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Yes Man.

If you’ve ever watched the movie “Yes Man”, you know what I am talking about. If not, I recommend it if you need a good laugh. In short, it is about a man who literally says “Yes” to every thing that is presented to him. I have lived my summer in London this way for the most part, and it has done nothing but brought me happiness.


My yes man attitude has led me to insights and awareness when it comes to research. For example, techniques not necessarily relevant or useful to my work I have learned about when training sessions were being taught just for my own knowledge. And now I feel confident as ever in the lab, and comfortable knowing what machine to use to achieve what piece of information in my research puzzle.

20x magnification of one of my solutions containing particles of my polymer


Another example of my so called yes man attitude has led me across the United Kingdom.

Whether it be spending a night out in London,

International students from the UCL School of Pharmacy taking over the night bus.

going on a hike with a couple of my PhD colleagues


Reading, England.

or experiencing the roaring wind on the Isle of Wight.

“The Needles” one of the sights to see on the Isle of Wight, UK.

These experiences and many more I have had all came about through a suggestion by a friend, a colleague, a stranger. And without thought, I just said “yes”.


The most prevalent example of my Yes Man attitude, however, was when I met a man from New York who goes by the name of Sep. The story of our friendship is an interesting one, which added a quite interesting dynamic to my life. Essentially he was on a Eurotrip and had a stop in London. I met him on a Tuesday, then again on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday before he left the U.K. and continued on his journey to Amsterdam. We remained in contact because of the fun week we had spent together. It was nice and I felt so comfortable with someone I had known for such a short period of time. It was also a nice feel of home hanging out with someone from North America who can naturally understand my slang or my pop culture references (haha).

Two weeks after we met, Sep’s journey took him to Paris, France. And two weeks after we met I traveled to meet up with Sep in Paris, France. (yep.)

Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France. L: Me, R: Sep.


Why have I acted this way though? Well, why not? This has done me no harm, all that my Yes Man attitude has shown me is that no one is out to get you. And as crazy it or I may seem, I have experienced true happiness during my summer in Europe and it is all thanks to the places I have been, the people I have met and the knowledge I have gained. I have caught myself at times sitting in these places silently and just being present in the moment. I feel the sun kiss my skin, listen to the snippets of foreign conversations that are being spoken around me, allow the smell of a fresh croissant gage my taste buds. I have no worries in these moments and I feel as if time is non-existent.

Knowledge, insight, a story to tell, a new friend, a lover, happiness. If I have learned anything from these past couple of weeks it is that everything and everyone adds something to your life and has something to offer.  Take risks, and believe in what you believe in.


Yours truly, from the U.K.,

— Kelvin


Self Reflection


Dear Reader

Hello, if you are reading this welcome to my first blog post. I am Kelvin Urbina. I am a 20 year old B.Sc candidate in chemistry at Ryerson University. I am participating on a university exchange in which I am conducting research in pharmacy from May 3rd – August 25th at the University College London (UCL) in London, England. I hope you find this blog post and others I post relatable in some aspects and inspirational in others.


Self Reflection

Do you know how university teaches you things in addition to the actual knowledge you are learning? For example, one learns how to effectively manage their time, as it may be like do or die if you cannot. You learn how to balance your life in a variety of different aspects such as being able to work, have time for yourself, and see your friends. My experience abroad in London may be compared to being a university student back in Toronto in that sense. I find myself being so open to new experiences, open to meeting new people, and being so very unapologetically myself. I frequently take time to self-reflect on what I had experienced that day, what I felt, why I felt that way, and so on. I am able to see the beauty in every experience and every person I meet. I feel at peace.

Stay tuned for further blog posts where I will discuss what a blessing this experience has been so far in different aspects of science, the friends I have made, and the culture.

With love, from the United Kingdom,

— Kelvin