One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2014 is to have a more active lifestyle. It’s my senior year at university so I decided to become more involved in student clubs and events. I signed up to be part of the team organizing my university’s annual festival and joined the Junior Chamber International club as well as the Business Student Society. Generally speaking, I come off as a shy and reserved person ( well at least until you get to know me) but being part of these clubs and events has given me a confidence boost not to mention I’ve made so many new friends. I feel like a new and improved person; so much has changed since my high school days. In high school everything was handed to me on a platter, my schedule was set and I was around the same people every day which gave me a sense of security and belonging.  Before I knew it I had graduated and was heading to university. The time had come for me to get out of my comfort zone and confront the real world, an unpredictable world unlike the familiar one I’d always known. It was a scary thought at the time and I must admit I struggled to adjust initially especially when I began to lose friends but if anything it proved who my real friends were. If you are experiencing this now I can assure you that the different kinds of people you’ll meet in university make up for those lost high school friendships. Little did I know when I began my university experience that there were people out there whom I’d feel much closer to and comfortable around than those from high school. There are still genuine people out there in the world, it’s up to you to differentiate them from the superficial ones even if you have to learn that the hard way.

I’m also a big believer in giving back to the community and I try not to miss an opportunity to help out.  I’m currently volunteering at the Saint Jude Children’s Cancer Center conveniently situated across the street from my university. It’s only a 2 hour commitment per week and being around children who are battling for their life has given me a newfound sense of appreciation of life itself. If you ever find yourself with nothing to do get out there and volunteer. The amount of satisfaction it’ll bring you knowing you’re making a difference is extraordinary and you’ll learn so much more about yourself in the process.

Besides extra-curriclular acitivies, I’m working part-time at my university’s Alumni Office during my breaks. It’s the first paid job I’ve had and I can’t tell you how good it feels to make my own income. I’m saving up in order to visit my cousin in London this summer and that’s what’s keeping me motivated. Setting goals is easy, achieving them is the tricky part but so far I can make out the lights of London town at the end of the long dark tunnel.

Now that I’ve filled up my time with so many things and become more productive, I’m much happier and I encourage you all to do the same. Take art lessons, sign up at the local gym (which I have yet to do), go on a picnic etc. Life is too short to be lazy, although sometimes that’s okay but don’t push it.


Belated Thanksgiving

Have you ever had one of those moments that truly make you feel blessed for the life you have?

I was at university yesterday casually scrolling through the new ipad mini I got for Christmas last month when I noticed a janitor sweeping leaves nearby. After a few minutes he approached me and politely asked if I could explain what the ipad was. Once I told him its basic features he said his son has been nagging for one for months and that he’s been saving up to get it for him. He then asked how much I got it for and I told him it’s worth a couple of hundred American dollars. He looked at me in disbelief and said he thought it was 50 dollars. Crushed, he thanked me for my time and walked away. In that moment it hit me how fortunate I was. This man had been struggling for months hoping to get an ipad for his son only to have reality slap him in the face in a matter of seconds, and just a few weeks ago when I received the ipad I was contemplating exchanging it for one with a larger capacity. Shame on me. I may be 10 months early for Thanksgiving but is it too late for a New Year’s Resolution?

Note to self: Be thankful for what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t have.