Four Goals to Help Achieve Success in a New School

Worth Living Ambassador Taylor Bickerton

My name is Taylor Bickerton, I am nineteen years old and I am attending Seneca
College-Markham Campus for their three-year Business-Administration Marketing advanced
diploma program. I am strongly passionate about mental health and I strive to raise awareness
about the importance of it. I believe mental illnesses should not be stigmatized and pushed to
the side. This is why I decided that it was important and crucial to me to get involved with
Worth Living.

Four Goals to Help Achieve Success in a New School

My school journey has been a roller coaster ride, with many ups and downs. I performed
well in high school and pushed myself to achieve high marks, as well as being involved in
several clubs, committees, and taking the time to volunteer and attend events in communities:
locally, nationally, and even on a global scale. I did this while knowing that I was living with
anxiety and depression.

Things took a turn when I went off to Carleton University for their Global and
International Studies program in September 2017. It was a completely new environment. I did
not know anyone and my immediate family lives back in Nova Scotia. Yes, I made friends and I
met my boyfriend there. However, there as a lot of negatives: bad residence experience, not
enjoying my program, worrying all the time, not getting the grades I wanted, and burning
myself out completely. I attempted to go back, but in a different program in September 2018. I
could not survive one day of class and stepping foot onto campus made me uncomfortable. I
was out of school for a few months, worked full time and am started back up this month on
January 7th.

Going to a new school is a huge change for me. I decided to set four goals for myself to help
keep myself on track and to be as mentally well as I can.

1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Something that I have adjusted to doing before heading to work the next morning is
laying out everything that I need. I make sure my clothes are washed, my outfit is laid
out, I make my lunch and put my snack in my bag, make sure my electronic devices are
charged, and more. This way I can go to bed with a clear mind knowing that the most
important things I need to do are complete. I plan on continuing this with going to
school full time and in my workplace, part time.

2. Use a Daily Planner
My brain runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is always thinking,
thinking, and worrying constantly. It is beneficial for me to not keep things bottled up
and to make my mind clear. Having a planner and using it religiously will help keep my
anxiety at peace and will significantly increase my time management skills. I also have a
desk calendar and a calendar for my basement apartment kitchen.

3. Healthy Eating = Happy Belly + Mind
Healthy eating is something I could definitely improve on, especially while going to
school full time. The temptation of getting fast food or making ramen noodles is there,
and I know it always will be. However, while I was in university, even with an all access
meal plan, I should have eaten much better. I was not putting enough nutrition and
calories in my body. I know now that it had a negative effect on my academic
performance. I have to remind myself to eat properly every single day, especially since I
am taking Zoloft. A goal of mine is to meal prep and to plan out my breakfast, lunches,
and suppers. I am hoping that with these changes, that I will in fact have a happy belly
and mind.

4. Use Campus Resources to My Fullest Potential
It took me a long time to reach out for help while attending Carleton. It was not until
December 2017, that I visited the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities. I
completed an assessment for my mental health, and started going to counselling. I am
now not afraid of asking for help and support when needed. I know that Seneca is very
accommodating and inclusive. It is a goal of mine to reach out and visit their counselling
services. However, there are plenty more resources that are beneficial and would make
my experience extraordinary: getting involved in clubs and societies, volunteering,
attending study sessions, and reaching out to a tutor if necessary.

These are just four important goals that I have in mind for my fresh start and there are plenty
more. I have to remind myself that the past is the past. I learned from my experiences and I will
only become a stronger human being. I am excited, but scared. I have to remind myself that I am worthy, I am intelligent, and I can do this.

So here is to 2019, my new program and school, and whatever else is yet to come.

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