- Aleem Virji
- Jan 22, 2019
Stepping out of my comfort zone
At university, I was initially reluctant to try anything new. I was set on studying economics pre-Ivey due to my passion for business and finance. In fact, I had competed in case competitions and worked on many business-related projects. To say the least, I was in love with the way things worked in the business world, from macroeconomic policy to the intricacies of the stock market. However, I ultimately decided that it would be more valuable to use my first two years to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. But the big question still remained: what would I study instead?
After evaluating my strengths and weaknesses in high school, I realized that I was pretty good at math and science-based courses. Thus, spending my two years in engineering would match my stronger skillsets...or so I thought. Reflecting on that decision, I have no regrets. Although my first year was filled with difficult situations, I feel that I’ve learned life skills that no class or professor could ever teach me. Most notably, I’ve learned the importance of doing what you love and trying your absolute hardest even in situations where you aren’t doing what you are truly passionate about. There were points in my year where I was ready to give up and go home, but through what I now realize is an immensely supportive community of friends and faculty, I was able to persevere and ultimately complete my first year with the prerequisites to pursue economics in my second year. As much as I wish that I had followed my true passion within the field of economics and business from the very start, I am grateful for the opportunity to have given my best shot at something new. From that, I have developed in ways I could never have otherwise.
Looking towards HBA1
Now halfway through my second year, I feel even more excited about soon being officially in the HBA Program. Discovering what I am and am not passionate about has not only strengthened my commitment to my future goals, but has also made me grateful that I am now confident in my desire to pursue a business degree.
In regards to HBA1, I am most excited about being in a collaborative and solutions-oriented environment—the ideal environment to learn, innovate and collaborate with my fellow peers. I look forward to a culture that is grounded on the idea of learning from one another, in which every individual can have a meaningful contribution.
I encourage everyone to try something you wouldn’t normally do, whether that’s learning a new language, travelling to a remote location, or even trying a unique program in your first two years at Western. There’s always the risk of failing—I can assure you, I came close multiple times—but these failures and experiences will teach you more than you could ever imagine. It’s invaluable and well worth it.