|Program||Bachelor of Science in Food, Nutrition and Health|
|Major||Food, Nutrition and Health|
|Hometown||Delta, BC, Canada|
Although Maddy only lived 45 minutes away from UBC, she lived in residence in first-year, developing friendships while balancing family commitments and her new-found independence. She says that "in trying to navigate a new school, new lifestyle, and the complexities of life, I was overcome with uncertainty and anxiety." Reaching out for help and trusting her instincts led her to the Food, Nutrition and Health program in LFS, and she's never looked back!
What are three adjectives that describe you?
Determined, adventurous and spontaneous
How did you come to LFS at UBC?
To be quite honest, I did not know LFS existed until I got to UBC. During my first year, I really struggled to find my place. I didn’t feel like I belonged in the Faculty of Science and wrestled with the idea of transferring. It wasn’t until I started to look into other opportunities at UBC and think about what I was interested in – wellbeing, nutrition, and health – that I discovered LFS. I chose to transfer to LFS because they gave me a chance to pursue my passion and ultimately, find my community within UBC.
What were the signs that made you think a change may be needed?
When it first began, while I didn’t ignore my feelings, I thought it was “normal.” It wasn’t until it started to affect my sleep, appetite, and overall outlook on life that I realized that I needed help. I was so afraid to seek help because I knew it would take time away from my studies and I didn’t feel like I could take a break – I wanted to succeed. I’ve always been the type of person to try and figure things out on my own, so seeking help was not something I was readily open to doing and it honestly felt like I was giving up. But I couldn’t help myself and I needed someone who could. Between visiting on-campus counsellors, speaking to current LFS students and Faculty alumni, I was able to calm my anxieties and realize that changing Faculties wasn’t me giving up on sciences, it was me taking the chance to explore a new path.
How have your personal interests influenced your academic choices?
I have spent countless hours reading books and articles about plant-based eating and how it can be used as a means to heal our bodies and illnesses. Our health care system is overwhelmed and while I recognize that some diseases require more intense treatments, my mind often wonders what would happen if we invested more time and resources into preventative healthcare rather than waiting until we are already ill. Knowledge provides the opportunity for change. I would love to dedicate time to further researching the implications of eating a plant-based diet not only relating to our physical health, but also our mental health. If more people understood the power of what we eat, the magnitude of its effect on our bodies, then maybe we would see more people being proactive with their health and fewer desperate for medical care.
What is still on your UBC bucket list?
I am going on exchange to Australia! Everything about traveling to a new country, learning in a new school, meeting new people, and becoming more culturally aware is beyond exciting to me. The opportunity to learn about nutrition and health from different perspectives, reflective of cultural differences across the world will expose me to what I believe to be invaluable knowledge.
Interested in studying in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems? Learn more here!