We’ve discovered some common themes in our discussions with students on our Student Influencers podcast, such as managing stress, efficiency and organization, and personal development and growth. It just so happens that we had a conversation with Leila Sundac this week on Student Influencers, who offered some overview into these very topics. Leila is a young woman studying a degree in Business Management in downtown Toronto. Leila has accepted the big change from her hometown of Windsor, Ontario, and is keeping a level head while establishing long-term goals, fueled by her entrepreneurial brilliance and love of animals. What, you might wonder, do business management and animals have in common? To learn more about Leila’s long-term goals, continue reading or listen to the podcast.
Leila’s sincerity was immediately apparent as soon as she picked up the phone. We were entirely grateful for Leila’s willingness to share her story. Leila was born in Windsor, Ontario, and she, like many others who move from a smaller city to a larger one like Toronto, is excited about the chance to network.
Leila is excited to pursue a career in real estate in Toronto’s big city environment. Toronto is a fast-paced city, whereas Windsor is a little slower. Nonetheless, I have the impression that Toronto is a good fit for Leila, a young, vibrant woman.
Leila studies at Ryerson University. If you’ve never been to Ryerson, imagine a campus in the heart of a thriving, bustling city center.
For to arrive at school, she has take the streetcar and the metro (subway). When you get off the subway, you’re thrown into the darkness of an underground subway tunnel, where everyone else is listening to podcasts or the morning news. Your shoulders are bumped, and you are pushed toward a set of stairs leading to an above-ground light. As you ascend the stairs, you are surrounded by skyscrapers, lights, billboards, and hundreds of people.
Ryerson University is located in the heart of downtown Toronto. The ideal setting for a university with over 100 degree programmes and a plethora of graduate specializations. Leila is confident in her decision to attend Ryerson’s Global Management Program, and she believes that the proximity of her apartment to her school is one of the keys to her academic success and management of her hectic lifestyle.
Efficiency is essential
Leila is striving for efficiency as she tries to make the most of her university life. Leila, like many of the students we’ve interviewed, manages her time using a combination of a physical agenda and a digital schedule. Leila discovers that through time management, she is able to find time to socialize while also succeeding in her studies:
You can find time to socialize and write if you write down what tasks need to be completed, when they are due, and important dates. It is critical to maximize your time in an efficient manner in order to maintain a healthy work, school, and social life.
Leila is dedicated to finding balance in her life, and she believes that sticking to a schedule reduces stress while increasing efficiency. Putting all of your commitments and tasks on paper or on a whiteboard helps to provide a visual representation of upcoming deadlines and expectations. Fortunately, in this day and age, there are numerous online apps that can assist students in managing their time by delegating organization to technology. Students can avoid last-minute panic attacks by anticipating what will happen.
Learning from Experiences: Dealing with Stress as a Student
Leila’s first day of lectures was stressful. She was starting a new program at a large university in downtown Toronto and meeting classmates for the first time. New students frequently fail to recognize that beginning a university program entails additional challenges. For some students, starting university is the first time they will have to cook their own meals, go grocery shopping, keep a budget, or pay rent. These are additional stressors to the pressures of starting an academic course. Managing stress is critical during these major life transitions.
Whenever it comes to stress, Leila maintains a positive attitude. Although there are negative forms of stress that can be debilitating, it can also serve as a motivator if you have the proper coping skills.
When I asked Leila about her favorite university experience to date, she surprised me by saying that her most memorable day was her first day of her lectures. She stated that she began her day shaking from fear. Despite her nerves, Leila attended class. It only took her 5 minutes to realize that everything was going to be fine. Leila remembers that time as a period of personal development. When she starts a new task or begins a new environment, she can put her stress in point of view and relax into the experience.
Everyone experiences stress, especially when embarking on a new endeavor. Stress can be a motivational factor in small doses, but when it becomes excessive, it can lead to mental health problems and other problems. Stress management through meditation, planning ahead of time, and making time for self-care are all important components of living a healthy lifestyle.
Leila is an excellent example of a resourceful student who has learned how to manage stress while navigating a major life challenge. She sees her first day as a memory that she can use to stimulate her future ambitions. Some students, however, may lack the coping skills necessary to manage stress effectively. In such situations, students must seek appropriate assistance. Check out Episode 5 of the GradeOffice Show for more information on stress and management skills.
