“Building a home away from home” – Guest blog by a UFV alumna

A plan. Everyone has one. Yet life has its own inexplicable ways of working itself. Fate plays with our timing, and we find ourselves adjusting our expectations and coming up with a distinctive strategy. Planning is what keeps us grounded and helps us maneuver the realities of life in preparation for a better future. It is our coping mechanism, something at the core of everything that we have ever done. But the one question that throws us down a spiral is what we do if our plan doesn’t work out?

I never planned to be a business student, let alone major in finance, and stand at the threshold of creating a career in it. I never planned to leave my home country and venture out to study abroad. All through the years, I have, as have other people, shifted gears to adjust my goals and vision to accommodate the changing reality of my present. It was frustrating initially, but the light at the end of the tunnel has shone brighter each time I achieved something that scared the life out of me in the beginning.

Moving to a new country as a student is as exciting as it is daunting. It is a big move, and it is a challenging one. Feeling a little lost when you move into your new role is fine, for no one ever found anything great without ever having been lost once. It is okay to be scared about what comes next. What is not okay is to give up. When all things seem to fall apart, having failed and gotten back up gives us the relevant life experience, the courage, and the determination to be a thriving part of society.

Our generation is used to instant gratification. Growing up in a world where everything is one click away, impatience has taken deep root in how we function. As young adults standing at the threshold of independence, the pocket of our ambitions is almost always overflowing with passion. Early on, our society moulds us to fit into and fulfill certain roles as adults. A plain definition of success is laid out in front of us, which becomes our guiding light to where we want to reach. More often than not, we fall prey to this dogma and end up believing that what meets the eye and not what lies underneath.

One of the first goals I had in life during my early years as a child was to become a doctor. It was my love for the subject itself, the intricacies of the world of science, that captivated me and motivated me to pursue it with passion. However, fate played its timing once again, and I ended up in business, clueless about what to do next. It could have gone two ways. I could have been devasted about this untimely change in my life, which left me with no sense of direction about what to do next, or I could have picked up the rails to come up with a plan moving forward. It would feel amazing to say that I accepted the change with grace and moved on, but that would not be entirely true.

I did lose my sense of direction for quite some time, only to realize later that my vision remains the same. Compassion, empathy, and altruism lay at the very root of why I wanted to pursue medicine. Switching over to business, I changed my path, but the principles that I wanted to build a future on stood strong as ever. Careers and professions change over the course of our lives. What stays the same and guides us towards our next destination is our willingness not to give up.

I have failed more than just the one time, and I have had the support system to help me get back up on my two feet again. But when we falter and get back up to face newer challenges again, the sense of fierce independence that accompanies it is unmatched. It prepares us to face anything in life.

Life sometimes throws us a curveball and catches us off-guard. There are moments that we wish never happened and some that we wish for but never actually happen. Nonetheless, in this rollercoaster of life, turning over a new leaf and starting a new chapter of life while standing strong on the values and morals that we believe in is what ends up defining us.