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Never Stop Growing: Leila Sundac Speaks on Efficiency, Stress Management, and Personal Development
Throughout our discussions with students on our Student Influencers podcast, we have encountered some common themes such as stress management, efficiency and organization and personal development and growth. It just so happens that this week on Student Influencers we spoke with Leila Sundac who provided some insight into these very topics. Leila is a young woman living in downtown Toronto, pursuing a degree in Business Management. Leila has embraced the big transition from her hometown in Windsor, Ontario and is maintaining a level head while setting long term goals, fueled by entrepreneurial ingenuity and her love of animals. What do business management and animals have in common you ask? You’ll have to read on or check out the podcast in to find more about Leila’s long term dreams.
Leila’s authenticity was immediately apparent the moment she picked up the phone. We were equally grateful to have Leila share her story. Leila is originally from Windsor Ontario and like many who come from a smaller city to a sprawling one like Toronto, she is happy about the opportunity to network.
Leila is looking forward to pursuing a career in real estate in the big city environment of Toronto. Toronto is a bustling metropolis, while Windsor is a bit slower-moving. Yet, I got the impression that Toronto is a good fit for a young, vibrant woman like Leila.
Leila attends Ryerson University. If you’ve never been to the Ryerson campus imagine a campus in the middle of a thriving, bustling downtown area.
You take the streetcar and the metro (subway) to get to school. When you step off the subway you are thrust into the dark of an underground subway tunnel where everyone around you has their head down listening to podcasts or the morning news. Your shoulders are bumped and you’re pushed toward a set of stairs which lead toward an above ground light. When you make your way to the top of the stairs you are surrounded by massive buildings, lights, billboards, and hundreds of people.
Ryerson is based right in the downtown core of Toronto. The perfect location for a school which offers over 100 different undergraduate programs and a plethora of graduate specializations. Leila is confident about her choice to attend the Global Management Program at Ryerson and she feels that one of the keys to her success at school and managing her busy lifestyle is the proximity of her apartment to her school.
Efficiency is Key
Efficiency is the name of the game for Leila as she attempts to make the most of her university experience. Like many of the students we have interviewed, Leila relies on a combination of a physical agenda and digital schedule to manage her time. Leila finds that by managing her time effectively she is able to find time to socialize while also excelling in her studies:
If you write down what tasks need to be completed what is due on each day and important dates you can find time to socialize and write. Maximizing your time in an efficient way is key to maintaining a healthy work school and social life.
Leila is committed to maintaining a balance in her life and she feels that keeping a schedule also alleviates stress while enhancing efficiency. Detailing all your commitments and tasks on paper or on a whiteboard helps to provide a visual of upcoming deadlines and expectations. Fortunately, in the digital age, there are many online apps that can help students to manage their time by outsourcing organization to technology. By knowing what is coming ahead of time, students can avoid those last minute feelings of panic.
Grow Through Experiences: Managing Stress as a Student
The first day of classes was stressful for Leila. She was attending a huge university in downtown Toronto, beginning a new program, and meeting classmates for the first time. New students often fail to consider that starting a university program also comes along with other challenges. For some students, entering university is the first time they will have to prepare their own meals, grocery shop, maintain a budget, or pay rent. These are added stressors on top of the pressure of beginning an academic program. Managing stress becomes key during these big life transitions.
Leila has a positive attitude when it comes to stress. While there are negative forms of stress which can be debilitating, it can also act as a motivating factor as long as you have the appropriate coping skills.
When I asked Leila to discuss her favourite experience of university so far, I was surprised when she told me that her most memorable day was her first day of classes. She said she started her day so terrified that she was shaking. Despite her nervousness, Leila went to class. It took her all of 5 minutes to realize that everything was going to be OK. Leila looks back on that experience as a time of growth. Now, when she begins a new task or enters a new environment, she can put her stress into perspective and eases into the experience.
Everyone gets stressed, especially when starting something new. Stress can act as a motivator in small doses but when it becomes too much it can lead to mental health issues and other challenges. Managing stress through meditation, planning ahead, and carving out time for self-care are essential components of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Leila is a great example of a resilient student who has the coping skills to manage stress while navigating a big life challenge. She recognizes her first day as a memory she can use to fuel her future goals. However, some students may not have the coping skills to appropriately manage stress. In these cases, students must access the appropriate support. For more on the topic of stress and how to manage it check out Episode 5 of the Homework Help Show.