Maintain an Open Mind and Appreciate New Experiences
Leila firmly believes that university is a chance to broaden her horizons. During her first year in the university, she worked at Kate Spade before becoming a server at a nearby restaurant. Aside from the advantage of having some extra cash in her pocket, Leila believes that her jobs have helped her skill set. She suggests that other students consider getting a part-time job to help them balance their responsibilities.
Leila’s journey is enriched by her gratitude for the opportunity to try new things. According to Leila, she is constantly working on her personal development. She described how she maintains a positive attitude:
I believe that new experiences have a significant impact on how you deal with life. You must understand that, at the end of the day, it is critical to learn how to balance all parts of your life.
But it’s also critical that you learn life lessons along the way. Remembering this and not only concentrating on the difficulties they must face to get there, but also remembering that you have goals that you are working towards and that you must have a clear mind to get there.
Two themes that emerged from our conversation with Leila were keeping an eye on the future and appreciating any opportunities that come your way. Establishing and concentrating on goals has allowed Leila to enjoy her life experiences and the knowledge she has gained along the way.
Trust Your Instincts
Leila is a firm believer in following your instincts. She claims to have learned this through trial and error. She began her university career by taking a few courses that she soon realized were not for her.
Leila decided to pursue Business Management with a minor in real estate after much deliberation and consideration of her life path. She motivates other students to be true to themselves and to take the risk if they suspect they are not in the right field. Leila believes that if you are willing to take a risk, it will pay off handsomely in the long run, despite the discomfort it may cause at first.
Strive for Greatness and Develop Long-Term Goals
Most students view the summer as a time to relax and reenergize, this is not the case for Leila, she is working toward a long-term goal by learning Spanish. Leila and I talked about how much we both enjoy the free app Duolingo, which allows you to practice and learn several languages. While studying Spanish is Leila’s short-term goal, it is linked to one of her long-term goals.
Leila’s long-term goal is to use her business management degree to become a real estate agent. Her ultimate goal, however, is to use the knowledge she gained at university and combine it with her love of animals to establish a non-profit organization that will rescue animals around the globe.
When Leila visited Mexico for the first time, she was inspired to begin her journey to protect animals. She never realized how much she loved animals until she was surrounded by the country’s hundreds of abandoned animals. She believes that by collaborating with others who share her passion, she will be able to improve the lives of animals globally.
While her ultimate goal appears to be a long way away, Leila is taking steps toward it every day, such as learning Spanish this summer.
I felt inspired and motivated after my conversation with Leila. No matter where you are in your life’s journey, it is easy to become paralyzed by fear, making it difficult to pursue your dreams. Leila is constantly striving to be true to herself and to cultivate a positive attitude. She sent me this quote by David Goggins from his book Can’t Hurt Me:
“Things will not always go your way. So don’t get caught up in the notion that just because you’ve imagined a possibility for yourself, you somehow expect it. Your entitled mind is useless; let it go. Don’t get caught up in what you believe you deserve. “Set your sights on what you’re willing to learn.”
Leila believes that we should not become engrossed in a sense of entitlement because it is ultimately futile. We must all work for what we have. Leila motivated us to pursue our dreams and goals no matter where we are in life. Listen to our Student Influencers podcast for more on Leila’s point of view.
We would be delighted to hear from you. How are you achieving your objectives? Is there anything in your life that is preventing you from moving forward? Connect with us on social media by searching GradeOffice.com, and stay tuned for upcoming episodes.
Goggins, D. (2018). Cant Hurt Me. Lioncrest Publishing.
Learn a language for free. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.duolingo.com/
Good Stress, Bad Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ulifeline.org/articles/450-good-stress-bad-stress
THE COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT OF OUR PODCAST INTERACTION WITH LEILA SUNDAC
Cath Anne: [00:00:00] Leila Sundac joins us today on this student influencers podcast. Leila is a young woman who lives in downtown Toronto and is studying Business Management. Leila has accepted the big change from her hometown of Windsor, Ontario, and is working to achieve her goals by keeping a level head and setting long-term goals, driven by her love of animals and business skills. What is common between business management and animals have in common? You’ll have to stay tuned in to learn more about Leila’s long-term goals.
