When Paths Diverge

BY RACHEL WONG

Routine makes life so easy. We become so set in our ways that sometimes it’s hard to let go, especially when we decide to go one direction and life pulls us the opposite way.

When it comes to friendships and growing up, it took me a long time to really understandparting-ways the obvious – that we all grow, and when we grow, we change. We are exposed to the world everyday and we learn so many new things. We meet new people and engage in new opportunities. All of these experiences shape who we are, and ultimately, we find like-minded people to spend time with along the way. Spending time with those who are similar to you can put you at ease – it feels natural to open up to people that you can relate to. But when friends inevitably change and paths no longer align, it can take a while to realize that it might just be time to part ways.

. . .

Alicia* and I were inseparable. It’s hazy in my mind now how we even got to being friends, but we have known each other since we were 6 and we have stayed friends ever since. Like most friendships do, ours had its ups and our downs, and we were there for each other during times of both triumph and sadness. We were the kind of friends that talked all the time about the future and what our lives would look like together: we’d be each other’s maid of honor at our weddings, we’d get matching SUVs and we’d alternate hosting play dates for our children during the day.

It was a very idealistic way of thinking, but despite reality eventually hitting us, we made it – sort of.

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Taking a Tolerant Approach to Education

BY CHELSEA RICCHIO

We talk and we talk and we talk about what needs to change in this world and the various things that we need to call people out on. But rarely do we talk about how exactly to do that.

I’d like to say that it doesn’t matter how you say something, it’s what you say, and in some cases that is true, but in this case, the “what” and the “how” are equally important. The “how” might even be more important.

Here is why – imagine that you’ve written something (it can be anything, even a text message), and someone reading it says to you, “Um, excuse me, but just so you know, semicolons are actually only supposed to be used when bla bla bla bla. I mean I don’t expect most people to know that, I’m just a huge stickler for grammar and I went to school for Creative Writing.”

Did reading that kind of piss you off? Because it pissed me off just to write it. Doesn’t whoever that person is sound like a stuck up douchebag? They sound like they’re lecturing, and not because they actually care about teaching you something, but because they want to show off the ways in which they are better than you. Continue reading

We’re all feeling those damn winter blues

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a highly emotional girl in an oftentimes sadness.jpgunforgiving world, is that every feeling you have is only temporary. You can choose to look at this one of two ways: 1) that feelings of lucidity, clarity, and maybe even happiness are only fleeting; or 2) that feelings of desolation, bleakness, and hopelessness are only taking over your brain for a period of time; a period of time that will indefinitely run its course. Either way, I’ve found a certain peace in accepting that these turbulent ups and downs are out of my control. They’re out of everyone’s control. 

I know that I’m not alone in often thinking: Is something really wrong with me? It can’t be normal for me to feel this unhappy all the timeJust yesterday my neighbour dropped by and the very first thing she said was: this winter is really starting to get to me. I think it’s getting to all of us, and short of getting on the next flight to Cuba and becoming a beach vendor, there’s not a whole lot we can do about it.

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What To Do When Someone Walks Away

BY CHELSEA RICCHIO

Losing a friend or partner, even temporarily like in the case of a disagreement, can be extremely hard on people living with Social Anxiety and other mental illnesses like Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder.

I am no expert in how to get people to stick around. Clearly, I am terrible at that. But I do consider myself a little bit of an expert in how to deal with the aftermath, because this situation just keeps happening to me over and over again, at least once or twice a year. And every time, I am emotionally destroyed, but every time I somehow get back up again. At first, it seemed to me like this was an accident and I only started to feel better because something good randomly happened to me. But at this point I think it’s safe to say that I am pretty resilient.

I’m sort of going through one of those situations right now, and it occurred to me that although I am basically a ball of constant anxiety and I’m a lot lonelier than I was before, I am actually doing kind of okay. Not great, but okay. I’m doing better at this, and I’m also doing better at actually resolving conflicts. So it prompted me to take a closer look at my habits to figure out what was working and what wasn’t, and I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned with you.

Try to see the bigger picture

It can be hard to give someone space because you don’t know how you’re going to cope without them for all that time, or you might fear that this will only make the situation worse and they will forget about you and move on. But if you take a look at the bigger picture, a couple of months apart is nothing in comparison to the years you could be friends in the future (or have been in the past). This is also helpful when someone has hurt you – you may initially feel like the only option you have is to end your relationship with that person, but in looking at the bigger picture you might find that it’s actually better for you to just spend some time apart or talk things out with each other. Continue reading

Keeping Hope in the Face of Uncertainty

BY AYESHA KHALID

One major struggle I have is dealing with uncertainty. I don’t like the unknown. I like having things planned out for myself, and always knowing what’s coming around the corner.

uncertainty

I will be graduating this year, and while I am looking forward to having a break from going to classes and studying for tests, I don’t have any set plans for what I will be doing once I graduate. I know I will be applying to grad schools, and I’m also looking into finding work, but other than that, nothing has been set in stone. I’ve been having a lot of mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, while I am happy to move onto a new chapter of my life, I am also kind of terrified. Being in university has been nice and comfortable; while academic demands are always stressful, knowing I had another semester to go and something set in place for me was reassuring.

With graduation approaching, I have to start figuring things out: Where am I going to find a job? Which graduate programs am I going to be applying to? I have to get reference letters and look into programs that interest me, while also focusing on doing well academically this semester. The pressure is on to figure out exactly what I am going to do with my life. It also becomes stressful when other people start asking you about what you are going to do, and this makes me feel even more pressure to figure everything out.

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