A word from your President (2012)


I wasn’t really sure where to begin in this address. What could I possibly have to say to describe my sheer and utter love for SWIM? How could anyone take anything of value from a declaration of vision and goals, regardless of how meaningful they may be to the people carrying them out?

So, instead I want to relay a few personal mottos and slot them into the brilliant environment that is SWIM.

Live like you mean it. What is important to you? What makes you feel confident, comfortable, and clever? Embody those aspects you cherish the most and never put yourself on the bench. With tutorials and meet-and-greet Academic events, SWIM will give you a little push in terms of providing opportunities but it’ll be up to you to make the most of these experiences. You are good enough to achieve anything you want in life so long as you’re in the game and working toward a tangible goal.

Sweat once a day. Drink plenty of water. That which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least. All stolen from ‘lululemon’ mantras, but oh so poignant! SWIM is a firm believer in exercise programs, and using that body to be the healthiest 89 year old doctor ever. That way when you try and convince a patient that exercise is in their best interests, you embody that goal and feel confident in the brilliant effects it has had on your own life. And, if that exercise and goodwill can be directed to people in need within the community? Winning.

Success does not equate directly to happiness. Feeling that glow of some achievement? Great! Relish that feeling, but don’t expect it to carry you for the next 70 years. What makes you successful and what makes you happy are both incredibly important, but incredibly different questions. Life-work balance is an often over-used term, but something people can struggle with their entire lives (trust me, I am not even close to mastering this one!). Give yourself a head start for the rest of your life. Attend social events and make friends, help out your fellow med students in tutorials, and raise some funds for a worthy cause. Hob-nob with practicing doctors and ask them questions about their lifestyle; they’ll tell you, and you might as well learn from other people’s life choices to enrich your own decisions. For most of us there will never be a single goal we strive to achieve, but rather a continuous path of bigger and better things. At the end of that road, I hope for your own sake that you’ve had the chance to smile daily and achieve things that don’t get written on a resume.

If none of that speaks to you, that’s okay, you can still become involved and find your own joy. That’s one of the best things about SWIM, there’s something for everyone. In supporting women, it’s important to support the wellness of everyone equally to even out the playing field, and encourage unconventional decision-making.

Looking for more sources of inspiration and life lessons? Check out the Marc and Angel Blog