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Sometimes, I think back to kindergarten, when you’d get introduced to all of the other new students in the classroom. You’d ask some ice-breakers in order to try and find something in common with someone else, to try and make a friend. And it was always easy. 5 year old me would jump at the chance to befriend someone else, and I would always find a way to relate to everyone’s answers. That’s the beauty of childhood, I think, that we all just want to connect to each other and we all just want to spread some love. 


Throughout childhood, and even more so now, my favourite ice breaker question has always been “What superpower do you want to have?” My answer to this question has always been: the ability catcher (think Rogue from the X-Men). 


When I think of an ability catcher, I see a superhero who can mimic and take the abilities of the people around them, then be able to use it in a positive way. If I imagined myself in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with this, I would be able to take the best qualities in everyone else, and form it into one mega superpower. But apart from that, I just thought that being the culmination of every great part about someone else would be the absolute coolest thing ever. In my head, it was perfect, and I could just instantly be everyone’s favourite person. I thought I would be my own favourite person, because if I ever felt like I wasn’t enough, I could just take the best qualities of another person who was in my vicinity. 


What I always forget is that who I am as a person is a superpower in itself. 


I think that it’s so easy to see the greatest things about other people. It’s easy to see that someone was able to accomplish something at this certain age, or that this person has done this thing and was recognized for it by some big organization. It’s so easy for us to be hard on ourselves and compare our lives to other people’s lives. 


But we are so incredible just on our own. 


I know that it’s so much easier said than done, but we have to look at ourselves with the same admiration that we have towards the other people in our lives. We have to look at ourselves with the same kindness that we afford our friends and family, and understand that we are all so incredible because of the differences that we have. 


The stranger you saw on the street with the really cool style? They thought that you’re really cool too. The person you saw with the warmest smile probably thought that yours was just as great. And me, I think that you are above and beyond what you have thought about yourself. 


Don’t forget your best superpower – the fact that you’re you. 


Nicole is in her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta, double majoring in Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies. On campus, you can find her volunteering for many organizations, or studying with friends, and getting coffee. During her free time, she loves to sing karaoke, watch cheesy rom-coms, and take all the naps. Find her on Instagram @nicoledegrano! 
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