Skyrocket Your Success + Happiness!

* I want to start this post by saying thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the soldiers who lost their lives fighting for my country’s freedom, those still serving us today and all of their families and loved ones. Living in a home that is free and safe from war is something I will never take for granted. *

Good morning, guys! I am currently writing this in the most blissed out, happy-with-life mood, which is seriously awesome considering today should have been incredibly stressful and exhausting! Between my theme disintegrating last night/this morning, to quite literally being busy working + running around from 6am-9pm NON.STOP. (I even ate while working), you would think I finished my day by collapsing in a heap on the ground. But I actually didn’t even want to stop! I felt so good about my productivity and more importantly I was happy with what I was doing that it didn’t feel like work. Crazy, huh?

happy-pictureThese days I take obnoxiously close-up selfies and post them to Instagram.

So I feel like I have had a major epiphany over this last week since my computer science midterm. I can’t remember if I actually talked about this on the blog, but I basically lost all form of sanity during it and started to cry, right there in front of my classmates, TAs and prof! Woohoo! Not. So I was of course super embarrassed, but the next day before lecture my professor came up to me and asked if there was anything she could do to help. And ever since then, I have been so motivated to succeed!


It was like before the exam I hated everything to do with computer science and thought it was put on this Earth solely to make me miserable. After it though,  I wanted to beat it. I will show computer science who’s boss! So I’ve been studying nonstop. I felt like I wasn’t making any progress, but after going through my exam veeerry slowly during office hours, I 100% understand the material that I got 5% on (!) on the test. Hooray for progress!

Anyway, this turning point in my life changing from adjusting to the stress of university, being away from home, and just feeling totally overwhelmed –> loving every minute of my busy life and being incredibly motivated to succeed also motivated me to write this post! So, after a ridiculously long-winded intro (what else would you expect from the girl who loves to write essays?), here are my top tips to be successful and more importantly, happy.

selfieBecause one selfie is never enough.

1. Lose the defeatist mentality and decide to succeed. I could write an entire post about this! It’s something I can’t believe I didn’t realize earlier. If you want be successful, thinking that the world is out to get you will almost guarantee failure. Because if you don’t believe with all your heart you can do it, you won’t. It sounds harsh, but it’s reality. I spent two months allowing computer science to tear me down and make me feel horrible about myself. My abilities didn’t change after the midterm – I scored a whopping 52% – but once I realized that computer science is not, in fact, the devil reincarnate, my whole view shifted. I hated feeling inadequate, so I simply chose to do everything in my power to never feel that way again.

JK-Rowling-Inspirational-QuoteNo one can say it better than the Queen (aka JKR).

2. Don’t be afraid to work your ass off. I definitely did not understand the concept of genuinely trying before this course. In my past life, I would put in an hour or two of concerted studying, and if I still didn’t understand, deem it hopeless. That just does not cut it anymore. Today I spent a solid 4 hours on computer science, and it wasn’t until the very end of it that I felt completely comfortable with one concept. Guess what? That is the first time I’ve felt like that all semester! Sometimes it takes a lot more effort than you think it should to succeed, but you will only know if you truly put it all in.

Success-step-by-stepSeriously. Dedication is a full-time job.

3. Stop eliminating resources. I know you do it! Whether we think something is inaccessible, “beneath us”, unnecessary or some excuse, the fact is that all of us have options we choose not to explore. Today was my first time going to office hours with my professor because previously, I thought she hated me and wanted me to fail. Yes, that is irrational but that was my choice. Had I made a different decision, I might be at a totally different place in the course right now! (or not, because I wouldn’t have had such a horrific midterm and as a result wouldn’t be as motivated. I’ll never know!) My point is, make sure you fully access every single resource you can possibly think of, no matter how useless or dumb it seems. It might just be the turning point.


4. Scrap the crap. Now, all of the above tips are great if you just want to succeed at something. But throw happiness into the mix? Well they are entirely pointless if you despise what you’re doing. No, I don’t love computer science with all my heart. BUT I am passionate about being the best possible version of myself and overcoming obstacles, so for me it’s worth it to continue with the course and not drop it. There’s also the chance that I will apply for the Bachelor of Media Studies, which as of now requires CPSC 110. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, if whatever you are working so fervently towards does nothing for you and/or your goals, scrap it. It’s important to look at the big picture here, like my ultimate goal of passing / BMS, but continuing something that makes you miserable will – only make you more miserable! It’s funny how that works, hey?

fire-hydrantLiving there made me miserable. So I left. 

5. Remember the wonderful things in your life. I seriously do not care how cheesy that sounds. When I lived in Edmonton I did not have many of these to focus on, and as a result was completely unmotivated. I had endless time to work on this blog / fitness / I don’t even know, but I ended up just wasting a ton of my summer because I had zero motivation. Now, I have awesome friends who genuinely support me, great professors who do the same, courses that both boost my ego (hey, it’s important!) and force me to work, and most importantly an opportunity and desire to do more. When I think about all of these truly amazing things I have in my life right now, and how everything seems to be falling into place, I know I can beat computer science! And that goes for anything else, too. Just thinking about the things that make you happy can remind you that you are strong, capable, and worth it. 

I love writing. I find it so therapeutic and such a freeing way to get my thoughts in an understandable and grounded sort of fashion. I truly hope some of you find this helpful! I probably should have also added that I consumed precisely 32oz of coffee between the hours of 8:30am and 10:50am, and that, my friends, is rocket fuel. It’s also the reason why it is 10:30pm, I am wide awake and off to go tackle some more generative recursion. Hollah!

Does hard work wear you out or spark your energy? 


9 thoughts on “Skyrocket Your Success + Happiness!

  1. This is absolutely what I needed to hear today. I hate geometry every bit as much as you *used* to hate computer science; even though I don’t understand it, I’m not very motivated to spend too much time on homework. Starting today, I am going to change that 🙂 Thanks for the kick in the pants, Emma!

  2. I completely agree with you on the power of positive thinking. I nearly had a breakdown in the middle of my maths exam because it was SO FREAKING HARD. Anyways, I just had to shift the focus from (Ah freaking out!!) to (concentrate and try and figure out what the hell the question is asking). I guess this also applies to a tough workout/race. If your mindset is negative from the start, then there’s no chance you’ll get that dream time. So happy to here that you reached this epiphany!!! I’m sure you are destined for success in computer science.

    • It’s awful because when we get overwhelmed, it becomes harder and harder to focus and as a result we feel even more overwhelmed!! You are totally right, it’s all about a focus shift and not allowing that negative mindset to creep in.

  3. Pingback: Link Love 11/12 | A Latte Running

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