Aaryan Lakhan Paul (he/him) is in his first year at Huron University studying from his desk in New Delhi, India. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he was unable to travel to Canada but continues to find the positive in all that is going on. He found Huron a few months ago when his guidance counsellor introduced the idea. He contacted an international recruitment officer and after reviewing his resume and hosting Aaryan for an interview, they invited him to apply. Moving to another country is a big financial commitment, and he was concerned about money matters. When he was informed he had missed the deadline for the Presidential Scholarship, he thought his chances of attending Huron were lost. However, the recruitment office recognized his achievements and efforts and found a way to give him an entry scholarship that removed his financial barriers enough that he was able to accept Huron’s offer.
Aaryan is an everything type of student, meaning he is equally interested in excelling academically and in extracurriculars. He thinks both are very important to one’s character development. He enjoys playing cricket, soccer and basketball, where he has been able to develop teamwork and leadership skills. Over the course of his first year, he managed to channel that energy into his position of “First-Year Representative” for the Huron Soccer Club. He is enthusiastic about the arts as well. Aaryan loves dancing, singing and playing the guitar. His passion brought him to become the president of Huron’s Multicultural Music Club. In addition, he was voted International Representative for the Huron University College Student Council. He explains he has learned so much just in the application process for these positions, including outreach and communication skills through to time management strategies.
A couple of months into the semester, I was asked by the recruitment officer if I could make a video for other prospective students. I was excited to express how thankful I am to the institution. A few weeks later I received a package with a personalized note from our President, Dr. Barry Craig, thanking me for my words. Huron does recognize your efforts and they try to give it back.
Even though his first year has been full of difficulties, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Aaryan has found a way to make them challenges he is excited to face.
The semester started off a little rough. But instead of feeling sad, I convinced myself I just had to hold on. I smiled and decided to take advantage of the online semester.
He experienced some lack of motivation while transitioning into a new kind of education system. He found that reaching out to professors was a great way to introduce himself personally and have their support for any possible challenges in their class.
In the upcoming year, he is hoping to be happy and see his family happy. He believes that working hard can make a change and that consistency can lead to perfection, so he is looking forward to maintaining his determination to succeed. He hopes to get a summer internship and develop some financial stability. He truly admires his mother and hopes that when he finally gets to move to Canada, he can bring her as well.
As for the rest of university, Aaryan wants to keep learning and perhaps discover a new side of himself. “And after university?” I ask. “I want to become a professor”, he responds, “I think it is such an interesting and exciting profession. I love to explain things and communicate with people.”
When prompted with the question of his favorite things about Huron he can’t seem to choose. Of course there is a mention for scholarship and research opportunities, but it is mainly the support that the university provides for its students.
Huron is truly an open arms institution.
Doing this journey together, not letting people go through tough times on their own. That’s what Leadership with Heart means for Aaryan: collective power, collective good, collective guidance.