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Rachel Osterman

SFU Student

When Fear Works and When it Doesn't by Cherie
Whether you’re a first-year or a fourth-year university student, you likely have thought about what life will be like after you graduate.

You will, of course, be aiming to get a job in the field that you’re majoring in, but as I’m sure you’ve heard—or maybe already experienced—the job market is increasingly becoming more difficult to break through, and a degree doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a job in your field. Employers are increasingly seeking applicants with hands-on experience, which you may not possess. But the good news is: there are ways you can gain experience and become a valuable job candidate. All you need to do is have confidence in yourself, seek out opportunities that interest you, put in plenty of hard work, take some risks, and be patient. Your future may scare you, but you have the tools at your disposal to prepare yourself, and have some amazing life experiences along the way.

Since starting at SFU, I have always been scared to graduate; I was afraid of losing the security blanket that university provides. Even in my first semester, I knew that I wanted to undertake as many opportunities as I could through SFU. There is such a vast array of opportunities that exist in university that it’s hard to even be aware of them all. In the nearly 5 years that I’ve been an undergraduate student, I have volunteered with an on-campus club for four years, attended a field school in Prague, and gained three unique work experiences through the co-op program. All of those opportunities turned out to be crucial, as each one gave me a multitude of skills and life experiences that helped mold me into a more well-rounded candidate, and ultimately a different person. But those opportunities didn’t just land on my lap; I had to seek them out and work hard for them. There were times when I believed I wasn’t even worthy of those opportunities, or that it was a long shot to go through the sometimes-gruesome applications, but you’d be surprised what you’re capable of if you only believe in yourself, set reasonable goals, and take risks.

If you’re wondering if you’re ready to take those steps, you’re probably not. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that you can never truly be “ready” for anything, but in order to get ahead in life, you have to put yourself out there and take chances. You know the saying “good things come to those who wait?” Well, I’m here to tell you that if you wait until you are “ready,” the right opportunity will never present itself. You need to consistently work hard towards your goals, and be patient. You may not find or be accepted into opportunities right away, but don’t be discouraged. By maintaining confidence in yourself and striving on, you will be successful. Sometimes you need to work through some not-so-pleasant jobs in order to finally reach a valuable experience and land that dream job.

So take advantage of all the incredible opportunities at your disposal through SFU. Whether you’re interested in traveling, volunteering, interning, or anything else you’re passionate about, there is a life-changing opportunity awaiting you that just may be the edge you need for your future career. Ultimately, you need to remember that you are capable and worthy of great things. The future can be scary because it’s unknown and there’s never any guarantee, but with hard work, risk-taking, confidence and patience, you have nothing to fear but fear itself.

    About the Author

    Rachel Osterman

    SFU Student
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