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Keeping Your Passions Alive in University: Romeo Dannaoui Discusses Immigration, Health Sciences, and Creativity

Student Influencers EP5 with Romeo Dannaoui discussing immigration and health science On this episode of Student Influencers, we had the pleasure of meeting with Romeo Dannaoui, a young man living in Ottawa after experiencing immigration to Canada from the Middle East when he was 12 years old. Amidst the challenges of navigating university life, Romeo has maintained a gentle, creative spirit while studying Health Sciences, holding down a part-time job and inspiring others with his creativity via his photography on Instagram.

Browsing Romeo’s Instagram page (@probablyromeo) provides a glimpse into how he sees the world. A foggy image of the mountainous town of Ehden, Lebanon features red rooves and white buildings cascading over green hills in the distance and tells the story of his immigration. Soft blue-grey shots of the warm water of the Gulf of Oman are interspersed amongst unassuming selfies and reflective captions like, “How rare and beautiful it is to even exist.” It is easy to gain a sense of Romeo’s kind-hearted demeanour and his creativity simply by looking at his photos. Needless to say, the same personality came through in our interview.

Never Stop Learning

Romeo on vacation

As a young man growing up in Oman, Romeo had a love of learning. This has remained a constant in his life. A Health Sciences degree appealed to Romeo because it is such a broad field. He feels that it will allow him the opportunity to never stop learning:

“I find that with medicine it’s always expanding and it’s always evolving so I’m the kind of person who doesn’t really like to stop learning. I always like to continue learning and I feel like with this program I’ll always have the opportunity to learn.”

The opportunity to grow with the medical science field intrigues Romeo. Studying health sciences is a chance to learn about the human brain, body, as well as the more bureaucratic and political components of the medical realm. One of Romeo’s favourite courses is psychology,

“I just like the psychology of it and learning about how the brain works and as humans how we can communicate with each other. It’s interesting to me to learn about that.”

Throughout our conversation, Romeo showed his love of learning about people and what makes them tick. When I asked him to share his life story, he flipped the switch and asked me the same question! It is clear that Romeo has a way with people and that he is constantly looking for opportunities to learn from his surroundings.

Long-term Romeo would like to apply for medical school and pursue research in his chosen field.

The College Transition is Challenging

Romeo on college transition

Despite his clear strengths with people and in school, Romeo admits that transitioning to university was challenging at first, a common experience for first-year students.

“I found that was really hard, to be honest, to manage your personal life, your friend group, your workloads. Trying to even keep up with your hobbies, it’s hard to manage everything at once.”

When he transitioned to university from high school Romeo found it difficult to maintain his friendships with classmates who had chosen to go to different universities. Focusing on school, maintaining a part-time job, and learning to make new friends was a challenge for Romeo. Managing a variety of responsibilities at a young age when transitioning to a new lifestyle like college or university, can present a big learning curve for students.

Romeo is now in his second year, and although he feels that the workload and academic expectations have remained “intense” he reminds students that, “As you move on, it gets easier.”

Romeo has shown a sense of resilience since he was a young man. At a young age he experienced immigration to a new country topped with the difficulty of leaving his father to work and earn money for the family in his home country of Oman. This strength has followed him throughout his life.

Like many of the students we talk to on the podcast, Romeo has developed a strategy for himself which allows him to make the most of his time in school, at his part-time job, and with family and friends. A schedule and prioritizing his tasks have been instrumental in helping Romeo to navigate the challenges of university and thoroughly enjoy his student experience.

Like some of the other students we have interviewed Romeo prefers to use a digital calendar to take care of his schedule and appointments. He says he used a physical calendar in high school but has levelled up since beginning college. He prefers to use a digital calendar like Google Calendar because it syncs up with all his devices, making it easy to keep track of dates, times, and tasks.

Romeo also recommended an app called Forest. We are all so easily distracted these days by our phones, YouTube, and Netflix. Romeo offered a hack for this type of distraction that also aids the environment:

Forest is an app where you get to set a timer on your phone. It motivates you to complete your homework. When you complete a task, the timer goes off and you actually collect coins. With those coins you can grow like a real-life tree somewhere in the world.

Forest is a top-rated app that takes advantage of the Pomodoro Technique, a method we discuss many times on the Homework Help Show. The method enhances productivity by encouraging students and others to work in 25-minute increments. Choose a task, set a timer for 25-minutes and work for that increment of time. Once the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break and reset the timer for another 25 minutes. Do this 4 times in a row and then take a longer break and repeat. Researchers indicate that using this pattern to complete a task is most efficient as it draws on the notion of short term motivation.

