Profile: Zya Aspden Milligan

Name: Zya Aspden Milligan
Age: 19
Program and Year: International Development and Globalization with French Immersion, 1st year
Celebrity Soul Mate: A combination of Justin Trudeau and Justin Bieber (my two fav Canadian boys!)
Extrovert or introvert? 100% extrovert

HCuO: Tell us about the most unique thing about yourself?
Zya: My name. I’ve never met another Zya before!

HCuO: You've gotten really involved in student life as a first year student! What sort of clubs/activities are you a part of at the University of Ottawa?
Zya:  I can’t even imagine not being involved. Coming into university as a student who did nothing but extracurricular in high school, it wasn’t really an option for me not to get involved at uOttawa. I ran for VP of Junior Affairs for the AEDSA, but was not discouraged when I didn’t win- I was just very happy to have had the opportunity to get my name out there. I then started to get involved in my fed body by joining the DVM committee, by attending as many events as possible and participating on an intramural dodgeball team. I was a volunteer for International Development Week- which was an extraordinary way to network with other students. I also joined Theta Sigma Psi, a sorority here at uOttawa. Being a member of this organization has been a truly indispensable part of my first year experience as it has offered me a true support system - a group of like minded women who are there for me in more ways than I can imagine. Within my sorority, I’ve already had the opportunity to take on the role of PR Chair, which means that I’m in charge of all the social media - and I love it! With first year coming to an end, I can’t wait to become even more involved in my years to come at the University of Ottawa.

HCuO: What made you decide to study at the University of Ottawa?
Zya: I chose uOttawa because of the International Development program, and also for French Immersion and co-op. I was so excited to move far from home, and for all the opportunities that being in our nation’s capital would bring me. I’m in love with city of Ottawa - I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of exploring the market and visiting Parliament Hill. It didn’t make much sense for me to be anywhere else!

HCuO: Describe your favourite memory from this year!
Zya: My favourite memory from this year (although it’s really hard to pick just one) is when my little sister came to stay with me over Thanksgiving. It was great to spend time with her while showing her around Ottawa. We even made a full-fledged Thanksgiving dinner in my little 90U kitchenette! Other memories include, but are not limited to, turning my dorm room into a tie dye factory, making it to the dodgeball playoffs, and placing 3rd in Derby Days with my sorority (a week long fundraising competition which raised over $15,000 for CHEO this year).

HCuO: If you could give your grade 12 self some advice about university, what would it be?
Zya: “Buckle up, young one, because you’re about to go on the greatest adventure of your life. If you think you have it good now, just wait. Take every opportunity that comes your way, and be open to all experiences. Also, you don’t need to have your entire life planned out - just take it step by step. Make sure that you do things that challenge you, but also make you happy.”

HCuO: By the time you graduate, what are three things you hope to have learned?
Zya: One, I hope to figure out who I want to be. Two, what I want to do with my life, and three, what impact that I want to have on this planet. I anticipate a whole lot of personal growth in the years to come!

HCuO: Who is your role model?
Zya: I have so many role models in my life. I’m blessed to have been surrounded by so many strong and independent women who constantly empower me. For me, a role model doesn’t have to be someone famous, just someone who inspires me to be a better person.

HCuO: Crafting- tell us your thoughts.
Zya: Crafting is my life. From crocheting, to cross stitching, to knitting and more - I love it all. Creating things has been an ever-present commodity in my life, and I’ve been doing crafts for as long as I can remember. In grade 12, a friend and I started a Knitting Team which had over 60 members! We ended up raising $1,200 for homeless youth in my area - just by knitting! Doing crafts is definitely my favourite way to pass time because it’s super stress relieving and it always puts me in a good mood. I will always be down to go to Michael’s - in fact I actually just got back!

HCuO: When you feel stressed or down, how do you self care?
Zya: Self care is SO important, yet something that so many people (including myself) overlook on the daily. You already know that my #1 go-to stress reliever is crafting, but simple things such as taking a shower, cleaning my room, or letting myself relax and read a book or watch some Netflix can help me de-stress as well. Also, one of the best ways to self-care is to go outside and get some fresh air! Something that I’ve definitely learned since starting university is that it’s ok to not be ok sometimes, and that during these times it’s definitely ok to lean on others for support. A lot of the times when I’m feeling stressed or down, I hangout and talk with my friends or I FaceTime my dogs (via my sister).

HCuO: Anything else we should know about your wonderful self?
Zya: I’m always down to make new friends! I love meeting new people, so don’t be shy!

Thanks for chatting with us Zya! Good luck with exams and the rest of your university experience!