What I have gained by taking risks

My name is Ayaan Irfan, a second-year Public Health student in the Faculty of Community Services. I love to play soccer, watch movies, explore places and go to the gym. I am really excited to write this blog for WhyRyerson by sharing my experience as an incoming student. Taking risks is a big part of my success at Ryerson, and these are the top five risks I’ve taken and how they’ve paid off:

1. Choosing a university and program that you love:


My journey began when I planned to get into pre-med. It was challenging to choose what exactly I wanted for myself because there were so many pathways. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with my degree as “Plan B” if medical school does not work out. I decided to consult with academic advisors, do research and talk to my parents and teachers. I was excited to choose Ryerson for my ​Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Health​, as it offers a solid health career that I am looking for. I can use my Public Health degree as pre-med, or do my licensing and become a Public Health inspector.

2. Going into a program with a brand new curriculum:


Being among the 2019 Public Health cohort meant I was introduced to the brand new curriculum, which was a thrilling experience. The risk of getting exposed to completely changed content in regards to courses and having a more practical style of studies made things more challenging. My first chemistry class had 200 students, and I was amazed because I never imagined myself studying in a lecture hall with more than 30 students. I was pleased to hear that my program was accredited by the ​Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI)​, which promotes the students to get licensed while studying to practice as professionals after they graduate. The best advantage of this program is professional experiential learning such as paid co-op, laboratory, independent research, and seminars.

3. Trying new forms of transit:


As a student commuter, transit is one of the biggest challenges. I commute from Brampton, which takes approximately one hour 20 minutes. I use Brampton’s transit, the ​GO train​, the ​TTC subway​ and of course, walking. The expense back and forth is about $35 per day, so transportation can get expensive. To approach this risk, I reached out to the ​University Business Services​, the sector that deals with One Card, they helped me with the GO transit student ID, which provides student rates to my Presto card.

4. Talking to new people:


A lot of new students are shy at first and feel anxious, but that’s normal as it’s an instinct to feel this way when introduced to new faces. The way I dealt with this was gaining confidence in myself. Starting a conversation by introducing yourself, your program, year and interests. I attended two-three orientation events with my friends, then later I made new friends at those events, and started to build connections. Since overcoming all these obstacles, I’ve been much confident and made many new friends.

5. Asking questions in classes:


This risk is what most of the incoming students are scared of taking, as they do not know the benefit. I faced this issue. After a challenging midterm, I reached out to my professor who encouraged me to ask questions in class. I approached this risk by booking appointments after class with the professors to ask questions and clarify doubts. Took my concerns to the professors during lecture break, so that I would not forget them later. Since then, I have seen a lot of improvement in my grades.


Hope these insights help you in some way! My journey at Ryerson has been great so far as I’m looking forward to taking more risks. I love going to the 8-floor theme based SLC building that offers an excellent learning environment. Always follow your passion and do what interests you. Do research and homework before choosing the program. Check the program curriculum and courses being offered. Take risks of trying new forms of transportation. Start a conversation with people in your program from day one by introducing yourself and interests. Always ask questions, no question is poor. Reach out to the admissions team if you need any support or info regarding Ryerson.

Feature Image: inc.com

Related Posts
Two calendars placed above student's deskBowls of bananas, cherries, cocoa powder, dates, milk and spinach are spread across a table.