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Studying Abroad or Thinking About Taking the Leap? Tynika Thornton Has Some Excellent Advice For You

University of Exeter student Tynika Thornton talking about studying abroad Thinking about studying abroad and need some advice? Looking for new ideas for building a community and making friends at university? Having trouble trying to balance all of your extracurriculars with a busy course load? If you relate to any of these struggles, Tynika Thornton has some great advice you should listen to.

On Episode 17 of the Homework Help Show Student Influencers Podcast, we got to chat with Tynika. She shared her story with us, telling us about her semester abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, what it takes to complete a law degree in the United Kingdom, how she balanced her time with the University of Exeter dance team, and so much more.

Whether you’re planning on studying abroad, looking for new ways to make friends at university, or need some great time management tips and tricks, you’ll want to listen to what Tynika had to say on our Student Influencers Podcast.

The city of Exeter, England, where the University of Exeter is located

Tynika Thornton: University of Exeter Law Graduate

Tynika was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and moved to England with her family when she was about two years old. Most of her family is African, but she has lived the majority of her life in England. She currently lives about half an hour outside of London, in the south east.

When we spoke with Tynika, she had recently completed a bachelor of law degree at the University of Exeter in England. She also did minors in both French and Spanish, and has advanced proficiency in French. In between, she did a semester studying abroad and learned more about law across the ocean, which gave her more insight into learning about new cultures and experiences.

The world is still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that isn’t stopping Tynika from focusing on her future. While she is definitely enjoying some downtime catching up on Netflix and taking a breather, she has also been busy sending out applications to law firms and scoping out new career opportunities.

The next steps to becoming a lawyer in the United Kingdom are securing a training position at a practice and then getting practical experience to qualify as a lawyer. However, Tynika is open to a world of possibilities and wants to see where the field takes her. Her goal is to obtain financial freedom through a diversified income stream that lets her explore more opportunities.

Tynika Thornton doing a performance with the University of Exeter Dance Society

From Dance Queen to Legal Professional

Getting a law degree wasn’t Tynika’s original career choice, but it fell more in line with her goals as she grew older. She was actively involved in competitive dance for most of her young life and all of her childhood. For years, she trained six days a week perfecting her dance skills and staying on top of her physical performance.

At 15, Tynika’s interest in a law career began when she started watching Judge Judy. She says, “I just loved the sass that she brought to the whole thing, so that’s why the interest first piqued for me.” When she was 17, Tynika had a decision to make. She had to choose between pursuing a career in competitive dance or going to university to study something else.

Ultimately, Tynika had a lifelong passion for dance, but she wasn’t sold on a career in the industry. She says: “It’s a really fickle industry. And the idea of going into an audition and you could be the most talented, hard working person there, but not get the job because you’re
not blond enough or you’re not tall enough that day. I wasn’t so sure on that. I think I was
pretty sure that that would kill any love for I did have.”

In law, you’re judged on your merit and hard work instead of your appearance, and Tynika knew that this was something that had more longevity in the future. Your body will only be able to stay young enough to be at peak dance performance for so long, while you could spend your entire life practicing law and keeping all of the bills paid securely. Additionally, with dance, if you get one injury it could mean your career is over. Ultimately, Tynika went for the law degree and kept dance as a hobby.

University of Exeter student Tynika Thornton performing a competitive dance

Choosing Between Your Passion and Your Career

Turning a passion into a career isn’t always for everyone. Sometimes you have to take a practical approach and consider the options you’re setting up for yourself. For Tynika, relying on a career in dance wasn’t practical because she wanted something that would help her pay the bills, become financially independent, and would pan out in the long-term future. She knew that there would be a wider variety of options if she chose a career in law than a career in competitive dance.

Another thing Tynika was worried about was the idea that turning her hobby into her career would decrease the love and passion she has for the sport because it would begin to consume her life. This is a common fear for many entrepreneurs and students who are studying a degree based on a hobby. If you turn something you enjoy doing into a business, are you still going to be able to enjoy it as a pastime as well? For many people, there is a thin line between the two.

You can absolutely turn a hobby you love into your career if you approach it the right way and if it’s something that works for your personal goals. Start out small and practice your hobby as a side hustle if you’re not sure if this is the right move for you.

Tynika Thornton studying abroad and taking a relaxing break by the water

A Semester Abroad in Geneva, Switzerland

In her third year, Tynika spent a semester studying abroad in Geneva, Switzerland. She refers to this time as “some of the highest highs and the lowest lows I’ve ever experienced.”

Experiencing culture and life in an entirely new place can be thrilling for many students. Doing a semester abroad is an amazing experience many students use to learn a lot about the world and take on a new adventure, picking up new tastes and knowledge along the way.

However, studying abroad isn’t always as glamorous as it looks on Instagram or in the movies. It can be challenging uprooting yourself to an entirely new country on your own, especially one that speaks a different language. When a student arrives in a new place to study, Tynika says, “It’s hard to work and study and do all of this stuff completely fresh without having somebody to greet them on the other side when they land.” That feeling can bring a lot of loneliness, and even homesickness, in the first few weeks until you learn to adjust to your new situation.

One particular challenge for Tynika was culture shock. In every culture, there are certain unwritten rules and cultural norms that may take a lot of getting used to as an outsider. If you add a language barrier on top of that, things can get very confusing.

At the same time, Tynika made some amazing memories during her time studying abroad that she says she wouldn’t change for the world. While learning about an entirely new culture and getting to see the world, she also formed amazing bonds and lifetime friendships she has come to value. She says, “I grew so much personally, academically, and emotionally. I think I learned so much about myself and all of my coping mechanisms and how to just chill and take it in and smell the roses.” This type of growth, she says, is something you can’t learn as easily without these types of experiences.

Want some more information on what it’s really like to study abroad? Learn more about the ups and downs of studying internationally and how you can make the most of your overseas education.

Tynika Thornton sightseeing during her study abroad program

Tynika’s Tips For Studying Abroad

If you’re considering studying abroad but you’re a little intimidated by the experience, don’t worry. Tynika has some amazing tips and study abroad advice you can use to prepare yourself to make the most out of your once-in-a-lifetime experience:

● Take that leap of faith. You never know what’s going to come next for you in your life, and with many risks come big rewards.

● Root yourself in a community as soon as you get there. Tynika went to local dance studios and bilingual churches to help build her own community and meet people. As soon as she did this, she started gaining new experiences, making friends, and truly enjoying the new world around her.

● Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Locals have the best advice for where to eat, what to do, and the best places to shop.

● Get outside your own bubble or comfort zone and try new things. This is a once in a lifetime experience, so make the most of it.

● Learn to work with your budget. A big aspect of culture shock is adjusting to a different country’s expenses and cost of living, so be prepared for this ahead of time to effectively manage your finances.

