The Basics of Life in 3 Lessons

You know how you need to learn the basics before you move onto advanced lessons and these lessons need to be learned in a specific sequence? In life, our eagerness to grow up pushes us to dive into the deeper end of the pool, taking a pass on learning to float. You can learn the most advanced lessons, like being wise or responsible, before learning some of the basics. But basics are important nonetheless and the best part is that it’s never too late to learn. To present my case, here are some stories that I hope will inspire you.

1. When second-year MIT student Sarah Asselin learned that ‘finding your thing’ and sticking to it is as important as anything else….

“At the beginning of this year I started getting really into working out. It may sound weird but even in my hardest moments last semester having the ability and strength (literally!) to go and do that made me feel so much more put together, motivated and happy in all aspects of my life. I feel like finding "your thing" to do when life gets hard makes you feel so much more in control and more able to face the bad things— at least for me!!”

2. When first-year English major Melanie Elizabeth realized that it is okay to not be ready for everything that people your own age are ready to do….

“When I graduated high school in my victory lap, all of my friends were either going to or had already been in university for a year. I thought that’s what you do when you graduate—you go to university. So I went to the University of Ottawa for approximately 10 days. I knew from the start it was a mistake but I went anyways. I ended up dropping out and had never felt so alone and unmotivated. My mother stopped speaking to me and my parents looked at me as a disappointment. What I did instead was throw myself into the things I love. I became a volunteer teacher's assistant and also learned a new language. I wasn't ready for university at the time and I know now that it was entirely okay… that I had to feel like I was drowning in order to remind myself that I knew how to swim. I became motivated through doing things I love and I’m so happy that I was able to do that.”

3. When Allie Hardy, third-year student double majoring in English and sociology, realized that the most important thing is to be happy in what you do…..

“This year I transferred from Laurier to Western. During the process, I realized that a lot of my credits were either non-transferable or I was going to have to retake really similar courses all over again. I was moving home but knew how hard I was going to have to try to maintain high enough marks through the transition as well as gaining the extra credits. My Laurier friends and roommates were shocked and my roommates were especially not thrilled with me so it made it so much harder to leave. As hard as I found it, moving [back] home was exactly what I needed. Admitting to myself that it’s okay to not please everyone and do what was best for me was the right thing to do. Even if that meant being a little uncomfortable and having to try harder, in the long run I'm much happier.”

These are just some of the stories; there are hundreds more out there and an equal number of lessons to be learned. So go out there and don’t be afraid to face hardship. I know it doesn’t look that good now but it will be better sooner than you think. So, hold on and remember that it is never too late to come back to the basics.

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