Cath Anne: [00:00:35] Leila We’re delighted to have you. Thank you for joining us on this Student Influencers podcast.
Leila Sundac: [00:00:44] Thank you very much. I’m extremely happy to be able to assist others and provide feedback on my school’s progress so far.
Cath Anne: [00:00:51] That’s fantastic; we love bringing together influencers and students. And it’s always a good opportunity to share some knowledge and advice with students who are going through similar experiences.
Leila Sundac: Sundac: [00:01:04] I’m delighted.
Cath Anne: [00:01:06] That’s fantastic. So, Leila, before we began our conversation, we briefly talked about where you’re currently residing and your origin- would you be able to share what you’re up to right now?
Leila Sundac: [00:01:17] Yep. I’m currently enrolled at Ryerson University. I’m about to start my second year of business management. I’m studying global management and minoring in real estate, but I’m initially from Windsor, Ontario, which is about a four and a half hours drive from Toronto.
Cath Anne: [00:01:34] It is a drastic change from Windsor, I’d say. Yes, there is a significant difference between the two cities.
Leila Sundac: [00:01:39] Certainly. a hundred percent Windsor is so small and quiet, and I feel like there aren’t many opportunities to network and spread your name because everyone already knows each other.However, coming to Toronto has great opportunities as you don’t know anyone. Sorry. It’s a perfect idea to get your name out there and start laying the groundwork for your future.
Cath Anne: [00:02:00] Certainly. So, how did you find the change from going to a more busy and active place?
Leila Sundac: [00:02:08] [00:02:08] Definitely, certainly in terms of business, where you have to understand how to adjust to the busy and not let it stress you out too much, while in Windsor everything moves slowly hence you have adequate time to attend to all of your responsibilities, although when you’re living alone as a student in such a crazy place, you really do have to adapt and learn. [17.5s]
Cath Anne: [00:02:26] And it appears that you’ve adjusted fairly well.
Leila Sundac: [00:02:30] I believe so.
Cath Anne: [00:02:32] The tone of your voice suggests intelligence, and you appear to be enjoying your experience this long. Yes. So you’re a Ryerson student. Do you reside close to campus, because I understand it’s right downtown?
Leila Sundac: [00:02:45] Yes, I am fortunate to live in an apartment that my two best friends enjoy about ten minutes from my school. So not having to commute makes things a lot easier..
Cath Anne: [00:02:56] Okay. So, you do not have to drive to school??
Leila Sundac: [00:02:58] That’s right.
Cath Anne: [00:02:59] Oh, that’s great. That’s fantastic. As I said before we jumped in. I did live in Toronto and attend Ryerson University. I lived in the King East neighborhood, so I had a little bit of a commute, but yeah. It was a lot of fun and nice to walk around afterwards. It’s distinct. So you’re a Ryerson student, and your college and major are-.
Leila Sundac: [00:03:28] I’m studying Global Management.
Cath Anne: [00:03:29] Right. Global Administration. And so, as you begin your second year, how would you describe the differences between high school and university?
Leila Sundac: [00:03:43] [00:03:43] From my experiences it is certain to say that high school is very distinct from any post-secondary education you may pursue. Mostly because, like the majority of your teachers, you are responsible for everything. They don’t coddle you or constantly remind you that you have a test or assignments due tomorrow. For the most part, it is entirely your responsibility. [16.5s]
Cath Anne: [00:04:00] Totally correct. So you’re essentially in charge of your education and your life.
Leila Sundac: [00:04:06] Definetly.
Cath Anne: [00:04:08] As a result, how would you rate your ability to manage the transition from high school to university thus far?
Leila Sundac: [00:04:16] [00:04:16] I would certainly argue that having a schedule is essential because you don’t realize how important and useful an agenda is until you get to university or any post-secondary institution because I know that if I hadn’t planned out every single one of my days, I would have been ten times more stressed than I already was. So, if you write down what tasks must be completed, what is due each day, and important dates, you will be able to find time to socialize and write. Making the most of your time is critical to maintaining a healthy work, school, and social life. So adhering to that agenda is unquestionably the best way to stay on top of everything.
