“Initially it was nursing, but God closed that door and opened this one…Redeemer was the only health science program I applied for,” says Serena Wolf, a second-year health science student.
In year two as a commuting health science and chemistry student from St. George, Serena believes a Christ-centered education that values humans as God’s children is vital to her vocation.
Originally from Cambridge but now living with her grandparents in St. George, Serena often volunteers in her spare time, with both a kids ministry at her home church, Restoration Church in Cambridge, and through Safe Families Canada where she supports local families and works with their kids.
Volunteering her time to help people ties to a bigger theme of her life: the value of people as children of God. “It’s important to have a Christ-centered education: we are all God’s children, created by God…human life has value. At other schools, there may be more of a focus on academic performance and numbers, but I believe that it’s important to have a human aspect as well,” she says.
Long-term, Serena wants to become a doctor and open her own non-profit supporting seniors in long-term care homes. “At that age, [seniors] need to be the most supported because of their age and vulnerability. I did a co-op in high school in a long-term care home, [so] I really resonate with that community and appreciate them.”
While Serena has settled into campus life as a commuter student, investing in new friendships and relationships, choosing to come to Redeemer wasn’t an overnight decision for her. “I’m actually the first person in my family to go to University,” says Serena. “I wasn’t raised Christian, and didn’t become a Christian until I was in high school. I wasn’t interested in going to university until later on in high school when I realized I wanted to get involved in the medical field.”
Redeemer wasn’t on Serena’s radar right off the bat. She initially wanted to go into nursing, took a couple of gap years, went to Mohawk for a year where she got a certificate degree for advanced pre-health sciences, and once the door to nursing was closed, she decided to apply for health-sci at Redeemer.
Being a health science student with long-term plans of getting into med school, there are obviously a variety of stresses that student life poses. “Working out is a big stress reliever for me,” says Serena. “It’s very relaxing, helps release stress, and helps me feel better. I also enjoy reading, playing guitar, spending time with my family, and taking care of them.”
Given how clear God has been in His calling to her, pulling her from nursing and Mohawk to health science at Redeemer, I asked Serena if she might have any advice for first-year students or students who are new to Redeemer. “Have grace toward yourself—the first year is not always going to be easy,” she says. “Take the time to develop friendships and relationships. Grades aren’t everything; they aren’t what defines you. Have trust in God that everything works the way it’s supposed to.”
Serena touched on the fact that it was daunting coming to Redeemer as a commuter and not knowing anyone, but being extroverted and meeting new people makes it an easier transition. “I just extended that branch and it was easier for me than some others.”
Not only has she developed friendships over the past year a bit, but also probably the most diverse Spotify I have ever witnessed. Serena had mentioned that she played guitar and loved music, so I asked her about some of her top artists.
Reading off a few of her playlists, she said, “A different mood brings a different song or genre…I can go from Taylor Swift to Travis Scott to Kanye in three seconds.” She credits her dad with some of her favourites, too: Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden are all dad-inspired, but she picked up more contemporary artists like Briston Maroney, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole and Tyler the Creator along the way. If you’re looking for some new music, you should probably reach out.