Tremayne Koochin

Tremayne Koochin, Interdisciplinary Studies, Bachelor of Kinesiology Graduating May 2017

Why did you choose to study your program?

I grew up in Kelowna and graduated from Kelowna Secondary School (KSS) where I was lucky enough to take a Grade 12 elective course called Health Science. It was essentially a pre-medicine course that covered basic anatomy, physiology, and nutrition. It was also the first course that I had taken where I found myself excited to come to class and to study the course content. I have always had a passion for sports, and with my newfound interest in anatomy and physiology, Kinesiology was the natural fit for me.

Why did you choose UBC?

While most of the people I knew applied to UBC-Okanagan, I really wanted to move out so that I could live on my own and enjoy living somewhere outside of Kelowna. I was born in Burnaby and had been to Vancouver many times to visit relatives when I was growing up, so I had a taste of what it would be like to live there. It was also the home of my Vancouver Canucks.

Is there anything you’d like to share?—Something amazing you’ve done? Challenges you’ve overcome? Quirky thing you’d like to share?

After my first year, I left on a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines. During those two years, I lived in Manila, Cavite, and on the beautiful island of Palawan. I know a lot of people have learned about these missions through the popular “The Book of Mormon” musical comedy, but my first weeks in the Philippines months were anything but funny. I hardly spoke the language (Tagalog), understood even less of it, slept and showered with cockroaches and hand-sized spiders creeping everywhere, and quickly learned that I would not have dishwashers, laundry machines, hot water, or toilet paper for the next two years. I threw up during my first dinner appointment and had every Filipino kid in San Gabriel making fun of how I talked. Thankfully though, I started to pick up on Tagalog after about three months, and I fell in love with the Filipino people and culture, making those two years some of the best of my life.

What are the most valuable things you have learned?

One of my favourite quotes that I read on a wall in the Philippines read, “While faith makes all things possible, love makes all things easy.” I have learned that having faith in myself, family, and friends, and co-workers makes things happen that would be otherwise impossible. I have also learned that when you love what you do and who you are with, life becomes a whole lot easier and even more enjoyable.

What are your goals for the future–immediate? Long-term?

My immediate goal is to get accepted into a medical school so that I can pursue my more long-term goal of becoming a physician. Outside of my career goals, I'm also excited to start a family with my wife.

How do you hope to make a difference in our world?

I want to become a member of Doctors Without Borders so that I can go back to the Philippines and visit countries like it so that I can help disadvantaged people live healthier and happier lives.

What advice would you give a student considering your field of study?

If you feel intimidated by the hard sciences, but love how the human body works, or have a passion for sport and exercise and want a career in health care, then Kinesiology is perfect for you. I loved what I was studying, and the Interdisciplinary option gave me the flexibility to not only take all of the medical school prerequisite courses that I needed to take, but also the opportunity to take courses just out of interest.

Tremayne Koochin
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