Growing Into Myself

Sohana (front, 2nd from right) at our end of term social event

My journey with Student Open Circles began in my second year of undergrad when I started volunteering at the Inasmuch Women’s Shelter. At that time, I was starting to feel burnt out with the hugely academic focus of university, and I wanted my university experience to go beyond books. I was rushing through the student centre one day to get to my next class, when the Student Open Circles CVA volunteering booth caught my eye. I decided to stop by later on in the day and joined the Inasmuch volunteer group. I saw this volunteer opportunity as a chance to make my semester more meaningful. I was excited to get a chance to serve the community and to explore and learn more about Hamilton.

At that time, I never knew how much I would learn about myself through this experience. I found joy in serving and wanted to get even more involved. I challenged myself to go outside of my comfort zone and stepped into a leadership role as a facilitator for a volunteer group. From then on, I became more and more involved with the reflection activities that Student Open Circles provides on campus. I recently participated in the Becoming Yourself Series, which was the catalyst for changing the way I perceive myself. All these experiences had a reflection into my daily life, where I grew to become a more accepting, confident, and compassionate person.

My second-year self would have never known how significant of an impact Student Open Circles would have on my life. I’m very glad that I came back to the student centre that day to stop by the volunteering booth. Marybeth and Jeff’s positivity, patience, and open-mindedness made this journey of growth possible and I am truly grateful to have them as mentors. I know that in the future, Student Open Circles will continue to help others grow into themselves and serve the needs of the community.