As Seen On Zoom
By Jessica Gearey
Amélie Chornet is an International Business student and the DSU’s new Director of Club’s and Services. On a gloomy Tuesday morning we spoke through Zoom to talk about the DSU, mental health, and her aspirations for the future.
When she and a group of her friends proposed to the DSU that they wanted to start an investment club, she noticed that the process was gruellingly slow. “We had a really hard time starting it,” she says, “the DSU wasn’t really being open to hearing about our ideas or collaborating with us.” This incident prompted her and current DSU chairperson Kevin Contant-Holowatyj to run in the DSU elections. It was Contant-Holowatyj who convinced Chornet to run with him. She says that she “really wanted club life to expand at Dawson,” and believes the way to do that is by improving accessibility and making the club creation process easier.
Outside the DSU, Chornet, like most students, finds the online school setting difficult. “I’m a very social person, so to be in my room doing all my classes and seeing people just on a screen is really tough,” she says. She adds that the little things like stepping into a classroom or sitting with all her friends are what she misses the most. However, she tries to remain positive.
Chornet also has a love for travel. Throughout her life she’s had the chance to visit Europe, several parts of South America, and Senegal in West Africa. “Throughout high school I had a lot of intercultural experiences. I would attend other schools in different countries,” she says. “Learning about other people, cultures and just exploring the world is what I love.” She plans to visit parts of Asia and more of Africa when travel is safe again.
With school and the DSU, Chornet doesn’t have a lot of free time. When she does have a spare moment, most of it needs to be reserved for sleep, but there are other restful downtime activities. “I like reading, spending time with my family, and I have a really cute dog,” she says.
Chornet also stresses the importance of taking care of her mental health with so much on her plate. She explains that she has “always had bad anxiety problems, so over the years I have developed certain tendencies to help.” She says she treats herself as she would treat a friend. Doing things like meditating before bed or making a time schedule helps her manage her stress. “I tell myself that I have to give myself breaks and I have to breathe, and I have to sleep,” she says. She emphasizes that her anxiety has helped her be more emotionally intelligent. Chornet adds that her particular set of circumstances “has made me understand myself more.” Chornet is now able to manage her stress, while also knowing how to predict her reactions to certain situations and how to calm herself down. These aspects of her growth make Chornet proud of how much stronger she has gotten through her mental health journey.
When I asked Chornet how her friends would describe her, she emphasized that she is a good listener. As the Director of Club and Services she knows that the pandemic has impacted the connections that she could have made with students, but she doesn’t let that get in the way of who she is. She notes that she loves to hear what people are thinking, and as Director of Clubs and Services that’s a good skill to have. “I think I’m a very caring person,” she says, “I want the best for the people I love.” Hopefully Chornet will be able to put her good listening skills to use soon.
Photo via @my_dsu on instagram