It would be great to start off this blog post with a list of my accomplishments, awards, nominations and spectacular projects but that would be unrealistic. A lot of us have a cliché image of university, unfortunately I was one of those people. I thought I’d come in and everything will be a bed of roses and things would just magically fall into place. I’m really glad that version of a university experience doesn’t exist. I would say the best part of university are the curve balls and pitfalls that come with it. In reality, these curveballs and seemingly low points in life are merely learning experiences that would shape the rest of my adult life.
As a student, it’s important to set goals and be realistic with my expectations of what an ideal university experience is. Over the course of my first year I learned how to set standards for myself and discover what I truly want to gain out of my experience at University of Toronto. You’d be surprised to find out that simply joining clubs, attending career events and having a fun and motivating close circle of friends contributes to your self-discovery journey.
There are many ways to find your purpose and discover your true self but for me, the best way to find my passion and interests is to try new things. For example, before coming to U of T I had never thought about entering a design competition or hackathon but when I realized that university is filled with opportunities to try new things and fail with no consequences, I took a bold step and entered my very first case competition. I went to the competition alone and knew only a few people but I had to set my overthinking aside to remind myself that I am on my own journey and sometimes discomfort is good.
One key thing I learned from getting involved on campus is the importance of life balance. At some point in time, I was focused on my coursework solely but I soon came to realize that life is way beyond grades, and in fact way beyond school. Life is a collage of different personal experiences, from how you connect with your teammates to finding what sparks joy for you when you’re spending time with yourself. Exposing yourself to different opportunities, activities and adventures are the key to self-discovery.
Take things one step at a time, self-discovery is a long and fun journey. Take up a new challenge, such as journaling or cycling, join a club or volunteer somewhere. Try new things with a mindset that if you fail (or succeed) you’ve just discovered something new within yourself.
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