Finding The Right Study Abroad Programs For You

One of the first steps to take if you are truly serious about studying abroad is finding the right program for you. As Tynika mentioned, studying abroad isn’t for everyone, but if you find the right fit, you can gain so many benefits from the experience.

The first place to check is your school’s student resource centre. Often, universities have partner study abroad programs you can sign up for that will help place you at a school in another country through a sponsorship. This is how Tynika ended up studying in Geneva and completing her third semester there.

Another thing you can do is look for organizations that offer study abroad programs like GoAbroad.com or StudyAbroad.com. There are also many opportunities to volunteer abroad if you don’t want to do a program through your school, and they can be very rewarding. You can also check your country’s government website to see about any programs they offer at the state, provincial, or national level.

Tynika Thornton hangs out by the waterfront on her study abroad year

How to Make Friends in University

It’s important to learn how to make friends in university, and it’s not always going to work the same way as it did for you in high school. Here are some tips on how to make friends in university from Tynika’s experiences:

Build a community. Go and get involved in the community and join as many things as you can. Talk to new people, build a support network, and make friends who you can rely on throughout your academic career.

Step outside your comfort zone. Even if you’re very introverted, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone will help you build up the courage to go out and try things alone, or talk to new people.

Get involved in new activities or clubs you wouldn’t have tried otherwise. Don’t worry about failing – chances are, other people are also trying out the same things you are and you can bond over the experience. Tynika tried out rowing, and even though she wasn’t good at it, she met someone during the experience who she was able to bond with over their shared struggle. That person is now one of her closest friends.

Stay in dorms or on-campus housing if you can. You’ll be closer to campus and will be able to meet more people who are all in the same position as you. Plus, you’ll have your community right there with you and you’ll cross paths with more people who have something valuable to bring to the table.

Need some more advice on how to make friends in university? Check out our blog, where we talk about how to avoid negative people and make positive friendships that will last you the rest of your life.

Find Your Roots and Don’t Lose Sight of Who You Are While You’re at University

Even though Tynika had chosen to pursue a law degree instead of becoming a professional dancer, she knew that not dancing at all wasn’t an option. “That became like a non-negotiable for me,” she says. As soon as she got into the University of Exeter, she was immediately researching the dance teams and clubs available, and how she could get involved.

Within a few weeks of her first semester, Tynika was auditioning for the University of Exeter Dance Society and joined the competition team, travelling across the country to compete against other schools. In her second year, she became the coach of the competition team, and got to make a little money while she continued dancing. By her fourth year, she was the president of the dance society and was happily running the show.

Dancing had always been a big part of Tynika’s identity and who she was, and she knew that going into university she needed something to keep her grounded. Of course, it was going to be a challenge to fit in with her busy law degree, but she forced herself to balance her time because, again, it was non-negotiable.

While dance helped Tynika stay true to herself and not lose her identity, it also ticked off a few other boxes. Dancing releases endorphins, which are not only great for your physical health but your mental health and stress levels, too. She also got to make a new community of friends and form connections with people who share her passion.

Tynika Thornton doing some stress management activities enjoying a latte

Stress Management For Students: Find What Works For You

Dancing is Tynika’s go-to form of stress management, but when it comes to finding the right stress management techniques for students, everyone’s vision looks a little different. Some students like to kick back and enjoy some meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises. Other students like to curl up with a bag of snacks and their Netflix account.

Think about the things in your life that make you happy, and take the time to do them. If you have to add them into a schedule, then do that. When you don’t take the time to do the things that bring you joy, you’ll find yourself becoming overwhelmed and feeling lonely.

Spend time with friends whenever you can to give yourself a support network. Even if you only have time to catch up over a cup of coffee, try to fit that into your weekly schedule. Chances are, your friends are also going through a stressful time in their own lives and could use that support just as much as you.

Whatever de-stressing looks like for you, make sure you take time for it. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself burning out faster than you realize.

University of Exeter student Tynika Thornton enjoying a school formal event

It’s Important to Know Your Limits

One of the biggest lessons Tynika has learned in university, especially when it comes to time management and dealing with stress, is to know your own limits. Learn how to prioritize your tasks, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you truly need it.

Tynika had to teach herself how to understand that she doesn’t need to be Superwoman – and that no one expects her to be Superwoman, either. She learned to know when to step back from one thing to focus on another when it became a priority at that time.

In her first year, Tynika went headfirst at 100% for everything she did. By her second year, she was exhausted and it was starting to show in her schoolwork. This was the moment when she realized that she needed to be able to keep herself balanced and avoid overworking herself. So, she started to schedule in self-care time and activities within her schedule that would give her some downtime and put her back in the right headspace.

Effective planning and time management is something that students have to learn on their own, but learning how to take a step back and ask for help when you need it is a whole other feat in and of itself. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed or weighed down, it’s time to take a step back and figure out how much you can truly commit yourself to within your own lifestyle and responsibilities. Always make sure you prioritize self-care and take the time you need to enjoy the things in your life that help you stay balanced. Whether it’s watching your favourite shows on Netflix or writing in a journal, make sure you add these things to your daily schedule to give yourself a much-deserved break.

University of Exeter law graduate Tynika Thornton in a black and white photo

Listen to Tynika’s Full Interview on the Homework Help Show Student Influencers Podcast

While she gave some great advice about studying abroad, Tynika also shared so many amazing insights and tips for students studying anywhere. She talked about staying balanced, being true to yourself and taking time for yourself, and so much more. You’ll have to tune in to the full interview to hear everything she has to say!

Listen to the full interview on The Homework Help Show Student Influencers Podcast, or watch the video on The Homework Help Show YouTube channel. We’re also available on your favourite streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, Google Podcasts, and more.

FULL TRANSCRIPT FROM OUR PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH TYNIKA THORTON BELOW

Tynika [00:00:02] I think there’s so much value in recognizing something you can control and working through that and dedicating energy to making that the best situation it can be.

Lesley [00:00:17] Hi, everyone, and welcome back to another episode of The Homework Help Show Student Influencers podcast. Today I’m here with Tynika. Tynika, we’re very excited to have you today.

Tynika [00:00:28] Thank you. Hi.

Lesley [00:00:31] So if you’re ready to start, we can get started. So usually we start with a couple get to know you type of questions. So firstly, why don’t you go ahead and let us know where you’re currently located.

Tynika [00:00:44] So I am currently living in the south east of England. So I’m about half an hour outside of London, but I’ve just moved back. I’ve just spent four years living away at university. So I’m back for now. I’m not sure where I’ll head next, but yeah, close to London.

Lesley [00:01:00] OK. Awesome. And where were you born?

Tynika [00:01:04] I was born in Johannesburg in South Africa.

Lesley [00:01:07] Oh, really?

