Drew White

Name: Drew White

Pronouns: She/Her

Age: 19

Program and Year: Second year in International Economics and Development

Her Campus uOttawa: How would your friends describe you in 5 words?
Drew White: Funny, joyful, empathetic, determined (or stubborn!), and supportive 

HCuO: How are you involved in the University of Ottawa community?
DW: Thankfully my job as a Barista at Café Alt allows me the opportunity to interact with students, and provide them with the caffeine we all desperately need! Outside of work I always love giving my time to the amazing initiatives students start on this campus including various SFUO campaigns. Additionally, I work with uOttawa’s chapter of UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), which is working to support refugees in the Ottawa area, but my main focus has been my involvement with the Economics’ Students Association as Vice President of Philanthropy, in which I work alongside other student leaders to encourage philanthropic involvement among students.

HCuO: How do you like to spend your free time?
DW: Like most students, I don’t get a lot of free time between school, work and volunteering; however, when I do get some time I love to get out and explore the city. I love going to thrift stores, craft fairs and supporting other local cafés, but by far my favourite place in the city has to be the National Art Gallery. I love the Van Gogh paintings and looking at the beauty he created even in the darkest of times and it never fails to make me feel inspired.

HCuO: What inspired you to get involved with your student federation? Why should other university students get involved?
DW: Just seeing all of the wonderful initiatives and all the hard work people put in them had made me want to get involved. I would say other students should get involved to create the university community they want and support projects you think are important.

HCuO: If you could sit down with the dean of the university, what would you ask him to change?
One thing is plain to me: the student’s at this school are struggling. We are struggling financially, we are struggling academically and we are struggling with our mental health. Not only are the administrators of this institution not doing enough to support us, but they are actively getting in our way. As a student who deals with learning disabilities and mental health issues, I experience first hand how this university fails to provide students with the support we need to succeed. It doesn’t have to be like this. Students need more support!   

HCuO: Do you have any tips or tricks on how to survive final exams?
I received one piece of advice about motivation that has really helped me a lot especially around finals: if you are waiting to feel like doing something it may never happen. People tend to think you have to “get motivated” before they start working. The truth is the motivations comes from a belief in yourself. If you start working, then you can get something done. School is hard, exams are hard, studying is not easy, and it’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed, but please take the time to appreciate what you have done. Even if it doesn’t feel like enough, it’s something and you should be proud of that!

HCuO: What is your favourite holiday?
I have a soft spot for Valentine’s day because it’s my birthday, but I also really love Christmas because I get to see my family and I really love all the Christmas carols and decorations!

HCuO: If your life was a hashtag, what would it be?
DW: Probably: #jokes. I just really like to laugh and I don’t really like taking things too seriously!

HCuO: Anything else you'd like the readers of Her Campus to know?
DW: I have a very important message for all of you reading this: you are so wonderful! Every day I am in awe of all the young women around me doing things, from creating much needed on campus resources, studying and working hard day and night, sharing kind words with others, to simply surviving in a world that doesn’t make that easy. In a world that puts so much pressure on young women to do so much, and to do it all with a smile, and a perfect outfit, I want to let you all know how you are right now is not only good enough, it’s incredible; you are incredible!


Sources: All photos were provided by Drew White