Cath Anne: [00:04:50] That is something I completely agree with. And, as I’ve been conducting these interviews, that seems to be the main point that people keep returning to. As a result, students will return to the concept of organization. Now, I’d like to know if you prefer paper agendas or Google Calendar?
Leila Sundac: [00:05:10] Surprisingly, I alternate between the two.
Cath Anne: [00:05:12] OK.
Leila Sundac: [00:05:12] I feel like everything depends on how much I have, but I like having it written down so I don’t forget anything. So I have a board on my wall where I write down everything I need for the week because that’s what I see when I wake up in the morning when I go to bed. That is the first thing I notice. So I never forget what I’m working on that day.
Cath Anne: [00:05:33] That’s a fantastic idea. That would be extremely beneficial, in my opinion. Just keep everything in the forefront of your mind.
Leila Sundac: [00:05:40] That’s right. And having it literally right in front of you is the ideal way to accomplish this.
Cath Anne: [00:05:45] Amazing. I don’t think it’s all that strange to have various approaches. I believe you must do what works best for you.
Leila Sundac: [00:05:53] Definetly.
Cath Anne: [00:05:56] Consequently, Leila Could you tell me about one of your most memorable activities in your university life so far?
Leila Sundac: [00:06:03] For sure. [00:06:04] So far, my favorite memory is the first day of my lecture. Oh, and that’s only because I can now look back on it and laugh, and use it to alert myself that it’s completely pointless to cause myself pain over something new. I recall shaking so much because I was so scared, and it took me about five minutes to understand that everything was going to be fine by the time I got into my first class.
Cath Anne: [00:06:30] So, in that course, are the class sizes large?
Leila Sundac: [00:06:32] Yes the program has a lot of students pursuing it.
Cath Anne: [00:06:35] It’s one of the biggest universities.
Leila Sundac: [00:06:36] Definetly.
Cath Anne: [00:06:36] So, what was the feeling on your next lecture?
Leila Sundac: [00:06:42] Oh, this time it was definitely great.
Cath Anne: [00:06:44] So you were just nerves on the first day.
Leila Sundac: [00:06:46] Actually.Yeah
Cath Anne: [00:06:48] What can I say, that’s completely normal.
Leila Sundac: [00:06:50] Yes, but now that I think about it, I’m like, oh my goodness. Why did I put myself through all that when it was completely pointless?
Cath Anne: [00:06:58] Without a doubt. But, you know, you can only think about things like that in retrospect?
Leila Sundac: [00:07:03] Sure, and just think of it as a way to advance.
Cath Anne: [00:07:06] Absolutely. So, do you consider yourself to have had any struggles or challenges so far?
Leila Sundac: [00:07:14] [00:07:14] Oh, I believe that everyone must face some sort of difficulty, especially when adapting to something completely new. So I undoubtedly had some challenges as a first-year student, moving away from home and having to start making your own routines that focus solely on your schedule, which can be stressful and distracting when it comes to concentrating on your homework. Because you have to find a way to balance things like what errands you need to run, what other projects you need to start, and so on. So, overall, I’d say my biggest challenge was prioritizing, but it’s definitely something you can get better at over time.
Cath Anne: [00:07:51] Correct. As a result, the scheduling has aided you. Are there any other approaches you’ve discovered that have aided you, or is simply living close to everything beneficial?
Leila Sundac: [00:08:03] Oh, residing close surely helps because I feel like I can devote more time to schoolwork instead of commuting, but that’s obviously not an alternative for everyone, so I would just say to take it one step at a time because if you keep thinking about everything that needs to be done, you’ll just stress yourself to the point of not being able to remember anything.
Cath Anne: [00:08:24] Certainly. I completely agree. So, returning to some of your favorite memories, how do you consider going to school and living in downtown Toronto?
Leila Sundac: [00:08:37] Can’t complain. It’s a great experience.
Cath Anne: [00:08:39] You definetly enjoy it.
Leila Sundac: [00:08:39] Yeah sure, I enjoy it; it’s very exciting. It’s never boring, and it keeps my busy during the day, so I don’t even have time to think about the negative; it’s always positive energy.
Cath Anne: [00:08:52] Okay sounds fantastic.
Leila Sundac: [00:08:53] For sure. So far, it has been fantastic. And I’m grateful for that.