Romeo overlooking city

Forest enhances the feel-good properties of completing tasks by planting a tree with the coins you gain from simply getting *stuff* done. How cool is that?

Get a Part-Time Job

When I asked Romeo about his priorities, he listed his health sciences studies first and his part-time job second. For Romeo, a strong, diligent work ethic is important, so outside of school he spends his time working. Romeo recommends that other students consider getting a part-time job while they are studying.

“Personally I would recommend having a part-time job. I can’t speak for everyone because everyone has different work ethics but it was helpful for me because I got to make some side money. If I want to spend on textbooks, or you know going out with my friends, or buying clothes. It’s always good to have that sort of extra cash.”

Romeo has a positive attitude when it comes to working on the side. If you’re hesitant to get a job because you think it might be too overwhelming while you’re in school, Romeo cheers you on, “Give it a try.” Romeo suggests that students at least try out having a job on the side. If it does not work out, there is always an option to leave the job or cut back on hours.

Everyone Has Their Own Path in Life

Romeo as a health sciences student

Romeo faced an additional challenge as a young man experiencing immigration. Although he eventually found his tribe in his new school, he says that the stress of middle and high school presented some difficulties. I asked him to elaborate on his experience in high school and he discussed an issue which seems to be appearing throughout many of our interviews: social pressures in high school are way beyond those in the college years.

Each college student we have talked to on the podcast has alluded to the mounting social pressures of high school. Romeo reminds high school students that it does get better and suggests trying to avoid getting caught up in what he calls the “drama”. He explains that although high school pressures may seem insurmountable while you are in the midst of them, things do improve post-graduation. Eventually, you realize that “Everyone has their own path in life” and you learn to let issues go.

Romeo has used his first few years in university to work hard at his health sciences program, get a job, and focus on fostering positive relationships with his colleagues. By recognizing that everyone has their own path to follow, Romeo has managed to put is own goals at the forefront and work toward the life he hopes to live.

Romeo tells other students to get involved in the university community. One of his favourite memories was attending a mixer hosted by his school, the University of Ottawa during his first year.

The event allows students the opportunity to mix with others in their program. It had the feel of a speed-dating evening where students dressed up and looked their best to meet new people.

Romeo appreciated the intentionality of the event and says that it gave him the opportunity to broaden his friend group. Romeo feels that being open to these kinds of opportunities while in university can enhance your experience tenfold. Get involved with your university to make the most of your academic career.

Romeo also makes the point that while academics should be a focus, it is also important to “keep your passions alive.” Whether that means getting involved in a club, joining a sports team, or starting a committee, being invested in the campus community is essential to your success as a student.

Science and Creativity Go Hand-in-Hand

Creativity picture at school

It is clear from a glance at his Instagram profile that Romeo has a natural eye for photography. It was no surprise when Romeo set taking more photos and creating art as one of his summer goals.

“Personally, I love art and photography. Going into university I sort of had to choose between – the sciences and the arts. It kind of limits your creativity I guess because you’re not really dealing with art. But I still like to keep my hobbies alive by doing art at home.”

Romeo and I talked about how the sciences and the arts do not have to be mutually exclusive. A recent Netflix special called “The Creative Brain” makes the link between creativity and science in the sense that scientists are naturally creative because they have to constantly come up with new ways of imagining the world. Being a naturally creative person will bode well for Romeo as he continues his studies in the health sciences field.

“There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs”

Romeo believes that life is more about the journey than the destination. Each experience provides an opportunity to learn about yourself and about the world around you. Everyone is a work in progress, especially in the midst of challenging transitions like the one from high school to university.

Romeo is a smart, intuitive, and creative young person with a passion for learning about what makes people tick. Throughout our conversation he left us with many tidbits of advice to pass on to students:

Never stop learning. Even if you are no longer in university, there is an opportunity to learn simply from being present to the world around you.
Foster your passions. While you’re in school take some time to add fuel to your inspiration.
Create opportunities to meet new people and let the weight of the past go.
The journey is just as important as the destination. Take the time to learn about yourself and the world around you while you’re in university.

This article captures just some of the amazing insights into immigration, creativity, and university life that Romeo shared during our conversation. For more on Romeo’s perspective on life check out our Student Influencers podcast.

We hope you continue to join us on this journey of talking to successful student influencers who tell their stories of struggle and triumph! To follow along, please visit our Anchor site and stay tuned for future episodes.

