Name Robyn Finlay
Program B.A. with a specialization in English
Year of Study 2nd year
Favourite Animal Koalas!
Do you believe in soulmates? Yes. I think it requires a lot of work, compromise and dedication to the relationship, but I have seen it happen before.
Her Campus: What was the most embarrassing thing to happen to you in 2016?
Robyn Finlay: I got bronchitis during the first week of school and decided to go to class one day because I had missed so much class already. When I sat down and pulled out my puffer, kleenex, etc. I scared off all potential seatmates. They were all consciously avoiding me (probably for good reason) but now I’m afraid I have scared them off for good.
HC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
RF: In terms of career, I am still uncertain. Right now I would like to work for either a publishing company or for the government. I do see myself doing something to help others be it through my job or as a volunteer.
HC: What sort of things are you involved in on campus
RF: I am a part of SALF (Student Association for the Less Fortunate). We are a new group at the university and focus on breaking the stigma associated with homelessness and the less fortunate in Ottawa. What I like about the group is that it provides the opportunity to interact with those that you are helping rather than simply raising money for donation.
I also volunteer as a reader for the Ottawa Arts Review which is a literary and arts journal with the university. The main goal of the journal is to promote literature and the visual arts at the university (you can check out their Facebook page to see the guidelines for submission!). It is a great opportunity to develop my skills and read some really talented submissions.
HC: What is your favourite thing about uOttawa?
RF: I absolutely love the atmosphere of the university. University groups are inviting, especially for new members. They provide a lot of opportunities to express yourself and help you realize your potential. They can also be a great addition to your resume or just to introduce you to people with similar interests. I also find teachers to be very approachable and open to speaking with you about schoolwork, future careers and general advice for improvements.
HC: Who’s your favourite professor?
RF: Professor Seymour Mayne. He was my professor for Writer’s Craft (a class I highly suggest to those interested in writing) and helped me to develop my writing style. He has great life stories, is extremely easy to talk to whether in class or during his office hours and provides a unique learning environment for his students. He has also met Leonard Cohen, so that’s an added bonus.
HC: What advice would you give your first year self?
RF: I would tell myself to work hard, but also to focus on joining more clubs and becoming as involved as possible in school. Being involved helps you feel as though you’re making a change and helps you meet new friends. University is supposed to be some of the greatest years of our lives so I would tell myself to put myself out there and not shy away from the fantastic opportunities that are available!
HC: As an English major, what book/poem/other piece of writing has had the biggest impact on your life?
RF: We always get this question and each time it is more difficult to answer. At the moment it would be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It deals with so many important issues and is phenomenally written. It helped me to understand morality and equality on a new level and to have a greater appreciation for the improvements that have been made in our society. It also inspired me to stand up for what I believe to be morally right, even if it is not the popular opinion. I believe it is a book that everyone should read at least once in their life.
HC: What is your biggest accomplishment?
RF: When I was in high school I won a short story competition and was published in the local newspaper. It really encouraged me to pursue my passions and increased my self-confidence. It is part of the reason why I am an English student. It also allowed me to understand that words are powerful tools and can make large impressions on your audience. It is something I was and still am proud of and reminds me that literature is something that will never cease to be important.
Thanks for chatting with us, Robyn!