Cath Anne: [00:08:58] That’s fantastic, and it sounds like you have a decent system with your roommates and such. So, are you all finished with your exams right now?
Leila Sundac: [00:09:05] Yes, they have all been completed.
Cath Anne: [00:09:08] Wow, Congrats. So, do you intend to spend the summer in the city?
Leila Sundac: [00:09:13] I’m residing at home right now, having returned to Windsor for the summer. But I’m planning on returning in July and starting some work there, as well as preparing for school and returning to my own schedule.
Cath Anne: [00:09:26] Re-establishing oneself.
Leila Sundac: [00:09:28] Of-course.
Cath Anne: [00:09:28] That’s a fantastic idea.
Leila Sundac: [00:09:30] Gracias.
Cath Anne: [00:09:31] So, in terms of your studies, I understand that your program is likely to be intensive, with a lot to learn, particularly in your first and second years. So, tell us, how many hours would you say you’ve spent studying?
Leila Sundac: [00:09:52] If I thought about it, I would say that the amount of time I spend studying is very much dependent on how my week goes. However on average , which means not during midterm or finals period, I would actually study for three to four hours per day, for a total of twenty one to twenty eight hours weekly.
Cath Anne: [00:10:11] Wow. That is extensive.
Leila Sundac: [00:10:13] Absolutely.
Cath Anne: [00:10:15] So, did you work or do anything else while you were studying, or did you discover it more beneficial to stay at school?
Leila Sundac: [00:10:23] So, during the first semester, I worked as a seasonal employee at Kate Spade. After which, during the second semester, I worked in a restaurant. Working in finance was unquestionably advantageous to me. I would only endorse it because it will help you learn how to balance responsibilities and time management. And, absolutely, having a little extra money to treat yourself from time to time never harm.
Cath Anne: [00:10:48] Certainly. Especially if you live in a pricey city like Toronto. That’s fantastic. And if you were to propose it to other students, would you say it could be beneficial in terms of future references or work experiences?
Leila Sundac: [00:11:05] Undoubtedly. I’m all about developing a good resume, and I believe it’s critical to have a variety of jobs in different fields. I stayed mostly in retail, as I was in Windsor, and then I somehow expanded to Toronto, and then I was an employee in a restaurant, which is now something different I can put on. It’s just good to have a wide range of skills, even if only for a short period of time, because learning new things is really valuable.
Cath Anne: [00:11:29] Certainly, and the advantage of working in a serving job or a restaurant is that those skills are usable. So, if you choose to continue your studies, you always have something to fall back on while you’re in school.
Leila Sundac: [00:11:44] Definitely.
Cath Anne: [00:11:47] So, we’ve already talked about planning, but how would you describe your ability to handle all of your responsibilities as a student? Paying for tuition or studying, controlling your social life, and working are just a few examples.
Leila Sundac: [00:12:05] So, as I previously stated, having a schedule is critical when it comes to balancing everything. But it’s also about having a good time.
Cath Anne: [00:12:15] That’s okay.
Leila Sundac: [00:12:17] [00:12:17] Therefore, I believe that new experiences have a significant impact on how you handle everything in terms of balancing it, because you must recognize that, at the end of the day, it is critical to find a way to balance all of those aspects. But it’s also critical that you learn life lessons along the way. So just keep that in mind, not only concentrating on the difficulties they must face to get there, but also recalling that you do have goals that you’re working towards and that you need to have a sharp mind to achieve. [31.4s]
Cath Anne: [00:12:50] Truly. That is excellent advice. That is something I wish I had known when I was your age.
Leila Sundac: [00:12:58] I had to learn and adapt, without a doubt. So I believe that is my origin.
Cath Anne: [00:13:03] Clearly. You seem to have grabbed the bull by the horns and figured out life pretty quickly. That’s fantastic.
Leila Sundac: [00:13:12] Thank you.
Cath Anne: [00:13:13] This is a funny question, and I know a lot of people enjoy it. However, if you could go back in time and talk to your 15-year-old self – say, Leila in high school – what would advice and what would you recommend to her?
