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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

A letter to class of 2020

April 21, 2020

Dear Class of 2020,

I understand how crazy, anxious and sad you must feel at this time. I understand how it sucks to not have a graduation. After four long years of hard work - no crossing the stage - at least for now. And let’s not get started on the job market. It feels like hardly any companies are hiring at this time. But the expenses are still ever-present. You probably have student loans that you’re thinking about. And overall, you’re trying to survive. And you feel you should have started saving for retirement yesterday.

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I get it. I hear you. I feel all this. 

I’m anxious too. Sometimes, I get up in the middle of the night and think about everything. Other times, it just hits home when I think about the fact that I’m finished university and I'm not sure what my next step is. 

And it’s all okay. Every feeling of sadness, anxiety, anger even. It’s okay for us to feel this way. It’s understandable but I’m confident that things are going to get better. Yes, this is a strange time. A time like nothing we’ve ever seen and everything seems awry but we’re going to be okay. 

We won’t have graduation, at least not for now, and that hurts. But I’m choosing to celebrate myself, and you should too. Here’s how I plan to celebrate: 

Call up some friends and sip some wine over Skype or Facetime

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Treat myself to some good food! (I’m gonna cook up a storm)

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Dive into my bed and just feel the comfort of my pillows and covers

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SMILE. We made it. Going to university for 4 years is no easy feat. And we did it! We did the damn thing! 

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As for the job market, we can’t do much about that. There’s no telling when things will change. You may find that no one’s hiring for your dream job. And that sucks. But if you’re lucky, you may see other jobs that are up your alley. Take them. Occupy yourself for the time being. Any experience can be good experience. You’ll learn something. You’ll meet new people. And you’ll make some money to get you through COVID-19. It may not be what you want to do forever but it’s a start.

And if you can’t find anything, that’s okay too. I'm planning on taking this time to get ready. And stay ready. Take the time to really sit with your resume. Ask yourself, “Am I selling myself in the best way?” “Is it up to current recruiting standards?” Maybe it’s time to update your LinkedIn profile, too. Take a new photo. Update your skills section and your experience. Reach out to your connections. Be active. The Career Centre has virtual supports available to help with these things, and even graduates can use them.

It’s also a great time to think about your skills. What can you learn during this time? Well, a whole lot. Take some free courses online that will enhance your chances of gaining opportunities in your field. There are sites like LinkedIn Learning (free for Ontario Tech students and grads), Coursera and so many others! (I plan on doing this too). 

But in all this, don’t feel you have to get it done today or tomorrow even. Take it all a day at a time. Step by step. I’m constantly fighting this feeling that I’m behind or that I will be. And maybe you feel that way too but you’re not. You’re right where you should be, believe it or not. 

Focus on your health and your safety. Focus on the things you can control and the things you can’t, there’s no use fussing over. You’re still amazing if you sleep until noon. It’s okay if you’ve been spending all day in your jammies. This is a judgement-free zone! 

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You’re allowed. This is a very difficult time. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just remember, take it one day at a time. You’re doing the best you can and your best is good enough. 

So caps off to us, class of 2020! 

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