FULL TRANSCRIPT FROM OUR PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH ROMEO DANNAOUI

Cath Anne: [00:00:00] Hi everyone. And welcome back to our Student Influencers podcast hosted by Homework Help Global. In this podcast series we aim to inspire you whether you are a current student or not to work towards your goals. We talk to college students who are movers and shakers on campus and elsewhere in their lives as they navigate the challenges of college life. The students we interview have no shortage of wisdom and we look forward to sharing this knowledge with you.

Cath Anne: [00:00:30] Today on this student influencers podcast, we have Romeo with us. Romeo is a young man living in Ottawa who immigrated to Canada from the Middle East when he was 12 years old. Amidst the challenges of navigating university life Romeo has maintained a gentle creative spirit while studying health sciences holding down a part time job and inspiring others and with his beautiful photography on Instagram. We are so happy to have Romeo here with us today.

Cath Anne: [00:01:06] Hi Romeo: and welcome to the show. Thank you so much for joining us.

Romeo: [00:01:10] Hi Catherine. Thank you for having me. I’m so excited.

Cath Anne: [00:01:14] We’re so happy to have you. And thank you for making the time because I know this time of year is pretty busy for students. So I really appreciate you taking the time to connect with us.

Romeo: [00:01:23] No worries of course.

Cath Anne: [00:01:25] So to start off I’d love to hear about where you’re currently living and also where you were born.

Romeo: [00:01:32] OK so I’m currently located in Canada, but I was actually born in Oman. So I was born actually in a city called Muscat, which is in the Middle East.

Cath Anne: [00:01:44] And how long did you live there growing up?

Romeo: [00:01:46] So I lived there for about 12 years and then I immigrated here in 2010.

Cath Anne: [00:01:52] And did you immigrate with your family?

Romeo: [00:01:55] Yeah. So I emigrated with my mom and my brothers, my dad he stayed back home so he can work and support us and we make the effort to see each other maybe twice a year, so during Christmas or in the summer.

Cath Anne: [00:02:09] Oh well that’s nice thank you. You still stay connected.

Romeo: [00:02:13] It’s hard obviously but we you know like we have to put into the effort to see each other.

Cath Anne: [00:02:18] Absolutely. Do you find do you ever talk to him on Skype or FaceTime or anything like that?

Romeo: [00:02:24] I we actually talk using WhatsApp. It’s like a pretty common thing back in the Middle East. It’s not that common over here, yeah.

Cath Anne: [00:02:31] It isn’t as much, but you’re right I’ve talked to some people who live in the Middle East and they do seem to prefer WhatsApp.

Romeo: [00:02:38] Yeah. Because it has all the features that you need. So has the texting option has video calling. I find it very useful to use.

Cath Anne: [00:02:46] It’s all in one location.

Romeo: [00:02:48] Yeah exactly. It’s very convenient.

Cath Anne: [00:02:50] Yeah definitely. So, so you move to Canada and now you’re attending a university or college?

Romeo: [00:02:57] Yes. So right now I’m at the University of Ottawa. Yeah. So I’ve been. This is my second year actually. So I just completed my second year.

Cath Anne: [00:03:07] Congratulations!

Romeo: [00:03:07] Thank you so much.

Cath Anne: [00:03:08] And what are you studying?

Romeo: [00:03:11] So I’m studying health science. So I’ve been always really interested in science and so I just decided to choose a program that’s kind of versatile because later on after I’m done my program I can get into a lot of different things with it.

Cath Anne: [00:03:28] It’s very versatile.

Romeo: [00:03:29] That’s what I think, yeah.

Cath Anne: [00:03:32] I feel like it’s specialized but also somewhat broad, so you can apply it to a lot of different things.

Romeo: [00:03:38] Exactly. That’s what I like about it.

Cath Anne: [00:03:41] Mm hmm. And I feel like in health sciences there are so many new technologies and things coming out nowadays that, that must be a really interesting field to be in.

Romeo: [00:03:53] [00:03:53]Of course. So that’s what I think. I I find that with medicine it’s always expanding and it’s always evolving so I’m the kind of person who doesn’t really- I don’t really like to stop learning. I always like to continue learning and I feel like with this program since there’s a lot of stuff coming out I’m always have the opportunity to learn and you know I think it’s very it’s like my type of program. [23.0s]

Cath Anne: [00:04:17] It must be really interesting. So could you tell me a little bit about some of your favorite courses, or things that you’ve been enjoying about the program?

