Looking back at our mental glow ups.

Believe it or not, the semester is coming to an end.

I don’t know about you, but March 2020 was the longest year of my life. In the span of a few days, we went from business as usual to tackling all our classes online while in self-isolation. It hasn’t been easy.

But, if there’s one positive we can draw from this unprecedented situation, it’s that it’s fostered some serious personal development. We were forced to adapt, hastily, to an incredibly novel and abnormal lifestyle—and, we did it.

For worse or for better, we did it.

In light of this strange year finally drawing to a close, we reached out to Humber College and University of Guelph-Humber students to ask them about the most important things they learned this year.

Here’s what they had to say:

Danya Elsayed | UofGH

Fourth-year | Media Studies (Public Relations + Journalism)

Fourth year media studies public relations and journalism student Danya Elsayed sits in front of a pink wall in Los Angeles and smiles.
Photo courtesy of Danya Elsayed (@findyourstory).

“Roll with the punches. Don’t stay sad because something didn’t work out. Learn how to adapt, because nothing is ever promised.”

Amy Vong | UofGH

Fourth-year | Psychology

Fourth year University of Guelph-Humber psychology student Amy Vong holds her hand up to hear face and smirks at the camera.
Photo courtesy of Amy Vong (@__avong).

“Being more open to making friends, because you’ll never know when you’ll need a study buddy.”

Judy Jaison | Humber College

Third-year | Bachelor of Paralegal Studies

Third year Humber College Bachelor of Paralegal Studies student Judy Jaison sits outside and smiles while wearing a jean jacket.
Photo courtesy of Judy Jaison (@judyliz19).

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic was an unexpected turn of events, we can still take away valuable lessons from these tough times. For myself, as cliché as it sounds, I have learned what it means to ‘count your blessings.’

Forced social distancing has made me realize how privileged I was before. Going outside and hanging out with friends wasn’t problematic and was, in fact, a privilege that I had taken advantage of, among many other activities. However, even through these unprecedented times, we can still be grateful for what we have. We can be grateful for having homes to live in, family, our health, technology, and so much more.”

Addison Cheverie | UofGH

Fourth-year | Media Studies (journalism)

Fourth year University of Guelph-Humber media studies (journalism) student Addison Cheverie stands outside smiling in the winter.
Photo courtesy of Addison Cheverie (@addisoncheverie).

“The biggest thing this year has taught me is that we all need to get better at communicating, whether in person or online.”

Mitch Carreiro | Humber College

Second-year | Business Administration

Second year Humber College Business administration student Mitch Carreiro stands outside in a white hoodie and jeans.
Photo courtesy of Mitch Carreiro (@carreiro_m).

“The biggest I’d say is simply to keep an agenda. Honestly, it helped me not to forget the small things that can affect your grade gradually.”

Patrisha Oracion | UofGH

Third-year | Media Studies (Digital Communications)

Third year University of Guelph-Humber media studies digital communications student Patrisha Oracion.
Photo courtesy of Patrisha Oracion (@p.oracion).

“The biggest lesson I learned this school year is that it’s totally ok to take breaks. Third-year has been the busiest year for me in terms of school, work and my social life, causing my anxiety level to always be at a high.

However, I learned that by taking breaks, I am able to function better and my anxiety definitely decreases. I do things like watch TV with my mom, go on food trips with my friends, sleep, cook or spend time with my brothers.”

Cassandra Constantinou | UofGH

Fourth-year | Media Studies (Public Relations)

Fourth year University of Guelph-Humber media studies public relations student Cassandra Constantinou smiles at the camera while wearing a black shirt.
Photo courtesy of Cassandra Constantinou (@cassandraconstantinou).

“Don’t wait until the last minute to do something.”

Graham Budgeon | Humber College

Fourth-year | Bachelor of International Development

Fourth year Humber College Bachelor of International Development student Graham Budgeon stands outdoors wearing a navy blue shirt and smiles.
Photo courtesy of Graham Budgeon (@gbudgeon).

“Three lessons I’ve learned:

1. Once you gain clarity on what excites you, minimize all that would divert focus from it.

2. Confidence is artificial when lacking gratitude.

3. Introspective recalibration is a requirement for building anything sustainable long-term.”

Gianluca Tatone | UofGH

Third-year | Justice Studies

Third year University of Guelph-Humber Justice studies student Gianluca Tatone wears a grey hoodie while sitting in front of a brick wall.
Photo courtesy of Gianluca Tatone (@tatonegianluca).

“One of my biggest lessons was time management and staying positive.”

Kim Leon | UoGH

Third-year | Media Studies (Media Business)

Third year University of Guelph-Humber media studies media business student Kim Leon stands outside in front of a Christmas tree and smiles.
Photo courtesy of Kim Leon (@_holaimkim).

“The two biggest lessons I’ve learned from school are that you have to put yourself out there and it doesn’t hurt to try something new.

Some things I consider as putting yourself out there are talking to anyone you see from your classes to events at school and participating in school events that you’re interested in from career expos to real talks. I’ve always told myself I wanted to try something new, but never really put in an extra effort to actually do it. These things help me enjoy my school experience outside of my schoolwork.”

Amy Hasson | Humber College

Second-year | Food and Nutrition Management

Second year Humber College Food and nutrition management student Amy Hasson kneels in the snow while wearing a tuque and a winter jacket and smiles.
Photo courtesy of Amy Hasson (@amy_hasson17).

“The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is that when I push myself outside of my comfort zone, as scary as it might be, there’s almost always a benefit out of it—whether that means joining extracurriculars, going for that potential job opportunity or attending networking events to just get yourself out there.

I feel that having that mindset has just put me a step ahead of my classmates and allowed me to really grow this past year.”

Becca Southcott | Humber College

Fourth-year | Bachelor of Digital Communications

Fourth year Humber College Bachelor of Digital Communications student and IGNITE employee Becca Southcott stands outside wearing an orange shirt and smiles at the camera.
Photo courtesy of Becca Southcott (@becsouthcott).

“I learned that it’s okay to ask for help! Never be afraid to open up to your professors about where you’re at and where you’d like to be; they are almost always willing to work with you to make sure you get there!

It’s OK to ask for help!”

Casiah Cagan | UofGH

Second-year | Psychology

Second year University of Guelph-Humber psychology student Casiah Cagan sits in the sun in a red turtleneck sweater and smiles.
Photo courtesy of Casiah Cagan (@casiahcagan).

“I think that the biggest lesson I learned this school year was that some things are simply out of my control. Using my energy to stress out over not getting that job I wanted or that one group member who didn’t contribute to a project so wasn’t worth it!

Once I stopped letting these things get to me and instead focused on the positives—being offered a different position or celebrating those other group members who contributed amazing work—I was so much more at peace with myself and was able to spend my time on the things that really mattered.”

Well said, Humber and Guelph-Humber. Well said.

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