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Matthew Syvenky



When I began my studies at SFU, I remember being told I couldn't handle the stress of a full course load. I was told to take two courses because of my learning disabilities.

So, I took four.

I've been a busy person for as long as I can remember. However, I've found that my eagerness to work, study, and volunteer has sometimes gotten in the way of living a well-rounded life.

Work, school, and volunteering made me feel fulfilled at the end of the day. In the past few months, I prioritized my professional life over my personal life. It was only recently, where I noticed I was laughing less and spending less time with myself and the people I cared about. I’ve realized that while I am fulfilled in my work, I am unfulfilled in my personal life.

This past month, I started reaching out to friends I haven’t seen in months. I started spending more time outside. I got into hobbies that weren’t related to my career goals (needle felting!) I’ve never felt better.

Remember that you are your top priority. You can do great things and feel terrific for them, but you’re not succeeding if you’re doing it alone. If you’re not taking care of yourself. Once you begin to harmonize your work to fit in with the rest of your life, you’ll notice what it means to feel fulfilled at the end of the day.

A muddy Matthew and a volunteer pose at the Rubus Restoration worksite removing blackberry
Utta Gagel
Volunteering with friends is a great way to contribute while being social!
Image of a felted bumblebee
A felted bumblebee I made!