Wednesday, 26 July 2017

What Does a University Student Have to Be Proud Of?

Finding Points of Pride in Your Life

In the face of balancing academics, our social lives, work, relationships, extra-curriculars, family, and responsibilities, it can be easy to beat yourself up when everything starts to feel like too much. Instead of dedicating ourselves to our own progress, we compare ourselves to the progress of others and lose sight of our achievements and how far we’ve come.

I want to take this time to remind you of why I am proud of you, and why YOU should feel proud of YOURSELF and all your achievements. So, here's what you have to be proud of:

You have made it into University!

Forget about all the pressure and stress that comes with networking and earning a high GPA. YOU GOT INTO UNIVERSITY!!! As of 2014, only 54% of Canadians have been admitted into a post-secondary program, and you are a part of that percentage! Your University of Alberta admission was the result of an accumulated 12+ years of hard work and dedication and you most definitely deserve a pat on the back for that. 

You are trying you best to balance your social and academic life

You know how to get work done, but you also know that time spent with family and friends is equally as important. You study and strive to do the best you can at school, but you also invest in your relationships and the people that you value.

You are dedicated

Getting to the point you are at now has taken a great amount of perseverance and dedication. You have faced struggles and encountered many obstacles along the way, but look at you now: you are on the road to achieving your goals and being the person that you aspire to be. Even if you aren't where you want to be yet, life is a process, and greatness takes time and consistency, but remember to be proud that you have placed yourself on this path in the first place. 

You have goals

It is so easy to lose sight of goals and aspirations when life gets in the way. But no, you write your goals down or keep them in the back of your mind at all times because you are determined to achieve them in the future. You understand that it will take time to get there, but you are determined to reach the finish line. 

You keep learning and improving

There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes or having regrets. It all depends on what you take away from them. You are learning and evolving as an individual, and with each mess-up you have learnt a lesson and grown from it. 

You have moved on

While moving on is such an important part of life, it is also one of the hardest parts of life. There are so many instances where you have left the familiar in order to explore the unfamiliar and move forward. Be proud of your ability and willingness to recognize when situations in your life require change and be proud of yourself for embracing the evolution that comes with these changes. If you have moved on from things that have hurt you, give yourself a pat on the back, because you did that all on your own, despite how difficult it was. 

You are figuring out your life, one step at a time. 

I recently watched a graduation speech delivered by Steve Jobs at Stanford University in 2005. One of the things he mentioned in his speech really stuck with me. He said:

“Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart. Even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.” 

So don't worry if you don’t have it all together just yet. There is a reason why clichés like “everything happens for a reason” exist, because more of than not, they hold some truth. Remember to take pride in your actions, goals, and decisions, and to congratulate yourself every time you accomplish something, no matter how big or small, because you owe it to yourself to be proud of how far you’ve come. 

Niabi - YouAlberta Contributor

Niabi is a fifth year BA student double majoring in English and Spanish. She is a relentless optimist, hazardously curious, and loves a good laugh (her friends would say that she has a juvenile sense of humor). When not jamming out to Reggaeton, you can find her trying to cuddle every dog she sees, or serving herself “eyes-are-too-big-for-your-stomach” helpings.

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