I love planning. I spend a lot of time picking out a new planner each year, refining my organizational system, and re-calibrating my commitments and priorities as a student. These priorities change, thereby effecting each aspect of my plan.
In high school I wanted to become a medical doctor. My plan was to study something related, finish my undergrad, and then pursue medical school. Being surrounded with kids that all wanted the same things probably influenced this plan. I was a young girl, and my entire world was my relatively small community in Brampton. That plan was dropped the instant I walked into my first lecture.
I built a world for myself filled with dreams of a future I did not genuinely want. I lived in these dreams, consistently supporting the prevalent narrative that surrounded me throughout my childhood. Breaking free of the ill-informed thought patterns that closed me off from pursuing new opportunities allowed me the mental flexibility to accept unfamiliar challenges.
Jumping into January with a new plan, I’ve decided to make an effort to drop narratives that do not serve me. Whereas I previously thought the best route is to graduate in four years, I’m now pursuing an internship in my field. I could have graduated “on-time”, but when opportunity knocks I’m inclined to answer.
Taking time to pursue a valuable internship feels right. While the majority of programs in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences do not require work experience as a part of the degree, I took the initiative to look for and apply to positions. Once offered the position, I spoke with my registrar to make the suitable changes and I was set to start working. This term, I will be pursuing an internship full-time. Luckily, courses in my program are available in half-year sessions, and I will be able to complete my degree in a timely manner.
In first year I thought I would graduate and immediately pursue graduate school. That’s looking less likely as time goes on, as I now value work experience and real-world career development. My plans folded, but I quickly came up with new ideas to fill the gaps.
This ongoing process of change is fueled by a desire for exploration. Through visits to my academic advisers, participating in Woodsworth College’s mentor-ship program, and working towards doing well in my work, I discovered opportunities and industries I otherwise would not have paid any attention to.
Jumping into unfamiliar territory is terrifying. There was no one in my network to tell me what I could expect when I changed paths. This uncertainty has led to many failures, but I’ve learned from each of them.