Skip to main content

Terae Walters

SFU Student Undergraduate
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication › Media Relations
Local Co-op

empty
Four silhouettes on a beach with a sunset behind them.
Credit
Courtesy of Terae Walters.
Sometimes letting go of the desire to control every aspect in your life will make you feel so much more at ease.

Finding a university that is right for you is one of the most complicated decisions you will ever make. You may be thinking, “What if I’m not sure that this is the right decision for me? What if I fail? What if I decide to switch majors? What if I’m wasting my time?” These were all questions that crossed my mind at some point within the last few years. 

The number one thing you must remind yourself is that these hesitations are completely normal. Being young and questioning your path is something almost every single one of my peers have experienced at one point or another. Especially being surrounded by technology and social media, we are constantly comparing our lives to others and therefore obtaining a warped perception of what we think we should be doing. The truth is, we all move at a different pace. The sooner you come to realize this, the sooner you will be at peace with the ways in which you approach your life.  

If I had given in to my negative thoughts, I would have been stuck in the same spot and never moved forward. Failing or making mistakes doesn’t mean you have to go backwards! Instead, you can learn from them and rebuild yourself a new path. Some of the best experiences of my life came from things I never expected or planned. Sometimes letting go of the desire to control every aspect in your life will make you feel so much more at ease. 

I am a perfect example of taking the time to figure out where your desires lead you and not rushing yourself. You are not failing if something doesn’t work out exactly as planned. The truth is that you are a collective product of all your experiences; building and learning from things as you go. As a former International Baccalaureate student, I was involved in high intensity learning for most of my high school experience. I was also an avid photographer/ videographer with a passion for creating personal creative projects and I was constantly seeking new and exciting things. 

When it came to my Grade 12 year, it felt obvious as to what I wanted to pursue in terms of my post-secondary education. I made the decision to apply to Capilano for the Motion Picture Arts program and successfully enrolled. After two years of studying film, I decided that it just wasn’t right for me anymore, and that’s okay. Initially I felt very lost. I felt as though I had wasted two valuable years of my life and disappointed my parents. Although my plan didn’t go as expected, I am grateful for my years spent at Capilano because it allowed me to realize where my true passions lied. I met amazing people, learned valuable lessons and I wouldn’t take it back for anything. I am extremely grateful for where my experiences have led me thus far.   

After the spring of 2019, I decided to take my first semester off school. This was an extremely tough decision because ever since I was five years old, I have had a consistent routine of always going back to class in the fall. In the beginning, it was difficult to adjust but I knew that I needed those months off to really figure out what my next moves were. 

The truth is that many of your life experiences (especially your education) will be non-linear. It’s not fair for any young person to be expected to have everything figured out right away. Take the time to find what you desire in life, what you want to pursue and how you want to do it. Be realistic but never be scared to take risks. Without any planning, I decided to take my first solo trip outside of Canada and travel to Bali for a month with my best friend. I needed something new, I needed to see the rest of the world. I was scared to travel that far without my parents, but I was so excited to be creating new memories and life experiences. While I was halfway across the world on a tropical island surrounded by the ocean, I realized that the problems consuming me back home were so much less significant than I thought. Sometimes you need things that help you put your life into perspective. Once you find them, you’ll feel much more stable and therefore less hard on yourself. 

After quitting film school, travelling for a month, starting a new seasonal job, and saving money, I decided to enroll at SFU as a Communications student! You may be wondering how do you possibly decide what you want to study or major in? For myself, I really thought about what my passions were and where my talents lied. If you are pursuing an education and taking courses that you enjoy or know you will thrive in, your university experience will go much smoother. Do your research, read blogs about other experiences, and ask around. For myself, I looked at the variety of programs that SFU had to offer and when I found one that interested me, I looked at all the career possibilities that could follow. If you are struggling to decide, SFU academic advisors are an extremely helpful source that help lay out your options and help guide your decision-making. Before my first semester, I sat down with an SFU advisor and they explained to me how my program worked, how many electives/ credits I needed, which of my courses transferred over, and  led me to the decision of what I wanted to major in. One of the best parts is that you don’t need to declare your major right away. You have the flexibility to take courses, learn new things, and decide what is right for you. 

Being a young adult, I have had my fair share of mistakes and let-downs. The best part about life is that you must build on these experiences to keep living. Look at something you consider a failure and see how you can twist it to your benefit. As part of my journey with battling against anxiety, I’ve learned to step back and look at my life objectively and accept that I cannot control everything. After feeling extremely defeated when I stopped my education at Capilano, I am proud to say that I am happy and confident in where my past decisions have led me. I am no expert when it comes to figuring life out, but it’s the fact that I embrace my mistakes in the healthiest ways possible. By doing so, I can allow myself to let go of any apprehensive feelings and trust that I will achieve great things. 

  • Terae Walters Oct 18, 2021
    Like to recommend this item
    visibility  22

Author

Terae Walters

SFU Student Undergraduate
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication › Media Relations
Local Co-op

Posts by Author

A picture of Vancouver's Gastown while snowing.
Blog
Things to Do During Winter

It’s getting chilly outside, and you might feel like there’s nothing to do. Never fear, there are always options for fun here in Vancouver.

A shot of someone wearing boots on a road with leaves on it.
Blog
Finding Positivity in Your Everyday Life: How to Deal with the Changing Seasons

Spring forward, fall back – daylight savings time has taken effect again, and we're in for a long, cold winter. Read our tips on how to see the bright side of things during such a dark time.

Two people sitting at a table with masks on.
Blog
The New Normal: Transitioning Back to In-Person Meetings

 As you initiate or continue your time as an SFU student or employee, there are a lot of important things to consider when returning to public spaces. Whether it be large-scale activities or one-on-one meetings, we have you covered. 

You Might Like These... Equity, Diversity + Inclusion, Communication, Community

Woman and man in a workplace
Where is Harassment and Discrimination? Right Under Your Nose, Perhaps.

School, work, home. That’s considered the typical routine of a young adult – they go to school for higher education, work to stay in school, and relax at home.  If only life were as simple as that. Drama in the form of harassment and discrimination is a reality for many people including students.  Can you recognize harassment and discrimination?

the author standing
From School to Designing for the City of Surrey

Read about Allison's co-op experience with the City of Surrey and learn what it is like working in government organisations.

A single runner on between a tree-lined road.
How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse: 4 Tips to Get You Started with Running

Running is great for your cardiovascular health, but it's not easy to get motivated if you're new to the sport. Read Rachel's post on SFU Rec to find some tips on how to build motivation before putting on the running shoes. 

Four silhouettes on a beach with a sunset behind them.
library_books
Blog
How to Capitalize on Your Mistakes
Community, Co-operative Education, Professional Development

Mistakes and regrets are a part of life, but there will always be a way to move on from them. Look at OLC staff member Terae’s blog on how she learned to accept her failures and find a new perspective on her path to the future. 

You Might Like These... Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Kelly holding YWIB sign
5 Career Lessons I Learned From Stepping Outside my Comfort Zone

Kelly shares how her experience with SFU YWIB helped her in her career.  Find out what 5 lessons she learned, and what lessons you should know!

UNYA logo
Urban Native Youth Association

The Urban Native Youth Association works to provide meaningful opportunities for Native Youth. With almost 100 staff working within 21 programs they are always looking for talented and dynamic people to join the team. Find out more.

SFU mascot
The Indigenous Student Ambassador Program

FNSA Board member, Angela Semple has lead the implementation of the Indigenous Student Ambassador program, helping to highlight important Indigenous resources to potential SFU students and part of the Indigenous Recruitment Team.