Romeo: [00:04:28] Yeah. So the program is generally a lot of it’s a lot of memorization I find so but we do have some courses that are more psychology based and that’s the kind of program that’s the kind of courses that I tend to enjoy most. I just I like to really- just the psychology of it and learning about how the brain works and us as humans how we can communicate with each other. It’s it’s interesting to me to learn about that. But I also do like anatomy and physiology. I find that also really interesting learning about the body and how it works. It’s also very interesting.

Cath Anne: [00:05:06] It’s pretty fascinating when you when you start diving into that, it’s like wow we have all these components that we sometimes take for granted.

Romeo: [00:05:14] Yeah it is very interesting.

Cath Anne: [00:05:20] So just kind of moving shifting gears a little bit – how would you say so did you go to high school in Canada?

Romeo: [00:05:29] Yeah I actually that so I attended high school in Canada and also I attended a bit of my elementary and so like great six?

Cath Anne: [00:05:37] Right.

Romeo: [00:05:37] And then everything before that was done in Muscat.

Cath Anne: [00:05:44] So did you find a difference when you were in school at home and then now when you transitioned to Canada? Did you find that there was much of a difference or a transition period?

Romeo: [00:05:57] There was in the sense that I find over there we were more kind of- in the British curriculum I guess you can say? So, some of the words were a bit different like I remember when I moved to Canada I would refer to an eraser as “rubber”. And that’s what we’ve used over there. So a lot of the words were kind of more British I guess?

Cath Anne: [00:06:25] Yes. okay.

Romeo: [00:06:26] And also a lot of the teachers were from the U.K. It’s just like a different I guess curriculum or teaching style.

Cath Anne: [00:06:36] Interesting. So in terms of high school and then moving on to university would you say there’s a difference between those two in your experience?

Romeo: [00:06:47] Oh yeah. There is definitely a big difference.

Cath Anne: [00:06:50] What would you say are kind of the big the big differences?

Romeo: [00:06:54] So the big difference for me would have to be just the environment itself to be honest. Like in high school I find that you sort of you know everyone in your school. Well in my case I didn’t like a lot of friends and it’s just the environment was more familiar I guess because we’ve sort of been, you know like in that environment for so long. [00:07:17]But in university it’s such a big campus. And it could be intimidating at first, especially since you might not know a lot of people. I felt sort of alone, especially during my first year. But you end up making a lot of friends and I think it definitely gets better. [17.7s]

Cath Anne: [00:07:36] And so did you live on campus your first year or?

Romeo: [00:07:41] So I actually live in my house because I-

Cath Anne: [00:07:45] Oh nice.

Romeo: [00:07:46] I live with my family. My university is pretty local, so it was really convenient for me that way.

Cath Anne: [00:07:53] And University of Ottawa I’ve never been there but I’m assuming it’s a huge campus.

Romeo: [00:07:58] Yeah it is actually it’s so big. I was kind of shocked because one of my classes, I had to take the bus to get to one of my classes.

Cath Anne: [00:08:11] Really?

Romeo: [00:08:12] It is really, Really spread out.

Cath Anne: [00:08:14] It’s huge. And is it right downtown, Ottawa?

Romeo: [00:08:17] Yeah so it’s in the heart, in the center of downtown. So I also like that because there is a mall right beside it. So when I have a nice break I just get to go hang off my friends and the mall.

Cath Anne: [00:08:29] Yeah that’s that’s fun. I went to Ryerson in Toronto for a while and the same thing. It was so huge but also right downtown. .

Romeo: [00:08:43] Yeah. I like it.

Cath Anne: [00:08:44] Yeah. Fun to kind of explore a little bit after class and things like that. So what was one of your favorite memories in college so far?

Romeo: [00:08:55] Well one of my favorite memories would have to be when.. so my school hosted this event called Table Talk. Basically it’s an opportunity for people to look for students to dress up, look good and attend this event which is sort of like a speed dating, but for students within like a program within your faculty. So I found that really cool because I got to meet a lot of my friends now that I’m really close with. Yeah so look it’s a really cool opportunity to meet new people in your program. I found it really really exciting for me to just broaden my friend group.

Cath Anne: [00:09:40] What a cool like, it seems like a very intentional thing to do.

Romeo: [00:09:47] And that’s not really intimidating because everyone was there is there to make friends and meet you. So it’s not like you have that worry of someone not wanting to hang out or talk to you.

Cath Anne: [00:09:57] That is really neat. So how did they facilitate that?

Romeo: [00:10:02] So online, you purchase tickets. I think it was ten dollars or something around that. And there’s there’s some food like little snacks. It was a couple hours so we got to like sit around and there’s also some prizes. So each table would have four people sitting in it, and then when a timer goes off you have a set of numbers and the numbers represent which table you’re going to next. And then you sort of move along and yeah it’s how worked.

