Jan Rondilla is a fourth-year student completing a major in Psychology and a double minor in Anthropology and Biology here at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM). Rondilla also plays for the women’s Tri-Campus volleyball team that competes against our fellow U of T campuses: Scarborough and St. George.
Rondilla grew up in Kenora, Ontario. There, she first played volleyball in her elementary gym class. She also played for the volleyball team throughout high school career at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School. The highlight of her high school career was making it to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) semi-finals playing mainly Libero for her team. OFSAA is the provincial level of athletics in Ontario, where the ability to compete is earned after schools win their respective regional qualifiers.
Rondilla said that it was the prestige of the school and the programs available that brought her to UTM. Although attending the campus meant moving away from family, she felt like it was a good change. Rondilla saw her university experience as a way to gain independence in her life.
During her first year at UTM, Rondilla devoted her free time to volleyball, saying that it was an easier medium for her to socialize compared to going to gatherings. After finding out about drop-in sports, she would go to every volleyball session: “Sometimes I had to skip class because that was how much I wanted to play volleyball.”
After learning about tri-campus volleyball in her second year, Rondilla tried out for the women’s team to see if she was good enough to make the cut. After all her time devoted practicing in high school and during her first year, she made the team. When asked about what she likes about tri-campus sports, Rondilla said, “It’s cool to travel to different campuses, see what their schools are like and their gyms. The level of competition makes it fun too. It feels professional going on a team bus and playing against strong teams.”
Rondilla is an executive of the Canadian Asian Student Society (CASS). From her experience as member and executive, she said, “Especially for students in first year who don’t know anybody, CASS is a good way to meet people and network. They do cool stuff like parties and gatherings and it’s engaging.”
We asked Rondilla if she felt like she should have joined CASS sooner, and her response was “definitely,” but that she felt too shy and overwhelmed at the time to join clubs. As an executive, she gives her advice to first years: “Just go for it, the clubs aren’t going to say no to you, they want more people. After students take that first step, it snowballs from there.”
Before majoring in Psychology, Rondilla considered Life Sciences with the goal of making it to medical school. She ultimately realized that Life Sciences wasn’t the right fit for her, and decided to pursue Psychology, which always piqued her interest.
Rondilla worked as a student at the Lake of Woods District Hospital during her summers in Kenora. There, she helped the mental health and addiction department by organizing and facilitating social activities. Rondilla says that the experience made her aware of real-world mental illnesses outside of what she had learned from books. She found that her time at the hospital reinforced her passion for helping others: “It’s really fulfilling to see the progress of patients from when they get admitted to when they leave.”
Rondilla will be graduating this June and plans to work for a year while she figures out exactly what she wants to do as a career. Down the road, she wants to achieve a Master’s degree in an area of Psychology that she thinks is best suited for her. We wish Rondilla all the best with her future. You can find out more information about Tri-Campus Sports on the Recreation, Athletics & Wellness website.
Athletics Correspondent (Volume 48) — Robert is completing a Bachelor of Commerce, specializing in accounting. He has served as a staff writer for two years. Upon completing first year Robert was unsure of which programs were available to him and what to commit his time into. Curious, he took writing courses and began writing short stories on his free time which led him to The Medium. He loves the competition that sports brings and spends his time watching or playing Basketball, Tennis, or Soccer.