Graduation

It has been nearly two months since I finished my final exams, and about three weeks since I crossed the stage and received my diploma. It has been almost five years since I moved into residence at UBC and embarked on my undergraduate journey.

The actual “graduation” happened very quickly – I was scurried across the stage and had some photos taken in rapid succession, with more being quickly taken by family after the ceremony. However, the process of getting to the stage has been longer and is what made the brief hat-and-gown stroll so significant.

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1st year: I returned home from residence the first night I was to stay there, and skipped my Arts student frosh event. My friends came to visit me and made me feel like not all hope was lost in this new place that I was meant to call a home. I went to my first event and someone said “hi” to me and I said “hi” back and we chatted and he introduced me to someone else who said “hi” and we became friends. Confused and lost, I attended “Imagine UBC” with my “M.U.G. Leader” guide and witnessed a large and daunting place be just that but with life pulsing through it with swarms of colour-coded students bustling about. A really amazing 8 months of my young adult life was beginning.

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Don’t follow your passion – foster it.

My last post was somewhat-obnoxiously but somewhat-accurately entitled “How to Become Better”, and it featured summaries of videos and podcasts that outlined strategies and theories relating to self-improvement. These were not strategies to attain such contentious goals as eating better, achieving mental peace, or weight loss; indeed, the summaries I shared were strategies to connect with external and internal resources for achieving whatever goals you wanted to.

One of those podcasts by Freakonomics Radio featured a woman by the name of Angela Duckworth, who is a PhD in psychology and studies high achievers and the concept of “grit” or stick-to-it-iveness. I stumbled across a New York Times article yesterday that struck a chord with me before I even got past the title: “Graduating and Looking for Passion? Just be Patient.” As I read through the first couple of paragraphs, I suddenly felt that I was familiar with what was being discussed, and checked to see if the author was – yes! – Angela Duckworth.

I highly recommend checking out this New York Times article on fostering – not simply finding – a passion. If you’re similar to me, you have wanted an “ah-ha!” moment for some length of time (I’ve clung to this phrase since a presentation I saw nearly 5 years ago); Duckworth’s article ties back to my previous post and reminds me that I have control over a passion coming to fruition.

One of the most significant takeaways for me was that one might have to go with the option that makes the most sense and is better, not worse, even if it doesn’t seem ideal.