Tynika [00:01:08] Yeah, so I was born- originally from there. All my family is African. But I moved to the UK when I was about two. So I’ve lost that accent, unfortunately. So born, raised, educated in the UK.

Lesley [00:01:20] Wow, that’s so interesting. Yeah, it definitely is a unique accent from there.

Tynika [00:01:25] Yeah.

Lesley [00:01:27] How did that- how did you end up back in the UK, like your family moved there?

Tynika [00:01:32] Yeah. So my- me- well, when I was two I moved with my parents so we all emigrated out here when I was quite young and I sort of lived here ever since really.

Lesley [00:01:43] Wow, that’s amazing. What university or college did you go to?

Tynika [00:01:48] I went to the University of Exeter, which is the south west of England. So that was, yeah, that was my choice when I looked around. I think that was the one that really, really appealed to me.

Lesley [00:01:59] Stuck out to you.

Tynika [00:02:00] Yeah.

Lesley [00:02:02] And what did you study there?

Tynika [00:02:05] So my, like, major subject was law. I did a Bachelor of Laws degree. But I also studied French and Spanish as like minor subjects alongside of that. So my whole degree title is like law with advanced proficiency in French.

Lesley [00:02:20] That’s cool.

Tynika [00:02:21] Yeah.

Lesley [00:02:22] What are you doing right now?

Tynika [00:02:24] So I’ve just finished like a couple of weeks ago, I’ve just finished my final exams, so I’m chilling at the moment. We’re obviously all in lockdown, so I’m still getting reacquainted with my sleep schedule, my Netflix account.

Lesley [00:02:38] Right.

Tynika [00:02:39] But, yeah, at the moment I’m just sort of keeping my eyes and ears open, really, for like different opportunities that are out there, continually sending applications in for law firms. So, yeah, a bit of a very odd time at the moment I think.

Lesley [00:02:53] It is, and a lot of people- it’s kind of interesting to ask that question right now because everyone is kind of, like, in between things and every- almost every part of the world has gone through some kind of lockdown. Like here in Canada, it was the same thing. I think in the U.K. it was actually a little more- a little stricter there than here.

Tynika [00:03:13] Yeah. From what I understand, we’re still locked down at the moment. So, until something changes.

Lesley [00:03:18] Yeah. We’re like starting to open up some things, but like very, very carefully. So.

Tynika [00:03:24] Yeah, I think we’re about two weeks behind you guys as I’m aware.

Lesley [00:03:26] Yeah. Yeah, that’s, that’s what I’ve heard too. So what made you want to study law in the first place? Like, how did you kind of- was that something you always were interested in?

Tynika [00:03:40] It’s a bit of a mixed story for me. I’ve always been interested in law. I think when I was about fifteen, I got really hooked on watching the likes of Judge Judy. I just loved the sass that she brought to the whole thing. So that’s why the interest first piqued for me. But I did actually spend the majority of my teenage years, all my childhood, wanting to be a professional dancer. So it was only- I went from training about six days a week dancing, and then I hit about- I hit a crossroads when I was about 17, had to decide if I was going to pursue that professionally or if I was going to go down the university route and do something else. So not always law for me.

Lesley [00:04:21] So it was kind of not a career switch, but kind of a goal for- a goal shift, I guess you could call it.

Tynika [00:04:30] Yeah, I think for me, I loved dance and that was my passion, but I didn’t love the industry. It’s a really fickle industry. And the idea of going into an audition and you could be the most talented, hardworking person there, but not get the job because you’re not blond enough or you’re not tall enough that day. I wasn’t so sure on that. I think I was pretty sure that that would kill any love for I did have. So I’d rather sort of pursue that as a hobby and then put my career side of things into something that I can- where you’re sort of more judged on your merit with law rather than how you look and stuff that’s in your control. So that was the reason behind my search, I think.

Lesley [00:05:11] Yeah, that’s definitely something that can make you- that… When you have something that you like, an activity or sport that you’re so passionate about, and you are thinking about making it as a career. That’s something that’s a really big factor, is that am I going to lose my actual love of this game? Because now it’s going to become basically my hobby and my career.

Tynika [00:05:32] Yeah. Absolutely. And you’ve got to pay your bills as well.

Lesley [00:05:35] Yeah. That too, right? You have to think about the job- the job prospects in that kind of industry, too, I’m sure. I’m sure there’s probably more opportunities with law.

Tynika [00:05:48] Yeah. I think having that pressure of like having to pay your bills resting on like something so fickle and your hobby is bound to kill your love for it I think. In my opinon. I know a lot of, like, amazing dancers that do exactly that, but.

Lesley [00:06:01] No, I agree too. And especially too because that- it’s such a risky thing, too, because with dancing, when you’re relying on your body always performing at peak performance, and then what happens if one day there’s a freak accident and you, you hurt yourself or something, and then all of a sudden you can’t dance anymore? And that one incident now you can no longer do the thing you’ve made your entire career out of.

Tynika [00:06:26] Yeah, absolutely. And I think, like, your body only stays young enough and able enough for so long. And then, yeah, you get old dancing wise when you’re like late 20s. Early 30s. So yeah. Yeah. It’s just my take on the whole thing really.

Lesley [00:06:38] Probably not good on the bones in the long term.

Tynika [00:06:42] Not at all.

Lesley [00:06:45] So what are kind of- I know you said you were kind of- you were kind of figuring out where you wanted to go from this point, but what are of some of your long term goals, like do you want to end up working at a law firm or do you want to do something else?

Tynika [00:07:03] Again, a bit of a mixed bag for me. Throughout my time at university, it was definitely like I wanted to pursue the legal career. In the U.K. it’s a little different to Canada and the US because you can do a law degree to begin with. You can go straight into university and do it, do a law degree. So I did that. But to qualify as an actual lawyer, you still have to do another three years after you graduate. Two of those are like practice in a law firm. So you get in a contract within a law firm and you earn while you learn. But all in all, it takes about seven years to qualify. So that was my my original idea was to go send in the applications. Once I finished my law degree, I’m going to pursue the training contract and carry on qualifying within a firm. But that is- it is such a competitive industry, especially in London. And you never know, like, what they’re looking for, what industry, what sector of law. It’s- it’s just so- it’s- a lot of it is luck. So that is still something I want to shoot for. But I think a long term goal of mine personally is just trying to find some sort of financial freedom within the next 10 years. Just to be able to sort of own my property, like own some sort of property and then have some sort of diversified income stream where I’m not just relying on, like, one sort of desk job. I think especially this current COVID-19 thing, it’s really highlighted how important that is. So- like, so many people are finding that now.

Lesley [00:08:43] Yeah. That’s true.

