Home is our natural cocoon, and although comfort is such a warming word to hear, as the old saying goes, life begins outside your comfort zone. We tend to find contentment where we are safe and secure, – this may not sound bad but sometimes it hinders us to achieve greater things just because life as we know it is already good. It takes a different kind of awareness to snap out of a good life and yearn for a better one.
Jovil Jimenez is an filipino international student who came to Canada, despite of her hesitations, to pursue higher education. She is one of the few people who, even though she had a good life in the Philippines, was always eager to achieve more, “For me, I have always been eager to learn more — I wanted to pursue higher studies, and also I believed that studying in Canada would be able to help me seek out better opportunities.”
A stroke of luck and a heapful of determination
According to Jovil, it was her sister in law who initially found the school, but due to unfavourable circumstances her sister in law’s application was refused. It is by the grace of her (Jovil) mom who encouraged her to try applying instead, that gave her the push she needed to finally lodge her application – “ I was hesitant to be honest, but at the same time, since I am determined to make more out of myself, I gave it a shot – and now, here I am, chasing dreams in Canada. Moreover, it was easy for me since the school that my sister in law found offered a program that is in line with my field of study and profession in the Philippines. I was working as a front desk agent, and having a strong background in hospitality, it supported my application even more.”
Jovil is currently based in Vancouver pursuing a degree in Hospitality Management. Like most immigrant stories, being the newcomer or outsider, Jovil feared to be the odd one out – however Canada is an epitome of multiculturalism, “One of my early expectations is that I would be surrounded by a lot of locals, and I will be among the few international students, but to my surprise there were a lot of international students from all around the world at our school, some from southeast asia, some from south America and even Caribbean’s. I was happy to know that Canada is indeed a diverse country, and I am not in the journey alone as there were a lot of international students here too.”
Jovil’s take on life, “All I can say is that, it is okay to be hesitant at first because I know it is out or beyond our comfort zone, but can you imagine all the things you can be doing if you let yourself get out of that comfort zone? I know it is a dire process that we need to take, but we also need to face. This is a chance to grab opportunities to grow more as a person – as a distinct individual that is eager to learn more. As I have known from my experience, if you are brave enough to take that one step, life will surprise you, it will reward you with unlimited possibilities.”
Jovil’s story is proof that sometimes you got to take life by the horns and steer it in the direction of the life you dream of!