There have been a handful of super influential moments in my life. These are the moments that I can clearly recall and that have shaped the direction that I have travelled in.
University was a really enriching time for me, not only because I was constantly being stimulated by new information from my courses, but because I nurtured a handful of skills within myself and often moved outside (sometimes pushed) of my comfort zone.
At the very start of my second year of university, I saw a posting on a website to apply for a position on a student leadership conference planning committee. I didn’t have very much event planning experience and wasn’t really sure what student leadership meant. In all honesty, I considered student leadership to be equivalent to student government, and I most certainly wasn’t involved in student government. However, there was something about the opportunity that really drew me in and for hours I hemmed and hawed about whether or not I should put in an application. Actually, I only had a few hours to think about things since the application deadline was later that day.
Deciding to throw my hat into the ring just so that I wouldn’t regret not applying ended up changing my life. I know, it sounds dramatic, but it’s true. This has actually become a decision-making mantra for me and has led to a few life-changing decisions since my second year of university.
I still remember the shock and elation of being offered an interview, the nervousness and excitement I felt going to the interview, and then the sheer delight of being offered a position on the committee. The committee chairs had taken a chance by bringing me on as a team member and I was motivated to make the most of the experience. Being the most junior student on the committee, I soaked up the wealth of knowledge from those sitting around the table at every meeting and the connections that I made as part of the whole experience, along with the skills that I demonstrated over the next several months, opened up many many more doors for me as I progressed through university. Whether it be other student leadership positions, 8 month co-operative education positions, or jobs on campus, rare and stimulating opportunities came forth and taught me so much about myself and how I fit into the world around me.
My network of students and staff who were deeply passionate about leadership and self development grew enormously, also pushed me to constantly challenge myself mentally, emotionally, physically, and psychologically.
Looking forward, life seems like a blank slate, waiting to be filled. Reflecting back, life feels more like a choose-your-own-adventure book where you only get to see the route you took but you can almost imagine, even just a little bit, what life could’ve been like had you chosen the other adventure option.
Deciding to throw my hat into the ring just so that I wouldn’t regret not applying ended up changing my life. This is how my life is being written.