Advice to My Younger Self – Abdi Omar
Looking back at the past five years, life has really taken its course.
A lot has changed since high school. Only a few things stayed consistent and that would include who I am, my values and ambition.
My interests shifted year after year and so I would be lying if I said high school was not a difficult time.
Deciding your future at 18 is NOT easy
Growing up I always envisioned myself as an orthopaedic surgeon. I didn’t really give this career path much thought. All I knew was orthopaedic surgeons were the highest paid doctors in Ontario and that I was capable of achieving whatever I put my mind to.
I didn’t stop for a second and consider whether I would like performing surgery or enjoy the 13-15 year process required to get there.
This leads me to my biggest advice to my younger self…
Advice 1: Do not sacrifice your happiness for a career path with prestige.
If you pursue the career path you enjoy, you are more likely to put your best foot forward and consequently succeed.
You might be wondering how can I be sure of the career path that aligns with my passion without giving it a trial run?
The simple answer is you will never be 100% certain and that is okay. Realize that you are allowed to change your mind. In fact, many people change their careers at least a few times.
Advice 2: Plan ahead, but do not limit yourself to Plan A.
It is important to take advantage of all the resources available to you in high school. For instance, Grade 10 – Career Studies (GLC2O) is a great time to explore the many options available to you.
The earlier you start to plan, the more informed your decision will be.
Reflect deeply on your skills, interests, and the opportunities available to you. These simple steps will make the process of deciding a suitable career path and university program a lot easier.
Here are a few things I wish I learned in high school:
- Basic Study Skills
In high school, I didn’t know how to study and relied heavily on exam review sheets. I really wish I took this time to learn how to study properly. .
In university, the concepts only get more difficult and the workload increases.
I quickly realized that I had to become a better listener, note taker, and develop better study habits in order to excel at this level. Developing study skills in high school is important, as they will last through to university.
- Time Management
Time management skills are essential to achieving the best results possible. Time management can also help reduce stress and improve productivity. So, we can all agree that this will be necessary in university.
I can’t speak for everyone, but in high school the number of activities required to juggle are generally far less than university.
I wish I took this time to learn how to prioritize tasks and make the difficult choice to do what is important. I believe that this would have assisted me when it came time to juggle multiple courses, a job and a personal life.
- Realistic Goal Setting
Goal setting gives my life direction, boosts my motivation and instills more self-confidence. One thing I quickly realized in university was that each and every goal must be followed with diligent planning to achieve them.
Looking back, in high school we are encouraged to dream big but there isn’t much emphasis placed on putting together an action plan to achieve these goals.
Take advantage of this time to plan effectively as it will make your university experience a lot better. I learned that it is beneficial to have things in place earlier since university only gets more difficult.
By: Abdi Omar