Stories From The Arch

The Planned Happenstance Project: Morgan Martin

1. Can you share an example of a time something really unplanned or unexpected happened and how did you handle it?

My second midterm of university was right after chem, so I focused on chem and then it was like “math time!” When I got my grades back, I got a 59. I was shook. I called my mom and she reminded me that it was okay to get a tutor. I decided that I was not going to get a 59 again, so I had to change my study habits.

I tried studying earlier, but there was always math right after another midterm. So, I tried to study more effectively on the tests and I did better.

2. Have you ever experienced a time when you felt there was a barrier in your way? How did you manage it?

My barrier at times has been myself and not believing in myself – I think it’s the biggest barrier you can have. So many other people can believe in you or can tell you that you can do something, but if you don’t believe it yourself then that will hinder you the most. I am a very realistic person and I look at statistics. I always think, “I can’t do that.” If you’re trying to reach a goal, then you can’t tell yourself that you can’t reach a goal without even trying. It’s good to have a back-up plan, but it’s not good to be so fearful that you just accept that your back up plan is going to happen.

Comparing myself to people and their accomplishments is something that I have been trying not to do because everyone can take a different path to get to the same goal or place. Something my mom always says is use your talents to win the race. I used to always be like, “Stop! What are you saying?” But, what it basically means is that everyone has different strengths that they are good at and things that make them unique, so use those skills and talents as an advantage to get to the place you want to be. Those skills might not be the same as everyone else.

How I’m overcoming it is by trying to be more positive and having a goal of the week and a quote of the week to encourage myself to have a positive mindset and believe in myself more.

3. What are you curious about?

I’m curious about where I will be 10 years from now. I’m curious if I’ll accomplish the goals I have. Will I be happy and will I be fulfilled? What will my life look like?

At the same time I don’t want to think about that because it’s scary. Where will I be in my career, but also in life? And, who will I be? What experiences will I have that shape me into who I am? How different will I be from now? Even looking back at my high school self, I have changed a bit.

4. What are some of the changes or risks you have taken that you are glad you took? Why?

Coming to Mac was a risk because I had never left home before. It was a new experience. I could have stayed home and commuted, but at the last second, I changed my mind and it brought a lot of fun experiences and memories. It helped me learn to be more independent and not rely on my parents as much.

5. What do you find most exciting when you think of your future?

My career goal is to be in a health care career where I am helping people. Having a job that doesn’t feel like a job, but just going to work and enjoying it and not complaining about it. And, like everyone says, travelling and having new experiences.

6. We all have uncertainties about our future. What is your tip or trick for handling the unknown?

I’m the type of person that worries about the future. I have a constant urge to accomplish my goals and sometimes I’m overwhelmed with fear that I won’t accomplish them. Sometimes this fear is of what other people with think of me when I don’t accomplish my goals. I think it’s important to realize that everything happens for a reason and you can’t control everything. Sometimes I think, “Why did that happen?” and then the reason becomes clear after awhile.

If I don’t accomplish my goals, then it’s not meant to be. Sometimes what you want isn’t always what you need – you think you’ll be the best at doing something, but you might excel more and impact more people doing something else. You never really know.


Morgan is a second year student in the Faculty of Science, currently studying Life Sciences.

Learn more about The Planned Happenstance Project here.

Photo Credit: Grant Holt. Interviewed by: Richa Alvares.

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