A Quick Study with Alexia Constantinou
About A Quick Study
This ongoing series is aimed at getting to know what motivates and inspires UBC students about their learning — inside and outside the classroom.
On lacrosse, the Impressions, and being humbled by adventures in nature.
Meet Alexia Constantinou, Faculty of Forestry.
AC: Where better to study iconic Canadian ecosystems, have access to opportunities at a world-class university and hike as often as possible?
How did you become involved with the Forestry Undergrad Society?
AC: The FUS Executive Council came to speak to my Forestry 100 class the first week of school, and having been in student government in high school, I was curious. I signed up to compete for the position of First Year Rep, and haven’t looked back. Definitely one of my best decisions since applying to UBC.
How do you handle stress during the exam season? Does practicing yoga help you relax?
AC: During exams, I find it key to move study spaces – the fresh air for a quick walk or bike ride clears my head and gets my blood flowing. Yoga three or four times a week and lacrosse are also integral – state of mind and focus deteriorate with a deteriorating activity level in my experience. Yoga is not just meditation, or just being upside-down – it is physically and mentally demanding, but in a perfectly contrary way to academic studies.
As an Orientation/Transition leader for new students, what advice would you give anyone considering UBC?
AC: I would say that I never doubted my decision – if you’re outdoorsy even a little bit, you will be blown away by the snow, the trails and the surf; if you are fascinated with culture and art, there are museums on campus and local and international cultures to be explored through many mediums; if neither appeals to you, there are endless other options to be discovered. Compare UBC to anywhere else you would go and ask yourself which place you wouldn’t want to leave – ask anyone here and it is clear that this place captivates us. Something about the location has drawn people here since before recorded time.
How long have you been playing lacrosse? What do you love most about the Women’s Thunderbirds Lacrosse club?
AC: The club brings together women at UBC of all ages (1st year through to PhD students) to play Canada’s national sport – no matter their previous experience with lacrosse (or lack thereof). I started in September of 1st year, I was looking for an outdoor sport at a recreational level and to try something new! I had never played lacrosse before. This year, the team came together beautifully, and we have begun playing league games within the BC Lacrosse Association!
What’s on your playlist these days?
AC: One of my friends recently played songs by Aer for me – ‘Feel I Bring’ and ‘Come and Go’ are great. I also love Motown - ‘People Get Ready’ by the Impressions, any Stevie Wonder or the O’Jays are uplifting – it reminds me of watching basketball movies with my dad at home. Feist, Florence + the Machine, Jurassic 5 and Dave Matthews never go out of style. Dr. Dre might find his way into my playlists too, but only sometimes…
How does nature inspire you? What outdoor activities do you enjoy the most?
AC: Nature is unparalleled in every way. I am humbled, awed and excited by my natural surroundings every day. I love hiking - the North Shore, Howe Sound, Whistler, Chilliwack and everywhere in between have challenging, beautiful and rewarding hikes. Skiing is also incredible – no matter what people say about poor snow conditions, a day at Whistler is not regretted. This year, I’m also going to be trying my hand at surfing! Hopefully I’ll be adding that to my regular activities soon.