involved as possible with Brescia, even before she moved into residence.

The main difference she sees between high school and university is that most of the work happens outside the classroom. This demands strong time management skills. She remains busy academically in her Arts and Social Science program, focusing on English Literature and Religious Studies. She also holds the position of first-year residence representative – a role she finds very rewarding. She is participating in the Brescia Christmas Choir, the Tri-mentoring Program, and has completed Level 1 of the Leadership Certificate Program. To top it all off, Sarah tries to make it down to main campus to further involve herself with the university whenever she can.

So how does such a busy person find time for other things? She says that she starts by mapping out her day, and allotting a certain period of time to each task that needs to be completed. She uses her days off to get as much done as possible to prepare for the following week. She has also learned when she works best. She finds that she is not as productive as usual after about 8 p.m., so she dedicates this time for herself, to chat with other girls in residence, Skype with her family and friends, or surf the web.

In terms of the future, Sarah doesn’t know what will come. She wants to keep her options open and enjoys and appreciates everything in the present and routinely takes the time to appreciate what Brescia has already offered her. And she looks to the future to the things that Brescia has in store for her, all the while being incredibly proud to be a Brescia student.