As my final (official) semester of university comes to a close, I want to dispel a huge myth about my life: that I am a real full-time student.
Okay, yes on paper I am "full-time" - as in 60% course load because I am not eligible for my scholarship if I wasn't - but I am by no means taking the fair equivalent of a full-time course load. My three courses were:
1. COMM401: Business & Corporate Strategy
A mandatory course
Shoutout to my group for doing the most and pretending like they believed that I understood anything that was going on
2. COMM405: New Business Development
A discussion based class about... you guessed it! Starting a new business ;)
I never had my readings done because I was always too busy running a new business!
3. COMM501: Independent Study
Here's where it gets interesting...
What is an independent study you might ask? You basically get to create your own course by convincing a professor to work with you on a topic that you find very interesting. I've been working with Professor Kate Rowbotham over the past 4 months and my project has been anything but ordinary.
As you likely know, I am extremely passionate about the topic of Confidence. I'm not just interested on a personal level of "How can I improve my own confidence?", but moreover on a systemic level.
I am fascinated by the question of why so many young people - especially self-identifying young women - are so educated, so hard-working, so accomplished, and yet so lacking in the Self-Confidence department.
Why are we so self-conscious?
How does body image tie into general confidence?
Does it stem from social media?
How does Imposter Syndrome play a role? Is it a chicken-and-egg relationship?
How do you treat the problem on both individual and systemic levels?
These are the questions that keep me up at night... (this is not normal 21-year-old behaviour; I am aware). They all relate to the theory of the Confidence Gap.
As I learned about the Confidence Gap, Imposter Syndrome, Women in Leadership, and general career development tips for young women (this IS normal Commerce student behaviour), they begun to intertwine with my work in fitness.
I recognized so many of my peers struggling with poor health habits, and even worse body image issues.
If you wake up every morning and the first thing you do is look in the mirror and think about how much you dislike your body, how will you ever find the confidence to raise you hand in class, reach for an opportunity you don't feel 100% qualified for, or take a chance on yourself?
Honestly, I think that outer confidence starts within. Believing in your career potential starts with a positive body image, healthy habits, and mental wellbeing.