#RoadToRyerson

NOLAN BLANCHARD | Identity Crisis

FUN FACTS – PART 2

Days spent waiting for my laptop to arrive:

9 (and counting)

Album listened to while writing this blog:

‘Kid A’  by Radiohead

Favourite high school subject:

History

First video game console:

N64

Furthest I’ve travelled:

Florida

Pet Peeve:

My inability to remember lyrics

Political Views:

TBD

Proudest Possession:

My (digital) music collection

First experience with RAMSS/Course Selection:

I survived


Identity Crisis: Why Change is Scary

While browsing Instagram this past week I saw a comment that was attached to a  @RUStudentLife post. That post was their announcement of this blog and the comment was: “Why is this guy so special?”. I thought it was an interesting remark because it mirrored something that has been on my mind a lot.

When we make the transition from one institution to another, whether that be transferring schools or growing up and going to university, we are left with this period of time where we have to redefine ourselves. Everything that defined us previously has been fundamentally altered. No longer are we defined by our friends, our teachers, our (relative) successes or failures. It’s a clean slate. This scares people. At the very least, it scares me.

There was a moment of panic this summer where I started to think: “Who even am I?”. Admittedly, it came along with my attempt to introduce myself in my first blog post. I was suddenly tasked with sharing myself with an audience – something I was not quite used to. This meant being responsible for my social media on top of thinking of what really defines me. That put me in a conundrum because I believe maintaining a healthy and appropriate online presence is very important in the modern age however this comes with certain restraints. Sharing some things, however harmless they are, may reflect badly on me. And part of that comes from my fear of not being accepted by my peers. Don’t get me wrong, I am a very confident guy. But as this is a platform for all my future friends and classmates, I wanted to get my first impression right.

This wasn’t the only thing that put me into this ‘identity crisis’. As I mentioned previously, at the core of this huge transition is who we are as individuals. When I first began thinking about it, I got really caught up with this idea/misconception of what defined me. In early years, I looked towards my older siblings to teach me who I am. Growing up a bit, I started to come into myself more and more but even then and even still I’ve had this idea in my head that I was somehow inferior to others based on where I grew up. Taking this concept with me as I chose to move to Toronto, part of me became very insecure with myself. I was always slightly jealous of Toronto kids because they grew up where I always wanted to be and I had it in my head that they had better opportunities, were so much cooler than me and on and on. And maybe that is true for some. From those I have met thus far through both the #RoadToRyerson initiative and those on the Ryerson facebook page, I have only had positive experiences with. Everyone I’ve met has been kind, helpful and all around cool.

This is a photo I took of the Ambassador Bridge, which spans across the Detroit River, between Windsor and Detroit.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this generalization that was persisting in my head was doing both me and everyone around me a disservice. Where you are from does not define who you are. Who you are is so much more than that. I have friends here in Windsor that have touched my life in spectacular ways because they are spectacular people. And I am confident I will find people at Ryerson that are just as spectacular. This transition period should not be feared, it should be embraced! Change can suck but it can also be amazing. Who we are is not set in stone. Who we are in the past does not equal who we are in the future. Once I talked to my parents and some friends about this, I slowly changed my attitude and immediately a more positive attitude came upon me. I made a choice this summer that I am going to be successful – to be awesome and most importantly to be myself. The future is bright.

I hope anyone that has perhaps struggled or has been struggling with similar issues may have gleaned something from this. I am looking forward to share more details on what exactly I’ve been doing this summer and how I’ve been preparing for university. That’s for the next blog though. In the mean time, check out the links above to follow me on twitter, facebook, instagram or tumblr. Feel free to send me a message too!
And here is a photo I took here in Windsor that in my opinion, relates to the subject of identity:


Part 1: Who is Nolan?


Part 3: Moving to Toronto


Part 4: My Orientation Experience


Part 5: First Week & Last Blog


See what the other #RoadToRyerson folks are up to!

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