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Leading a Balanced Life

Participating in non-career related activities will leave you feeling content, self-motivated, secure, and optimistic. You will then be better able to focus on exploring career opportunities, based on what you know of yourself  and on increasing your employability.

To achieve a balanced life, remember to incorporate learning, community, and mental well-being as part of your overall personal development.

Learning

Experiences outside of university, whether during extra-curricular activities or continuing educational practice, are part of your learning. Continuing education programs are a great resource for further learning and expertise. Ryerson’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education offers adult learning through university-level and degree-credit courses. As you transition from university to work, you will notice links between your educational, social, and professional learning. Be mindful of how these relate to one another over time.

When you are engaging in an activity, observe and reflect on that experience. Your observations and reflections will help you connect what you have learned to other aspects of your life, including your career.

For example, if you are training for a marathon, consider why you enjoy running, what motivates you to train, what kind of outcome you are looking for in developing this ability.

What you learn about yourself during this process may ignite a passion in you - if you love to run, maybe you also love the idea of personal training, or a career that involves physical ability. Or maybe you will continue this as an interest aside from your career, and realize it is an important component of the lifestyle you wish to lead.

Community

Community is about enjoying a sense of belonging, and during the first few years after graduation this needs to continue to be nurtured.

Make an effort to join communities who can offer support and encouragement as you transition from school to work. Examples include:

  • Alumni Association - Ryerson University’s Alumni Relations offers many opportunities for engagement. Everyone involved is going through or has gone through a similar transition to you, so it is a supportive network.

  • Professional associations or meet-ups

  • Social community gatherings that meet up to learn, do, and share

Achieving a sense of belonging, through joining a community or building your own, is essential in staying motivated as you transition into the labour force and later on.

Mental Well-being

Your mental health does not stay static and can be influenced by a range of factors, including personal and professional experiences. Since you can’t always control the circumstances that will affect you, be aware of what actions you can take to maintain positive mental health, even during challenging times.

To maintain your mental health frame events in your life in a positive way, even if they have sparked negative feelings, and realize that the experience is a part of you, but not the total you. For example, if you are interviewing for positions but are not successful at obtaining a job, you may feel frustrated and hopeless. Try to focus on the fact that these positions were probably not a right fit for you, and on what you have learned about yourself and the job search process throughout the experience.

How you feel, think, and react to the changes and transitions you experience in your life can affect how you feel about yourself. It’s important to be aware of this mental state in order to lead a balanced life.If you find this process challenging, don't hesitate to seek support, either with career consultants or with mental health counsellors.