J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate is full to the brim with extraordinary students with many different passions. The staff at Eye on the Storm has decided that these students deserve to be recognized for their hard work and talent. Explore the lives of 10 exceptional students that are profiled here as part of our series: Trending Ten. Get ready to be inspired!
Alyssa Basant is a Grade 12 student at the heart of the art community at Richardson. She leads the school’s Art Club, meeting every Thursday at lunch, and has been involved both in Student Government and Arts Council! Her work has been showcased around the community, and she continues to bridge the gap between the academic and artistic opportunities at Richardson.
Tell me about yourself
My name’s Alyssa, I’m a Grade 12 student. I’ve been taking art for four years, since Grade 9, mainly because it’s a hobby of mine, and I like having a class that feels like free time. I’m in some clubs – I was in Student Government in Grade 10, I was in Arts Council, and currently I run the Art Club with Sasha and Lauren. Recently, I had my artwork up in the Robert Mclaughlin Gallery. That was really fun and I got to go see it. They had like a whole student exhibition with all of the schools in Ajax. I had to fill out a title card explaining what my piece was about, and when I got there, I got to talk to a few people because I saw them standing beside their artwork, and I was like, “Crazy how you made that!”
Where do you see yourself in three years?
In three years, I think I’m going to be studying health sciences. I’ll be at university. Right now I think I’m going to go Western [University] for medical science. I’ll be living on campus. I’m trying to get away from Ajax.
What’s the one thing you’re really excited to be doing in three years from now?
Being more independent. I’ve lived in the same house since I was born, never moved around so I’m just really looking forward to being in a new area and trying new things.
What advice do you have for students that want to make a change or pursue their passions within the school?
I would tell them to not be scared. If you have a friend group that isn’t doing a lot of things around the school, that doesn’t mean that you also have to be like them, cause I think that’s how I was in grade 9. Like, my friends were like, “oh, we don’t want to join student government, like that’s lame”. But I’m like, but I want to, and so it took me a little bit of courage to actually do that because that would mean that I’m making new friends. I’m not bringing my friends with me, because we had different interests. But yeah, my advice would be to just branch out and don’t worry about what others think.
What keeps you motivated?
What keeps me motivated is thinking about my future. Like I have everything planned out on pinterest, like I know my goals and how I want to achieve them, so that keeps me motivated. Also, at times where I’m not motivated I just have to remember that everything happens for a reason and if one plan didn’t work out, then I could always come up with a backup plan.
Would you say that who you are right now and what you’re doing right now is what you pictured for yourself in Grade 9?
No. I went through every possible career choice before I ended up at doctor. Like, at one point it was fashion designer, that’s where I started! So I’ve come a long way, like [I’ve wanted to become] a lawyer, everything. I really wanted to choose something that would allow me to not be doing the same thing everyday. So that’s why a career in medicine, you know there’s always going to be different patients, new cases, you know, new developments. I don’t think I’ll get bored. Right now, I’m doing co-op at a pharmacy and they actually offered me a job today!
What quote do you live by?
A goal without a plan is just a wish. So basically, if you have a goal and you have no idea like how you’re going to get there, then how can you expect it to happen? I know everybody nowadays is like, I’m just gonna manifest this for myself, but you can only do that to a certain extent. You kind of have to have a plan and think about how you’re going to get things done. I’m the type of person [that plans a lot], I like to plan things out. So yeah, that’s the quote that I live by.
Is there a challenge that you’ve had to overcome?
Yes, I would say being a perfectionist is something that I’ve had to overcome and like not beating myself up too much about things. Like for example, if I got like a 95% on a test and I lost half a mark on something dumb. Usually, I would spend so long thinking about that but now I’m like, okay, I have to realize that there’s nothing I can do about it now, it’s already over. I just need to pick myself up and move on.
What is the meaning of life?
The meaning of life? I think the meaning of life, you have to find your own meaning, I think, based on your experiences. For me, I think life is about taking risks, which is another thing that I’ve really had to learn, you know, getting out of my comfort zone. That’s the only way that you’re going to learn new things, and from those new things you can learn so much knowledge and insight about life.