Written by QCMHA Event Coordinator Larry You
Sometimes I describe myself as an introvert who got anxious and insecure easily in the past. The turning point of my life when I was 16 years old changed my attitude toward myself and the way I handle challenges.
When I was 16 years old, I came to Canada by myself for high school. At that moment, I realized that I had no one to rely on here but me. The orientation week apparently was not friendly for me. As one of the very few international transfer students, I did not know anyone there and had to face language differences and culture shock. I was surrounded by loneliness, homesickness and fear of the strange environment.
And moving into residence really broke me in the beginning. That was my first time living in a school residence, and I had a difficult time in the dorm getting well with my roommate because of my sleeping problem who snored so loud. I had serious insomnia and felt so frustrated about everything that I could not focus on school at all.
I realized that I was suffering a mental breakdown and I wanted to fix the situation. I communicated with my roommate and residence staff. After being told that they were not able to help me swap rooms
until 1 month later, I decided to move out of the residence. Yes, some people may think I was too weak to live in residence including my parents, but I believed it was the best decision I’ve ever made as long as It’s good for my physical and mental health.
After moving out and living with my homestay parents, I finally had good sleep and started to recover. While that was not the end of hardships, I still faced many difficulties at school such as making friends and extracurricular activities. I decided to jump out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. Fortunately, I met my good friend from English class, and I found my daily happiness in the music band and tennis class.
Sometimes it is hard to take that first step, but it always gives you courage when thinking of your unlimited potential which can be discovered and shaped.
Thinking back to those days, I feel happy and proud for my younger self, and sometimes I even think he was so immature with those difficulties, but it’s all about the process. Now I still have sleeping problems and was once driven crazy by it when I was in residence at queens. But I was not scared and panicked anymore, as this imperfection is a part of me.
Being away from parents is a sad thing for me sometimes, but it gives me a chance to evolve, to let myself be tough and achieve that resilience.
Life is like a box of chocolate, and you will never know what you gonna get. When you go through a dark time, take this hardship as an opportunity, and it will help you unlock lots of new potentials.