I was a mature student when I decided to pursue my undergraduate degree at Waterloo. I was working both full-time and studying part-time as a student when I learned that my mother passed away.

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

Ryan ConnellThankfully, I recognized how important it was to communicate with those around me. I was able to express my situation to professors who were very sympathetic to my situation, as well as to my colleagues and peers around me. It taught me how important it is to communicate any challenges I am experiencing, no matter how big or small. When we communicate to others and access the resources around us, it provides us with more opportunities to thrive and to cope with life's difficult circumstances. The experience helped to remind me that we are never alone. 

- Ryan Connell, Alumni and Student Experience Manager for the Renison English Language Institute

Read more stories of resiliency