By: Zuzanna (third-year Social Sciences student)
What does resilience mean to you?
Resilience, to me, means staying true to your feelings and working with them accordingly. It’s about having a strategy to complete tasks that is unique to you and works to your best potential. It can take the form of approaching situations with your feelings in mind, as well as how you “bounce back” from stressful situations happening in your life.
Describe a time when you had to demonstrate resilience to deal with a difficult situation or overcome a challenge. What did you learn from that experience?
Resilience can be a tricky concept to fully understand — especially when you tend to doubt yourself. I can relate to that. I feel like, sometimes, I have been too harsh on myself and made situations much harder than they should have been due to feelings of low self-esteem and doubt.
Recently, I felt totally overwhelmed by my schoolwork load and personal responsibilities. This caused me to stress out and want to shut down from all the tasks that were still lingering on my to-do list. However, I demonstrated resilience through accepting the situation. I couldn’t change it at the moment, and the best thing I could do is work through the tasks causing me stress one by one while balancing work periods and breaks accordingly. Not only was I motivated to stay productive because I knew that I could do something that I enjoy on my break, but I was also keeping a positive attitude by keeping a healthy balance of things that are extremely important to me.
What would you tell other students experiencing similar situations?
Take a deep breath and try to relax for at least a small section of your day. This can be for five minutes, an hour or even more! You know what your body needs most! During this break, take some time to unplug from what is stressing you and instead do something that brings you joy and peace. This time is for you and only you. Other things can wait.
How does resilience play a role in your daily life? Are there certain habits or actions, big or small, that help you feel more resilient and optimistic?
The main thing that I do to stay resilient is writing my tasks down in an agenda but staying real with myself with how much mental and physical capacity I have to complete them. Through staying realistic, I can plan smaller tasks that I know I can accomplish. This contributes to resilience because I’m considering my mental health and doing things I know will make me feel empowered when they are completed in the end.
Also, I tell myself that, up until the present moment, things have always worked out one way or another. While it seems a bit cheesy, I think that everything really does happen for a reason. It’s a matter of perspective!
Zuzanna is a third-year Social Sciences student who volunteers with the Student Success Centre as a peer leader. Some of her likes include hiking, volunteering and running.