Keep an Open Mind and Enjoy New Experiences
Leila truly believes that university is an opportunity to gain new experiences. During her first year of school, she worked a retail job at Kate Spade before becoming a server at a local restaurant. Beyond the benefit of having some extra cash in her pocket, Leila feels that her jobs have contributed to her skill set. She recommends that other students consider getting a part-time job as it can help you to balance responsibilities.
For Leila, each part of her journey is enhanced by her gratitude for the opportunity to try new things. The way Leila sees it is that she is constantly working toward personal development. She explained how she maintains a positive mindset:
I think that new experiences do have a big impact on how you handle life. You need to realize that at the end of the day it is important to learn how to balance all of the aspects of your life.
But it’s also so important for you to learn life lessons throughout your journey. Keeping your mind on that and not only focusing on the hardships they have to go through to get there but also remembering that you do have goals that you’re working towards and that you need to have a clear mind to get there.
Keeping an eye on the future and being grateful for the experiences you are given are two themes that came through in our conversation with Leila. Setting goals and sticking to them has allowed Leila to enjoy her life experiences and the learning she has encountered along the way.
Trust Your Gut
Leila is a big believer in trusting your intuition. She says that she learned this through experience. She began her university career taking a few courses which she quickly realised were not for her.
After some deliberation and consideration of her life direction, Leila chose to study Business Management with a minor in real estate. She encourages other students to be true to themselves and to take the leap if they get an inkling that they are not in the right discipline. Leila believes that when you are willing to take a leap, it will pay off greatly despite the discomfort it may bring initially.
Set Long Term Goals and Aim for Greatness
While many students look at the summer as an opportunity to rest and rejuvenate, Leila is taking a step toward a long term goal by learning Spanish. Leila and I discussed our mutual love of the free app Duolingo which can help you to practice and learn almost any language. While learning Spanish is a short term goal for Leila, it is connected to one of her long term goals.
Leila has a long term goal of becoming a real estate agent by using her business management degree. Her ultimate aim, though, is to capitalize on the knowledge she takes away from University, and combine it with her love for animals to create a non-profit organization which will rescue animals from all over the world.
Leila was inspired to begin her journey toward helping animals when she travelled to Mexico for the first time. She didn’t realize how much she loved animals until she was surrounded by the hundreds of stray animals in the country. She believes that by working in collaboration with others who have a similar passion she will be able to make a difference in the lives of animals all over the world.
While her ultimate goal still seems far off, Leila is taking steps toward it every day, like learning Spanish this summer.
I came away from my conversation with Leila feeling inspired and with a renewed sense of motivation. No matter where you are in your life’s journey it can be easy to get caught up in a sense of fear which makes it difficult to move forward with your dreams. Leila is constantly working toward being true to herself and developing a positive mindset. She shared this quotation by David Goggins from his book Can’t Hurt Me with me:
“It won’t always go your way. So you can’t get trapped in this idea that just because you’ve imagined a possibility for yourself that you somehow deserve it. Your entitled mind is dead weight, cut it loose. Don’t focus on what you think you deserve. Take aim on what you’re willing to learn.”
Leila lives by the idea that we cannot get bogged down a sense of entitlement because it ultimately is dead weight. We all have to work for what we have. Leila inspired us to move toward our goals and dreams no matter where we are in our lives. For more on Leila’s perspective listen to our Student Influencers podcast.
We would love to hear from you. How are you working toward your goals? Are there things in your life that are holding you back? Connect with us on our social media platforms by searching Homework Help Global and stay tuned for more episodes.
Goggins, D. (2018). Cant Hurt Me. Lioncrest Publishing.
Learn a language for free. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.duolingo.com/
Good Stress, Bad Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ulifeline.org/articles/450-good-stress-bad-stress
FULL TRANSCRIPT FROM OUR PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH LEILA SUNDAC
Cath Anne: [00:00:00] Today on this student influencers podcast we are joined by Leila Sundac. Leila is a young woman living in downtown Toronto and pursuing a degree in Business Management. Leila has embraced the big transition from her hometown in Windsor, Ontario and is working toward pursuing her goals by maintaining a level head and setting long term goals, fueled by her passion for animals and her business acumen. What do business management and animals have in common you ask? You’ll have to tune in to find more about Leila’s longterm dreams.
