Letter: From a fifth year to all first years be brave – Ubyssey Online

Posted: September 28, 2019 at 5:44 pm


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I spent the majority of my degree scared and complacent. I decided that spending two years taking science courses and getting terrible grades was the greater alternative to admitting that I may be better suited for arts. Why? Because everyone makes fun of arts degrees, so I let that stop me from admitting that Im creative a dreamer with skills that are better suited for arts. Now, Im a psychology student and my grades and my soul sleep better.

If I could offer you one piece of advice, something I wish someone had drilled into me when university started is this: be brave. I know, I wish it was something more mind-blowing and complex. But being brave in itself is difficult. Its so general, so let me try and break it down for you.

Be brave and seek out new experiences. Dont be afraid to be uncomfortable, embrace it. Growth and self-discovery are facilitated by stepping outside your comfort zone. So go join clubs, attend parties and first-year events. Be proactive and make the effort to do things that scare you. Dont do what I did and pretend to be too cool for novel experiences. For so long, I wondered why I felt like I hadnt grown since high school. It wasnt until I started getting involved in the community that I started to feel that sense of self-improvement I had longed for. I was and still am so afraid to try new things because I didnt want to fail. Now, Im constantly forcing myself to operate outside of my comfort zone and its scary but great.

Be brave enough to value your own opinion and gut feelings above others. Only you know whats best for you. Dont spend years studying something that a) you werent good at and b) you didnt enjoy. If theres something that feels off, dont let the fear of judgement prevent you from staying true to yourself. I know its clich and I still find myself struggling to adhere to this, but do your best not to care what people think. Doing what you think you should do rather than what you want to do is overrated and not in service of yourself.

So whats the difference between being open and trying new things? To me, the difference is in passivity. When I suggest being open to experiences, I mean going with the flow, letting things happen and sticking around long enough to watch them play out. You never know who you may meet, memories you may make and experiences you may be exposed to. Try not to write things off right away and keep an open mind. I shut out so many experiences because I thought it wasnt something Id be interested in. For example, I had no idea how interesting writing for virtual reality was until I took a creative writing course. Rather than turning my nose at it because Ive never been interested in video games, I kept an open mind and it really sparked an interest in me.

Be brave. Its something I have to tell myself everyday. If youre not pushing yourself, youre not growing. I know its only the first few weeks of school, but time flies. I remember being in first year, I couldnt see the end of my degree it seemed impossibly far away. Now, Im here and its unreal. Truth be told, I wish I had realized and implemented my own advice years ago. So heres me, doing my best to reach out and pass on what I consider to be the greatest thing Ive learned over my years at UBC. Good luck and be brave!

Adry Yap is a fifth-year psychology student.

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Letter: From a fifth year to all first years be brave - Ubyssey Online

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September 28th, 2019 at 5:44 pm

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