This past year has no doubt been a difficult one for all of us. As we bring it to a close, now is a great time to reflect on all of the ups and downs we have endured and be reminded of our resilience. Several of our candidates have taken the time to reflect on their experiences this year, in conversation with one of our Career Consultants, Yules Chan. As you read ahead, I would encourage you to consider how you would answer these very same questions. How have you taken care of yourself and managed the challenges you have faced throughout this year?

During COVID-19, what would you say to someone who was going through a hard time?

Mike replied, “if you were having a bad time, I would encourage you to stay strong and push forward. Those bad times won’t last forever.”

Marco replies, “During these tough times we are all struggling through this together. Simply having time to connect through zoom with friends and family can help lift up our mood. If you don’t have that connection, faith can come along way; faith in God can make a bad situation good. I been attending church for 5 or 6 years, although I have not become a fully devoted believer; meeting new people and learning new things has been a positive experience for me. Being in a new environment like a church community where there is guidance and mentorship makes me feel rejuvenated and valued.”

Matthew replies,  “I would say don’t feel so down. No matter how far apart friends and family are at this time, your heart will be connected with them.”

How have you been learning to withstand difficulties in life?

Mike replied, “life is not a straight line, there are curves in them and how we deal with the ups and downs is important. As life is full of challenges I have learnt to embrace it.”

Marco replies, “I think first and foremost when difficulties come, we really need to understand what the situation and scenario is and whether or not we are making the same mistake. I like to look at difficulties as a opportunity to grow and improve myself. When people are being difficult towards me, I have learnt to not take it personally. I like to think that perhaps they are going through a difficult time themselves.”

Matthew replies, “Regarding this COVID pandemic, I have been trying to be together with family through films, or simply listening to music by myself that will bring a positive energy.”

What does caring for yourself look like for you?

Mike replied, “I try to be as positive as much as I can and talk to someone I can trust. I tell myself to be strong and keep pushing forward. Daily walking and exercise is one way to boost my mood.”

Marco replies, “I take care of my health because it can affect my physical and mental mood. Making sure I eat healthy is part of my Chinese culture and every meal has to be nutritional.”

Matthew replies, “I would say it is to be more responsible with my room and around the house with general cleaning. Simply by being more active with myself goes a long way. Now that I reached over 30, I have begun to apply the skills into my day to day life, such as chores, assisting family with heavy-lifting or cleaning after meal time. I walk once or twice a week depending on the weather; walking lifts the negativity off my shoulders and increases my positivity. To me the word positivity is the word of the world.”

Can you think of a moment where you were able to inspire someone else?

Mike replied, “I don’t share my personal life with everyone, but my eldest brother told me that what I went through in life inspired him to be strong also.”

Marco replies, “I believe I inspire others through my story share in the CAES Click and Connect on Fridays. Shawna at CAES encouraged me that I am capable of telling a good story that is impactful for others. I believe anyone can inspire through storytelling. You don’t need to go to school for this, you can share your knowledge and expertise in life to encourage others to keep going and grow.”

Matthew replies, “It was in my provincial bowling games back in 2014, someone got injured and had a break down. I gave him some encouragement by saying, “so what if you don’t win a metal, you are here to represent yourself, friends, family and your country, and most importantly to have fun.” He ended up winning one or two metals. He and his family thanked me towards the end. It made me feel important and valued. The best part for me is to think, act and be positive.”

Thank you Mike, Marco, and Matthew, for sharing the ways in which you have taken care of yourselves and others during this time.