Cath Anne: [00:00:35] Leila we’re so happy to have you. Thanks for joining us on this Student Influencers podcast.
Leila Sundac: [00:00:44] Oh thank you. I’m so excited to be able to help some people out and give my input on my school so far.
Cath Anne: [00:00:51] That’s awesome we love having influencers and students combined. And it’s always a great opportunity to pass on some knowledge and some advice to students who are kind of going through the same thing right now.
Leila Sundac: Sundac: [00:01:04] I’m excited.
Cath Anne: [00:01:06] That’s awesome. So we talked a little bit, Leila before we started the interview about where you’re currently living and where you were born- would you be able to share what you’re up to at the moment?
Leila Sundac: [00:01:17] Yep. So I currently go to Ryerson University I’m going into my second year for business management. I am majoring in global management studies and minoring in real estate but I’m originally from Windsor Ontario which is about four and a half hours away from Toronto.
Cath Anne: [00:01:34] So quite a change from Windsor I would say. Yeah you find there’s much of a difference between the two cities.
Leila Sundac: [00:01:39] Absolutely. Like one hundred percent Windsor is so small and quiet and I feel like especially here there’s not very many opportunities like network and get your name around because everybody already knows each other. Wheras in Toronto but you don’t really know anybody. Sorry. It’s a good way to get your name out there and start building your future.
Cath Anne: [00:02:00] Absolutely. So how did you find it was a big transition from from going to somewhere that’s a bit more busy and active?
Leila Sundac: [00:02:08] [00:02:08]Absolutely especially in terms of business like you have to learn how to adjust to the busy and not let it stress you up too much whereas in Windsor everything moves very slowly so you have time to do all of your responsibilities whereas when you’re living by yourself as a student in such a crazy place you really do have to learn to adjust. [17.5s]
Cath Anne: [00:02:26] And it sounds like you’ve adjusted pretty well.
Leila Sundac: [00:02:30] I think so yeah.
Cath Anne: [00:02:32] It sounds like intelligence by the tone of your voice that you’re you’re you’re enjoying your experience so far. Yes. So you’re at Ryerson. Do you live close to campus because I know the campus is right downtown right.
Leila Sundac: [00:02:45] Yes I am lucky enough actually to have an apartment my two best friends like about 10 minutes away from my school. So that definitely makes it a lot easier not having to commute.
Cath Anne: [00:02:56] Mm hmm. So can you just walk to school?
Leila Sundac: [00:02:58] Yes yes.
Cath Anne: [00:02:59] Oh that’s perfect. That’s awesome. I like I was saying before we jumped in. I did live in Toronto and I went to Ryerson. I lived kind of in the King east area so I had to take a little bit of a commute but yeah. So fun and nice to walk around afterward. It’s different. So you’re attending Ryerson and your college and your major, is-.
Leila Sundac: [00:03:28] Global Management.
Cath Anne: [00:03:29] Right. Global Management. And so how would you say in your going into your second year how would you say that high school differs from university.
Leila Sundac: [00:03:43] [00:03:43]So I would definitely say that high school is extremely different from any post-secondary that you attend. Mainly because everything is your responsibility like the majority of your teachers. They don’t coddle you or continuously remind you that you have a test tomorrow or assignments do. It really is all on you for the most part. [16.5s]
Cath Anne: [00:04:00] Right. So you’re completely responsible for your education and your life essentially.
Leila Sundac: [00:04:06] Exactly.
Cath Anne: [00:04:08] So how would you say so far you’ve been able to manage that transition between high school and university.
Leila Sundac: [00:04:16] [00:04:16]I would definitely say that having a schedule is key because you never really realize how important and helpful an agenda is until you reach university or any post-secondary because I know if I hadn’t planned like every one of my days I would be ten times more stressed than I already was. So if you write down what tasks need to be completed what is due on each day and important dates you can find time to socialize and write. Maximizing your time in an efficient way is really key to maintaining a healthy work school and social life. So keeping up with that agenda is definitely the best way to keep on top of everything.
