Career

A Year of Doing Things I’m Afraid Of

A picture of the blog I'm currently writing with the caption: "writing my last blog post"

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When I first met with my supervisors to begin blogging for Life at U of T, I was suddenly unbelievably, irrationally nervous. I confidently applied for the role of Career Centre Blogger because I loved to write, I wanted to think more about my career, and I was qualified for the position. But as soon as I stepped back on campus to begin writing for the year, I was filled with self-sabotaging doubt.

For one thing, blogging was a completely new experience for me. And for another, I had never attended events or workshops by myself before. My worries overshadowed the confidence I had when I applied for the position, and I started off my blogging experienced on an extremely stressed-out note.

I’ve always been passionate about writing, but I had never tried professionally blogging before. At first, it was definitely foreign for me to write in the first person about my reflections and feelings, and I wasn’t so sure if I liked it or if I was any good at it. But the more blogs I wrote, I quickly became comfortable with blogging. I enjoyed the break blogging gave me from writing rigorous academic papers and the chance to reflect about my career—something a lot of students neglect, or simply don’t have time, to do.

As someone who needs to (obviously) practice mindfulness, blogging was a great opportunity to reflect on my professional development throughout second year. The insight I’ve gained from my experiences as a Career Centre blogger will hopefully continue to help me throughout the rest of my undergraduate career. I’m now more comfortable with networking, and I have more than enough insights about writing resumes and career exploration. As I take on new roles and responsibilities in the years to come, I want to keep being mindful and exploring my career with the tips and insights I’ve picked up through my current blogging role.

Looking back, my worries about going to events alone were also completely irrational. It’s difficult to remember what I was even worried about. As I started attending more and more events and workshops by myself for my job, my anxiety about going to events by myself completely disappeared. Being forced to overcome my irrational fears and doubts was one of the most valuable experiences from my blogging position. I’ve learned that the things I was worried about never ended up happening, and that I should focus on the task at hand rather than worry about what could go wrong in the future.

This year was all about trying new things—from blogging, to going to workshops by myself, to networking, to taking on new co-curricular activities, to using mindful colouring books and bullet journals. It was nerve-wracking to try things that were out of my comfort zone, but I am glad I never let my irrational fears stop me. I’ve found that the things that scare me the most end up teaching me the most. Had I let my doubts get the best of me, I would have never practiced blogging, gone to all the workshops and events I attended this year, or thought about my career so intensely. I’m excited to take the confidence and insights I’ve gained from my current position and keep doing things I’m afraid of for the rest of my career.