After attending Yale University for GHIC 2015, I would like to reflect on my wonderful experience. Through various panels, key note speakers and interactive labs, I was able to learn in different environments, which really helped me apply concepts learned in class and learn as much as possible during my short stay. One quote that really resonated with me is “We can go to the convenience store down the street and get junk food, guns, drugs and alcohol, but no fruits and vegetables? How can we expect people to be healthy?” Although this quote is more applicable to the U.S, there is still some truth to it in Canada. I realize that there needs to be more done politically in order to create conditions in which living a healthy life is easy to achieve, rather than something hard to obtain.
Additionally, I loved the fact that there was such a large group of students who I was able to collaborate with, share ideas with and ultimately make friends with. The GHIC conference proved that outside of the classroom learning helps drive home points learned in class. I think when learning about health it is important to apply concepts to the real world more, otherwise we confine ourselves to memorizing stats and theories, and lose sight of the bigger picture and why these concepts are important. For this reason, I absolutely loved attending GHIC 2015, as it represents a rare opportunity that helped enrich my learning as an undergraduate in Health Studies.
Overall, I found this conference to be beneficial because of the connections I gained. The knowledge and insight I learned about the possibilities I can use my degree for in the future is priceless. I would attend this conference again in a heartbeat. Personally, I now strive to think globally regardless of what health occupation I end up in, because there will be opportunities to make a difference in places that are easy to overlook. Finally, I would like to thank HSSA for making the conference a reality. I would also like to recommend that this conference be utilized for health studies students in the future!