From the new Wellbeing issue of UCC's Old Times alumni magazine, get acquainted with the Cowling family and learn about what wellbeing means to them.
Old Times: What attracted you to UCC?
Paul: I grew up in Alberta and wanted to have an adventure for high school, so the idea of moving to Canada's largest city and having some independence as a boarder was appealing. My kids likely won't get to live the boarding life, but I'm glad my nephew Nicholas has a chance to experience that independence. I hope my sons will look to him as inspiration for how to learn to take care of themselves. Patrick: Family. My brother was already a student at the school, and my dad also graduated from UCC. Michael: UCC is well known for its academics and athletics, and that combination attracted me. Nicholas: I was born in Singapore, and now my family lives in Switzerland. As a Canadian expat who had never lived in Canada until arriving at UCC, I wanted to experience what it was like to live away from home, but in my own country. I think the opportunity of living by myself was something that appealed to my adventurous side.
OT: Describe your most memorable UCC moments.
Paul: I had the chance to direct three plays in the Little Theatre: Amadeus, Black Comedy and 7 Stories. Even to this day, I sometimes draw on memories from those projects when I'm working collaboratively with people or struggling to find a creative solution to a problem. Patrick: Winning our soccer CISAA Championship last year. Michael: The Year 7 Quebec trip was a lot of fun and a good way to end my time at the Prep. Nicholas: Our CISAA championship JV Rugby game - we lost, but by the end of the season, I had gotten to know the other boys on the team so well that it almost didn't matter. I felet truly valued in that small community within UCC.
OT: What does "wellbeing" at UCC mean to you?
Paul: Nicholas, Michael and Patrick are learning how to take care of all aspects of their lives: their physical selves, mental health, empathy, intellect, creativity and community service. The school talks a lot about character - all those things are wrapped up in character. People are complex, and life is unpredictable. The best we can hope for is to nurture values, and as many skills and perspectives as possible, to prepare our kids for all of life's challenges and opportunities. Patrick: It means ahving a good balance between academics, sports and your social life. Michael: For me, it's that UCC is always helping you out, whether it's going to the Health Centre or getting extra help before a test - UCC always has your back. Nicholas: Wellbeing means taking the time to step out of the rigour and stress of the school day to do something that makes you feel relaxed and calm.
OT: Paul, do you have any UCC advice for your sons and nephew?
Paul: Make the most of every opportunity you have to take risks and challenge yourselves. Failures are even more important than successes for learning.