Cath Anne: [00:04:50] I totally agree with that. And since I’ve been doing these interviews that seems to be the key thing that people come back to. So students will come back to this idea of organization. Now let me ask you, are you more of a paper agenda person or a Google Calendar type of person?
Leila Sundac: [00:05:10] Strangely enough I go back and forth.
Cath Anne: [00:05:12] OK.
Leila Sundac: [00:05:12] I feel like it really depends if I have a lot more due, I like having it written out because I feel like that way I don’t forget anything right. So I keep like a board on my wall and I just write down everything needed for the week because before I go to bed that’s what I see, when I wake up in the morning. That’s the first thing I see. So I never forget what I have on the go that day.
Cath Anne: [00:05:33] That’s a great idea. I do feel like that would be very helpful. Just kind of keeping everything at the front of your mind.
Leila Sundac: [00:05:40] Yes exactly. And having it literally right in front of you is the perfect way to do it.
Cath Anne: [00:05:45] Awesome. I think that I don’t think is that strange to have different strategies. I feel like you have to do what works for you.
Leila Sundac: [00:05:53] Yeah exactly.
Cath Anne: [00:05:56] So Leila could you tell me about what one of your favorite memories in in university is so far?
Leila Sundac: [00:06:03] For sure. [00:06:04]So, so far I would say that my favorite memory would be the first day of classes. Oh and that’s only because now I can look back at it now and laugh and just use it as a way to remind myself that it’s so unnecessary to stress self that hurt over something new. I remember shaking so much because of how terrified I was and then by the time I got into my first class it took me like five minutes to realize that everything was going to be OK.
Cath Anne: [00:06:30] So are your class sizes large in that program?
Leila Sundac: [00:06:32] Yes they are very very large.
Cath Anne: [00:06:35] That’s a big university.
Leila Sundac: [00:06:36] Yes.
Cath Anne: [00:06:36] So the next day when you went in, how did you feel?
Leila Sundac: [00:06:42] Oh the next day I was perfectly fine.
Cath Anne: [00:06:44] So it was just that first day anxiety.
Leila Sundac: [00:06:46] Yes. Definitely.
Cath Anne: [00:06:48] I do feel like that’s completely normal though.
Leila Sundac: [00:06:50] Yeah but now like I look back and I’m like oh my goodness. Like why why did I put myself through that when it was like so unnecessary.
Cath Anne: [00:06:58] Yeah definitely. But I mean you can only think about those things in retrospect, you know?
Leila Sundac: [00:07:03] For sure and just look at it as a way to grow.
Cath Anne: [00:07:06] Definitely. So in terms of struggles or challenges do you feel that you’ve had any so far?
Leila Sundac: [00:07:14] [00:07:14]Oh I feel like everybody has to experience some sort of challenge, especially when they’re adjusting to something so new. So I definitely had some struggles as a student first year moving away from home and having to start making your own routines that focus on only your schedule they can be stressful and also distracting when it comes to trying to focus on your homework. Because you do have to learn how to balance things like what errands you need to run what other things you have to get started on and just things like that. So overall I would say that my main challenge was prioritizing but it definitely is something you learn to excel in over time.
Cath Anne: [00:07:51] Right. And so the scheduling has helped you. Are there any other strategies that you’ve encountered that have helped you or just living close to everything- is that helpful?
Leila Sundac: [00:08:03] Oh living close definitely helps because I just feel like I can put more time towards doing schoolwork rather than commuting but that’s obviously not an option for everybody so I would just say to take it step by step because if you just I keep thinking about everything that has to get done then you’re just going to stress yourself to the point of not even being able to remember anymore.
Cath Anne: [00:08:24] Absolutely. I totally agree. And so switching back to maybe some of your favorite memories, how do you find it going to school and living in downtown Toronto?
Leila Sundac: [00:08:37] It has been great.
Cath Anne: [00:08:39] You love it.
Leila Sundac: [00:08:39] Yes I love it, it’s so exciting. It’s never boring and I keep myself busy like throughout every single hour of the day so I don’t even really have time to like focus on the negative it’s always just positive.
Cath Anne: [00:08:52] Oh that’s so awesome.
Leila Sundac: [00:08:53] Yeah. So it has been really really great. And I’m lucky for that.
