Hi everyone! I’ve been a bit MIA from the blog these past few days because I was back in London, Ontario for my graduation. It’s crazy that after six years, a what-am-I-doing-with-my-life crisis, and a program change, I finally have a Bachelors degree to my name.
But this piece of paper represents so much more than just a degree to me.
It represents six years of hard work. Six years of turning down party invitations to study. Of countless hours spent in the library trying to find the perfect journal articles to cite in my paper. Of stressing out about deadlines.
It represents the culmination of all that hard work when I graduated at the top of my class and got carry the Brescia banner during Convocation.
It represents finding independence.
It represents six years of friendships. Some permanent, some only fleeting. But all important.
It represents learning who I am and becoming comfortable with that person.
And most of all, it represents finding my passion.
Six years ago I started at The University of Western Ontario as a shy, self-conscious 18 year old who had only ever felt worthy when it came to her grades. I didn’t think I was cool enough to make new friends, or pretty enough to find a boyfriend, but at least I felt confident that I was smart.
I went into Biomedical Science because, as someone with good grades, that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. But it made me miserable. I liked learning about organic compounds and cell biology – heck, I even liked solving complicated calculus problems. But I didn’t see the point of what I was learning, which scared me.
So in my third year I started exploring other options. I didn’t think I wanted to be a science nerd anymore, so I tried to figure out who I actually was. I pictured myself as a quirky artsy type, so I took a comparative literature class. Then I thought maybe I could be an argumentative, political type of person, so I took a law class. I had to continue taking a few science courses, so I took a physiology class too. And that’s where a spark was lit.
I remember sitting through an endocrinology lecture where we were learning about the relationship between calcium, vitamin D, and the parathyroid gland. And all of a sudden I realized this was what I wanted to do. This is what fascinated me. It turns out I was still a science geek, but I was just learning about the wrong type of science!
So I abandoned my degree and enrolled in Nutrition and Dietetics the following year. This kind of decision was practically unheard of for me. I was never the type of person to step out of my comfort zone and make big, scary decisions like this. But this was one of the decisions I’ve ever made. A few weeks into my new degree I remember making pasta in the food lab after spending a lecture learning about the science of gluten and I thought to myself “This is where I belong”.
I may have taken an extra 2 years to complete my degree, but it was entirely worth it. There were lots of potential barriers, like paying 2 more years of tuition, staying behind when all my friends graduated, having to make new friends, etc, but those are all just excuses. If you really want to do something, don’t let the excuses hold you back. Once you find your passion, just go for it!
And don’t be scared to lean on your family for support…
Put yourself out there and meet new people…
Get involved and try out new things…
And have fun!
What did you learn in university?