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Welcome to the first post under the CHIP Column series. In this series of posts, you will read a challenge I am going or have gone through and the perspective I obtained after facing it. The meaning behind the name is “Challenging Hardships Into perspective” and it’s only right I do talk about it. The way I got to that name is because that’s pretty much how I add to my story, I’m often faced with different challenges and hardships that I must endure and overcome to gain a better perspective to succeed and better myself. I’ve had long conversations with people about this but I think it’s time to actually write a column/blog post series about it for those who I don’t get to see every day.

The first topic is setbacks. Something I, unfortunately, know too well. No matter how much I try, there will always be setbacks. Some on a larger scale, some lighter. Nonetheless, setbacks are something I learn to accept and deal with, no matter how much it takes a toll I know it’s something I’m going to endure and learn from if I have that perspective. Oddly enough, it’s something that helped define who I am. It’s all about perspective.

I guess I’m currently going through a setback right now when transitioning from university to the job market. The last time I struggled through a transition phase was when I was entering university. I thought I accomplished a lot when finishing highschool for my age, and was excited about my next phase… but when I actually started it was terrible. I was overwhelmed with so many changes that it got to a point where I couldn’t get by any longer and I was required to withdraw. It was embarrassing, disappointing and confusing. Trust me, it was like hitting rock bottom. But it’s something that actually helped me long term as I started to value education and the privileges I do have… I made sure I wasn’t going to jeopardize this opportunity, not again. Trust me, actually listening to people and making that effort to do better does go a long way.

Sure, what impresses a lot of people is that my GPA changed from 1.8 to 3.6 after completing the fresh start program but it was the perspective I gained, and how much gratitude I had that really impressed me. It’s a story that I tell all my students, sometimes job interviewers and friends. They couldn’t believe it, nor would they have thought I would be in that position… but I was, and it was part of this process I had to take. I was even asked to be part of Ryerson’s video about the program and I still get random students messaging me for advice.

One of my exes told me something along the lines of “your setbacks is what will make you come back even stronger… and better”. Pretty much telling me that it’s ok to make the mistakes, as long as you are ready to make sure you don’t do it again so you can truly grow from it.

Right now, it’s been tough in this transition but I have learned to take different routes and use new avenues, this blog is one of them. I still felt some of those feelings I mentioned about being embarrassed, disappointed, frustrated, defeated and confused. Mental health is still such a stigma that I don’t feel comfortable openly talking about it. Honestly, the fight takes a toll, I do feel fatigued, but at the end… I’m not giving up.

Here’s my perspective on setbacks that keep me motivated and might help you too. When writing this, it helped my mindset and served as a reminder to not give up. 

“THE PATH ISN’T ALWAYS CLEAR AND STEADY.

THE ONES WHO CARE AND THE ONES WHO ENVY CAN BE IN DISGUISE OR IN PLAIN SIGHT.

A SETBACK CAN FEEL LIKE A KNOCKOUT PUNCH, BUT DOESN’T MEAN YOU LOST THE FIGHT.

THIS SETBACK IS WHAT MAKES YOUR VICTORY AND JOURNEY THAT MUCH SWEETER. “

Let me know what you think, what has been your experiences for dealing with setbacks? What’s your advice? Any other challenges or hardships you would like to see be covered on the blog? Let me know in the comments below!

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