Cath Anne: [00:08:58] That’s wonderful and it sounds like you have a good setup with your roommates and things like that. So are you all finished your exams at the moment?
Leila Sundac: [00:09:05] Yes they’re all done.
Cath Anne: [00:09:08] Woohoo, congratulations. So are you planning on staying in the city for the summer?
Leila Sundac: [00:09:13] I’m actually at home right now, I’m back in Windsor for the summer. But I’m planning on going back in July and then starting some work there and just getting ready for school and getting back into my own routine.
Cath Anne: [00:09:26] Getting settled back in.
Leila Sundac: [00:09:28] Exactly.
Cath Anne: [00:09:28] That’s a great idea.
Leila Sundac: [00:09:30] Thank you.
Cath Anne: [00:09:31] So in terms of your studying I know that your program is probably pretty intensive and there’s a lot to learn especially in your first and second years. So, I was wondering how many hours would you say that you’ve spent studying?
Leila Sundac: [00:09:52] I would definitely if I had to think about it I would say that the amount of time I spend studying is really dependent on what the week looks like for me. But on average like a regular day which means not during midterm or finals week I would probably study for three to four hours a day- so twenty one to to twenty eights hours a week.
Cath Anne: [00:10:11] Wow. That is a lot.
Leila Sundac: [00:10:13] Yes.
Cath Anne: [00:10:15] And so did you go to work or anything while you were studying, or did you find it more beneficial to just stick to school?
Leila Sundac: [00:10:23] So during first semester I had a seasonal job at Kate Spade. And then during second semester I worked at a restaurant. It was definitely beneficial for me to be working in terms of finances. I would recommend it only because it definitely further helps you learn how to balance responsibilities and time management. And it obviously never hurts to have a little extra money to treat yourself from time to time.
Cath Anne: [00:10:48] Absolutely. Especially living in an expensive city like Toronto. That’s wonderful. And so you would recommend it to other students would you say that it could be beneficial in terms of having a future references or job experience?
Leila Sundac: [00:11:05] Definitely. I’m all about like building a resume and I think it is so important to have different jobs in various fields. Like I stuck to mostly retail like well I was in Windsor and then I kind of expanded that to Toronto and then I worked in a restaurant which now is something new I can put on. It’s just good to have like a variety of skills even if it’s just for like a short period of time it’s just learning new things is so important.
Cath Anne: [00:11:29] Definitely and the benefit of working in a serving job or at a restaurant is those skills are transferable. So you know if you choose to go on with your with your studies that’s always something you can fall back on while you’re in school.
Leila Sundac: [00:11:44] Exactly.
Cath Anne: [00:11:47] So we talked a little bit about scheduling already a bit, but how would you say that you have been able to manage all of those responsibilities as a student? Like paying for tuition or studying, managing your social life, and working.
Leila Sundac: [00:12:05] So when it comes to balancing everything like I said, having a schedule is so important. But also it’s really about experiencing things.
Cath Anne: [00:12:15] Oh OK.
Leila Sundac: [00:12:17] [00:12:17]So I think that new experiences do have a big big impact on how you handle like everything in balancing it because you need to realize that at the end of the day it is important to learn how to balance all of those aspects. But it’s also so important for you to learn life lessons throughout your journey. So just keeping your mind on that and not only focusing on the hardships they have to go through to get there but also remembering that you do have goals that you’re working towards and that you need to have a clear mind to get there. [31.4s]
Cath Anne: [00:12:50] Absolutely. That is such wise advice. I wish I knew that when I was your age.
Leila Sundac: [00:12:58] I definitely had to learn quickly for sure. So I think that’s where it comes from.
Cath Anne: [00:13:03] Definitely. It sounds like you’ve really kind of taken the bull by the horns and figured life out pretty quickly. That’s awesome.
Leila Sundac: [00:13:12] Thank you.
Cath Anne: [00:13:13] So this is kind of a funny question and I know people get a kick out of this one. But if you could go back and talk to your 15 year old self – so 15 year old Leila in high school – what would you tell her and what advice would you give her?