Leila Sundac: [00:13:29] Well, 15-year-old Leila was almost as overwhelmed as 19-year-old Leila. So I’d possibly start by telling myself that the stress isn’t worth it in the end because, as I mentioned, I found myself stressing over school even when I was only 15 and it wasn’t until this year that I realized that’s something that really needs to change because stress can be such a huge factor in ruining someone’s mental health. And I believe it’s critical not to worry about the minor details or overthink the major ones because, in the end, I believe everything works out as it should. So I’d just say, “Calm down.” Relax, please.
Cath Anne: [00:14:09] So, did you experience a lot of social stressors in high school, or were you more concerned with school and academics.
Leila Sundac: [00:14:18] [00:14:18] I was extremely stressed about school in high school because there is so much pressure on you to figure out your life in high school. And I believe that is not where the emphasis should be placed. Because school is always there, it should be like discovering what you like and what you could potentially see yourself doing. So I don’t think you should stress yourself out trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life because, in the end, I think that messes up some people’s paths. Mostly because you spent four years convincing yourself that this is what you want to do, and then many people find themselves in Grade 12 completely changing their minds. And then they think it’s a terrible thing, but it’s not because you change so much as a person in high school. And this is only going to worsen.
Cath Anne: [00:15:03] Definitely, and I agree in the sense that I’m much older than you and have gone through similar experiences; you know, you transform as a person throughout your life. So I think it’s wonderful advice to say that you don’t have to stick to just one thing and that you can change things up as you progress.
Leila Sundac: [00:15:22] Without a doubt. That’s fantastic.
Cath Anne: [00:15:25] I believe 15-year-old Leila would appreciate that advice.
Leila Sundac: [00:15:28] I’m certain she would as well.
Cath Anne: [00:15:36] You appear to be a fairly goal-oriented individual.
Leila Sundac: [00:15:39] Absolutely.
Cath Anne: [00:15:39] Do you currently have any short-term and/or long-term objectives that you’re occupied in?
Leila Sundac: [00:15:46] So, for the time being, my short-term goals, particularly while I’m in Windsor, are to learn Spanish. I want to study Spanish because I think it’s a wonderful language and I want to be able to communicate in it. So I’ve just slowly begun that, and I’ve also been concentrating on sort of getting into a health kick.
Cath Anne: [00:16:08] That’s very nice.
Leila Sundac: [00:16:09] That’s right . And its just like trying to help my body to live physically and mentally in Toronto. So I’ve just been working out and getting back on a healthy eating routine so that I can carry it over when I return. So those are my short-term objectives for the time being.
Cath Anne: [00:16:25] Setting those healthy habits before returning to school is a fantastic idea. In terms of the language, do you use an app or do you teach yourself?
Leila Sundac: [00:16:37] As a result, I’m making use of Duolingo.
Cath Anne: [00:16:38] Oh, that’s a fantastic app. That’s something I’ve been doing as well.
Leila Sundac: [00:16:41] It’s fantastic. So I did that, and I also watched some YouTube videos. Just incase I get conflicted with verbs and past tense and other such things because they are difficult to learn. Those are my two suggestions.
Cath Anne: [00:16:54] Those are fantastic objectives. What about long-term objectives?
Leila Sundac: [00:16:57] So, because I’m still doing a real estate minor, I’m hoping that once I graduate, I’ll be able to get my certificate to work as an agent. And then I’d like to start with that to kind of get the momentum going. However, as with my ultimate goal, it will incorporate more of my global management degree, and I hope to create a non-profit organization that saves animals around the globe.
Cath Anne: [00:17:23] That’s definitely fantastic.
Leila Sundac: [00:17:24] It’s been my goal since I was a kid because I love animals and it’s something I’m very passionate about, so that’s what I want to do with my life.
Cath Anne: [00:17:33] What an interesting way to put that degree and knowledge to use because many people work with animals or as a vet or vet technician or something similar. But what a novel way to look at it.
Leila Sundac: [00:17:49] Gracias.
Cath Anne: [00:17:51] What prompted you to consider it as one of your goals in the first place?
Leila Sundac: [00:17:56] So you never noticed how much you loved something until you were placed in a position where you were surrounded by it. And it was unusual because when I went to Mexico a few years ago, I saw so many abandoned animals, like stray dogs and cats, and it really hurt my heart. So I was like, “I feel as if I’m so fascinated about something like this, I can create an organization that I don’t generally have to get a degree in, but I can help run it, and then I can discover people who are passionate about helping animals in a certain way.” And we can all work together to help by combining our degrees.
