Contributor Simran Benipal, Western BSc '17, MD Candidate University of Toronto 2021
It’s that time of year again — thousands of new Western Mustangs are enjoying their well-deserved summers, eager, and maybe a little nervous, about starting a new chapter in their lives this September.
Undergrad will be a time where you create unique stories full of friendships, knowledge and self-discovery.
So without further ado, I would like to share some things I learned over my years at Western University with you.
You are capable of more than you know
Push yourself and step out of your comfort zone — you may be pleasantly surprised with the outcome! This could mean taking the first step and introducing yourself to someone next to you in chemistry class or applying to be an executive for an organization you’re passionate about. Undergrad is a perfect time to try new things and explore your interests.
Sometimes things won’t go your way
Whether it be a poor grade or not getting a job you wanted, it’s important to never forget how far you have already come and all that you have accomplished in the past. You are strong enough to get back up and keep going, stay resilient and keep your head high. Instead of thinking about the past, start planning your future. What can you do next to improve and try again? Personally, I find self-reflecting and writing out some ideas on paper helps me clarify my thoughts and sheds some light on what to do next.
Take care of yourself. If there’s one thing you take away from my post, please let this be it.
Your years in undergrad can be some of the best ones of your life! However, especially in recent years, students may be under quite a bit of stress and may even feel burnt out.
You know yourself and your limits best — please reach out for help early on if you feel overwhelmed at any point. Whether it be speaking to friends, family or counsellors, there will always be someone wanting to listen to what you have to say. You don’t have to be alone. You can reach out to some Crisis Contacts at Western here, with some services offering help 24 hours/day.
If you are in need of academic assistance — Western has amazing resources available. Some include the LAMP Mentorship Program (free student-student tutoring and mentorship!), Academic Counsellors, Learning Skills Services (counsellors available to help you develop skills for success, cope with stress and build confidence) and much more. Visit your professors’ office hours or reach out via email, whether you want to simply introduce yourself or have questions about the course. Your professors want to see you succeed, and the first step is reaching out for that support. In terms of managing student finances, Work Study is a great program to help pay back student loans and gain valuable work experience — positions range from research assistants, tutoring, food service and much more.
Be adventurous. Be strong. Be you.
Congratulations once again Class of 2022, I wish you all the best this year!