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Valuing Yourself, New Year Resolutions, and "H.D.T."
on Monday December 10th.
New Years is coming up soon (assuming the world doesn't end), and I entertained the idea of finally making a New Years' Resolution I would actually keep.
The brainstorming eventually lost its luster, as I know I probably do not possess the willpower to pull off losing 40 lbs.
, trying out for a choir group, pulling straight 'As' next semester, or tweak myself in other ways If you know me with a modicum of depth, you know that it is hard to get me to stop thinking once I have started.
Not wanting to continue analyzing prehistoric human data for my Archaeology final, I start reflecting on my past rather than planning for the future.
For me, analyzing the past is a much more taxing, emotionally invested, but ultimately rewarding endeavor for me than most in my family - who are future oriented.
I am not going to impart my entire life story in this reflective piece, but some backstory is necessary.
I am a man who used to, and perhaps still does, value depth above all else.
Throughout primary and secondary education, I felt consistently and unwaveringly out place.
My mother called it being "ahead of the pack by default.
" My doctors called it an "uncanny profundity and wisdom, imparted upon you through life experiences from a very young age.
" I just call it a day in my life.
The clique culture with its superficial frivolity and organization of multi-faceted human beings into neat little labels was something I could never get adjusted to.
My talents never lay with altering my demeanor and appearance to get ahead.
To be honest, without my two best friends, my proverbial brother and sister, I do not know where I would be today.
But university was supposed to be different.
At least that is what everyone from my parents, extended family, doctors, and teachers have told me since I was twelve.
"College, that's your time!" I'm sure you can imagine the hype train that was being constructed since sixth grade.
"Honesty, depth, and trust" (henceforth referred to as H.
T) and all that jazz was built up around me for around six years.
Mind you, I was not narcissistic enough to believe I held all these attributes, if any, but the fact that my peers would possess them made me downright giddy.
The parties were a blast (DEFINITELY at the beginning).
The acquaintances through social networking before school started were blossoming, as were relationships with dorm mates.
It was cut short by a roommate I wouldn't want to wish upon my worst enemy.
There are multitudinous reasons university didn't live up to my six-year hype (which was inevitable), and I am not going to go through them.
All that needs to be said is that I had a hard time acquiring dialogue on a consistent basis with my peers, let alone achieve the H.
mantra I had apparently so been craving.
Long story short, first year was tough for me, leading me to almost transfer.
Being in a top-tier educational institution, however, I forced myself to stick it out - a show of strength that I am still proud of.
And although I find myself more than occasionally frustrated, defeated, or on the negative end of emotions, I think they are for reasons gone through by anyone else in our age group.
Self-reflection finds me at a much better place.
After such a lengthy backstory, the point of this entire piece is refreshingly to the point.
I just want to express gratitude to those people who have helped me acclimate to this new (only a second year) phase of my life.
Some of you have been friends since the start of 1st year, while some of you were met only a month ago.
If anyone reading this is wondering what I mean by being helped, it is really simple.
These people have done three amazing things for me in their own ways: - Put me on the road towards H.
- Fostered self-belief of intrinsic value as a human being beyond superficiality - Provided the basis of a New Years Resolution that I am 100% sure I will be going through with.
In a move that hopefully is not too ironic, I will be thanking each individual with labels rather than direct addressing.
Why? Because while they serve as an easy identification tool, these labels will be starkly shown to be anti-labels - with the people represented transcending or refuting them at every turn.
What this shows is the uniqueness of each individual, but the universality of impact they can have on the same person - me.
One of the few people that you cannot help but feel comfortable around.
You'd think a 5'11 (ball-parking it) blonde bombshell would be intimidating and unapproachable, right? This girl defies stereotypes; if you don't approach her, she'll sure approach you! Because she's just that kind of person - she LOVES people and sees the best in everyone.
Even if you think it isn't there, she'll find it and bring it out.
Sometimes, I wonder how someone so driven by her schoolwork and passions could still maintain being friends with absolutely everyone, but then I realize, that is what is so special.
You can be her brother, acquaintance, or the guy standing behind her in the Tim Horton's line.
