I came across this set of 8 mini Ritter Sport chocolates while I was browsing a mall the other day, and made an impulse buy decision. To be honest, I don’t normally buy these kinds of sweet chocolates, but this set was too appealing to me in so many ways. First, there’s the colourful packaging and the way it’s put so nicely. Then, there’s the fact that there’s an assortment of flavours in tiny packages. I can try a bit of everything without inhaling too many calories, and if I don’t like it, then they’re small enough such that I don’t have to eat any more of it either.
Most importantly though, it reminded me of one of my good days in university about 7 or 8 months ago. Technically, it was a bad day. I remember being super frustrated with homework/studying, and I finally decided to head out to grab some food after trapping myself at school the entire day. When I got to the intersection, there was this guy giving out Ritter Sport chocolate samples – exactly the same size and assortment as these ones here. He gave me 2 or 3 treats, and said “Here, have some chocolate!”. I responded with “Aww, that’s a nice surprise on a bad day”. He said “Oh no! Here, take some more! Hope things turn out for you!”, and he handed a few more sweets. I know he was just giving out samples anyway, but that was so sweet of him. It was what I needed on that bad day.
Ironically, I don’t even remember what assignment it was anymore, or what I was studying for. I don’t know if I was working on a project or studying! I just remember that little anecdote that turned a bad day into a memorable one. As I think of that story, I also think of the movie Inside Out. That would be one of my core memories that I remember as a joyful golden one, even though there’s a gloomy blue side when you turn it around.
I say this pretty often, and it always impossible to believe when I’m held back by stress, but seriously: things will turn out okay.
I think back to IB, and I recall the late nights when we would camp at a cafe and group work on those endless design labs. But instead of pulling up the stressful emotions, all I remember are the goofs and laughs. The time when we battled on Sporcle to see who could name more countries of the world. The time when I accidentally unplugged my friend’s laptop with his battery out as well. (Okay, maybe that wasn’t quite as funny for him, but you know…). I remember the moments when I had a smile on my face.
I think back to university, and I think about all the difficulties I faced moving to a new city. I think about the all-nighters we pulled for our robot and our airplane. But while it seemed like the end of the world at that time, the moments that come up in my reminiscence is the feeling of accomplishment when I saw our plane up in the air and the laughter over a game of Mario Party on a friend’s N64 at 2 AM. I think about Toronto’s beautiful Christmas market; the majestic view of University College and that huge greenspace in front of it; Center Island, my running route along Harbourfront, the CN Tower. I don’t resent Toronto. I miss Toronto.
Currently, I am as unstressed as I could ever be. But when adversity does come along, I know I won’t see things as clearly as I do now. I’m writing these words now, not because I need to hear it now, but because I want to record it for myself when I need some encouragement in the future.
I also want to extend this encouragement to my dear friends still in school now. I wish I had someone back then to tell me that my stress and sorrows of school will eventually turn into beautiful and joyful memories. Maybe you don’t believe this statement. To be honest, I don’t even know if I would truly believe it without experiencing it for myself first. But no matter how it feels right now, I just want you to know, everyone I know has been through it and they’ve all turned out all right. So will you.