Leila Sundac: [00:13:29] Well 15 year old Leila was almost more stressed than 19 year old Leila is. So I would probably start off with telling myself that the stress is not worth it in the end because like I said I found myself stressing over school even when I was only 15 and up until this year I realized that that’s something that really has to change because stress can be such a huge factor of ruining someone’s mental health. And I think it’s so important to not stress about the little things or even overstressed about the big ones because in the end I really feel like everything works out the way it’s supposed to. So I would just say calm down. Calm down.
Cath Anne: [00:14:09] And so would you say there were a lot of social stressors in high school or were you more stressed about school and academics.
Leila Sundac: [00:14:18] [00:14:18]I was so stressed about school in high school because there so much pressure on you in high school to figure your life out. And I think right that is not what the emphasis should be on. It should be like discovering the things you love and what you could potentially see yourself doing because school is always there right. So I don’t think you should be stressing yourself out to find out what you want to do for the rest of your life because in the end I think that really messes up some people’s paths. Mainly because you spent four years telling yourself that this is what you want to do and then a lot of people find themselves in Grade 12 completely switching up. And then they think that that’s such a horrible thing but it’s really not because you change so much as a person in high school. And that’s only going to continue.
Cath Anne: [00:15:03] Absolutely and I would agree with that in the sense that I’m quite a bit older than you and I’ve experienced similar things, you know, you change as a person throughout your life. So I think that’s great advice to say you’re not always stuck to just one thing and that you can kind of change things up as you grow.
Leila Sundac: [00:15:22] Yes for sure. That’s awesome.
Cath Anne: [00:15:25] I think 15 year old Leila would love that advice.
Leila Sundac: [00:15:28] I’m sure she would too.
Cath Anne: [00:15:36] You strike me as a pretty goal oriented person.
Leila Sundac: [00:15:39] Yes.
Cath Anne: [00:15:39] So do you have any current short term and/or long term goals that you’re working on?
Leila Sundac: [00:15:46] So for right now my short term goals, especially while I’m in Windsor is actualy I’ve taken up Spanish. I want to learn Spanish, I think it’s like such a beautiful language and I feel the need to know how to speak it. So I just slowly starting that and then I’ve also been focusing on kind of getting into a health kick.
Cath Anne: [00:16:08] Okay nice.
Leila Sundac: [00:16:09] Yeah. And just like helping my body because in Toronto like it’s a lot physically not only mentally. So I’ve just been working out and like getting back on like a healthy eating schedule just so I can carry that on to when I do go back. So those are my short term goals for right now.
Cath Anne: [00:16:25] So setting those healthy habits that you go back to school that’s a really great idea. In terms of the language, arw you using an app for that or are you teaching yourself?
Leila Sundac: [00:16:37] So I’m using Duolingo.
Cath Anne: [00:16:38] Oh that’s a great app. I’ve been using that too.
Leila Sundac: [00:16:41] It’s really great. So I’ve done that and I watch some videos on youtube too. Just like if I kind of get confused about verbs and past tense and stuff like that, because it is like hard to learn so. Those are my two.
Cath Anne: [00:16:54] Those are awesome goals. And what about long term goals?
Leila Sundac: [00:16:57] So for my long term goals since I am doing a real estate minor, I’m hoping that once I graduate I want to get my certificate to actually be an agent. And then I do want to start off with that and kind of get the ball rolling with that. However like my end end goal it’s going to incorporate more of my global management degree and I want to open a non-profit organization that rescues animals from all over the world.
Cath Anne: [00:17:23] Wow that’s incredible.
Leila Sundac: [00:17:24] It has been like my goal ever since I was young like I love animals and that’s something I’m so passionate about so that is something I want to end off my life doing.
Cath Anne: [00:17:33] What an interesting way to kind of use that degree and that knowledge because a lot of people that would work with animals you know or you’d work you know as a vet or vet technician or something like that. But what a creative way to look at that.
Leila Sundac: [00:17:49] Thank you.
Cath Anne: [00:17:51] So what initially inspired you to consider that as a goal?
Leila Sundac: [00:17:56] So you never really realized how much you love something until like you’re put in this situation where you’re surrounded by that. And it was so strange because when I went to Mexico a couple of years ago I saw so many like stray animals stray dogs cats like and it really just broke my heart. So I was like I feel that if I’m so passionate about something like this I can open up an organization that I don’t necessarily have to get a degree in that however I can help run it and then I can find people that are passionate in terms of helping animals in a certain type of way. And we can all work together and kind of combine degrees to help.