Cath Anne: [00:10:42] Meet different people. That’s really cool.

Romeo: [00:10:44] Yeah.

Cath Anne: [00:10:44] I love that. That’s that’s a great idea. Especially like you say in a bigger program or on a bigger camp.

Romeo: [00:10:50] Yeah yeah, especially that.

Cath Anne: [00:10:54] That would be a really great way to meet people. That’s awesome. Cool. That’s a really cool experience.

Romeo: [00:10:58] It really was, yeah.

Cath Anne: [00:11:00] So in terms of your college or your university experience so far would you say you’ve had any specific challenges or struggles?

Romeo: [00:11:11] Yeah so there definitely have been struggles especially during my first year of university. I found that was really hard, to be honest, to manage like your personal life, your friend group, your workloads. Trying to even keep up with your hobbies and even like when random drama comes up, you know what I mean it’s hard to manage everything at once.

Cath Anne: [00:11:37] Right.

Romeo: [00:11:37] But like as you move on, it gets easier.

Cath Anne: [00:11:42] And did you find it was most difficult in your first year because it was a new experience for you.

Romeo: [00:11:49] Yeah definitely it’s because after I graduated from high school some of my friends they went towards college, some of them went abroad for university, so we all kind of spread out. So it was hard for me to find the time to hang out with them and also keep up with my workload and just manage everything at once.

Cath Anne: [00:12:14] That would be a challenge. And I have found just in doing these interviews is that is a common theme with most students that it is a challenge to balance all of those responsibilities. And so as you progressed in your second year did you find ways or tricks to be able to manage those a little better or was it more just adjusting to all these responsibilities?

Romeo: [00:12:46] Yes it definitely took more I guess adjusting to it because like the workload is still pretty intense, it hasn’t really changed. But it’s just I find the way that you work around it and you have to kind of have your priorities in check I guess. So maybe make a schedule or make a list for yourself to complete those things and then afterwards have like [00:13:12]I would say it’s important to have a plan of what you’re going to basically complete. The important things that you need to and then the rest of the time you can hang out with your friends or I personally I have a part time job. So it was important for me to prioritize school and also my job. And then the remainder of the time I would hang off my friends or do the things that I liked to do. [22.6s]

Cath Anne: [00:13:36] Right. So getting your priorities in order and setting some goals for yourself.

Romeo: [00:13:41] For sure that’s important.

Cath Anne: [00:13:43] Those are great tips. So for those who who are in college or in university would you recommend having a part time job while you’re doing that? Or do you find it’s beneficial to have a part time job? Or is that something you’d recommend to other students?

Romeo: [00:14:02] Yes. So I personally would recommend having a part time job. I can’t speak for everyone because everyone has different sort of work ethics but personally it was helpful for me because I got to obviously make some side money. If I want to spend on textbooks, or you know going out with my friends, or buying clothes. It’s always good to have that sort of extra cash I guess income. But it’s important also not to let that get in the way if you’re studying in your school. Because I find that a lot of students, including myself sometimes, we have to sort of try to balance out both those things and sometimes it can get really overwhelming. So I think that it’s it’s important to have a job because it teaches you responsibility it teaches you a lot of good things. But I think as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the school.

Cath Anne: [00:14:59] I agree. And everyone’s different. Like you say so you have to figure out what works best for you.

Romeo: [00:15:05] Exactly. I’d say try it out. And then too if it’s overwhelming then you can always quit or maybe have less shifts cut your hours.

Cath Anne: [00:15:16] Yeah exactly exactly yeah yeah. No that totally makes sense. I do agree with you I think it is beneficial to have a part time job especially if you you know you’ve been in high school and maybe some people haven’t had a part time job before. Yes it’s a great experience for sure so we kind of talked about this a little bit already Romeo: but how have you found that you’ve been able to manage all these responsibilities, like you know paying for tuition studying managing a social life? You talked a little bit about just keeping priorities straight and setting goals for yourself, are there any kind of tools that you use? Some people use a calendar some people use Google Calendar- any things like that that you could recommend?

Romeo: [00:16:01] For sure. So back in high school I used to use like a physical agenda which is like my diary which I write all my homework all my tasks everything. But in university I sort of shifted more into the technology side of things. So I would definitely use my calendar, so Google Calendar or my default calendar – I have a MacBook. I find that very useful because it syncs with all your other devices. And it’s not like you would ever forget. It’s always on your phone, you can check it. So I use that a lot and also in order for me to just not be distracted on my phone while I do homework I use this app called Forest, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it.

