Click on each image to read the full story

Ryan Connell
olivia roth

Every time I took a moment to think, in lecture, during the midterms, my mind would swarm with fear and I felt crippling anxiety.

Such a devastating loss was a huge life event for me and was very difficult to overcome on my own.

The lesson I learned is that if something's not working or doesn't feel right, it could be because it's actually not right (which is okay!) a change is needed.



I didn’t know anyone at the University of Waterloo. This made me extremely nervous, worried and anxious. I wasn’t sure if I would fit in or make friends immediately. 

Bakhtawar Khan

As an undergraduate student, facing challenges is inevitable. In my first at University of Waterloo, I was faced with the challenge of failing a chemistry midterm.

robbyn hesch
I found out that I had failed an organic chemistry midterm and inorganic chemistry midterm on the same day.

Joey Sin

I felt badly about myself and there were times when I wouldn't even look into mirrors. I constantly pointed out flaws about myself. 


Immediately I felt disheartened, worried about whether I would be able to remain in my program, and scared of what people would think of me.

Margaret Mutumba

All these factors made me feel overwhelmed. More than ever, I needed to be close to my family but that was not possible (because they are in Uganda and the borders were closed).   


Devon Hutchinson

I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong, so I started to think that I didn’t belong here, I could never do it, and started to feel really down. 


This is a story and experience of daily resiliency and coping. 
ashely ryan

I received a paper back from a professor with a low grade and the word lazy written in large, capital, red letters across every page.


Mary Lynne

It was an emotional roller coaster. I wasn't coping well, and my anger was growing.

Rula Abdel-kader

Language barriers and being a single mother to two kids were two of my biggest challenges while trying to obtain my Canadian dentistry degree equivalency.
Kiran Jagpal
In an attempt to cover the acne on my cheeks. ⠀
Renate Donnovan

I didn't know if I was going to passs.
Kristen Leal

I felt dumb, unworthy, and like an imposter.
Ed Janzen

In all of this, I was reminded of my mortality and that each breath, each smile, each day is a gift.

Christine Zaza

My internal resources were my acceptance and my determination to find meaning from my adversity.

Ella Sofia

It wasn’t until the final term of my MA degree, after taking a necessary health leave from both my degree and my full-time job, that I finally began to figure out how to enhance my mental health while pursuing my goals. 
Jennifer Vasic and friends

Of course, there is never one reason why we consider alternatives or make particular decisions, like leaving university.

Landon Jennings

I thought my academic future was ruined.  

David Tubbs

My career took nearly two years to get back on track. 

Roly Webster

Though I felt I was well prepared and qualified, being overlooked caused me to either pivot in my career path, and/or acquire new experiences and education.

Sun rising over rocky mountains
Snow-covered mountains at dusk
Rays of light breaking through fog over tree-covered mountains
First-year pharmacy was a big adjustment and I entered the program two weeks after everyone else.
I was an exhausted mom of 3 children aged 5 and under coming back from a maternity leave, and I really didn’t know how I would ever finish up my master's program.
Many people told me that it will be too hard, that I will not be successful and that I should focus on getting a job and be happy where I was.