I wish I could’ve been there for my 18-year-old self — an overwhelmed senior in high school who was flustered by all of the ‘crucial’ and ‘timely’ decisions she had to make — to let myself know that it’s okay not to know.
Let’s be serious; the life of a social entrepreneur is not for everyone. The stresses are high, the expectations even higher. Most days you’re walking in quicksand instead of sprinting towards the mission like you always imagined.
I began working as a graphic designer in 2009, having recently graduated from Ryerson. This was not my first foray into an office environment but with school behind me, working a full week in the same four walls changed my perspective. It soon wasn’t hard to notice productivity slipping to office distractions and courteous chit-chat, not to mention the tremendous cost to operate a physical space. This led me to realize remote work was the way of the future — to me it was an easy, simple solution.
Last year, I gave a TEDx talk about social media’s impact on mental health, discussing concepts such as highlight reels, social currency, FOMO, and online harassment, which have led to lower self-esteem, anxiety, stress, and depression. I suggested small, one-time negative instances might not dramatically reduce your mental health, but when micro-aggressions repeatedly occur over time, you have a macro problem.
As a young graduate I found myself, like many others, scared to take the leap into the job market. I didn’t feel like I was ready to leave school and decided to pursue a Master of Professional Communication to advance my education. To help save costs on living expenses during my studies and be closer to the campus I moved into my grandfather’s place, located a little west of Toronto.
Convocation is a momentous day — one that can be equal parts exhilarating and frightening. After all, it’s the culmination of years of hard work and the start of a new chapter.
As Ryerson students prepare to take their first steps into post-graduation life, this month’s Alumni Blog reflects on some key career-related lessons (for new grads and seasoned professionals, alike) that I have picked up since graduation.