The Turning Point

Written By Jasper Wong

I really was a nobody when I first started at Brock.

In my opinion, I’ve been pretty successful in my university career.  I’ve passed all my classes, I’ve made a lot of friends, I’ve held a job for 3 years, and I even took a shot at running for a VP position in the past BUSU elections.  So when I take a step back to look at it all, it seems silly that this kid could go out and meet 500 people he would consider friends.  I mean, the odds were against him; he was Asian, he was scrawny, he wasn’t overly outgoing, and he wasn’t even old enough to drink.  The story I’m about to tell is about the pivotal point in my university career.

Let’s back track to first year, 2009, when I first started at Brock University.  I had left all my friends to go to a university in a city I had never been to, and with people I had never met.  I remember being extremely nervous, but I think that actually helped me.  It forced me to go out and meet people.  Those were the days when I did some crazy stuff; pushing 2 grocery carts up Glenridge Hill to make a Halloween Cool Runnings costume, using the central vac to clear up a lady bug infestation…


And then there were the house parties.  Boy, were there a lot.

After all the dust had settled from first year, and all the residence damages were paid off, I figured that I should do some volunteer work.  I had been involved throughout high school and wanted to continue that trend, so I applied to be a SWAT (Student Welcoming and Awareness Team) leader for O-Week 2010.  I thought I had the necessary skills, and experience to do a great job at it, but the hiring committee did not.  They, for lack of a better word, rejected me, and that rejection is the turning point of my university career.

It was the rejection that lit a fire under me, and convicted me to go out and prove that committee wrong.  I started by registering as a regular O-Week volunteer, and applying to be a member of the BUSU Street Team (marketing and promotions).  During O-Week, I was insistent on working more hours than any of the SWAT leaders, and under no circumstances, using the free meal coupons they gave the volunteers.   Needless to say, I achieved both goals.

Shortly after, I started my graphic design work with BUSU, and have been beyond pleased with my 3 year tenure there.  Over that time, I’ve been fortunate enough to work for Canada’s best student bar, do designs for O-Week, and work for an organization that represents over 17,000 students.  I’ve learned so much from my experiences outside the classroom, and here are a few I would like to pass on to you:

  • There’s much more than meets the eye.  [The people on the hiring committee that rejected me weren’t so bad after all… (Curt is even one of my best friends)]
  •  There are awesome people doing amazing things around the university, who are dying to meet you; and all you have to do is cross paths.
  • Think more of what could go right, instead of what could go wrong (no problems, just solutions).  Think positive.
  • Always believe in yourself, and have the confidence to stand up for what you believe in.  (This is something I learned only recently; during my experience with the BUSU elections.)

My only regret about my experience at Brock is that I didn’t get involved sooner.  I remember telling myself that I just wanted to enjoy my first year, but I kind of let it coast by.  I feel like I could have met so many more people, and done so many extra things if I had started getting involved 8 months earlier than I did.  I know this might sound cliché to you, but university truly isn’t only about that piece of paper you get at the end.  Just as important are the relationships you build during that time.  These people might become your friends for life, they might teach you a valuable lesson, they might even become your future husband or wife (don’t laugh, I’ve seen it happen!).

I encourage all of you to embrace opportunity and possibility in every situation, and to approach everything with a work ethic that would prove your doubters wrong.  Step out of your comfort zone and face rejection with a smile; approach the 10’s at bars, and have the courage to act like the person you want to be!


Thanks for reading.  Till next time, Badgers!  Stay classy!


2 quotes that help me every single day:

“When you set your mind to something and you want it as bad as you want to breathe then you will be successful. “

“Remember if people talk behind your back, it only means you are two steps ahead.”

Just a few ways to get involved around Brock:

BUSU Clubs, Mentorship Plus, SLIC, Volunteering, Residence Action Council


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