Time for some real talk guys:
This journey to RD business is tough shit.
Have you been muddling through feeling like your the only one struggling? You may have a case of imposter syndrome orrrr you may also just be experiencing what is totally NORMAL on this journey. I mean, 4+years of full time undergraduate work racking up your student debt, and then another one-ish on top of that with full time unpaid work? Crazy. So what I’m talking about here guys is the financial struggle.
No doubt there are a huge host of other struggles that come along, but let’s talk about the taboo topic of money for a sec. I’m going to share my story to give you a glimpse into my struggles along the journey so perhaps you don’t feel so alone in yours.
Let’s start with this infamous quote of mine:
I started this journey on a couch, might as well finish on one!
Yep, that was my humorous take on my financial struggles along the journey, though I really didn’t shout it from the rooftops.
Here’s a pic of me on the couch that I finished my degree on (and my pup roommate – that was a win!!)
Let’s start with the first couch: SO I ended up on the couch of a friend’s and her boyfriend’s (three people, one bedroom apartment, weo!) when shit hit the fan with my ex and I packed up and walked out with no where to go. (P.S. I owe these friends my LIFE). I was in Newfoundland at the time in my second-ish year of my nutrition degree and preparing to transfer universities and move provinces in a few short months. Giving up my relationship at the time also meant leaving a vehicle (p.s. when your bf convinces you to sell your car and share one, do not ignore your gut feelings about it!!!) and my home that was in walking distance to my work. Without these amenities I was unsure in the beginning how I was even going to keep working. Thankfully with my friend’s and coworker’s help I was able to pull through but I sure as hell did NOT have money to spare.
In fact when I decided to move provinces to pursue this career (the program was not offered in full in my home province) I called my dad to ask him if it was a realistic move. We had struggled financially for quite some time so before things even started to fall apart I wondered how I could do it. With false hope, I stuck with my decision.
Things do have a way of working out though so I somehow managed to make it to Nova Scotia, carrying all I owned in two checked bags, and continued my program. Though it did not come without waves of frustration, anger, feelings of not belonging, sitting out of activities I couldn’t afford, and tearful conversations with my dad in anger that things were no better.
I’m not trying to say I had it super awful – of course things could have been worse and there are people out there living in far worse poverty! I’m just saying:
If you are struggling, I hear you.
If you aren’t sure how you’re going to make rent, I hear you.
If you’ve sat out on gatherings with friends because you couldn’t afford a ticket or a drink, I hear you.
A lot can be said though about buckling down and bearing through the struggle. So that’s what I did – I had no choice. And silly me even decided near the end of my degree to pursue another in a CRAZY expensive city. That one, however, came with lesser struggle believe it or not, because I had built up my credit enough to get some security and Ryerson University was amazing at providing support as well.
But…. long story short, I ended up on another couch near the end. I had come close to exhausting my resources near the end of my program and had some great opportunities (internship-wise) waiting for me back in Nova Scotia if I could manage to get there and keep a roof over my head. All I can say is THANK GOD for amazing friends who help make that happen. I literally would not have gotten where I am without their support.
So moral of the story here guys is if you are struggling, you are not the only one. You could never tell by looking at your colleagues where they lay their head at night. So chin up, be kind to one another, and keep trucking! You got this!