Erik Thies (BSc in Applied Biology)
Major: Applied Animal Biology
Erik Thies is graduating as an Academic All-Canadian Athlete in Track and Field. He’s proven himself in the classroom, as a Dean’s List honour student, and on the field as a varsity athlete in Race Walk.
At the time of this story, Thies is waiting for the Royal Canadian Air Force to confirm his acceptance to join training sessions this fall. Already, he has successfully passed the Air Force aptitude tests, but before they move forward they require his bachelor degree to be conferred at convocation, which takes place June 2.
Thies has been planning this next chapter since high school, and is more than ready to commit to 3-4 years of Air Force training: “I know that it would be lots of running, training and getting up at 5 in the morning so that you can learn basic military skills,” he says.
In the meantime, Thies has plenty of other high stakes adventures to keep him occupied. He has qualified for both the Cascade Conference Championships in Oregon and the 2022 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championship in Alabama, both taking place in May. This will be his last chance to represent UBC, and he’s happy that track and field competitions resumed in March 2022 just in time for the outdoor season. COVID-19 halted all in-person competitions for two years.
During his time at UBC, he learned how to study in a way that suits his strengths.
“I’m not a great reader so I found that audiobooks work really well for me, and I could time listening to them when I’m training.”
Also, through his program, he’s learned how the food systems works and how to make conscious decisions when choosing his protein-rich diet, which is important as an athlete.
Tips for first year students:
In first year, the most important thing to know is how to learn, as getting the same grades as you did in high school may be hard, Thies says. Figure out how you learn best, then you’ll be good. And remember to take care of your mental health – it’s not worth sacrificing that for grades.