Canadian graduates are heading into an uncertain world, but this situation is temporary.
2021 is a terrible year to be graduating from university in Canada.
The youth unemployment rate in Canada reached 17 per cent in February. Full-time students reported the lowest mental health score on the Morneau Shepell Mental Health Index for the ninth consecutive month in February. The Ontario government enacting a provincial emergency stay-at-home order in April has left people wondering when life will return to normal.
The state of the world left me worrying about my future, wondering when I would be able to partake in normal activities such as eating at a restaurant again. I made a list of all the jobs I applied to and was discouraged when I was not selected for an interview. I applied to various graduate schools to improve my career prospects, but many programs are receiving record numbers of applicants.
All this chaos left me with many sleepless nights. There were times when I would dwell on it, filling up with negative thoughts.
What has helped me calm down is to write five moments I am grateful for every day. I aim to take a few minutes every day to sit down and write some positive experiences.
The best part of this story is the first day I started, I received two pieces of positive information. I was accepted into a master’s program and I received a communications summer internship.
While my list does have major events, smaller moments that have brought me joy are also included. Some examples are eating Easter egg M&M’s, playing Ejercicio de Pulgar by Javier Conde on my acoustic guitar, and texting my friends.
Compiling this gratitude page has brought me joy. I smile when I look at all of the happy moments I have experienced recently.
This page has reminded me that while there is plenty of negativity going on in the world, it is important to remain hopeful. People should remain hopeful to ensure they have a positive mindset.
It was tempting for me to view my problems as overwhelming, but this page gave me a new perspective. I recognized there are people who have larger problems than my own and continue to be happy despite it. Being grateful in spite of suffering is ideal.
I am reminded of a scene from the movie Wild as I compile this page. Cheryl Strayed, the main character in Wild, is finishing her hike along the Pacific Crest Trail when she encounters a woman and her grandson.
The boy said he is spending the weekend with his grandmother because of problems he is going through. Strayed, approaching the end of her hike, tells the boy that everyone has problems.
However, Strayed said, problems do not stay problems. Problems turn into better situations.
I believe Canadian society is going to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than before. What Canada is going through now is rough. But it will be over some day.