‘Be the voice you needed to hear when you were younger’. Looking back at the old version of myself, and seeing how I was as a tween has been hard to grasp. I was a young high school girl trying to survive the social expectations of ‘fitting in’, while navigating the challenges of making friends and working hard at the books. I had a small close knit group of friends and didn’t have much courage to push myself out of my comfort zone. At the time, I didn’t feel the need to encourage myself to be anywhere else except with this friend group. As I went through the high school routine, I started to realize over time that I was not challenging myself and I was in the same spot as I was in grade 8. Over time, I began to notice that the friends that truly cared about me were sticking by my side, while others slowly moved on and found other groups to be around. I didn’t feel accepted for who I was, as I lost my core group of friends at the most critical times of high school. It took me some time to realize who my true friends were and where I could feel acceptance and love from. That’s when university came, and things began to change. Fast forward to all the new beginnings….

Entering university was a new place for me, since I didn’t know many people, and that became one of my first challenges that I had to overcome. High school was a place of comfort, familiarity, and conformity, that when I entered university I didn’t know how to cope. I was the only one out of my small friend group, that was in a different Faculty and career path. In my first year, I was so nervous to begin a new chapter, but the thrill of meeting new friends and pursuing something that I was passionate about, led me to where I am today. Thinking back to my student self 5 years ago, I would have never guessed that the challenges I faced then would bring me to what I have now. Timing has played a major part of who I am, and in turn I have grown from those experiences.

If you ever feel alone, unaccepted, or left behind…I hope you remember that you are not alone. Find the people who always support you, love you for who you are, and challenge you to be a better person each day! Your worth is not defined by the number of friends you are surrounded by, but the quality of the people that are there for you in good times and bad. I know it sounds easier said than done, but find ‘your squad’. You may not find it right away, because the opportunity might find you instead!

Timing brings together these opportunities, so I want you to know that your time is coming. Believe in yourself and the people around you, to lift you up during the difficult times and challenge you to be a better individual each day. I think to myself each day, ‘what if this happened, what would the present look like?’, ‘how did this opportunity and timing lead to this experience right now?’ It will work out for you, so let time take it’s course!

This week’s theme is Acceptance, but it is not simply accepting yourself, but also the others around you. Life is a constant rollercoaster, but the ups and downs are what build our experiences and the learning curves we go through. It may sound a bit cheesy, but I truly believe in ‘to forgive and forget’. In order to move forward and learn more over time, we have to forgive others and seek the positive in all the experiences we have. Initially, I found it hard to accept the fact that particular incidences happened, but I started reflecting on what I have learnt over time and how it has impacted how I approach life. We learn to move on by reminding ourselves to evaluate the mistakes, and find ways to learn from them. When I regret past actions I often call all of them mistakes, but what they could be considered, is learning lessons. I believe every single action we take in life has a purpose, and if we did something that was not intended we can treat it as a alternate route we took on life.

Wishing you all the best this week! Reach out and find your people, because they are there to support you!