What's The Rush?

The biggest thing I’ve realized since starting university is that you always feel like you’re falling behind and that feeling has never been stronger.

This September I started studying business at the Richard Ivey Business School—a major jump for a science nerd like me. I was nervous. If you’re from Western, you’ve heard all about these Ivey kids. Even though I was now one of them, I still felt like an outsider… almost like an imposter. I was terrified that whatever I would say wouldn’t sound business-like and they would know that I didn’t belong. Luckily, that fear quickly went away… only to be replaced by one much bigger.

During my first two weeks at Ivey, I worked hard. Tried to pick up on how to fit into the business world. Really zoned into my academics, because they’re important, right? That’s what we’re here for. An education. An education to help us get to where we’re hoping to be one day. I saw the path to my dream job as a staircase. You need to achieve one task at a time and, right now, doing well in school was my task. I quickly realized everyone else at Ivey was focused on something else—on getting a job. They were busy networking, attending seminars, and reaching out to alumni. I was confused—a lot of them were putting school as a relatively low priority. I thought maybe it was just these Ivey kids.

For once, I started to look at what other students were doing. Everyone was doing something and everything. Someone was researching, publishing a book, designing an app, running a small business… maybe saving some country or something! But what was I doing? I thought I was on the right track. I was a good student; I studied hard, gave back to my community, was involved on campus, and made time to go out with friends. You know, the typical things that university kids do at this point in life, right? Apparently not.

I started to feel anxious. Was I going about this all wrong? Why was everyone in such a rush? It seemed like everyone was looking for a shortcut—trying to get where they wanted to be tomorrow, today. I was confused and scared. I honestly didn’t know what to do, and I always knew what to do.

I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way or do right now. It’s very overwhelming. But if you need some help, let me tell you what my best friend said: “You’re always going to feel behind. It’s normal if you compare yourself to other people. But if you compare yourself to the timeline that you’ve created for yourself, you’ll know if you’ve truly fallen behind. You have your own dream and you decide how you’re going to get there. Reflect on that. And then decide from there what you need to be doing right this second. Don’t get caught up in the rush.”

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