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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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
In all of this, I was reminded of my mortality and that each breath, each smile, each day is a gift.
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.
Of course, there is never one reason why we consider alternatives or make particular decisions, like leaving university.
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.