Students of Health Studies- Have you met...Amanda?
December 16, 2014
Amanda Deacon, Second Year Honours Specialization in Health Studies
What do you think makes the School of Health Studies stand out?
What drew me to the Health Studies program at Western was the wide range of possibilities. I knew I wanted to get into Health Sciences, that I wanted to help people, I just didn’t really know how. I liked how the program at Western had so many different areas: rehab science, PT, OT, all these options that you could branch out in.
Have you been involved in any student clubs/councils/extra-curricular activities?
My personal goal for coming to university was to be open-minded to new situations, different clubs, and ideas. I’m involved in a lot of clubs. I love working with children—I’ve been a camp counselor since I was sixteen—so I wanted to challenge myself more by working with children with special needs. I got involved with Making Waves London, which is a non-profit student initiative that teaches kids with disabilities how to swim. This is my second year involved with that. I go every week, and it’s a great stress reliever to spend time doing something I love and seeing so much progress happen! I’m also involved with Learning It Together. This is a club that promotes healthy lifestyles by going into underprivileged schools and pairing up a student and child to create a connection that will allow healthy lifestyle habits to be learned in a fun way. Volunteering helps keep me grounded by giving me a chance to see how impactful my actions can be, even the smallest things. I’m also a student facilitator and Head of Marketing for the Western Serves Network and work as a Residence Advisor at Saugeen Maitland Hall.
Being a residence advisor at Saugeen must be an interesting job. Could you tell me more about RAing?
For sure. I love it. Since I worked at camps, I’ve created programs before. I wanted to augment my role in programming to inspire and motivate a bunch of first year students to get into the Western spirit. I’ve been pushing the students on the floor to get involved with clubs and teams. I’ve grown so much as a leader in this role and I know that when I leave this position it will have impacted for the better.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw a lot of inspiration from my family and friends. I’m very competitive, so I think that helps drive me forward. I don’t like to compare myself to my friends. It’s a personal thing; I like to reflect on my past experiences when things don’t go the way I planned. I also draw inspiration from everyday experiences as well. Last year, I went with the Health Studies council to the Early Years Conference. I talked to one of the speakers there, Paul Kershaw, about the generation squeeze, about how we’re going into the new era where our generation is less fortunate than the previous one. There are less jobs and funding. That experience really pushed me to go more towards health policy. That’s where I am right now. It’s the small things like that that inspire me.
What do you do to be healthy in your everyday life?
Since I was twelve, I’ve been really interested in fitness and working out. It’s a stress reliever. Even a quick walk around the block makes me feel so much better. This past summer I got my certification to work as a fitness instructor. I currently work at the Western Rec Center and I teach sculpt and sweat, ab attack, and rock bottom. I also teach Saugeen Boot Camps. I love inspiring people to move and get active.
Do you have any advice for other Health Studies Students?
My dad always tells me: “You can’t always eat an elephant in one bite.” Sometimes I try to eat elephants—metaphorical elephants of course. I think what he means is not get caught up in the small stuff. Reflect and learn from your experiences because they happened for a reason. No one is perfect. It’s just about using what you’ve learned from your experiences to help get you where you want to go. Life keeps going on, so there’s no point in living in the past.