It is easy to believe that we have little control over the course of our lives. We are told that it would be unwise to trust our intuition, or to question authority.
We are trained to wait for someone else—a teacher, a coach, a boss—to tell us what we should think or do next. And yet…
I used to believe this too. I was living in Toronto at the time and had been considering going back for grad school after my undergrad at Waterloo…
I decided to go to Toronto anyway and investigate the landscape in my own way. I started to walk around downtown Toronto and take in the atmosphere, observe the street life, sit on a bench and just watch. I thought about what grad school would be like, what working as a consultant would be like, what I could do if I didn’t pursue my Masters at all…I just let my mind wander into different scenarios.
This is how I came across The University of Toronto’s “Admission Office” on King’s College Circle (just off of University Avenue). It was the end of May, it was sunny out…and all the doors were closed.
I went around the back and sat on a bench in the courtyard. It was here that I decided to apply to grad school. If I got in, I would be able to keep my current job, which was an awesome opportunity for me (and a necessary evil for my mother).
If I got in…and if I liked it…I would go back home.
I spent hours sitting on that bench. It was 100 degrees outside, but it felt like my body was freezing cold as I sat there and pondered what had taken place between September of 2008 and May of 2009.
It was then that something clicked inside me: “I can do this. I can get into grad school.”
And so I did.
When I got home this summer and told my mom, she was shocked. “There’s no way you’re going to grad school,” she said. And then…she asked me a question that changed everything: “Did you get in?”
I had. I had gotten into grad school. And as clichéd as it may sound, it really is true that all the doors that were closed when I started to walk around Toronto a year earlier were suddenly open…and my life had truly taken a new turn for the better.