Cath Anne: [00:16:48] Oh no, I haven’t heard of this.

Romeo: [00:16:50] Yeah. So it’s just an app where you get to set a timer on your phone. It motivates you to just complete what you’re doing your homework and when you complete the timer when the timer goes off you actually collect coins. With those coins you can also grow like a real life tree somewhere in the world that needs to be.

Cath Anne: [00:17:13] No way.

Romeo: [00:17:14] Yeah. So that’s a really cool kind of makes you feel good.

Cath Anne: [00:17:17] That’s really cool. So it’s not just about you getting something done you’re actually helping the environment.

Romeo: [00:17:24] Exactly. So that’s what I like. It’s really cool.

Cath Anne: [00:17:27] That is really cool. Thank you for that recommendation. I think I might get that phone too.

Cath Anne: [00:17:33] Yeah, I know! I’ve used one similar to that like it would be a timer and have, like nice music in the background but Forest sounds great.

Romeo: [00:17:42] I think there’s a music option too for that one.

Cath Anne: [00:17:44] Oh okay.

Romeo: [00:17:44] You can definitely play around with it see what other options there is.

Cath Anne: [00:17:48] So we have another show, The Homework Help Show, on YouTube and we talk a lot about this method called the Pomodoro Method. Have you heard of that before?

Romeo: [00:18:01] Oh I actually haven’t. No.

Cath Anne: [00:18:02] So basically it’s what you’re describing. There have been studies to prove that doing like 20 minutes or 25 minutes – I think twenty five minutes is the optimal time frame of work – and then taking a five minute break, and then going back and doing twenty five minutes. It’s supposedly the best way to kind of chunk up your work.

Romeo: [00:18:26] Oh yeah.

Cath Anne: [00:18:28] So that kind of goes hand in hand with the timer.

Romeo: [00:18:31] That’s a really interesting tip. That’s a really good tip actually.

Cath Anne: [00:18:37] It supposedly just keeps people productive and motivated, because you’re working in condensed time periods.

Romeo: [00:18:42] Little intervals, yeah.

Cath Anne: [00:18:44] Exactly. So very cool. So, if you could go back and you could talk to your 15 year old self so 15 year old Romeo:, what would you tell Romeo:? And what advice would you give?

Romeo: [00:18:59] [00:18:59]So I probably – mostly, I would tell myself not to stress out too much on the little [10.4s] things. That’s what I would sort of like telling myself because I realized that like especially in high school people are so temporary. You know?

Cath Anne: [00:19:17] It’s very true. A lot of the drama that goes on in high school- never lasts. So a lot of people might think, in the moment, that you know that’s all their life is, is that one, you know that one problem that they’re dealing with but like you move past that and eventually like all the negative people that you’re surrounded with in high school or you know they just eventually fade away. So I would tell myself not to stress out too much about that and just you know be myself and stay true to yourself and yeah that’s my advice to myself.

Cath Anne: [00:19:53] I love that. I think that’s amazing advice. It’s it’s so funny when you’re younger like you say-

Romeo: [00:19:58] You really don’t think about it.

Cath Anne: [00:20:00] You don’t and you’re not. It’s funny how young people do get so stressed about those social things.

Romeo: [00:20:08] I know I just especially I had to be honest. Coming here into the new environment. Yeah for sure.

Cath Anne: [00:20:14] It would be difficult it would. I’m sure it would be a big transition because you would have been what, 12, when you came?

Romeo: [00:20:20] Yeah, yeah. So I had to sort of like make my- everyone else I found, they kind of grew up together. So like from kindergarten to sixth grade they all kind of moved along with each other. But I came into this new like environment, it was a big change.

Cath Anne: [00:20:36] A big change yeah. But it sounds like you did end up making lots of friends and-.

Romeo: [00:20:40] I thankfully did, yeah.

Cath Anne: [00:20:42] find your space there. So that’s good. But it’s so interesting to think about how stressed young people are and you know reflecting on that it’s you know what kind of a toll does that take on a young person you know?

Romeo: [00:20:56] I know, I know. It is actually really crazy to think about that because growing up like you have so much more stress and responsibility but you do as you mature I guess you can handle more.

Cath Anne: [00:21:08] Yes that’s true. That’s a really good point. You learn skills and yeah, you’ve had experiences so you can handle that more. Very good. I love that advice. I think 15 year old you would do well with that advice.

Romeo: [00:21:20] I think so, too.