Cath Anne: [00:18:34] That’s amazing. Wow what a wonderful idea. So I guess the the the language component will fit well into that as well.
Leila Sundac: [00:18:43] Exactly. I definitely want to learn a lot more.
Cath Anne: [00:18:47] That’s amazing. Good for you. And in terms of your short long term goal, do you see yourself staying in Toronto once you finish your degree?
Leila Sundac: [00:18:59] I could definitely see myself staying in Toronto for a couple of years while I’m kind of getting a start on my life as an adult, like a full grown adult. However after I could definitely see myself moving to Europe, specifically Croatia. I went there a couple of years ago and I fell in love with it – and the culture and the people so I think it’d be great to move there for a little bit. But I plan on like bouncing around.
Cath Anne: [00:19:23] Yeah with the global studies and real estate. That’s another absolutely transferable skill. So you’re wise to go into that if you have an interest in travel.
Leila Sundac: [00:19:33] It definitely took- it was a long process to figure that out honestly. But I’m glad I think that I found my thing.
Cath Anne: [00:19:40] And so how did you figure that out. Because I feel like that would be helpful for people.
Leila Sundac: [00:19:45] So initially I was going actually to major in marketing and that’s what I had declared as my major. And then throughout the course of the semester I found myself becoming more uninterested in the class itself and I was just personally thinking that I had a feeling that I would get bored of it.
Cath Anne: [00:20:03] Right.
Leila Sundac: [00:20:03] [00:20:03]So I feel like that is something that once it clicks in your head that you see that you’re sitting in class and you’re like “I don’t want to be here.” That’s how you know that that’s not what you should be going into because you don’t want to go into that mindset going to your occupation every day thinking “I don’t want to be here.” So that was kind of just like a big eye opener for me was sitting in class and being like this isn’t what I want to do.
Cath Anne: [00:20:25] So you trusted your gut. That’s amazing.
Leila Sundac: [00:20:28] Yes I think that is so important especially when you’re in university and you’re expected to make like these choices so quickly, like at Ryerson you have to pick your major before second year because by second year you start taking classes that coincide with your major.
Cath Anne: [00:20:42] Right.
Leila Sundac: [00:20:42] So you kind of just have to trust yourself and what you can see yourself doing.
Cath Anne: [00:20:48] Good for you. That’s that’s a big decision to make.
Leila Sundac: [00:20:51] Yes for sure.
Cath Anne: [00:20:52] Yeah. And a lot of people wouldn’t kind of like you say trust themselves to take that leap. So good for you for sticking to that. And it sounds like you’ve discovered something that you are really passionate about.
Leila Sundac: [00:21:05] Yes. And that is because I trusted myself. So that is definitely another piece of advice I would give.
Cath Anne: [00:21:12] Mm hmm. That’s a great great piece of advice that I think could be really helpful for a lot of people. So, to summarize your life story – this is another question that people get a kick out of because it’s always kind of a big question – but to summarize your life story what would you say, Leila.
Leila Sundac: [00:21:33] [00:21:33]If I had to summarize my full, 19-year-long journey so far. I would probably say that it begins with the girl, being me, who had a lot of plans starting young but was kind of like living and trapped in this city, being Windsor, where I couldn’t see them happening. So after a couple of years and after high school I discovered a place, being Toronto, where I could see my future unraveling and really take off. So I just kind of decided to make the move as soon as I could and not, kind of scare myself into staying here and staying in the comfort. [32.6s] But actually pushing myself to move away because [00:22:09]I think that taking leaps like that is something so important and it is so even more important because it helps you grow as a person. So kind of not sticking with the comfort but willing to take the risk.
Cath Anne: [00:22:23] Wow. I love that life story. To be continued.
Leila Sundac: [00:22:27] Yes exactly.
Cath Anne: [00:22:29] Good things to come. That’s amazing. I love that. Little tidbits of knowledge woven in through there. So to finish off this awesome interview, can you share one of your favorite motivational quotes?