Cath Anne: [00:18:34] That’s incredible. What a brilliant idea. So I’m guessing the language component will fit in nicely as well.
Leila Sundac: [00:18:43] Precisely. I’m sure I’d like to learn a lot more.
Cath Anne: [00:18:47] That’s incredible. Congratulations. And, in terms of your short-term and long-term goals, do you intend to stay in Toronto once you complete your degree?
Leila Sundac: [00:18:59] I could undoubtedly see myself residing in Toronto for a couple of years while I start my life in the real world, like a full-grown adult. Nevertheless, after that, I could easily see myself relocating to Europe, particularly Croatia. I visited there a few years ago and fell in love with it – and the customs and the people – so I think it would be great to live there for a while. But I intend to do a lot of bouncing around.
Cath Anne: [00:19:23] Yes, on global studies and real estate. That is yet another skill that is completely transferable. So if you’re interested in travel, you should look into it.
Leila Sundac: [00:19:33] It definitely took some time—it was a long process, to be honest. But I’m glad I think I’ve found my niche.
Cath Anne: [00:19:40] So tell me how you figured it out. Because I believe it will be beneficial to others.
Leila Sundac: [00:19:45] So, finallly, I planned to major in marketing, and that’s what I proclaimed as my major. And then, as the semester progressed, I found myself becoming increasingly disinterested in the class itself, and I was just thinking to myself that I was going to get bored with it.
Cath Anne: [00:20:03] Right.
Leila Sundac: [00:20:03] [00:20:03] So I feel like it’s something that when it clicks in your head that you’re sitting in class, you’re like, “I don’t want to be here.” That’s how you know it’s not what you should be doing because you don’t want to go to work every day thinking, “I don’t want to be here.” So that was a big eye opener for me, sitting in class and thinking, “This isn’t what I want to do.”
Cath Anne: [00:20:25] So you went with your instincts. That is incredible.
Leila Sundac: [00:20:28] Sure, I believe that is very important, particularly when you’re in university and you’re intended to make these decisions so quickly, such as at Ryerson, where you have to choose your major before second year because you start taking classes that correspond with your major by second year.
Cath Anne: [00:20:42] Right.
Leila Sundac: [00:20:42] So you just have to believe in yourself and how much you can see yourself achievin.
Cath Anne: [00:20:48] Congratulations. That is a significant decision to make.
Leila Sundac: [00:20:51] Definitely right.
Cath Anne: [00:20:52] True. And many people, like you, would be hesitant to trust themselves enough to take that risk. So proud of you for sticking to your guns. And it appears that you’ve discovered something about which you’re extremely enthusiastic.
Leila Sundac: [00:21:05] Sure. That’s because I believed in myself. So that’s another piece of advice I’d offer.
Cath Anne: [00:21:12] Okay. That’s excellent advice, and I believe it will be very beneficial to many people. A summary of your life story – one more question that people enjoy because it’s always a big question – but to give a brief story of your life, what would you say, Leila.
Leila Sundac: [00:21:33] [00:21:33] Briefly my entire 19-year journey, I would say. I’d say it starts with the girl, which is me, who had a lot of plans since she was a kid but was stuck in this city, Windsor, where I couldn’t see them coming true. So, after a few years and after graduating from high school, I discovered a city, Toronto, where I could see my future unfolding and really take off. So I just decided to make the move as soon as possible and not scare myself into staying here and in the comfort. [32.6s] But I’m forcing myself to move away because [00:22:09] I believe that taking such risks is extremely important, and it is even more important because it allows you to grow as a person. So, instead of sticking with the familiar, I’m willing to take a risk.
Cath Anne: [00:22:23] Awesome. That life story is fascinating to me. Continue later.
Leila Sundac: [00:22:27] True.
Cath Anne: [00:22:29] Good things are on the way. That’s incredible. That’s fantastic. There are tidbits of information woven in here and there. So, to round out this fantastic interview, could you please share one of your favorite inspirational quotes?
