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Changing Perspectives From First to Second Year

  • Jenna Yang
  • |
  • Jan 22, 2019
Changing Perspectives From First to Second Year

It’s hard to believe how fast time flies, especially in university. One minute it’s O-Week and the next minute you’re halfway through second year. It’s even harder to believe how much changes in such a short span of time. Now starting my second semester of second year, here’s three major shifts in perspective that I’ve had.


For many, the mindset in grade 12 is that as soon as you choose your university and your program, you’ll know for certain what your career path is. In first year, it seemed like everyone around me knew exactly what they wanted to do and where they hoped to be 5, 10 or even 20 years down the line. As someone who is incredibly indecisive, I’ve learned to more so embrace the uncertainty. I now believe that it’s okay to not be exactly sure of what industry you want to be in, and that it’s okay to narrow down your options progressively or even to change your mind. Nothing is set in stone and it doesn’t need to be!


From school to extracurriculars to recruiting and everything else in life, stress is practically inevitable. Since first year began, I’ve started to learn the value of giving yourself nights to relax and unwind. Personally, I’ve taken up bullet journaling. It’s a relaxing (but still productive) creative outlet for me and is immensely effective in coping with stress. Whether dealing with stress means spending a night binge-watching a new show on Netflix, doing face masks with your friends, or calling home, remember to give yourself the time to unwind. Understanding your mental health needs is important!

ON FIGURING OUT LIFE (or at least attempting to):

When I started first-year I had a mindset that university was going to lead to a job and I was then going to be successful! But I never thought about what “success” comprises. Is it achieved in 4thyear when we (hopefully) have a full-time job? Or at 45 when we’ve climbed the corporate ladder? At 65 when we’ve retired and can live without worrying about a job? On the other hand, maybe success embodies much more than just academics and career, and is actually also about the little wins like sleeping at a decent time, prioritizing effectively, or eating a healthy meal. I’ve begun to realize that success really isdifferent for everyone and that makes it impossible for us to compare ourselves and our goals. What is important though, is figuring out your own meaning of success and working towards it.


A big part of university is personal growth and learning how to become independent. With the New Year, take some time to think about how your perspectives have changed. New career possibilities? New stress-coping mechanisms? New outlooks on life? Acknowledge these changes and take them with you to achieve your 2019 goals!