Tynika [00:08:45] So just trying to think outside the box and keep an open mind about what is out there. And, yes, do law, but also try and pursue some other stuff alongside that I think.

Lesley [00:08:54] That’s interesting. I think that’s a good- I mean, now you’re keeping yourself open, open minded. And if any opportunity comes up, you can- you will be already ready to just grab it. So that’s- I think that’s very positive.

Tynika [00:09:07] Yeah, I think personally as well. I want to travel more once these restrictions are lifted. That’s a huge personal goal of mine. I want to see the world a bit more.

Lesley [00:09:15] Yeah. Yeah. Definitely a limitation right now. But at some point it will be better and, yeah, and that’s kind of career path should allow you to do that too.

Tynika [00:09:28] Yeah, I hope so. I think that was the idea and I will say when I spent time away in Switzerland. I’ve done law like on two sides of the ocean in Europe. So the languages and all of that as well, so I’m hoping that those doors are open not just in the UK, but elsewhere as well.

Lesley [00:09:43] Yeah, well, you could speak- are you fluent in Spanish and French, too? Did you say Spanish?

Tynika [00:09:49] Yeah. I’m fluent in French, but Spanish is a new one. Hopefully if lockdown lasts long enough, that’s the goal. But yeah, we’re working on Spanish, but fluent in French.

Lesley [00:09:59] Yeah, because I was going to say this- that speaking three languages is very helpful when you you want to travel.

Tynika [00:10:05] Yeah, absolutely.

Lesley [00:10:07] That will be great. But going back to your semester abroad, you- so you did a semester abroad in Geneva, Switzerland.

Tynika [00:10:16] Yeah.

Lesley [00:10:17] What was that experience like?

Tynika [00:10:20] So yeah, my year abroad, I did a four year degree with the third year, like sandwiched in the middle, and that’s when I went abroad to study. So I think it was definitely a mixed experience for me. A simple way to put it is that it was some of some of the highest highs and the lowest lows I’ve ever experienced.

Lesley [00:10:40] OK.

Tynika [00:10:41] So I made memories that I will cherish for a lifetime, but also got challenged in ways that you would never experience in any other setting, as far as I can think. Like, I think not many people in their 20s can sort of say that they’ve moved abroad to a different country on their own, to a country that doesn’t speak their language. And it’s hard to work and study and do all of this stuff completely fresh without having somebody to greet them on the other side when they land.

Lesley [00:11:11] Right.

Tynika [00:11:11] So that in itself had a load of challenges, but was also hugely exciting for me. So, yeah, I think I definitely experienced things like culture shock. It’s very real. I did not think it was real until I experienced it. So that was a huge part to play. The expense of Switzerland generally is quite noted, and obviously I was traveling on a student budget.

Lesley [00:11:36] Right.

Tynika [00:11:37] So those two weren’t really compatible. But no, I- like, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I had the most amazing experience. I learnt. I grow- I grew so much personally, academically, emotionally. I think I learned so much about myself and all of my coping mechanisms and how to just chill and take it in and smell the roses, I think, because it go- it went so quickly. So, yeah, I wouldn’t change it. I made friendships that have lasted me a lifetime. We all sort of went through the highs and lows together and that formed a bond that will stay with me for a long, long time. So, yeah, I definitely would recommend. It was- it was an amazing experience, but I would do it again, but I would go somewhere different. I’ve done Switzerland now.

Lesley [00:12:23] A new place next time.

Tynika [00:12:25] Yeah. Yeah.

Lesley [00:12:27] What advice would you have- you said you would recommend studying abroad to other students. What advice would you give to someone who is maybe considering this but maybe a little scared or nervous?

Tynika [00:12:41] Definitely go for it, like take that leap of faith, because you never know what lies around the corner. And you can only gain from experienceing, like, getting outside your own bubble and experiencing a new culture. New people, new languages, if that’s the thing. Like you grow so much. And like I said, that’s growth you’d never get elsewhere. But in terms of, like, practical advice, I’d say, like, root yourself in a community as soon as you can when you arrive. So I went- like, Geneva was a city-based university. So I went from being quite familiar with the campus sort of vibe of uni to being in a city where there was not really much of a sport or social vibe. It felt- uni was more of like a workplace that people went and left. There wasn’t as much of a community there. So I had to go, like, think outside the box. I tried to find local dance studios, the local churches that were bilingual. Anything I could to find that sense of community, because you don’t realize how important that is until you don’t have it.

Lesley [00:13:50] Yeah, definitely.

Tynika [00:13:50] So that was my- like, once I figured that out it changed the game for me. Like, my experience just skyrocketed. I made friends and felt that- like, felt of value and rooted somewhere rather than feeling out of place. If that makes sense. And you do. You meet people that will introduce you to the local best places to eat, best places to shop and you just, it starts to feel more like home, I think, when you’ve got that sense of community. So that would be my biggest piece of practical advice, I think.

Lesley [00:14:22] Be prepared.

Tynika [00:14:24] Yeah.

Lesley [00:14:24] And scope out your community and look for community involvement.

Tynika [00:14:29] Absolutely.

Lesley [00:14:30] Yeah. I get what you’re saying too. My- my university was kind of like that too, where it wasn’t just like one main campus and everything was in the campus. It was like scattered throughout the downtown of the city. So I know exactly what you’re talking about with that feeling where it feels so completely different when it’s more of a community and more city-based instead of having everything on one campus. And it is a little more difficult to kind of, to get that- like, where- in- on a campus everyone is kind of- everyone is a university student there, so everyone’s already like, hey!

Tynika [00:15:05] Yeah, absolutely.

Lesley [00:15:07] Come do that, and- or, like, popping their head in to say hi to people and you can’t- it’s harder to do that. So I know exactly what you- what you mean there.

Tynika [00:15:16] Yeah. For sure.

Lesley [00:15:19] So you were also involved in your school’s dance team. Like you mentioned, you were competitive- a competitive dancer for most of your life. How did you- what made you kind of decide to do that while you were in university? ‘Cause I mean, a law degree is pretty work heavy.

Tynika [00:15:41] I- what made me decide to do that? I think for me, like I said, I came to that crossroads when I was 17 where I was like, am I going to dance or am I going to go to university? And when I decided that I was going to do university route. That became like a non-negotiable for me. And I was straight onto the university’s website to find out what dance they had on offer, how I could get involved with that sort of thing, because that- that was a big part of my identity and a big source of friendship and exercise and sanity for me. So I knew going into university that I wouldn’t feel like myself without that. So I definitely was quite proactive about it. And within my first couple of weeks, I decided I was gonna go join the Dance Society, audition for their competition team because I found out that they were running like competitions all over the country where you compete with all the university teams. And I was like, OK, that that’s a bit of me.

Lesley [00:16:36] That’ll work.

