Happy New Year!
With the start of 2018 and a fresh outlook on a new semester, let’s change things up a bit and talk about exploration. As important as it is to focus up on upcoming courses and market opportunities, it is equally important to take new risks and challenges to go out and explore what’s out there. That is, doing something besides just studying or working.
Gauging your interests, hobbies and creativity into your lives and intertwining it into a routine will not only act as a temporary relief for your brain but will also allow you to recharge and re-focus on your activities.
New Year’s resolutions were never a thing for me as they’re generally something people tend not to follow through over time. However, the importance of giving time to family, friends, travel and other activities are never out of fashion.
Take this time to consider what you would like to do. It can be as simple as learning how to cook a meal or as intricate as taking photography lessons (that’s secretly what I wish I had done back then). These activities teach us new skills, and this not only helps to add depth and substance to your life and conversations (while reducing stress) but may also come in handy to spruce up your resume and interviews.
For those of you who are slightly more allocentric (like me), you can consider volunteering abroad or in the community, or doing a research or exchange program (visit IEC at UTM or Summer Abroad, U of T).
If you’re strapped for cash, then you may also want to consider exploring other functional groups, for example, observations by externing or job shadowing (info available on CLN).
The point I am trying to make here is that it is often favourable to take some time to re-group oneself and it doesn’t necessarily mean straying away from your focus or long-term professional goal.
In fact, it has the opposite effect wherein we can better position ourselves to understand what we value and how to proceed. Sometimes we need little diversions and distractions in order to stay on track or come up with new and improved ideas. With this in mind, I urge you to choose at least one thing for this year that you have never done/learned before and give it a shot. Who knows? It may have a greater impact than you think!