Dear friends, fellow students, countrymen.
These last 2 weeks have been a roller coaster ride for me. I had course conflicts, club activities and homework all within the first 24 hours of setting foot on campus. Now that everything has been resolved and I have braved the stormy water I would like to share the lessons I have learned with you all.
First lesson I learned was that the prep I had done for the semester in the holidays totally paid off. Becoming more organized and recognizing that I would have to sacrifice my 'free' time to pull off all my plans has been the key to not having already had a mental breakdown, sort of.
I met a slew of amazing people this week. A UTSC alumni that quit his job and started his own company (Brandon Chu from Tunezy woot). Brandon had a full time job and a family within a few years of graduating but risked it all. His reasoning: you have to do what you want, take a chance and put yourself out of your comfort zone or you will never learn anything. I know this is true but hearing it from someone who is following their dreams doing well shone that ray of light into my stormy week.
Lesson 1: If you invest in something you feel strongly about, there will be a pot of gold waiting for you at the end of that rainbow.
Next I had the return to my club. The team goes through a lot of struggles. Any group with limited funding, volunteers and real responsibility would. However when I see the amazing potential and efforts my team puts into our work it makes me believe in what I'm doing.
Lesson 2: Be around people you like or it will feel like time wasted even if it isn't. Birds of a feather flock together? You are the company you keep? Does Zarish know any more cliches? Maybe?
After I managed to sort out my course conflict dilemma my program supervisor who solved my situation asked me, 'What are you doing with your life?' This completely threw me off my game. I sat around being emo for a good couple of hours evaluating my life and trying to figure out what to do with it. What am I doing? Why are my activities so diverse? Why couldn't I just be a doctor/engineer/lawyer? Am I a lost soul destined to be included in the unemployed statistic of recent grads? Then I talked to a friend (and mentor). She asked me if my self esteem was really low enough to allow anyone to make me doubt myself that easily. She had a point.
Lesson 3: (Bradon also mentioned this) If you don't have your life completely figured out yet it is not the end of the world. You will find your path. Just put yourself out there.
I hope this helped someone out there. Main reason I wanted to go over all this with you guys was because I've made a lot of these mistakes and questioned a lot of my choices over the last few years.
C'est la vie.
If you want to know more about Brandon or the group that set up the speaker event: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=483907854983954&set=a.273679559340119.60801.273675996007142&type=1&theater