So, here’s the deal with this blog post. I’ve spent a week thinking about it, and how I was going to approach the timely topic of post-secondary education. It’s a topic I have many opinions on, and a ton of experience with, but this made it really difficult to decide what I wanted to talk about. Finally, I settled on it- “What I learned about doing what you love.”
I, like many graduating high school students, spent a lot of time trying to decide what I wanted to study in post-secondary school. I sat there with books from many different schools, looking at the different things I could major in, and went back and forth many times. Originally, I wanted to take Journalism, and become some kind of writer- I love writing, and Writer’s Craft was my favorite and best class in high school. However, I faced a lot of pressure not to choose that major- many people told me it was too competitive, and that I’d never get a job in it when I graduated. So eventually, I pushed that idea aside and started looking for another major.
If you have something that you love doing in life, then I strongly recommend that you pursue that dream of yours because nothing can really stop you from achieving it. You are the only one who can stand between your dream and you. The last thing that you want is doing something that you don’t love for the rest of your life.
Finally, I stumbled upon the idea of studying social work. The classes seemed interesting, as they were studying human behavior, and how people are impacted by the world around them. So, I put in applications to 4 Social Work programs, and 1 Social Development Program, which was a combination of classes in social work, sociology, and psychology. I was accepted to all of them, and eventually chose the Social Development Studies program at the University of Waterloo. I thrived in this program, earning higher grades than I ever could have dreamed of in high school because I was finally in control of what I was learning, and I studied what I found interesting, rather than just what I was required to study. However, as I started to look at job prospects, I realized few of them were really what I wanted to do. So, after taking 1 year off at the end of my B.A, I entered a post-graduate Bachelor of Social Work program, again at the University of Waterloo (what can I say, I liked the city!). I studied and worked in a placement over the course of a year, learning the skills needed to work in social work. From the very beginning, I knew I didn’t want to work in counseling or clinical areas of social work. So, several of the classes seemed less applicable to me, because of their focus, but I worked hard and achieved good grades in them as well.
Once I left my B.S.W and moved to Toronto, I started looking for a job- still not really knowing what in social work I wanted to do, just that I wanted to “help people” (cheesy, but true). Nothing was coming up though. I applied and applied until I was pretty tired of seeing my resume and writing about myself. Then I took a break from applying and started volunteering. I had more fun volunteering than I had to apply for jobs. I wasn’t volunteering in social work either- I was doing data entry for a wonderful non-profit, and several other small tasks for them.
Finally, one day, a position came up for me in international development (which I’m going to go ahead and admit I knew nothing about). One of the tasks I was given was to manage their American social media outlets. That was it, I was in love. I had spent time on Twitter and Facebook along with a few other spaces before, but never had I been in control of the community building of a decent sized organization. I began reading more about this topic and getting better and better at it. Then The Rose Centre came along, and I volunteered to be their social media/communications manager, and I knew it was love.
Had I known 10 years ago this would be a job when I grew up, I likely would have gone down a very different path than the one I did. While I am not being paid to do social media any longer (I’m still “the voice” of The Rose though), I at least know where my passions lie- working with non-profits and helping to organize and create a community using the tools of social media.
So- what do I hope everyone will get out of this post? The idea that if you look around enough, and push on, you’ll eventually figure out what you’re in love with. And even if you can’t get paid to do it just yet, it’s still worth doing. Find what you love and find a way to do it- you won’t regret it.
I was talking to my sister and mother about autism. Heated debate, ugh, got frustrated. They don’t understand about autism rights. Mom told me that the websites I visit for the real truth about autism, may not be true after all. I think I would know better, thank her very much.
That’s why I personally think that there should be much more articles about this topic on the internet. People need and want to learn about disabilities because that will allow them to know how to interact with them. I often see people watching and judging people with disabilities and they don’t even know what that person has gone through in their life. I found this especially frustrating when young people are involved who don’t know how to take those judgments, their feelings will only get hurt. Overall, I really want to find more content about this topic online.
This happened many months ago, and we cannot even really remember at all what exactly the content of the discussion was, except what was written above as a draft. I am pretty sure this is a common theme in the disability community; heated debates with nondisabled family members about advocacy related things. They think they know us better than we do! How many people have been told at some point in life, by family or relatives, that the time spent online seeking out POSITIVE writing about xyr disability, or positive advocacy, is wasted time?
One of the most frequent questions that people have is how to or how can they help out other people who have a disability. Well, that is a very good thing because it shows that there are some people who are actually willing to help out others. Of course, there is an answer to that question and you will learn all about it in this article. It is not easy to explain how you can help people with disabilities, that’s why you will see various ways and situations that we set as an example. If you ever find yourself in one of these situations, you will know how to properly act and possibly help the other person out.
Everyone wants to have friends and the easiest way to get friends is to be nice to other people, simple as that. therefore, if you want to befriend a person with a disability, you just have to do everything the same way you would with a healthy person. You should never be afraid to walk up to a person that has some type of disability, they can be just as fun as some of your other friends.
One of the crucial mistakes that a lot of people do is they want to help these people out immediately without even knowing if they need that help or not. You should never assume that a person is not capable of doing things just because he has a disability, that is just a low punch to them and they will not appreciate it. The best and safest way to go around this is to be polite to them and first ask them if they actually need help if you see them struggling or having a hard time. There will be some people who will refuse your help even if they are clearly struggling with the task and that is completely normal, they want to be independent and that is a step for them they need to take if they want to face the rest of the world.
If you as a person with a disability what they hate the most about how society treats them, they will all say the same thing. They don’t like when people in public places stare at them. That is just simply humiliating to them because they realize that they are different from the rest because of their condition. This way you can really hurt people’s feelings, especially if it is their first time out in public and they are not used to the staring. That’s why you should always view them just as you would other people.
If you really want to help out people with disabilities, then you should stop petting their dogs when you see them walking down the street. You and everyone else needs to realize that it is not a regular dog on a walk, he is on the job and you will only distract him if you start playing or petting him.