Cath Anne: [00:21:22] I think a lot of young people would do well with that advice so thank you for sharing.

Romeo: [00:21:26] Look it was always my concern. Like always. How can I hang out with the popular kids, you know?

Cath Anne: [00:21:31] Right.

Romeo: [00:21:31] That kind of stuff. But it really doesn’t matter after high school, it just you know, everyone has their own kind of path in life.

Cath Anne: [00:21:38] Absolutely. Everyone does their own thing. It’s true. So Romeo:, do you have any current short-term or long-term goals that you are working on?

Romeo: [00:21:53] Yeah. So actually some of my short term goals would definitely be- does it have to be school related?

Cath Anne: [00:22:02] No. Anything.

Romeo: [00:22:03] Okay so one of my short term goals would beposting more on Instagram.

Cath Anne: [00:22:09] Oh cool, your pictures are amazing by the way.

Romeo: [00:22:11] Thank you so much I appreciate that. I would really like to get back into the whole post thing more and interacting with my followers. I think that’s what I honestly love doing. I love taking pictures and photography. That’s-.

Cath Anne: [00:22:25] Do you?

Romeo: [00:22:25] That is one of my hobbies, yeah. So I’d like to- now that school’s over start posting more and taking nice pictures.

Cath Anne: [00:22:34] That would be cool. We’ll have to keep an eye out for you.

Romeo: [00:22:37] Thank you. Also another one of my short term goals would probably be working out and eating healthy, like you know summer is coming up so I gotta get that summer bod.

Cath Anne: [00:22:49] Yeah, the beach bod. So do you go to the gym?

Romeo: [00:22:54] Yeah I actually I do. I got a membership at the gym recently. My other one expired so I kind of renewed it. So I’m gonna start going to the gym with a friend and getting back into the whole working out routine.

Cath Anne: [00:23:11] Mm hmm. It’s very important but you’re right when you’re when you’re busy it’s hard to keep on track with that. That’s another thing that you kind of have to fit in there.

Romeo: [00:23:18] For sure. I feel like I haven’t been in forever. I was so focused on studying for finals and, you know, now that it’s that’s over I can start going again.

Cath Anne: [00:23:29] Yeah that’s a great goal, and any long term things that you’re thinking about?

Romeo: [00:23:33] Yeah. So probably, improving my overall GPA. That’s important for me especially if I want to apply for a masters or or even like have a profession in the medical field. So I think it’s important for me to improve my GPA and also maybe add another long term goal would be try to narrow down my options like try to see what I’m really really interested in within the medical field. I’m approaching third year so it’s important for me to get in that headspace.

Cath Anne: [00:24:08] Start to kind of hone that a little bit.

Romeo: [00:24:11] Exactly yeah.

Cath Anne: [00:24:12] Do you have any thoughts around where you might want to go with your degree?

Romeo: [00:24:16] Yeah. So I was thinking actually maybe I could try to apply for med school. It is really competitive and hard. That’s why it’s sort of like, you know.. but I’m still going try. And also I would really like doing research. That interests me a lot.

Cath Anne: [00:24:38] Oh yeah. So I feel like there are probably some pretty cool opportunities for that right now.

Romeo: [00:24:46] Yeah exactly so I’m gonna try to actually research more about that next year and try to see what I can do to fit that into maybe my schedule as like a working with a professor on a research or, yeah, so. I’ll try to figure more about that.

Cath Anne: [00:25:05] Awesome. That’s a great idea. So if you could summarize your life story what would you say?

Romeo: [00:25:18] My life story.

Cath Anne: [00:25:21] I know that’s always a big one. So my life story…

Romeo: [00:25:27] I would say that- as you know I moved here at a pretty young age and so I left my family behind in Lebanon, in Muscut. Like my dad’s behind- and oh God I don’t even know my life story.

Cath Anne: [00:25:43] That’s okay we can skip it.

Romeo: [00:25:47] What you say about your life story?

Cath Anne: [00:25:49] Oh good question. Oh jeez.

Romeo: [00:25:55] Putting you on the spot.

Cath Anne: [00:25:55] Yeah. I would say, I grew up in a pretty middle class family on the East Coast in Canada and I loved- I always had a love for helping people and facilitating. So I ended up studying social work so I went into the social work profession as I got older and I worked with homeless youth in Halifax and then I decided to go for my masters in Toronto but realized that social work was really hard on my heart so I wasn’t able to do that anymore. But I’m still. So now I’m back on the East Coast. Yeah and I still am doing some work in the social work field but now I do, I create content and I blog and also pursue another passion of mine which is writing. It’s amazing to live in this time that we’re able to, like you say with your your Instagram, you know- be creative.