Tynika [00:16:36] Yeah. So I auditioned only because I knew law would be intense, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get through it in a positive way or be any form of productive without that balance and without having a release somewhere else and a different sort of setting to chill. So for me, it was a bit of a no brainer. I just- I was like, you know what, I’ll have to balance that. I have to be organized. But that’s a part that was non-negotiable for me.

Lesley [00:17:04] It’s- it’s kind of like, well, if I’m not going to make a career out of this, I’m not going to- I’m going to fit it into my school life somehow.

Tynika [00:17:11] For sure. And like as I said, I spent my entire childhood like training and investing in dance. And I didn’t want that to go to waste either. So I definitely wanted to carry that on.

Lesley [00:17:21] And I’m sure that also- did that kind of work out as kind of a release for you where it helped you keep- remember, kind of- not remember, but it helped you kind of hang on to who you were? So if you got really stressed out, you could always use it as a source of release kind of?

Tynika [00:17:39] Yeah. Dance for me, like, ticks a lot of boxes. It was a source of friendship and a sport where it just got the endorphins flowing. It was a good place to like de-stress and release from any tension I was feeling with the degree to place it like a sense of community. Just it ticks so many boxes. And it was so healthy for my headspace as well just to have that separate place where it’s not law 24/7, because I think I’d go insane otherwise.

Lesley [00:18:09] I can imagine.

Tynika [00:18:11] Yeah.

Lesley [00:18:12] It’s a lot- that’s a lot of- law, in my brain law is a lot of reading very complicated things a lot of the time. That’s what I make sure in my head when I think of law.

Tynika [00:18:26] That’s about right. Yeah.

Lesley [00:18:29] So did you work part time at all too when you were in school?

Tynika [00:18:33] No. So I didn’t work part time. But my commitment to the Dance Society grew each year. So where I danced on the competition team in first year, second year, I actually became the coach for the top team. And that became a win win for me because I actually got paid to coach that year. So that was the ideal scenario. I got- I got to dance, which I was doing anyway, but I got to earn money doing that as well. So it didn’t add anything to my schedule. Well any more than was already there.

Lesley [00:19:02] Right.

Tynika [00:19:03] So I was quite lucky, I think, in that sense. And I wouldn’t have had time in all honesty to have a part time job alongside everything I was doing.

Lesley [00:19:11] Yeah, that sounds like it. Because I was going to- I mean, juggling those two things, juggling a law degree and juggling competitive dance is very- those are very- two very demanding things. So how did you manage to fit in both of those commitments and juggle your time?

Tynika [00:19:32] I think what I learned, which I wish I’d learned sooner, was to know my limits. So prioritizing what needs to be prioritized and then learning to ask for help. Not trying to be superwoman and understanding that not at- No one expects you to be superwoman either. But knowing when it’s like, OK, I need to prioritize my degree at the moment because I’ve got exams or I’ve got reading I need to do or deadlines or whatever. And then that’s okay. Like, I can take a step back on- on dance. So definitely knowing my limits and not taking on too much commitment and too much responsibility and thinking that I’ve got more hours in the day than anyone else does. So I think that was a top tip. And then on a practical level, it sounds so silly, but like living with a diary and sending voice notes, these two things kept me so organized and saved so much time. I honestly scheduled in every hour of my week to the point that it was a little bit OCD, like I had everything color coded. It was all tabbed in my diary only because that would mean that I could schedule in exactly what I needed to read that day when I was in rehearsal, who I needed to call. How many days I had left to a deadline. And I just knew where I was at all the time.

Lesley [00:20:57] Right.

Tynika [00:20:59] But that also meant I could schedule in time to chill and time, like, actually scheduling in time to relax, because otherwise that’s the first thing that I think I neglected, if I was busy. So it gave me that time that I feel like, right, I actually don’t have to do anything right now. Just chill, guilt free and come back to it in a healthy headspace the next day, I think.

Lesley [00:21:19] Yeah, that makes sense. And then you don’t forget to give yourself the break you need.

Tynika [00:21:24] Yeah, I think I was the biggest culprit for that.

Lesley [00:21:27] I know, and that’s it too. The more- the more you kind of pile all those things together and start chipping into that recreation time is the more that burnout, it’s going to be really, really damaging because you’re going-.

Tynika [00:21:43] Absolutely.

Lesley [00:21:44] No matter who you are, you will get to that point where everything just builds up and you just burn out.

Tynika [00:21:51] Yeah, well, that’s exactly what happened to me. I tried to go at like two hundred miles an hour throughout my first year and I did all right. But then second year came around and it just flopped, like it just went horribly wrong. And my grades reflected that, which was so frustrating because I was working really hard.

Lesley [00:22:08] Right.

Tynika [00:22:09] But I think my head was- I was just so exhausted. So, yeah, annoyingly, my grades did reflect that. So, like, that’s why coming back in my third and fourth year, I made such an effort to, like, stay balanced and not overwork myself because it just doesn’t- it doesn’t pay you any service in the long run.

Lesley [00:22:26] Yeah, exactly. So that was kind of like a wakeup call. Like, hey. Maybe I need to figure out a new system here.

Tynika [00:22:33] Yeah, absolutely.

Lesley [00:22:35] Sometimes that’s what it takes. Sometimes it takes a wake up call like that to really realize where those areas that are- what’s the word I- those areas that are kind of damaging you without realizing it. It’s sometimes it does take- it’s unfortunate, but sometimes it does really take something like that to happen to make you realize that you need to make a change.

Tynika [00:23:02] For sure.

Lesley [00:23:04] So how much time did you spend studying on average?

Tynika [00:23:11] I have to think about this one, because I had such a varied schedule. I’d say on average I had about three contact hours per day, so I was in front of lecturers or in seminars, which was more than most law students, only because it’s such a reading based subject in the UK that you don’t have many contact hours for law. But because I was doing the languages with it, I did spend more time in class. So I had on average about three hours of class a day. Outside of that, I tended to study anywhere between five and eight hours, depending on my day or what I had coming up and that sort of thing. It did vary a lot, though. I think if it was exam season, you could catch up the whole day. But if it wasn’t, then roughly six, six-ish hours a day, I’d say outside of class.

Lesley [00:24:03] Okay, I mean, that’s still that’s still a lot.

Tynika [00:24:05] Yes.

Lesley [00:24:06] You scheduled- that you scheduled all of that as tasks within your agenda, right? Like, your planner.

Tynika [00:24:11] Yeah. Yeah. That’s why I said I had to think about it a bit, like, because a lot of the time I wasn’t really focused on the hours. It would be like, okay, I’ve got to read this many pages and then do- like, it was more task orientated.

Lesley [00:24:23] Right.

Tynika [00:24:24] So, yeah, it varied.

