Just Keep on Going!


by Brooj Mishal, student

As a post-secondary student, it seems like there is SO MUCH one can do to grow, develop and flourish to become the best version of yourself every day. From academics to research work and extracurricular volunteer work, to networking with other students and professors, living and navigating life as an emerging adult can be quite overwhelming to say the very least, and this can become an even greater challenge for individuals who have an especially hard time adjusting to novel changes in life (like...me!). One day, after what seemed like a never-ending lecture, I came across a very intriguing poster about Open Circle’s Becoming Yourself Series. It gave me pleasant flashbacks to ClubsFest week, where I first heard about Open Circle and signed up to receive their emails. For a moment, I debated whether I would find any benefit in becoming a member of this reflection group and whether it would truly give me the awakening I VERY MUCH needed in my wild, eventful life. Although I was late to the first meeting, it was one of the most welcoming and belonging experiences in my life (not trying to be cheesy either!). As much as I love my personality and the way I have turned out in life, I tend to feel very “out of place” and a bit of an oddball at times, making it intimidating for me to be my authentic self. Being able to speak about literally WHATEVER may be creeping on my mind is one of the most humane and revitalizing activities that I wish I could engage in more (even as someone that seems quiet at first). Reflecting and pondering about both the little and not so little things in life puts me back on my feet and I feel READY to bring my life the love, peace, happiness and justice I need at ALL times! I never thought that Open Circle would become such a prominent and leading motivator into my youth, before, during and hopefully after this ongoing global crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After finding my family here, I approached my daily humdrum responsibilities with much needed mindfulness, feeling more present in the moment and more alive with every step, breathe and move I make. I also realized and internalized the importance of self-care and self-love and compassion. You really DO need to love yourself and accept all the curves, edges and perfectly imperfect imperfections that come with being a beautifully unique human being in order to strengthen your precious relationships, both existing and upcoming. No matter who we are or what we do in this confusing world, we all deserve strong and sound physical, mental and spiritual health (and I say this from the very bottom of my heart). I notice that the people involved in these cute and cozy reflection circles help me to embrace the good and the bad in my life, letting myself know that I am strong, capable and amazing just the way I am and all I gotta do is just KEEP ON GOING! This doesn’t come easy, however. I struggled a lot at first and STILL have a very inconsistent life. I know I have a long way to go but I won’t give up! Reaching out to others is extremely therapeutic and everyone deserves a listening ear, helping hand, and a caring soul. Stay safe and stay you!