Leila Sundac: [00:22:45] Yes I can. So this is actually from a book. It’s called Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. And he was basically classified as like the strongest man in the world and he wrote a book about that. So a quote from the book says: [00:23:01]”it won’t always go your way. So you can’t get trapped in this idea that just because you’ve imagined a possibility for yourself that you somehow deserve it. Your entitled mind is dead weight, cut it loose. Don’t focus on what you think you deserve. Take aim on what you’re willing to earn.” [14.0s]
Cath Anne: [00:23:16] Amazing. So what does that mean to you Leila?
Leila Sundac: [00:23:19] It really means that [00:23:21]you cannot keep herself stuck in this idea that just because you’ve thought about something for so long that that’s what you need and that’s what you deserve. I think it truly just means that you need to focus on the future and what you’re willing to learn and what you’re willing to do to get to your goals rather than just kind of like sulking in like the hardships that you have to go through to get there.
Cath Anne: [00:23:46] And having that I like that idea of entitlement being dead weight.
Leila Sundac: [00:23:51] Yes exactly.
Cath Anne: [00:23:55] I really like that. Very interesting quote. So you’ve given such good advice to students who will be listening to this, do you have anything like a final piece of advice that you would want to sum everything up with, or that you would give to a student center in college?
Leila Sundac: [00:24:17] Yeah for sure. [00:24:19]Something that I learned which would be probably my main piece of advice other than don’t stress, is to never be afraid to ask for help because you need to realize and open your mind to the fact that at some point in time everybody that’s at your school was going through the exact same thing you currently are. [16.9s] This is including upper year students, your profs have all been there too, and there’s always people to help you. And also I would say always check the bulletin boards. There is always something going on and you don’t even realize these things until you check the bulletin board. I know it’s so silly but if you want to get involved, keep up with it.
Cath Anne: [00:25:00] That’s such good advice because especially I would say nowadays where we’re all our heads down on our phones. Most of us get like our information about the community, you know I don’t know if anyone really uses Facebook much anymore, but on Facebook or Instagram, so you might miss out on things and bulletin boards.
Leila Sundac: [00:25:22] Exactly. So that’s why I would always say just keep checking in on them because your school might be posting events on the bulletin boards that they don’t want to put on social media. Sometimes those events are the more exclusive ones where you can really network and get your name around.
Cath Anne: [00:25:36] Oh that’s great, great advice. I love that. And ask for help too. Yes that’s a big one. I feel like there’s sometimes a lot of stigma around asking for help.
Leila Sundac: [00:25:48] Oh definitely and like even myself, I rarely ask for help and that is what made my first semester so difficult because like Ryerson offers so many like free tutoring programs and people that have like I said gone through the exact same thing that you have and they’re there to help you and that’s what their job is essentially so if I could go back on one thing would be to ask for more help because I know it would have only helped me.
Cath Anne: [00:26:14] That’s such good advice. Awesome. So is there anything else that you wanted to say before we end the interview?
Leila Sundac: [00:26:22] [00:26:22]Probably to anybody going in to any type of post-secondary that you just need to remember that it is going to be OK, and that you are working towards something more important than [11.3s] what you’re stressing about now. So that’s what I would say.
Cath Anne: [00:26:39] Oh thank you. I feel like I’m getting lots of really good advice for my life.
Leila Sundac: [00:26:43] That makes me happy.
Cath Anne: [00:26:44] That’s amazing. Thank you so much Leila!
Leila Sundac: [00:26:49] Thank you for having me.
Cath Anne: [00:26:51] I really appreciate you taking the time because I know you’re super busy, as all students are. Even though it is a summer I can tell you is still keeping going with your goal.
Leila Sundac: [00:27:01] It never stops.
Cath Anne: [00:27:03] I appreciate you you’re taking the time and it’s just been an absolute pleasure.
Leila Sundac: [00:27:09] Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.I love things like this so I’m always willing.
Cath Anne: [00:27:16] Awesome I’m absolutely positive that this will have lots of benefit for all the listener.
Leila Sundac: [00:27:22] Amazing.
Cath Anne: [00:27:22] Thank you guys so much for joining me on this episode of the Student Influencers podcast. Check out other episodes of the series on your favorite audio streaming platform. And hey if you’re looking for study tips help with essay writing or advice on how to be a better student. Watch The Homework Help Show on YouTube and find us on social media by searching Homework Help Global. Talk soon guys and take care.Share: