Sophomore Year End

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As sophomore year comes to its (hectic) close, I started to think about why am I here? What do I want to do? These questions started to spin in my mind today after a conversation with a professor (one among many brilliant minds here at UTSC). It’s actually quite surprising how much I still didn’t know how to answer, and it wasn’t just because of my social awkwardness.

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I had sort of narrowed down an area of interest to culture and tourism (although I don’t know if you can really call this narrowing, since it includes so many different scopes), but there was still more narrowing down to be done… that I hadn’t done. Which organizations am I interested in? I have to interact with them, know about them, and take action to be a part of their teams, instead of just waiting for something to happen. To quote my professor who quoted her family member…

When you’re drowning, you may pray to Minerva, but at the same time you might also want to move your hands and feet.

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This is something I might’ve been taking in the wrong direction. One of the things I liked about myself is that I’m extremely adaptable to really any type of environment (both atmospherically and mentally). For example, I’m naturally inverted and socially awkward… but when I had a job as a barista, I would prepare and force myself to be outgoing, smiley, and talkative with pre-planned replies and opening lines. I’m naturally bad at math, but if circumstances call for it, I buckle down to study and make myself temporarily good at math. It may not necessarily be a quick process, but at least I have the ability to force myself to do things outside of my comfort zone and still be happy. Because of this, I kept thinking… anything is fine… I’ll take whatever comes… but as a result, I’m not “moving my hands and feet”.

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Consequently, it’s resulted in what I’d probably call a lack of passion. I didn’t research with much depth what there is, and what I could do. I’d like to be involved with larger, reputable organizations because I’m attracted to that sort of thing, but at the same time it’s intimidating because I feel like I don’t have enough experience or knowledge to even have the privilege of talking to them. I backhandedly compare myself to others who have already done so much since high school, and just hope that I stumble upon a good opportunity anywhere.

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Maybe it is a lack of confidence. Maybe I need to “adapt” to the fact that I’m not stupid. I actually do have good experiences under my belt; I learn fast. Just gotta stop over-thinking… In any case, summer is coming… and even though I still have 3 classes… it leaves -2 classes’ worth of time for me to get out there and do some damage. To quote another brilliant mind, Lucy Maud Montgomery in her book Anne of Green Gables,

It’s not what the world holds for you, but what you bring to it.

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On another note, I also feel my social skills are going down the drain. I spent all of Freshman year working with a professor to get over my quiet-ness, and by working at Maple Leaf for half a year as aforementioned, to force myself to be outgoing. Now after a year of being stuck in the empty suburbs (in my room), I think I’ve reverted back into my shell, even feeling my face get red-hot whenever I stutter out more than two sentences. Why is it that I can perform dance with fluidity and confidence, and even walk runway on a Sogo platform, but I can’t think/speak on my feet without preparing for it like a test? Awkward distribution in areas of confidence…

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