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Don’t Be Afraid to Fail – It Might Just Pay Off

Where did the time go?

Just under four months ago, I began my journey in the big city. Coming into this internship with already some experience, I had thought of myself as someone who understood the world of student politics pretty well. Wow, was I ever wrong. 

This internship taught me infinitely more than I could have imagined before coming to work for OUSA. To me, someone who calls himself a “student advocate” on campus, this summer was an invaluable learning experience, and I can confidently walk away from this role knowing that I’ve improved my abilities when it comes to representing my peers and my knowledge of the post-secondary education sector.

Along with everything that I learned, man, did I ever have a great time. The city was incredible to explore, and I got to work full-time doing something I found fulfilling - I had found a line of work that I’m truly passionate about. I was in a space which allowed me to flourish and to expand my ability to analyze problems. I was taught to think both critically and independently, along with being a key member of a team. I woke up excited for every new day.

So, I guess if there are any words of wisdom I can provide as my time here comes to an end, it would be to find your passion and not let it go. Forget about what you think looks great on an application or what you think others will qualify as “something successful”: be authentic and pursue the outlets that allow you to better yourself and continue doing what you love. In my first year, I remember sitting through a 6-hour election for a position on my faculty council – an election I lost. I could have easily stopped there and put my time into a different activity, something where I could see a clear-cut path for what others told me was “successful”. But, I didn’t give up my passion for student government and eventually found another outlet for it: attending my first OUSA General Assembly. Since then, I decided I wouldn’t look back and dwell on any obstacles that came my way. After my second time applying for this internship, today, I walk away from a summer-long experience, working in the heart of what I hope to pursue after graduation.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that in everything you do, hardships will most certainly cross your path, but it is knowing that these obstacles you face are for the pursuit of your own happiness – THAT is what should keep you going and should wake you up with a newfound curiosity every day. Never stop looking for opportunities that allow you to do what you love, and I promise, you will be fulfilled in all that you do.

I’m forever grateful to the team at OUSA for such an amazing summer, and now, I suppose this is where I sign off.

PSE out for now,

Danny Chang