by Mikael Melo, Media Production
Mikael Melo was in our first ever group of #RoadToRyerson bloggers 4 years ago. We followed his journey leading up to Ryerson, through Ryerson, and now that he’s on his #RoadFROMRyerson, he is sharing what he has learned along the way. To see his old blogs and video, click here.
In everyone’s life there comes a point in which you must say goodbye to a good thing. This can vary from a best friend moving far far away, watching the last episode of your favourite show, or Fifth Harmony announcing that they are breaking up. Each of these demand different types of goodbyes but the impact left is quite the same. Currently I am facing this goodbye mentality towards graduating from Ryerson University. I have this unsettling feeling of “what the heck am I supposed to do now?!” All I know is that acknowledging when it’s time to walk away from a good thing is no easy trek.
Writing this blog also comes as a full circle experience as entering university I was chosen to be one of the first batch of #RoadToRyerson bloggers. Fast forward four years later and here I am about to open up to you about my #RoadFromRyerson.
Before writing this article I decided to reread my old #RoadToRyerson entries and quite honestly I feel like I don’t even recognize myself. The 18 year old boy who penned those blog posts was insecure, would do anything to fit in, and had no idea of the journey ahead. That same boy was eager to make a difference, find some true friends, and hopefully fuel his passion to foster growth over his four years in undergrad.
Today, I can confidently say I am extremely proud of myself. The path I’ve taken, the things I’ve overcome, and the fact that my beard has finally filled in and I’ve started taking better care of my eyebrows is a HUGE step forward. Life’s a progression of small events that lead to a chain reaction of growth. To quote one of my old blog posts “I am certainly not the same boy I was when I first got here… Change is not a bad thing – remember that.”
Having had a very good high school experience, I entered university with this nauseating fear that perhaps I had already peaked. Which I know is a thought that has crossed everyone’s mind at least once in their life. Sometimes as humans we put this unneeded pressure on ourselves to do better than what we’ve previously done. This can be great motivation to push yourself forward in life, however I’ve learned it’s not necessarily needed. Learn to treat every experience like a different story arc of the episodes and seasons that make up the television show that is your life. High school was one thing, university is another.
These last four years at Ryerson University have been the most impactful years of my life thus far. Since the first day of orientation, I knew I had chosen the right school and the right program, RTA: Media Production. Ryerson has become my home away from home and saying goodbye to it feels like the end of a rollercoaster ride. There were highs and lows, but now all you want to do is ride it again, yet your time is done.
Looking back it’s actually wild to fathom all the incredible things I have been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. I’m talking personal and career goals.
In four years, I have had the opportunity to see, meet, and work with some of my idols including Fifth Harmony (with and without Camila – their breakup is a VERY sensitive topic for me), Ellie Goulding, Shawn Mendes, Lights, Hozier, The Summer Set, Brittany Snow, among others. This coming from a boy whose most famous encounter before undergrad was watching a fake Britney Spears lip sync to all her songs at my hometown’s Canada Day bash.
In four years I’ve traveled A LOT! I got the travel bug in first year when I traveled with a group of RTA students to an orphanage in Honduras to volunteer and film a documentary. From there I knew I just HAD to see the world. I set out to LA for VidCon, Disneyland (for my first time), and then later again for job interviews. I’ve been to The Cannes Film Festival as an intern and then traveled for two months in Europe and visited 10 different countries! Before university I had only only seen maybe 5 cities that weren’t my own. I have learned that traveling is the BEST destresser and also provides the greatest learning opportunities through the culture you experience and the people you meet.
In four years, I’ve made some career moves. I got to attend The Cannes Film Festival, TIFF, Canadian Music Week, Canada’s Hall Of Fame, Canadian Screen Awards, Buffer Festival, and so fourth! I go to do work for the MMVAs, The Feldman Agency, BuzzFeed Toronto, CF Toronto Eaton Centre,and etalk – all companies I admired growing up. Never did I think this small town kid for Cambridge, Ontario would ever get opportunities like this, but through hard work and a pinch of luck it all came together.
In four years, I’ve been a very involved student. I’ve gone to almost every conference imaginable at Ryerson, gone from club to club, and somehow never managed to fail a class. Which I must say is a miracle. I recently describe my feelings about being an involved student leader here. Feel free to give it a read!
Last of all, in four years I have met some of the most incredible people. People who have come and gone, people who have stayed through thick and thin, people who have broke my heart, people who have thrown sticks and stones, but at the end of the day, every encounter I’ve made has shaped me in some way. For that, I am extremely grateful. I am grateful for the late night outs. I am grateful for the “we are stressed let’s get pizza and wine and forget about this for tonight”. I am grateful for the reunions that take place every once in a while, whether that be when I visit my hometown, when I bump into someone on Gould St., or simply scrolling through my feed and reminding myself “I gotta text this person and see how they’re doing!” The people and the culture in post secondary is what I’m going to remember the most – not the lectures, not the things learned, but the people and the memories fostered.
I think it’s important to reflect on where you come from and how it’s made you into the person you are today. One of my favourite quotes is by Stephen Chbosky from The Perks of Being a Wallflower: “We can’t choose where we come from, but we can choose where we go from there.” Every journey we take will shape us in someway for our next adventure. Looking back I am going to miss my time at Ryerson so dearly. I’m a taurus so I am a VERY emotional person and you can bet yourself that there will be water works coming out of this boy on graduation day. But for now, I feel very sentimental that I’m acknowledging that it’s time to walk away from a good thing and time to dive into the next chapter of my life. So much so that I even made a video to document how I feel about graduating:
I Found A Rainbow – By Mikael Melo
Behind the Scenes
Who knows what’s next for me? All I know is if it’s anything like these last four years than I’m in for a hell of a ride. Saying goodbye is never easy. But it can be one of the most powerful gifts we can teach ourselves to do.
Mikael M. Melo