Lesley [00:24:28] I mean, I feel like that’s probably pretty normal. Everything is- there’s so many different assignments and tests that come up. It’s probably- it’s hard to say- it’s hard to give a very specific average. So I get that.

Tynika [00:24:41] Yeah, what I do know is that it was a lot, lot more time than lot of other degrees. I know law is one of the more time consuming ones for sure.

Lesley [00:24:51] Well yeah, law is already time consuming as it is. And then you added on two extra languages on top of that. And to learn a language requires a lot of practice very often. So I think that’s all. That’s a lot of pretty demanding things. Kind of put together in one degree.

Tynika [00:25:08] Yeah, I’m my own worst enemy sometimes.

Lesley [00:25:12] Well, that’s very ambitious. And it obviously worked out for you. So, yeah.

Tynika [00:25:16] Fingers crossed.

Lesley [00:25:17] Yeah. So we kind of talked a bit about how dance really helps you stay focused and manage stress and bring you back to remembering- like, giving you that- that headspace to really focus. Do you have any other things that you did or do that helped you manage all the stress of all these very demanding degrees?

Tynika [00:25:47] When I wasn’t dancing, I did take up yoga. Just as an excuse to lie there, be still with no distraction. Especially because dance is great, but it also is tiring. Like, if I was exhausted physically, I needed something else. So I took up yoga. And just using my friends and using the people that are around you to bounce off each other and not forgetting that that’s such an important support network. I think it’s so helpful, especially when they’re going through the same thing. That’s definitely- I wouldn’t have been able to do uni on my own. Oh, yeah. Not without that support network. It’s so, so valuable.

Lesley [00:26:30] Yeah, that makes sense too. So on that note as well, we were talking before when we were talking about going abroad. And we were talking about the value of connecting with your community and finding that- those support groups through friends or whoever else and even through dance, you’ve obviously made a lot of friends and lifelong connections. And I know we did kind of talk about this a bit already. But what are some of- what is some of your advice for making those friends connections in university? Maybe not necessarily while abroad. But even just for a first year student going to university right now.

Tynika [00:27:14] I think especially in the UK, if you have the- if you have the opportunity, definitely try and stay in university halls or accommodation. It made such a difference. I met the most amazing people and people that I wouldn’t have otherwise crossed paths with. Yeah, those friendships like that you make in your first few months at uni do often lost a lifetime because you’re all in this like, weird unknown boat. Like you’re all in it together. You sort of. Yeah. You ride it out together. So I think that also being in university accommodation means you’re closer to campus. You can get involved in the spontaneous stuff that goes on a lot easier than if you’ve got to travel in and out. So I definitely say if you have that option, that’s something that really helps and it forces you to just jump in at the deep end, which I think I would have been so hesitant to do otherwise. I’m quite an introverted person when it comes to meeting new people. So I think that definitely gave me the push I needed to open up and just meet people.

Lesley [00:28:17] Yeah, that makes sense.

Tynika [00:28:18] Yeah, I think outside of that, though, definitely trying to get involved in like university sport and societies and groups and that sort of thing. Obviously, dance is a huge part of my experience. But I did also try out during the first couple of months, I tried out things like rowing and netball and all sorts of like they do so- there’s so much stuff on offer. My uni had like a hide and seek society.

Lesley [00:28:45] Really?

Tynika [00:28:45] It’s like there’s so much different stuff that, like, there’s something for everyone. So I think that just helps you to find, like, your people. People that are on your wavelength that don’t necessarily study your course, but are into the same stuff as you. There’s all sorts of Socials that follow from getting involved in those groups. So that’s definitely, going to uni, that would be my biggest piece of advice is just get involved. Like, don’t be scared to try new stuff because there’s so much out there. And if you hate it, then it’s something to laugh about. If you love it, then you’re gonna gain so much.

Lesley [00:29:17] Yeah, I think that’s- that’s- that’s a big factor too is the- like, if you’re trying new things, you’re probably not the only person that’s trying that too. So if you fail at it, someone else is probably failing to so everyone- so it’s best to just laugh at yourself because there’s not really much else that you can do.

Tynika [00:29:36] Yeah. I got like- one of my closest friends, we met because we were trying out rowing together and I sucked at rowing but I just wanted to give it a go. Like, yeah, I was so bad. Had no strength, not tall enough. Like just the wrong fit. Like completely. But I met her at tryouts and we had such a laugh trying it that we became close from that anyway.

Lesley [00:29:56] Yeah, you bonded over that experience.

Tynika [00:29:57] Yeah.

Lesley [00:29:59] I tried rowing too when I was in high school here in Canada and it’s- it was not for me either.

Tynika [00:30:08] It’s a lot harder than it looks.

Lesley [00:30:10] Yeah. And like, I am five feet tall so like I’m not tall enough to row.

Tynika [00:30:13] Yeah.

Lesley [00:30:15] So yeah. I understand that experience firsthand.

Tynika [00:30:20] Mm hmm.

Lesley [00:30:24] On that note, what is one of your favorite memories from your time in school?

Tynika [00:30:31] I think I definitely have to say, like competing with the dance team when whenever we went to- like, we traveled across the country to compete. So doing that, traveling and staying in hotels with people, with girls that you’re close to you anyway. I definitely- so, I competed every single year that I was at Exeter. But my final competition season, because I was the president of the society and I was running basically the whole- the whole society, that was just such a rewarding thing for me to do and to watch, like, watch the team flourish. We did so well and it was just such an amazing experience. So that’s definitely a huge highlight for me. And then hopefully my graduation. It’s been postponed because of coronavirus. But hopefully when that comes around, that’ll stick in my mind.

Lesley [00:31:17] Yeah, that is- unfortunately, a lot of a lot of students who graduated this year kind of got sidestepped for that. I know some schools postponed it. And then some schools just straight up canceled it and some tried to do it online. And it’s- I don’t really know how well that worked, but yours jst got postponed?

Tynika [00:31:40] Postponed. Probably until next summer.

Lesley [00:31:43] Oh, wow.

Tynika [00:31:43] Hopefully when it rolls around, it’ll be a good one.

Lesley [00:31:46] And when it rolls around, it will be safe. So, yeah, I mean, there’s that.

Tynika [00:31:52] Yeah.

Lesley [00:31:53] I know it kind of- like, you still have your degree. Like, you can still move on with your life, right? It just kind of sucks for all those students who didn’t get that actual ceremony and that last celebration with their friends, like that’s a really big moment for a lot of students.

Tynika [00:32:11] I think we’ll just try and make an effort to make it an amazing reunion once everybody can come back again. So it has a positive to it I guess.

Lesley [00:32:19] Yeah, you can just have a big party.

Tynika [00:32:21] Yeah. Yeah. For sure.

