It's been a pleasure working as the Lead Editor of the OLC! In such a short time, I was exposed to so much amazing storytelling across campus that made me feel proud to be a part of the SFU community. So many people from the stories I've read are incredibly thoughtful and passionate about what they do, driven to create a better world built on inclusion, equity, and social justice. As a student, stories like the ones I've listed here inspire me to join their fight and remind me that before advocating for others, you must first know yourself and learn how to show kindness to yourself.
One of my biggest projects this summer was gathering stories to publish from the SFU Psychology Instagram page. Through this work, I met (through the screen) so many people in my faculty with varying interests and backgrounds. This one, written by graduate student, Tiara Cash (who was once my TA!), is one of my favourites, particularly because of her advice to pursue career/educational paths that reflect who you are, explaining how this helps to solidify your greater purpose when experiencing periods of doubt or adversity.
Another SFU Story from my home department! I love reading alumni stories because of the pearls of wisdom that often come with them. This story was about David Wotherspoon who graduated with a BA (Hons.) in Psychology in 1986, and later pursued an LLB and an MA in Psychology at UBC. He visualizes a metaphor of a river pushing students to a particular career outcome while they're in school, advising that before reaching the destination, one should first "swim to the shore, climb out and have a look around. There are a lot of paths available beyond where the current pushes you."
This one is a bit out-of-theme but I had to include it. This blog was originally a news article published by the Department of English, describing Sophia Dobischok's journey in pursuing both a BSc in Behavioural Neuroscience and a BA in English concurrently. All too often, the Arts and Sciences, and thus also creativity and analytical thinking, are seen through a false binary lens that favours one over the other. As Sophia makes clear, there is great value to pursuing a liberal arts education, and it is entirely possible to combine and pursue multiple passions, even when they seem contradictory at first glance.
Our contributions from the Health Peers are always top-notch. This one, co-authored by Jessica Kwun, Balpreet Bhagtana, Sonia Heer, and Sarah Chae, features an in-depth conversation with health professionals about the mental toll that activism can have on a person. Studying social justice in university, self-care isn't addressed nearly enough in classrooms where students are constantly tasked to analyze structural inequities, with some having lived experiences that complicate the experience. This piece is a timely reminder to assess your capacities and needs when it comes to activism. Forming healthy boundaries will ultimately make your advocacy stronger.
As someone who struggles with anxiety, reading this article felt like a breath of fresh air. It was helpful to frame anxiety as a 'valuable teacher' that signals significant moments in our lives. The detailed descriptions of anxious thinking patterns also helped me to gain the ability to put words and terms to my experiences, which helped with my own mental health management. I highly value this contribution from Indigenous Clinical Counsellor and Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC), Jennifer Reandy, who so generously shared her words and advice with the OLC.
The Indigenous Student Center (ISC) is open Monday to Friday, from 8:30AM – 4:30PM and Indigenous Counsellors are available for appointments all week. To connect with a counsellor or to view other support options, visit our website or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.