Susan Wang, a U3 physiology major, is deeply passionate about helping others. Whether it is through pursuing a career in medicine, sharing her artistic talents, or connecting with new people, it is clear that building meaningful relationships is an integral part of her life. While completing medical school applications, Wang has found creative ways to get away from the stress of school by being actively involved in the McGill and greater Montreal community.
Wang is currently the VP External of the Sketching Club. As McGill’s only visual arts student organization, the Sketching Club holds weekly events such as art shows, regular nude drawing sessions with student models, and field trips. This week, the club will be attending the International Festival of Films on Art in Montreal. Wang has also recently taken up graphic design—she designs posters, flyers, business cards, and logos for various businesses and organizations. Despite devoting so much time to it, she sees art simply as a way to de-stress and relax.
“I love art and it’s a great hobby, but in terms of work, I don’t want to pursue it,” Wang said. “I think when you put pressure on a hobby, it becomes less of a hobby, more of work.”
Interested in helping the elderly, Wang currently volunteers at Fulford House, a retirement home in Montreal. She has found a unique way to combine this with her love for drawing. During the weekly sessions, she often spends time drawing portraits of the 100-year-old woman she visits in order to connect with her better.
“It’s really meaningful because you’re able to sit down with someone and just look at them,” Wang said. “For somebody in a retirement home, they don’t get looked at very often. But to have an hour of time where you’re just staring at them and acknowledging them, it makes a huge difference.”
Furthermore, she emphasized the importance of medical issues such as palliative care. According to Wang, it is important that people are informed about how their lives should end, and what options are available to them. In the future, she hopes to work with the elderly, or possibly in oncology.
Her love for helping others also manifests in the various teaching opportunities she has undertaken. Wang works with The Homework Zone, where she teaches elementary school-level reading and math to children. She is also involved with Freshman Interest Groups, where she talks to students about careers in science and what to expect at McGill. This summer, Wang will be teaching English to young children in China, where she hopes to get in touch with her roots and improve her own language skills.
While Wang’s time at McGill is coming to an end, the bonds she has created during her time in Montreal, as well as the meaningful interactions she has built with various individuals has made the university experience extremely worthwhile for her.
“I think a school is defined by its people more than by its buildings or programs,” Wang said. “I hope that through these experiences, I’ve been able to [bring] new perspectives on different things so people can take that and go wherever they want with it.”
McGill Tribune: McGill Tribune: What is your favourite place at McGill?
Susan Wang: Second floor of the Law Library. It’s like my home away from home.
MT: If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, which would it be?
SW: I have my phases. Recently I’m really into K Pop, so I guess it would be “You and I” by Ailee.
MT: If someone wrote a book about your life, what would it be called?
SW: I think it would be “She thought she could, so she did.” This quote has always stuck with me.
MT: Which character do you most identify with?
SW: I don’t personally identify with her, but people tell me I look like Mulan.
MT: What is your favourite word?
SW: It’s not a complicated word, but I just really like “crisps.”