I have a passion for astrophysics, and I am currently studying at the University of Waterloo in the Honours Co-operative Physics and Astronomy program. When you’re a university student in your first couple of years, there is one question that you will inevitably be asked at every family gathering, “At what moment did you know that this is what you wanted to study?” It is a question that I never know how to answer. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I knew, because there wasn’t just one moment. It was more of an amalgamation of moments.

I remember being 11 years old and sneaking my dad’s copy of Michio Kaku’s Physics of the Impossible out of his room late at night so that I could read it under my blankets. I remember having my mind blown by Brian Greene’s Fabric of the Cosmos and excitedly explaining fascinating concepts to my family during long car rides. I remember peering into a telescope during an astronomy class and being in complete awe of Jupiter’s moons and Saturn’s rings. I remember attending one of Chris Hadfield’s talks and realizing that maybe I wanted to be an astronaut one day.

These moments contributed to my passion for astrophysics and when it came time to apply to universities, there simply was just no question about it. I was going to study physics and astronomy. The next question that is always asked is, “What are you going to do with your degree?”

Truth be told, it wasn’t just the subject matter itself that caught my interest. Michio Kaku, Brian Greene, Chris Hadfield, my high school astronomy teacher, and many others had a part to play in developing my interest in this field. They are all clearly dedicated to their fields and their way with words pulled me in. Along the way, I developed a curiosity with teaching and sharing my passion with others as well. I’ve been lucky enough to have had many opportunities to do so through teaching, workshops, talks, and conferences. Now, I count myself fortunate to be able to continue to do so here at Minute School and I look forward to the exciting adventure ahead!

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