I thought I had found myself and who I truly was, but ever since I was 13 I developed Keloid scars from very bad acne. This changed how others saw me and it set me back, I hated myself for having these scars. High School was very tough, I got picked on and looked at for something I couldn’t change. By grade 12 I was so lost in who I was, I didn’t even know what I wanted to do; so I applied to everywhere and accepted an offer to UOIT. I was determined to put my past self-conscious behaviour behind me and start a new path.
Like many people who attend university, the transition can be a wild ride. My first year was full of highs and lows. Some of the highs were joining a sorority, who welcomed me with open arms and guided me not only throughout my first year but continues to guide me now. Another high was going outside of my comfort zone and completing the one program. Some of the lows I faced were finding new friends, learning a new campus, and anxiety about finals. I found myself quiet blue and sad during exams as I would shut out the world around me to try and study.
When second year came around I was less nervous about my classes and I had found a solid group of friends, who I could trust to keep my health in check. During second year I felt more comfortable and I started to care less what people thought. I was really happy, I finally was able to do more things, attend more social events and show people the fun side. Second year taught me people will judge you, even if you are doing well and others will always try to stop your happiness. Luckily I had a great group of friends and support, so I didn’t let peoples negative comments effect me. Before I started third year I applied to be part of the Student Mental Health Advisory Committee and found I had a calling in mental health.
Third year was rough! I got too involved at school and had a job, working 20 hours a week. With everything going on my grades started to slip and I started to change. I became grumpy, unmotivated, and my mental health started to fall. I quit my job but it was too late, I failed a paper worth 20% of my grade – I freaked out, I thought my life was over. After talking to friends and family, I decided to quit my job to focus on school. Winter semester I found my balance again, and developed new ways to write papers, study, and how to handle failing; because it is okay to fail sometimes in life. I developed a passion for school again and wanted to boost my GPA so I can go on to grad school.
Fourth year… she has been quite an experience so far, I have applied for the practicum program, got in and so far doing very well. I find myself in multiple leadership opportunities in school and outside the school. I am succeeding in all classes, developing new ways to keep calm during stressful times, and applying to multiple competitive post-degree programs. This year looks very promising for me.
So who am I?
Well I am a 21 year old social science undergrad student who has tattoos, piercings, is a sorority woman, volunteer, and still developing. Some days I have myself “figured” out and other days I don’t, and that’s okay, everyone develops and finds themselves though different paths.
Finding yourself can be very hard and a long process, but don’t ever give up and take one step at a time, you will find yourself – it may be tomorrow or it may be years from now – either or anytime before is fine!