I’m really glad school is not starting for me this term, at least not yet. Last Monday as I was on the lrt, it was the usual scene of post secondary students with their packs and books all ready for their new semester of academic education. It felt odd to not be rushing out the lrt doors when we arrived at the University station like they all were, but it felt good too as I know I’m not ready for another round of school following the brutal Fall term. The Christmas break was great, but with all the activities surrounding the holidays, I needed more of an actual ‘break’ and time to rest rather than constant potlucks and gatherings. Hoorah for the remaining days I have before I leave.
This past term I had the opportunity to be part of the local planning committee and an attendee of my first ACHES (pronouce “aggs” (Association of Canadian Human Ecology Students)) conference this past week which brings together human ecology students from four main schools across Canada each year. I had expected it to be your typical conference with diverse speakers, group activities, tours, and fancy meals, but I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I was able to meet students with similar academic backgrounds from Moncton, NB, London, ONT, Winnipeg, MB, and even a master student from Ryerson in Toronto. I think I had missed my fair share of conferences in 2011 and it made me wish I went to the past annual ACHES conferences in the respective cities the students I met were from.
I was especially interested in the broad range of speakers we had. From the given professional human ecologists, to dieticians, local designers, and a life coach, it was three filled days of enrichment and learning. I gained so much insight on the opportunities there are for human ecology students and it’s not your stereotypical jobs either. I was inspired by the success of some talks and despite the well known challenges of certain fields, I want to dive in and explore the unknown. There’s just so many possibilities and though most of us weren’t sure of where we are heading on our future career paths, we acknowledge that even if we take a wrong turn, there are boundless opportunities for us to learn and grow from. Eventually, our passion will direct us to where want to be, and sometimes we don’t even know where that is exactly.
It was a huge reminder of how sometimes what we think we want to do, what our minds tell us to do, or what is logical, may not be what our heart really wants. Just because you are set on a particular career path, does not mean it will be a perfect fit, but you won’t known unless you take that path and learn for yourself if it’s a hit or miss. Everything we do leads to something better, can you only imagine where you will be 5, 10, 15 years down the road? Reflect only 3 years back and I’m sure you will acknowledge the changes and growth you have experienced in your life.
If I had to summarize the highlights of the ACHES conference, it would be
Connect to others with similar interests
Experience new things
Take Risks &
Enjoy what you are doing (if you aren’t, DROP it!)