November 2016 brought me a week of unexpected events. I got food poisoning, defended my thesis for my Master's degree, went to a funeral for one of my grandmothers and the next day went to the hospital to say goodbye to my other grandmother, in addition to two other family issues during that week.

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

IMary Lynne went to see a counsellor because they had helped me in the past to sort out my thoughts and emotions. The counsellor helped me think more clearly and I reminded myself that I just needed to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. I was able to shift my thinking from being super upset and emotionally fragile to being calmer and happier. I started going to kickboxing, walking the stairs in Dana Porter every day with a friend, keeping busy with activities I enjoyed, and I found a really good work life balance. I have a tendency to shut myself off when I get stressed or upset, but I forced myself to connect with people and it made a huge difference. It wasn't easy at all to deal with the stress and grief that happened in that time, but I was able to bounce back and be resilient. 


- Mary Lynne Bartlett, Library Student Engagement Coordinator and University of Waterloo Alumni


Read more stories of resiliency