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As we finish the last of our exams this fall semester, pack our bags and reunite with our families, I think it’s only natural that we end this year on a high note. Though I admit I have been harsh in my critiques regarding healthcare in Canada, there were also many improvements – big and small – that have emerged this year. In fact, the discoveries we have made in the medical field have been immense, and the initiatives people have undertaken positively reinforced my own belief that the world is continuing to change for the better.

In fact, these changes can easily be observed even at our very own, McMaster University. Though it’s only been my very first semester here, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm and sense of duty students have dedicated their time to, in whatever cause interested them. For example, I have been privileged to work with the undergraduate stem cell club here at McMaster. The team had been highly involved in the McMaster community by holding multiple stem cell drives throughout the semester and are all very passionate in expanding the Canadian stem cell registry.

Of course, there are also many other initiatives undertaken by my peers in advocating for other issues. For example, before cellular biology lectures (which are attended by most, if not all students in my faculty), many of my classmates will give a pitch asking for donations, representing clubs such as Smiling Over Sickness.

What stood out among all these initiatives in my mind was one by a fellow student – Alexandra Lengyel. She began a Christmas drive to raise as much money as possible for McMaster Children’s Hospital. Her interview, featured on The Muse Magazine’s Facebook page, highlighted the experience that catalyzed the idea for a Christmas drive. Personally, I found it a great idea, as the holiday festivities leave people feeling a little more generous.

Finishing my first semester at McMaster has been exhilarating, and the holidays are imbuing me with a sense of gratitude for everything that I have experienced so far. From a healthcare perspective, McMaster students and faculty have contributed exceptionally to the university, our city, and Canada. I am confident that these changes, discoveries, and initiatives, however small, will make a difference.

(Written by Judy Chen / Image source)

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