Lesley [00:32:22] But I mean, I guess you do. I guess you would do that anyway with the graduation but now it’ll be like, yeah, now it’ll be even more special because no one- you guys will all have not seen each other in a while.

Tynika [00:32:33] Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. Fingers crossed.

Lesley [00:32:35] Yeah. Trying to put a positive spin on that.

Tynika [00:32:38] Yeah.

Lesley [00:32:39] It’s really all you can do. So I know we also talked- on the flip side of this, I know we also- I know we did kind of talk about some of the struggles and challenges that you faced when you did a year abroad and when you were learning the hard way how to balance your tasks and priorities. But are there any other kind of sort of big challenges or struggles that you faced that you had to overcome?

Tynika [00:33:09] I think my biggest struggle was staying balanced. Uni work, especially with a like an essay based degree. It just has this bad habit of following you around 24/7. So I think. Yeah, I did find that when I was trying to relax, I was feeling guilty because there’s always something that you could be doing that you should be reading or- yeah, I just I never quite found- until my final year, I never really found that balance. And there’s all sorts of negative struggles that follow from that with mental health, with like a negative effect on relationships. There’s just- it’s not a good place to be.

Lesley [00:33:48] Right.

Tynika [00:33:48] And I wish I’d been tougher- tougher on myself sooner because it- yeah. That was a definitely a big struggle for me, again, because I, I just like to overcommit myself to everything. So, yeah, my biggest challenge was trying to stay balanced, which I got there in the end. It just took a while.

Lesley [00:34:06] It’s- it’s a learning process. Absolutely.

Tynika [00:34:08] Yeah.

Lesley [00:34:11] And I think it kind of stays- when you learn it that way, instead of just like listening to advice and doing things off hand like that, when you actually are learning from your own experience, I think that it’s a stronger lesson overall because it really sticks with you a lot more when you’re actually- it’s actually happening to you. So.

Tynika [00:34:28] Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Lesley [00:34:32] Looking back, what what do you think was kind of like the key to your success in university? Maybe it was those friendships or those connections. Maybe it was something else.

Tynika [00:34:45] Oh, the key to my success. I’m not sure. I definitely- I definitely would say, like, learning how to work smart and not hard. It’s so cliche, like I hear people say it all the time, but when I used to have this, like, issue where I thought that hours put in equals grades that came out.

Lesley [00:35:08] Right.

Tynika [00:35:10] And that can be true. But I think I found that I could spend all day in the library trying to read stuff and not- nothing would actually go in. And everything I read would go straight, straight out my brain and I’d get to the exam and never use it. I just think, like, in hindsight, that’s such a waste of time. Why did I do that? I don’t know. So I think learning like working smart sort of before you start a task thinking, OK, is this going to benefit me? Like, am I actually going to use this content in an exam? Is it something that’s going to back up a point I would make? And is it- like, does it stick in my head? Do I understand it? Because if you don’t understand it, move on and find something you do understand. Because, yeah. Otherwise you just end up spending hours and hours doing pointless research. So yeah, learning that was definitely something that helped a lot.

Lesley [00:36:07] That is. That does sound like a- I never thought of it- because I know, like, there’s a whole- there’s a study technique, active recall, which is basically kind of what you’re talking about, how… It’s when you read something and then you kind of shut the book and then see if you can recite back the key points from what you read to test that you’re actively learning that. And I was- and I never thought about the fact that it- is- if you’re not doing something like that, it is really a big waste of time doing all those all nighters when you’re not even absorbing any of that information. And it’s like, okay, I stayed up all night and I remember nothing.

Tynika [00:36:43] I think in the UK as well for law, we do a lot of like closed note exams. So a lot of it is like memory recall. And I just- if you’re trying to read an article six months before the exam that doesn’t make sense to you and you don’t need it for the syllabus, it’s just more like to add- to flesh out your argument or whatever. Like, if it doesn’t make sense to you, you’re never realistically going to remember what it said and you’ll never get back to point you want to make. So, like, change it and read something else and move on. Yeah, I think I got into a bad habit in the beginning of feeling like I had to read every single thing that was presented to me and try and like parrot, parrot fashion, learn all of this information without understanding that it’s more about how you apply what you do know than how- regurgitating the stuff you don’t really know. So yeah. Focusing on your understanding definitely over the amount of stuff you read is a good, good way to go.

Lesley [00:37:39] Yeah, that definitely is more productive. That’s for sure. Especially too, when you’re trying- when it’s something you don’t understand. And someone asks you about it and you’re like, well, I just spent five hours reading it and I don’t know. Like, that’s kind of embarassing.

Tynika [00:37:55] Yeah. Me all the time.

Lesley [00:37:59] One of the questions that we always ask in every interview is if you could go back and talk to your 15-year-old self, what would you say to yourself? I know, it’s kind of a thinker.

Tynika [00:38:12] Yeah, I think- what would I say to my 15-year-old self? Take time to smell the roses. I think, like- it- you don’t get that- that chapter of your life back, and it goes so quickly, especially when you’re so busy. It just passes by in a flash. So, yeah, take time, slow down and enjoy, like be in the moment as much as you can without trying to, like, push forward to the next thing of where- where am I going next? What’s my next, like, step forward? Like, no, stop a second. And just enjoy where you are right now because you’ve worked hard to get here. So take stock of this situation and then you can worry about what happens next. So that would be one piece of advice. I think, on a personal level, stop clinging on to friendships with people that are not headed in the same direction that you’re headed. I think it- while you think those friendships are important at the time, it ends up causing a lot more grief, not just for you, but for the other person, when you’re sort of clinging on to something. And naturally, you should be, like, splitting ways. And that’s not to say, like, falling out with people. It’s just like…

Lesley [00:39:31] I know what you’re saying.

Tynika [00:39:31] Having a mutual understanding, that you’ll go- that you’re headed in different directions and that’s OK.

Lesley [00:39:36] Yeah.

Tynika [00:39:37] So I think, yeah. That’s a big piece of advice.

Lesley [00:39:41] Yeah. That is something that a lot of high school people need to hear because that’s something- every high school student thinks that those are- those- their best friend group is going to always be their best friend group forever. But those people, when you’re in high school, you don’t know, you have no idea what’s- what your future is going to be like. And you don’t even- you don’t have anything really figured out. So everyone always ends up in these different directions because they’re just people end up figuring themselves out and what they want to do. And I feel like some people kind of hold on to that and like grab on that. And it’s, like, sometimes you just need to just let those, like- don’t- you don’t have to, like, get in a fight with them or dismiss them forever, but you don’t need to cling to them when you know that they’re a different person than you are.

