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How University Has Changed Me So Far

Shannon Hui, BBA 2019

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I still remember the first time I stepped into the Schulich building and excitedly took the iconic photo (that everyone takes at least once) with the school sign. Flash forward, I am going into my third year and have reached the halfway point of my degree. A lot can happen in two years, especially when it involves completely new experiences. With that being said, university has been a huge rollercoaster, and in handling all the ups and downs, I have changed in more ways than one.

Becoming Independent

University was my first taste of independence, which I was not completely ready for. My biggest concern was living away from home for the first time, with one of my biggest struggles being my absolute lack of cooking skills. While I may have had a few haphazard cooking situations, it is exactly these sorts of situations, where there is no other option but to rely on yourself, where you learn the most. After two years of living on residence, I can proudly say that I can take better care of myself and prepare three decently tasty meals a day!

Becoming Vulnerable

In first year, I was not prepared for the changes that come along with attending a university far from home. Frankly, I was scared out of my wits because I had grown too comfortable with my daily high school routine where I knew how things worked and the people there. I believed that there was no other option than to confront everything that was thrown my way, and rely only on myself. However, when things came crashing down, I was stripped bare, left out in the open and had to ask for help. I was welcomed warmly by professors, friends and family, in my time of vulnerability. University may have taught me the hard way that being vulnerable is not a liability, but I am thankful for it, because in return, I became more authentic, open, and happier.

Becoming a (Pro) Organizer

Whether it is extracurricular activities, academics or social events, there is going to be a lot going on when you are in university. In first year, school was my first priority, which meant never missing a class, consistently reviewing the material, and studying relentlessly. Since my head was always wrapped around a textbook, I was not involved in clubs and rarely attended events. By learning to properly set my priorities and being more organized, I took ownership of my time. Not only have I come to enjoy school a lot more, but I have also gained valuable life skills along the way (a.k.a. a time management and priority setting).

Becoming a (Proud) Failure

University provided me with opportunities to not only succeed, but also to fail. In fact, some of my most memorable moments from first and second year involve my biggest failures. Going to university and failing was a much needed reality check, since quite honestly, I did not fail much in high school. Throughout first and second year, my most consistent failure was my effort to be involved in clubs as an executive. Whether it be the application or interview stage, I was rejected consecutively which was a huge blow to my confidence. Ten applications and six interviews later, I achieved my first success; made possible from feedback, mock interviews with friends, and motivational YouTube videos. If I were ever given the option, I would never take my failures back because failure taught me what success could not: perseverance, ambition, and self-compassion.

Becoming Self-understanding

What made my university experience meaningful so far is that I discovered a lot about myself in the past two years. University offers great opportunities to explore your interests and try new things. One of my great (but simple) self-discoveries was uncovered by taking the required business courses. I learned that I dislike economics with a passion, but love marketing with the same fury. Beyond likes and dislikes, I have also learned of my strengths and weaknesses, passions and fears, as well as my desires and dreams. In better knowing myself, I have built on my strengths and improved my weaknesses, worked harder in pursuing my interests, and made more authentic decisions.

At the end of the day, it is hard for me to believe how much university has changed me. The time in university may be challenging, but for how much I have grown, it is well worth the crazy ride.


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