Leila Sundac: [00:22:45] Yes, I believe I can. So, this is taken from a book. David Goggins’ song is called Can’t Hurt Me. And he was classified mainly as the world’s strongest man, and he wrote a book about it. According to a book quote: [00:23:01] “Things will not always go your way. So don’t get caught up in the notion that just because you’ve imagined a possibility for yourself, you somehow deserve it. Your entitled mind is useless; let it go. Don’t get caught up in what you believe you deserve. “Set your sights on what you’re willing to earn.” [14.0s]
Cath Anne: [00:23:16] Impressive. So, Leila, what does that imply for you?
Leila Sundac: [00:23:19] This really implies that [00:23:21]you can’t keep yourself stuck in the notion that just because you’ve been thinking about something for a long time, it’s what you need and deserve. I believe it simply means that you should think about the future and what you’re ready to learn and do to achieve your goals rather than wallowing in the hardships that you’ll have to endure to get there.
Cath Anne: [00:23:46] And having said that, I like the concept of entitlement being a dead weight.
Leila Sundac: [00:23:51] Absolutely.
Cath Anne: [00:23:55] That’s really cool. That’s an intriguing quote. So, now that you’ve given these good feedback to the students who will be listening to this, do you have any kind of final piece of advice that you’d like to summarize everything with, or that you’d give to a college student center?
Leila Sundac: [00:24:17] Yes, absolutely. [00:24:19] Something I managed to learn, which is probably my main piece of advice aside from don’t stress, is never being afraid to ask for help since you need to realize and open your mind to the fact that everyone at your school was going through the exact same thing you are now. [16.9s] This includes upper year students, your professors, and there are always people to help you. Also, I would recommend that you always check the bulletin boards. There is always something going on that you are unaware of until you check the bulletin board. I know it’s ridiculous, but if you want to participate, keep up with it.
Cath Anne: [00:25:00] That’s excellent advice, especially in this day and age when we’re all buried in our phones. Most of us get our data and insights, I don’t know if anyone uses Facebook regularly anymore, but on Facebook or Instagram, so you may miss out on items and bulletin boards.
Leila Sundac: [00:25:22] Precisely. As a result, I would always advise you to keep an eye on them because your school may be posting events on bulletin boards that they do not want to publicize on social media. Sometimes the more exclusive events are the ones where you can really network and get your name out there.
Cath Anne: [00:25:36] Oh, that’s fantastic advice. That’s fantastic. Also, ask for assistance. Yes, that is a significant one. I believe there is sometimes a lot of stigma associated with seeking assistance.
Leila Sundac: [00:25:48] Oh, absolutely, and even I rarely ask for help, which is what made my first semester so difficult because Ryerson provides several free tutoring programs and people who have gone through the exact same scenario that you have and they’re there to help you and that’s what their job is primarily, so if I could go back in time, one thing I would do differently is ask for more help because I know it would have only helped me.
Cath Anne: [00:26:14] That is excellent advice. Fantastic. Is there anything else you’d like to say before we wrap up the interview?
Leila Sundac: [00:26:22] [00:26:22] To anyone entering any type of post-secondary education, remember that everything will be fine, and that you are working towards something more important than [11.3s] what you are stressing about right now. So that’s what I’d say.
Cath Anne: [00:26:39] Thank you very much. I think i’m Getting a bunch of great life advice.
Leila Sundac: [00:26:43] That pleases me.
Cath Anne: [00:26:44] That’s incredible. Thank you very much, Leila!
Leila Sundac: [00:26:49] I appreciate the invitation.
Cath Anne: [00:26:51] Thanks for your time I’m aware you’re very busy, as are all students. Although it is summer, I can tell you are still working toward your goal.
Leila Sundac: [00:27:01] Always on it.
Cath Anne: [00:27:03] Thank you for your time, and it’s been a great joy working with you.
Leila Sundac: [00:27:09] I appreciate. Thank you very much for having me. I enjoy things like this, so I’m always willing to help.
Cath Anne: [00:27:16] Fantastic I’m confident that all of the listeners will benefit greatly from this.
Leila Sundac: [00:27:22] Wonderful.
Cath Anne: [00:27:22] Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Student Influencers podcast. Other episodes of the series can be found on your preferred audio streaming platform. And hey, if you need study tips, help with essay writing, or advice on how to be a better student, let me know. View The GradeOffice Show on YouTube and follow us on social media by looking for GradeOffice . Take care and speak soon, guys.