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The motto that I am living by is something RuPaul excellently describes regarding overcoming your inner saboteur and how to acknowledge your negative voices without succumbing to their control: "You can look, but don't stare."

I never felt that I was good enough from my early years. I was a child that frequently struggled in school. No matter how much I put my heart and soul into projects or homework, I felt constantly knocked down and wondered: "What's wrong with me? Why can't I get this?" In 2013, after numerous days of testing, an answer finally revealed itself: I had a learning disability. Even though I had an explanation, the school struggles did not cease. Soon, I became regularly angry as I would clutch a report card full of C's; at the same time, my friends showed off theirs, complete with A's. Situations like this made me doubt my abilities further, and soon the hesitation started bleeding into my work life.

When I began working, my self-doubt became overwhelming. I constantly battled with poisonous thoughts of how I wasn't good enough and destined to fail. This thinking led to many work errors, which sent my brain into a frenzy. To put it simply: I had no confidence in myself.

A mix of excitement and dread came over me when I was notified that I was accepted into the Knowledge Network Co-op. Unfortunately, my inner saboteur began bubbling up again, and soon I felt miserable. I became sure I was going to butcher the fantastic opportunity I had been given because of my learning disability and self-doubt.

Well, how the turntables...... - Michael Scott

gif of 3 people in an office, one man crosses his arms, text on screen reads "wow, wow, wow, how the turntables"
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BRONLIKEGOAT on Bleacher Report

"You're the fastest learner we've ever had here,” a compliment bestowed upon me from my supervisor during our-midterm check-in. At that moment, I felt that every hardship I had gone through, whether in school or working, had melted away. I was a new person, with a new job and a new attitude that had been recognized for something that I had never thought in my wildest dreams would be noticed.

Working at Knowledge as a Brand Marketing Intern is incredibly affirming; working with social media has allowed me to focus on my strength of being creative. Finally, I feel that my saboteur's loud voice has quieted due to my work habits and efforts. The new environment I explore through social media platforms is eye-opening. I explore strengths I never knew I had, such as copywriting for advertisements or posts. My talents are in writing and creative expression rather than calculating Linear Algebra or memorizing the beginning of the First World War.... and that's okay!

The lesson I learned most about working at Knowledge is that it is genuinely comforting knowing you're on the correct path when you find something you're good at. Another lesson was that it's okay to make mistakes. Not everything will be perfect the first time; it doesn't mean you're not good; it's just maybe looking at a different way of approaching the situation. Approaches that have helped me have been to take care of my mental health by seeking therapy and reminding myself of small achievements I've accomplished, like getting up and making my bed or even having a good hair day.

My saboteur occasionally still rears its ugly head. To this day, I'm attempting to remind myself of my successes rather than my failures. Still, it takes time to focus on the good rather than the negative. I try to stop letting my fears hinder me and accept that I live with a learning disability, but that does not define every aspect of what I do. I've embraced it as a part of who I am, but it only takes up one small part of the rest of the mosaic I call Eden.

The motto that I am living by is something RuPaul excellently describes regarding overcoming your inner saboteur and how to acknowledge your negative voices without succumbing to their control: "You can look, but don't stare."

gif of a someone saying "can I get an amen up here".
Credit
@rupaulsdragrace on Giphy
SFU Student Undergraduate
Co-operative Education

Posts by Author

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Blog
Interview with an Arts Co-op Student: How a Policy Intern Position Improves your Writing

Meet Annelyse Ross, a Political Science and Social Data Analytics Co-op student. In this quick Q&A, Annelyse shares about her co-op experience. Read about how she discusses how she determines if a position is a good fit for her, what she did in her Policy Intern position and even how she got to travel as part of her position.

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Blog
Expect the Unexpected with Event Planning

I’ve learned to expect the unexpected in the field of communications, but this semester, that was taken to the next level, as event planning became the focus. While most days were fairly regular office hours, I did once spend the weekend as a guide and mic runner for a research summit. Another time, I got to attend a free class in voguing!

Oliver, next to a computer with work on his desk
Blog
Captain’s log: a Co-op Students Guide to Navigating Their First Work Term

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely in the same shoes as I was, fresh out of an academic term and excited but anxious about your upcoming Communication Co-op placement. The question lingering in your head at this very moment is probably “what is this Co-op student rambling about, and can he just cut to the point?”. Well my dear reader, in this final entry of my Captain’s log, I will be going over my transformation from a bumbling Co-op student to a full-fledged Marketing Coordinator and give tips on how you too can navigate through your first work term.

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Seeking, Work Term Extension

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A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

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Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

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Responsibility and Success

One of the most memorable parts of my time in co-op was the collection of accidents, errors, mistakes, and mix-ups that happened in the course of working in the laboratory.

 

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

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Prince George or Bust

Marilyn Brennan shares her experiences and adventures while working on a Co-op term for Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research Department (TARR) at Fort St. John. In Part 4 - Marilyn reflects on her many unique cross-Canada travelling experiences during her Co-op work term.

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Did your Co-op Term Confirm your Career Path? It’s Okay If It Didn’t.

If you are anything like me, one reason that you might have applied for Co-op was because of the many success stories that you've read and heard about. While these stories can be so inspiring and motivating, I have realized that it’s also important to remember that it’s okay to come out of a Co-op term still unsure of what you may want to do. Continue reading to learn about what I learned after my first Co-op work term.

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Making a Difference: My Co-op Experience as a Child Life Specialist

Emily, a Health Sciences Co-op student, worked for Western Society for Children (WSFC) as a Child Life Specialist. This allowed Emily to see the ability within disability, and realize that anyone has the power to make a difference. Read Emily's article to find out more about WSFC, and how good intentions lead to meaningful impacts!