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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

Would you believe me if I said some of my favourite rules to live by come from a fiction novel? 

Well, it’s the truth.

No, for real­­. It’s called The Paladin Prophecy, written by Mark Frost. I read the book back in middle school, and although I don’t remember much of the plot, there’s one thing that stuck with me. In the book, Will West is given a rulebook from his father. This rulebook contains a hundred rules he needs to live by in order to stay under the radar and live a careful life.

Although it seems like a weird thing to do, it works with the plot of the story, so do try giving it a read. Once I finished the book for the first time, I realized how relevant these rules were to my daily life despite the fact that I was not living the same life as Will was in his fictional world. Fascinated, I sat down, read through the rules again and found the ones I thought would help me on a day to day basis. Since then, I’ve been implementing these rules as best as I can, and though I haven’t reread the book the rules are something I always go back to take a look at! So without further ado, here is a list of my ten of my favourite rules, the ones that stuck with me even as I grew older!

“Watch, look, and listen, or you won’t know what you’re missing.”

I love this rule because it reminds me of the importance of staying aware of my surroundings. To be aware is to be safe. You need to pay attention to your surroundings, to the people, to who’s saying what- not just so you don’t miss anything, but most importantly, so you stay safe. I used to remember this rule when commuting to and from high school, and it’s one I’ll remember when commuting to Ryerson in the future!

“You only get one chance to make a first impression.”

This is one of my favourites, not just because it’s a useful tip for an interview, but because this rule applies whenever you meet anyone. It reminds me that leaving a good impression when you meet someone is very important in networking and developing relationships.

“Whenever your head is too full of noise, make a list.”

As a university student, I’m always busy with my studies. There’s always so much to do, and sometimes it can get very overwhelming. This rule reminds me that when things get too overwhelming, I should write out my thoughts in a list to keep organized. This helps clear my head and grounds me.

“Sleep when you’re sleepy. Cats take naps so they’re always ready for anything.”

As a night owl, I’m someone who always sleeps late simply because I am more productive at night. This means that sometimes I’m sleepy during the day, especially if I’ve woken up too early in the morning. This rule reminds me that taking naps is actually a good way to re-energize and be more productive.

“If you can’t be on time, be early.”

A classic rule, one you’ve probably heard while preparing for a new job. This rule is pretty straightforward, and a pretty good tip for being on time. I always think about this rule when getting up for my synchronous lectures in the morning! Despite everything being online this year, I always get up an hour or so early before class begins. By implementing this rule, I can have breakfast before class and be on time! Early is always better than late.

“If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”

This rule is one of my absolute favourites, not just because of the clever way it’s phrased. It reminds me of the importance of being prepared and organized in life. Of course, there will always be situations you cannot prepare for. However, for those situations for which it is possible, it is always best to be prepared if you want to succeed.

“Facing the truth is a lot easier, in the long run, than lying to yourself.”

Honesty is always the way to go in life, and this rule reminds me of that. Sometimes, it may seem like it’s easier to lie to yourself, but even if the truth hurts, it’s better to face and accept it early on.

“Don’t make another’s pain the source of your own happiness.”

Happiness should never be the result of someone else’s pain. It’s as simple as that. And this rule reminds me that holding a grudge or waiting for karma to get back at someone won’t do me any good. Let it go, move on with your life and happiness will find you.

“When nothing else works, try chocolate.”

This rule is actually very relevant to my life. Honestly, if everything is going wrong and I’m just feeling too overwhelmed, chocolate can help so much. I can’t explain why, but if you know, you know.

“Trying times are not the times to stop trying.”

A bit of a tongue twister, this rule is more than just fun to say. We are always faced with difficult challenges in life, and oftentimes we just want to give up. Running away doesn’t solve a problem, facing it does. This rule reminds me to keep moving forward even in the most difficult of times, especially right now, during the pandemic! Zoom university can be challenging, more so as a first-year, so this rule is definitely one that comes to mind often. 

And that’s it! Ten rules out of a hundred that have resonated with me all these years. Maybe after reading the list you’ve become curious about what other rules could possibly be.

So, I’ll leave with you a link to the hundred rules, and who knows? Maybe you’ll find a few that resonate with you!

Nayab Ahmar

Toronto MU '24

Nayab Ahmar is a second year Biomedical Sciences student at X University. On a free day, you can find her cozied up with a book and a cup of chai, or jamming to the latest Kpop song by her favourite groups. She is very passionate about the sciences and writing, and enjoys combining her two passions. Other than aspiring to work in healthcare and pursue a side career in writing, she also loves to practice the art of calligraphy whenever she can. Most of all, she loves finding happiness in the little things in life.
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