“…Now We’re Here” – Alizah Merali

Happy Tuesday! This month, we’re going to be looking at the unique transition period between high school and university. Stay tuned for posts about handling the stress of midterms for the first time, Drake lyrics, and transferring to a completely new school and major! Here’s the first installment:


“I’m ready”

Switching from Health Sci to Ivey? No biggie. Everyone else could do it so why couldn’t I? If I could sit through a 3-hour lecture on health ethics I could for sure find a way to survive, right?

“Just Kidding”

Yeah, just kidding. Ivey was me learning completely different content in a completely different learning style. I was lucky to have an amazing support system in my friends, section and family, but some days you just feel alone. Like everyone is a million times smarter than you, like you have no time to do the things you actually like to do, like you’re gaining 400lbs from ordering food every day because there was no time to cook, like I was struggling daily to understand basic concepts.

“Started from the Bottom…”

I felt the lowest I had felt in a while, and the stress didn’t seem like it was going away any time soon. So, I took a step back to reflect, and try to uncover why. I had never been the type of person to let school define me, and I didn’t like that I was becoming exactly that. So as cheesy as it sounds, I used January 1, 2017 to try something new in hopes of never being at ‘the bottom’ again.

“…Now We’re Here”

I guess Drake said it best, because, well, now I’m here. As of January 1 and every day after that, I write down a couple of sentences about my day. Something that was memorable, that made my smile, annoyed, sad, hungry, bored – really anything. A reminder on my iPhone goes off at 11pm daily (which is my new bedtime, thanks Ivey), and I quickly type something out in my Notes. Something as simple as this has allowed me to become much more self-aware and really identify what plays into the good and the not-so-good times. It also helps me to reread what I had written months or weeks ago, to relive the good times and see how I’ve overcome the challenging times. Even though I’m a visual person, I had always understated the value of writing, reading and reflecting. It’s basically a quick, make-shift diary for someone who’s always on the go. 4 months later, I have a post-Netflix binge, pre-bedtime ritual, that forces me to take 2 minutes out of my busy day just for some time to myself. There’s no doubt that I’ll be at ‘the bottom’ again tomorrow, next week, or even next month, but I know I’ve gotten back up before and I know I can do it again – I even have the day-by-day commentary to prove it.

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