For whatever amount of time you do interact with her, she IS your best friend.
It needs to be said that her unwavering, MASSIVE positivity throughout the harshest of circumstances is on the point of alien, and it suggests a mental and emotional fortitude extremely rare in everyone else, and it inspires me to strengthen mine.
The love this person exudes on a daily basis is something that is to be cherished and never taken for granted.
In a world that can leave everyone (including yours truly) so jaded, it always leaves me in awe to see a person with as big a heart as this girl has.
Her laugh and constant positivity is so infectious, and it gets me through many a down day.
And I know that even if we haven't talked in ages about anything except how classes suck, I could still open up to her about anything and benefit from that source of love.
I met this bundle of joy officially (as in more than passing glances) a month ago at a chance event.
I am so happy I did.
Any amount of time that you know this badass islander is a gift, Her quirkiness can have you laughing when all you want to do is sleep for 24 hours, and her smile brightens up any of her friends' surroundings like the Caribbean sun.
Beyond all this, she personifies H.
You always know where you stand with her, and you can count on her through thick and thin throughout the ages.
More than anything, I'll forever be grateful to the introduction of the fact that a person's value does not have to be discovered at a microscopic pace.
Those who are worth your time, and who recognize your for your OWN specific amazingness, will click and reach out as you do at the same time.
This seemingly shy and awkward gem and I met up on a McGill tour way back in April 2011.
On and off, sporadically or consistently, we have kept in touch since then amazingly.
Her wit is off the charts, and makes for the most humorous sparring sessions.
Her warped sense of humor consistently cracks me up, but the wisdom beyond her years that lies under the surface is even more impressive.
I'll always thank her for making me realize there is nothing wrong or disadvantageous with being shy and awkward.
This French-woman's classiness is captivating, as is her work ethic.
Even now in this stressful exam time she continue to work hard and push through the flashcards with a smile and gracefulness that could only come from France.
Her curiosity, multitude of talents, and genuine interest in what's beneath the surface of a person is incredibly refreshing.
She taught me time management and positive self-talk - things I would have crumbled under pressure without.
I still benefit from my communications with this person pre-McGill.
Literally my first true friend at this stage of my education, our Skype conversations during the summer of 2011 singlehandedly calmed every nerve I had about coming here, and served as in intense tool to vent to at the height of familial trouble.
Though we do not speak as we used to due to scheduling difficulties and a large distance, I know we could pick it up at any time.
Our mutual obsession over Harry Potter, opera, and Pink Floyd flourishes on, and the food she cooks rivals anything my mom does.
I have so much in common with the mensch of a guy.
We dwell in our misery together and talk politics.
He is one of the most trustworthy, honest, and deepest people I know here.
Our senses of humor are basically in tandem, and I will never ever forget, nor be able to repay, what you did when things went so out of control in first year.
Talk about value.
Even when your future path takes you far enough from your past to be literally out the country, we always take a little bit of home with us.
But I feel like I ran into the best part of home here.
Everyone has those one or two friends that they had no idea how they met or were able to make.
This person's hilarity has both wit and silliness.
They carry the sharpest intelligence without sacrificing emotional depth.
An empathetic, ridiculously loving and caring friend without sacrificing steel will and self-respect through the worst trials and tribulations - it leaves me always wondering, "How does she do it?" Do what? Do her.
The way she picks up a hobby, whether voice or pen, and makes it into art is just crazy.
She has done so much for me, in tough, average, and good times, and I love her for it.
I love everyone for it.
For being the eight candles on the Menorah of my McGill career so far.
A reader might perceive this editorial as cheesy or overwrought, but such reflection is necessary sometimes.
The final point I will make before turning in for the night is my New Year's Resolution - one I feel every single person on Earth should adopt regardless of what other goals you are adopting.
Never lose appreciation for who you are, what you have, and what you gain.
Always give thanks for every single day and the little gifts each one brings, whether a hi-five on your aced paper, a compliment on the coat you were worried looked like shit, or a laugh that you knowingly shared over tripping over the same tree root on the way to the library.
I vow to never lose sight of what I have again, as what I have is great.
It is these little things, and these blossoming relationships, that lead to true H.