Tynika [00:40:34] For sure. And I think if people genuinely are friends, you often find, like I’ve even found this- people that I left in high school and haven’t spoken to throughout university, we’re suddenly all getting in contact with each other again. And I think it’s because you’ve got- there’s so much growing and so much maturing that happens between, like you- when you’re 15 and when you’re in your 20s. So I think you can sort of reignite that friendship as adults when you’ve done your growing and you’re a bit more sure of who you are. And if you’re genuinely friends with someone, then that’s a perfect place to pick up where you left off. Whereas if you’ve tried to cling to that friendship the whole way through, you’ll end up resenting the person and, yeah, you’ll lose the friendship. So that’s something that I wish I knew back then. Because I am speaking from experience. But yeah, I think that would be two pieces of advice. My third one, though, is you are smart enough. Like, stop. I had such bad imposter syndrome the whole way through my university experience. So I think a lesson that I probably still need to learn is like, you wouldn’t be here, you wouldn’t be where you are if you weren’t- if you didn’t deserve to be there and if you weren’t smart enough.

Lesley [00:41:43] Right.

Tynika [00:41:44] Stop doubting yourself on that respect. Like, if you- if somebody is giving you a place at university, you deserve a place. Like.

Lesley [00:41:51] Right.

Tynika [00:41:52] Have confidence in that and you’ll be good.

Lesley [00:41:54] You worked hard to be there. By imposter syndrome you mean being there and thinking that everyone else is smarter than you and being intimidated and feeling like you don’t really- feeling like you’re not really smart enough or working hard enough to be there. That’s what you mean?

Tynika [00:42:09] Yeah. I think just sort of doubting that you- that you- Yeah. That you’re smart enough. I think when you go to university as well, you go from that classroom setting in high school where like as mat- about 30 kids or whatever. And you sort of know the people really well. You get into your groove, you know who contributes in class, you know, who stays quiet. And then you go to university and you’re in a lecture theater with 400 people. And everyone’s got something to say, especially law. Everyone’s got an opinion. Everyone wants to argue about it. And for me, as an introvert, I was like, whoa, that’s quite intimidating.

Lesley [00:42:42] Right.

Tynika [00:42:43] I’m not smart enough to be speaking up or trying to argue with any of these people. So now it’s okay. But when it came to seminars, that sort of knocked my confidence because everybody had so much to say so quickly and it felt like they they knew a lot more than I did. I think sort of going, do you know what, like, they have their opinions. But my opinions are also good. They might be different, but yeah, they’re okay. You are smart enough to be here.

Lesley [00:43:13] Makes sense. I think that’s that’s productive anyway. I’m sure a lot of other people suffer from that same kind of thing. Especially given the different types of people you meet and you get- like, you do get those people who are just so into everything and they’re always asking questions and trying to have debates, and you’re like, I’m just here to do my work, but.

Tynika [00:43:33] Yeah. I had a lot of times I was like, I don’t even know enough to even have a question to ask.

Lesley [00:43:41] I feel that. I think everyone’s been there at some point in their life.

Tynika [00:43:44] Yeah.

Lesley [00:43:46] Another thing, too, is we usually get our student influencers to share one of their favorite motivational quotes. Do you have one?

Tynika [00:43:58] I have a few. I was trying to choose one. There’s so many I, like, pin on my wall. What’s my favorite motivational quote? I think. Yeah, it would be probably be control what you can and conquer what you can’t. I think there’s so much value in recognizing something you can control and working through that and dedicating energy to making that the best situation it can be and then taking a step back and knowing, okay, I can’t control this. Ride the wave. You’ll be OK. You’ll live to tell the story and take a step back and you’ll conquer that eventually. But trying to spend your energies on trying to control things that aren’t in your control is- is a hard lesson to learn because it never ends well.

Lesley [00:44:51] It’s impossible.

Tynika [00:44:53] Yeah.

Lesley [00:44:55] And that’s good because, I mean, that’s- that goes back to the whole learning from either learning from your mistakes or from your challenges. And if it’s something that you can’t really control, at least you could find a way to grow from that or improve yourself somehow from that.

Tynika [00:45:14] Yeah, absolutely. I think even when it comes to, like, applying for universities and that sort of thing, like you can control how good your application is. So do as best you can on that and ace that interview, prepare how you can. But ultimately you can’t control who else they see that day. You can’t control what other applicants they got or what mood they’re in or if they want, I don’t know, if they want somebody red instead of blue, like who knows? But like, say, you sort of not stressing yourself out and not panicking about all of that and just instead focusing on being the best version of what you can do.

Lesley [00:45:51] Right. That makes sense.

Tynika [00:45:53] Yeah.

Lesley [00:45:54] And then usually we end with a more fun question. What is your favorite social media platform and why?

Tynika [00:46:04] I definitely have to say Instagram. Yeah, I’m a visual person, so having pictures instead of writing is right up my street.

Lesley [00:46:11] Right.

Tynika [00:46:12] And it’s so much easier to connect with people that, like, are into the same stuff you’re into and people that you wouldn’t otherwise be friends with on a platform like Facebook. So definitely Instagram.

Lesley [00:46:22] Yeah, I would have to agree. It’s so much easier to digest pictures too, and not have to scroll through like people’s, I don’t know, status updates and all of you these kind of, like, click bait articles and stuff. And you could just look at pictures.

Tynika [00:46:37] Yeah.

Lesley [00:46:38] So I’d have to agree. So is there any other final insights you want to share before we kind of say goodbye?

Tynika [00:46:49] I just would say, like- like, do everything you can to embrace the challenges that come your way. They’re going to come. There’s nothing you can do about it. So I think, like, especially when you’re young, like this stage in your life is filled with so much uncertainty and there is so much that we can also, like, we can do. But there’s a lot we can’t do. We can’t avoid that uncertainty. So I think. Like, I was talking to one of one of my mentors and something that’s really stuck with me is that the best piece of advice is find joy in the unknown rather than fearing it. It’s always gonna be there. So if you can find- it’s hard to do, it’s a lot easier said than done. But if you can try and find joy in the unknown, like you’re just going to be so much happier and you’ll end up being more successful.

Lesley [00:47:39] Makes sense.

Tynika [00:47:40] Yeah. I think I need to follow my own advice, though. It’s a lot easier said than done.

Lesley [00:47:45] Everything is. All- every time. Every lesson, piece of advice is always so much easier said than done. But we all try.

Tynika [00:47:56] For sure.

Lesley [00:47:57] As long as you try. So I think that’s super. That’s a really great way to wrap this up. I think that’s really valuable and positive and constructive. Definitely. So that- I just want to thank you for joining us today and taking time out of your day to talk to us today.

Tynika [00:48:20] No problem at all.

Lesley [00:48:22] And we will check in with you later on and see how things are going. Other than that, thank you. And take care.

Tynika [00:48:30] No problem. Nice to meet you.

Lesley [00:48:31] Yeah, you too. Bye.

Tynika [00:48:33] Bye.

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