Skip to main content

Quick Links

Information for...

GNS Alumni Share Insights and Wisdom with Current Students

Alumni share advice and experience as they navigate the world beyond GNS.

In a special reunion, GNS alumni gathered for a panel discussion in Denford Hall, sharing their diverse trajectories and offering valuable advice to current Senior School students about how to navigate high school and beyond. The panel featured graduates spanning different graduation years, each with a unique story post-GNS.

Luca ’21 reflected on his GNS experience, admitting he had to adapt to the rigorous academic environment when switching from the public school system to GNS. Despite facing challenges, Luca emphasized the importance of perseverance and involvement in extracurricular activities. He encouraged current students to explore various interests, citing his own engagement in Model United Nations Debates, Concert Band, Jazz Band and Ultimate Frisbee.

Now studying economics at UVic, Luca said that one of the biggest differences from high school to university is the amount of freedom and flexibility he has now. “I’m able to build my schedule more around me and I really like to organize my time in a certain way.”

Anders, a 2016 graduate, took a different route by joining the Canadian Coast Guard post-graduation. Discovering his susceptibility to seasickness altered his career trajectory, leading him to UVic’s Civil Engineering program after a year on the ocean. He graduated with that degree recently and is now in an interim period while he figures out where this degree might take him. 

Anders highlighted the significance of exploration and finding passion, evident in his involvement in clubs and outdoor education during his time at GNS.

Amy Zhao ’20 faced the challenges of the pandemic during her final year of high school. Undeterred, she shared her journey of helping with the Lunar New Year festival and a dance club at GNS. Amy encouraged students to embrace unexpected opportunities in university, sharing her experience in internal affairs for a Chinese hip-hop club in Toronto.

Mackenzie, the most recent graduate from 2022, is pursuing a career in the arts at York University. Despite choosing a path that often comes with financial uncertainties, Mackenzie emphasized the importance of independence and choosing a university that aligns with what you’re passionate about.

Jenna ’18 followed what she has found to be an unexpected science-focused path at UVic, which has now led her to her current dentistry studies in Vancouver. Her journey included on-campus connections and a transformative gap year in Asia following the completion of her undergrad degree. 

“I would recommend travelling to anyone,” said Jenna. Diverse experiences contribute to personal growth and she encouraged current GNS students to explore a variety of ways to expand their worldview and to expect that their path can change. 

Adele, a soon-to-be lawyer, or a “baby lawyer” as she coined it, graduated from GNS in 2016 and undertook undergraduate studies at McGill University. She highlighted the benefits of leaving one’s comfort zone, experiencing life in a bustling city like Montreal, and finding your niche interests. 

“Finding those little niches within your giant university community where you can find people with shared interests was really helpful for me,” said Adele. 

She is happy to be living in Victoria again, close to her partner and her favourite person in the world, her grandma. In terms of finding out where to study law, Adele was also brought back to Victoria because of the program at UVic. “I was mostly looking at programs with good environmental law programs and so UVic was a really good option for that because they have to put a much greater focus on sustainability and environment than other law schools in Canada.” 

A common thread among the alumni was the importance of maintaining connections formed at GNS, and the shared sentiment that calculus courses were universally challenging, but to stick to them.

The alumni panel concluded with a Q&A session, allowing current students to seek advice on various topics, from university applications to life beyond academia. The event served as a valuable bridge between past and present, offering insights and inspiration to the next generation of GNS graduates.