Name: Simon Wassef @wassssef
School: St. Thomas University
Major: Psychology and Criminology
Fav Thing About Your Campus: The atmosphere of inclusiveness that is sparked from a campus of just under two thousand students!
Dream Job: Motivational Speaker
What is your connection to mental illness?
I have battled depression, worked through anxiety, and coped with post traumatic stress in my life for the past two years. In August of 2015 I lost Thomas, a member of what I would consider my second family to mental illness. It felt impossible to move past this reality, but with the constant support of my friends and family I have learned to cope and continue to grow with my fragile mental wellness.
I have experienced times in my life where I was ready to give up on myself, and everyone who loved me. To continue to not only live life, but to thrive took slow and steady dedication to all things beautiful. The sea does not erode massive cliffs with one push, but many years of perseverance giving its all each and every day. No matter your situation, keep in mind that it is not your final destination, there is always love to be found within yourself and others.
How do you deal with stress from school?
To this day I frequently experience emotions that overpower me, and school is no exception. Keeping on top of your schoolwork so that you don’t end up with an overwhelming amount before a big deadline is essential. It’s important to find others who know where you’re coming from if you’re having a bad day, and to reach out to the support systems across campus. Acknowledge all your blessings and work towards your goals.
What does your campus do to help with students' mental health?
St. Thomas University promotes a healthy mind by offering free gym memberships to students, free counselling services, a writing centre where upper years can give you suggestions on your papers, and puppies during exam week!
Do you have any school year self-care tips to share with other students?
Work hard towards your schoolwork, but work twice as hard towards things that make you feel alive. There is no replacement for pure happiness. If you find yourself feeling down then remind yourself why you have come this far, then look to the stars and dream of how far you will go. Keep your head up and smiling!
What are you most looking forward to this semester?
I am personally looking forward to making a positive impact on my small campus as a friend to all. My goal is to be recognized as an approachable person, whether I am a close friend or a stranger.