Romeo: [00:27:04] Exactly. Wow I really love the answer.

Cath Anne: [00:27:08] Oh thank you. So what about you?

Romeo: [00:27:12] So yeah. Personally I love art and photography. I find that that’s kind of what I like about it like that. I guess with science and it’s sort of like I guess going into university I sort of had to choose between- the sciences like it kind of limits your creativity I guess because you’re not really right dealing with like art and that kind of stuff. But I still like to keep it like keep my hobbies alive I guess by doing art at home or you know that kind of stuff. I still love art and photography.

Cath Anne: [00:27:47] I think art and science I go really well together.

Romeo: [00:27:51] You think so?

Cath Anne: [00:27:53] Yeah. I had never really thought about it this way but I watched a show on Netflix yesterday, called The Creative Brain. You should look it up. It’s just a short 45 minute documentary, essentially. But the first woman that was on there was a scientist doing research on nanotechnology and she was talking about how important creativity is in the science field.

Romeo: [00:28:19] Wow, really?

Cath Anne: [00:28:19] Because you’re always innovating and you’re always have to try to think of new ideas or else you’re just doing the same thing. So it was already done.

Romeo: [00:28:29] I didn’t really think of it that way. So it all depends on your perspective. Yeah. That’s really cool actually.

Cath Anne: [00:28:35] Absolutely. So I think that your creativity and your science can go together.

Romeo: [00:28:41] You’re you’re actually right. Like that’s a really good point. I’m definitely.

Cath Anne: [00:28:45] I didn’t realize that. Yes you definitely should. It’s very short and really interesting. So I think you would enjoy it being a creative person.

Romeo: [00:28:53] Wow. That’s really good advice. Thank you.

Cath Anne: [00:28:56] You’re welcome. Plus it talks a lot about the brain and how the brain works.

Romeo: [00:28:59] Oh yeah that’ll be interesting to learn about.

Cath Anne: [00:29:01] Yeah for sure. Cool. So Romeo: Do you have a favorite motivational quote?

Romeo: [00:29:12] [00:29:12]So one of my favorite motivational quotes is actually “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” So I love that. To me it’s just so powerful because for like for most of us things don’t happen overnight you know. Right. So you have to I believe that you have to work the more progress you the more progress you make the closer you are to reaching your goals. [22.8s] And that’s what basically this quote is implying.

Cath Anne: [00:29:40] Absolutely. No I love that. I think that’s great advice and great.

Romeo: [00:29:45] I try to live by that.

Cath Anne: [00:29:47] Yeah definitely. It kind of puts things in perspective too.

Romeo: [00:29:52] [00:29:52]Exactly. So a lot of people they look for that shortcut but sometimes it’s about the journey and you learn a lot of things along the way and you learn a lot of things about yourself and about what your interests are by taking the long way sometimes. [15.8s]

Cath Anne: [00:30:09] Absolutely. One step at a time. Exactly. And finally. So what advice would you would you give to a student just entering college or university?

Romeo: [00:30:23] [00:30:23]So a big advice that I can give a student is try to involve yourself in the actual university. So whether that’s join their club or starting your own committee or even like playing sports, even. I think it’s important to keep your passions alive. Especially since you’re going into such a big change. It’s important to feel a familiar vibe from the University or even when you feel overwhelmed you can have that as your outlet you know. [33.0s]

Cath Anne: [00:30:58] Absolutely. I think that’s really important. I think so too and making connections. And like you say it feels like almost like you have a purpose or something. You’re giving back.

Romeo: [00:31:08] And plus you can also meet people that are in those clubs or committees that have the same mindset as you. So you don’t feel too far off.

Cath Anne: [00:31:18] That’s a great point too. Yeah definitely, well I think you’re doing great. And I can just tell you I have amazing things to offer the world. So thank you so much for joining us.

Romeo: [00:31:28] Thank you so much. And I’d like to say like thank you for creating such a helpful page for students like I know it’s hard for us sometimes when we don’t feel like we have enough resources but I just want to say thank you for being kind enough to help.

Cath Anne: [00:31:45] Oh that’s so nice of you to say thank you so much. It’s truly a passion for the company. So we’re happy to help where we can.

Cath Anne: [00:31:59] So that’s it for me this week guys. As always if you have any questions hit us up on our social media platforms using the hashtag #askHHG. Share your comments with us on YouTube Facebook Twitter or Instagram. Find us by searching Homework Help Global.

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