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Beyond Graduation | Exploring the Human Mind

Anousha Singh  (SCIS Pudong '21) is finishing her fifth and final year with us, the longest she has ever resided in one place her entire life. While the senior was born in Faridabad, India, she moved frequently throughout her childhood living in many cities before arriving in Shanghai. After receiving numerous acceptances from mostly Canadian universities, Anousha is gearing up to attend the University of Toronto, her top choice. Fascinated with the way humans think and act, she intends to study Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience.

Welcome to Beyond Graduation, our series where we celebrate just a few stories from the Class of 2021.

Why the University of Toronto?

The University of Toronto (U of T) was my first choice in Canada as it is one of the leading research-intensive institutions. It was quite convenient to think about how familiar I was with the location and environment living just a few km away from the campus. I believe that U of T was the one to shape my path towards the science field.

How do you feel about going there?

I am genuinely excited to start this new journey of mine. I have always had a connection with the city of Toronto as quite a part of my childhood was spent there. I have always been used to shifting to a new place after every few years, changing schools, finding my group of friends, etc. So, being able to adapt after the five years here will be interesting, but it’s all going to be for the good, I hope.

Anousha (left) with her family on vacation.

What do you plan on studying?

I will be studying Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience. It has always intrigued me as to how human behavior and the intrinsic and extrinsic factors lead to an array of actions. Why does one behave the way they do? What determines their action or inaction to a particular situation? How do past experiences influence our perception? These ‘how’ and ‘why’ have paved my interest and inclination towards the subjects, psychology, and biology. This program entices me to deep dive into these subjects to understand and translate them towards my life.

Where did your curiosity for human behavior and thoughts come from?

My curiosity in this field stems from a growing desire to help others and use such knowledge to positively change lives. It has always been great to gain insights into my actions and behaviors, my culture, and upbringing to gain a better understanding of those around me. If you can’t understand yourself and your process, you won’t be able to understand others.

My curiosity for neuroscience comes from its diverse and limitless nature; the concept of the brain and behavior have evolved in becoming the neural underpinnings of our social nature. Going back to my learnings from TOK class, we can find new links between emotion and reason, between action and perception, and between representations of other people and ourselves.

How prepared do you feel for your next journey in life?

Honestly, I can’t say I am 100% prepared to start this new journey of mine. There are times where I feel overwhelmed by how fast time flies, which has made me realize the significance of living in the moment. However, I can say that I am ready and very excited about this change.

Can you walk us through the university application process? What was it like?

I was quite surprised when I was completing the application process for U of T. Compared to U.S.’s common application, the OUAC 105 (for international students) was quite simplistic. This is an application center only for Ontario universities, through which you can send one application to any number of universities. Apart from basic application information, they do not require any supplement essays or such.

What advice do you have for SCIS students who are starting the search for their future university?

My number one advice is to not overthink it. The more honest you are about yourself and the process, the more opportunities you will have. Reach for your highest potential/choice and don’t be afraid to take those steps. You never know what the future has in store for you. Your plans may make take a turn, sometimes without much notice, but you must trust yourself, the process, and the hard work you have put in to reach this far!

Good luck Anousha!

SCIS. Beyond Graduation.

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