Divyan Karunakaran, a Grade 12 student at Eric Hamber Secondary, is passionate about social justice, advocacy and making a difference in his community. Walk through a day in the life of Karunakaran as a member of the Vancouver District Students’ Council (VDSC) and get a glimpse into how his school year is going.
Q: What is your favourite part about being a member of the VDSC?
I have been a member of the VDSC since 2018. I first served as the senior representative of my school and I am now honoured to be the newly elected co-president of the 2020/2021 VDSC council. I chose to get involved due to my passion for student government and progressive policy changes. We have decided that our theme for this year is “advocating for marginalized populations and social justice by uniting the Vancouver School District to create systemic change.” My favourite part about the VDSC is having the opportunity to amplify the voices of nearly 50,000 students across the District.
Q: How is your school year is going so far?
With the quarter system, half of my learning is at home. School is definitely more stressful this year, but I am excited to see how things will turn out. I really hope the pandemic will be over before the end of the school year so that my fellow Grade 12s and I can enjoy our senior year.
Q: Can you walk us through a day in the life as a VDSC member?
After hitting my snooze button on my alarm five or six times, I am ready to start my day at 9 a.m. I eat a heavy breakfast and work on my BC First Peoples assignments or study for my weekly chemistry test. However, I occasionally will get distracted by TikTok. Sometimes my mornings consist of a VDSC meeting, where we plan our events and the year ahead.
My afternoon consists of mostly in-person school as I am in cohort B for quarter one. After eating lunch, I leave home at around 1 p.m. in order to make it to class just on time. After class, I hang out with my friends for a while before coming home to workout.
Before going to bed at 12 a.m., there is still a lot more work to be done. After overcoming my procrastination, I finish my homework and have a short call with my co-president to discuss VDSC’s short-term goals we need to accomplish in the next few days. I play a few games of ‘Among Us’ with my friends online. Then I have a late-night bowl of cereal before going to bed and doing it all over again the next day.