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Embracing and Redefining Failure: 3 things I have learned from my first semester at Western

  • Sonya Zhang
  • |
  • Dec 10, 2018
Embracing and Redefining Failure: 3 things I have learned from my first semester at Western

For many students, coming to university is the first time that they are exposed to so many like-minded people. The opportunity to explore another degree before pursuing business means that Western draws in some of the most well-rounded and multi-talented people that I’ve ever met. I love that I’m constantly in an environment where I’m academically and socially stimulated by my peers. However, for many students including myself, this also means that it’s the first time that I’ve seriously questioned my own intelligence and ability to achieve my goals. As a result, I’ve started to genuinely rethink the way that I define success and failure.

You’ll never be the best at everything, and that’s fine!

From DECA Presidents, to Student Council Treasurers, to High School Valedictorians, Western attracts many high-achievers. This means that for many of these students, coming to university will be the first time that they are faced with the reality that they won’t always be the best at everything. However, I think that the opportunity to constantly learn from, and be in awe of my peers is motivation for me to continue to push myself and grow as an individual.

There’s no formula for success

 Initially, I tried to overcome my feelings of inferiority by finding a formula for success, but I soon realized that there was no ‘one-size fits all’ formula because if there was, everyone would follow it. However, I also realized that this is actually incredibly exciting! There are so many different opportunities to learn more and find out what you’re passionate about, from general business clubs, to research opportunities, to sports teams! Everyone has interests that will lead them to different paths.

It’s ok to change your mind

I think that one of the best parts of being exposed to so many different opportunities is that it makes you discover what you’re genuinely passionate about. For some students, this may mean pursuing a traditional career in business. For others, it means pursuing a dual degree that will allow them to thoroughly explore their diverse interests. For some, it may even mean deciding that business isn’t for them. As a result, I think that the 2+2 structure offered by the Ivey HBA Program is one of its best assets. It allows students to thoroughly explore all of their interests, and ensure that they are sure the program is right for them, before fully committing to it.

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