Have you learned anything about yourself or the world this semester?
If you had told me a few years ago that I would live through a global pandemic, let alone complete my first year of university online, I would have told you no way. For years, I spent ample time rushing and hustling to get from one place to another. Then it all came to a screeching halt. Suddenly, I realized I had dreams, hopes, and goals to accomplish. Yet, I wasn’t enjoying the journey I was taking to achieving them.
I have taken a different approach to my university journey. It’s no longer about the next course or next step but taking every opportunity offered and pushing myself out of my boundaries. This semester, I realized many people’s goals about graduate school or their GPA prevents them from accepting new challenges. I can proudly say that I have now gained openness to change and try to always live in the present because you don’t know what tomorrow holds.
What were some of the most significant challenges/roadblocks you faced this semester, and how did you overcome them?
I was always taking additional courses in high school to get ahead to build what I called my “academic endurance.” As a result, I experienced a small GPA decrease from high school to university. I was also involved in clubs, networking, and continuing to expand my business while succeeding academically at the same time.
In early October, my mom had a seizure and was admitted to the hospital. She had a tumour in her brain, which was diagnosed as a stage 4 glioblastoma brain cancer. This has been an immense challenge, but DeGroote has helped me stay on track with my studies.
I am trying my best to be positive and set goals. Goals push me forward and allow me to focus on the tasks at hand. I grew my tutoring business and established a plan to donate $4,000 to a charity that increases the odds of surviving brain cancer through research.
Were there any self-revelations you experienced this semester?
Due to the amount of time I have spent in quarantine with my grandmother and immediate family, I had time to personally reflect on the importance of helping those in need during these trying times. I realized that I could be doing more to help those in my community and make social change. My brother, Lucas, and I tried to shop local for our Christmas shopping and made a conscious effort to donate to the Ronald McDonald House in Hamilton, Ontario. After years of shopping solely off Amazon, it was refreshing to have a more personal experience when purchasing from local businesses and make a difference in my community.
What have you been grateful for during these times?
I have been most grateful for my family. Throughout the lockdown, we have bonded and explored new hobbies as a family. It has been great to spend the time we never seemed to have pre-lockdown. My family has explored cross country skiing, hiking, golfing, and learned all about French baking through cookbooks, like my favourite, Poilâne by Apollonia Poilâne.