When I look back to review the (almost) three years I have spent at UBC, I feel I have been physically a part of many clubs and groups but not deeply invested. None of the extracurricular made me feel connected to UBC because I couldn’t internalize the causes all the clubs and groups I operated in were following. Having used all the metrics to measure involvement, I concluded that by many means, I was uninvolved on campus.
At the beginning of the third year, I tried to rationalize my un-involvement by telling my self that it is okay to just focus on my studies and that at this point, there is not enough time left to start something that really mattered to me, besides, I didn’t really know what mattered, may be I was someone who had found her comfort by choosing not to get involved.
However, just recently, I was having a discussion with my friend about how barely I read newspaper and even when I do, I can’t retain most of the information to make references in the future. While speaking about things that I wasn’t good at helped the two of us think of an initiative where we could host a weekly discussion on an article from the newspaper. It was that moment of discovery where I had finally found my niche and my way to get involved on campus and start something that I deeply cared about. How did I know that it was my calling? I didn’t sleep that night thinking about different ways we could expand the idea and turn it into something big before I graduate.
So we invited a bunch of friends to our discussion with as many people as zero showing up. Had it been any other activity, I would have been really disappointed but I can proudly say that I wasn’t this time, because deep down I knew that this project had a lot of potential to grow and I could already feel like J.K. roweling who was rejected so many times before someone agreed to publish her book – “Harry Potter”. The following week, the two of us undeterred by the lack of success of our first session, invited more people and luckily had 2 people show up, which was as we see it, a success for us. We had a group discussion on Volkswagen cheating on emissions and our participants loved how each one of us contributed different perspectives to the dialogue. They promised they would return next week so I assume it was a success.
During this entire process of idea generation and implementation, I realized few very important things. First, I know it’s a cliche but believe me its true, it’s never too late to start something that you care about. Secondly, economics teaches us the concept of resources being scarce but it never says that there is a limit to ideas we could generate, demands we could meet and passions we could follow. In addition to that, never underestimate your willingness to go to any length when you find the idea you love and lastly, start loving the idea of failing because the earlier you fail, the sooner you succeed.