Who am I? What am I? How do I become what I want to be? Why am I the way I am? Where am I going? My name is Nicole Yanqui and I am your York Federation of Students Director for Vanier College. If we break it down to intersections, I am a Latina, I am a woman, I am a person of colour, I am 22 years old, I am a non-religious but spiritual person, I am a native English speaker but I speak Spanish and French as well; it is these overlapping intersections that make up who I am. However, despite intersections, I believe that we are also made up of our lived experiences, the people we converse with, and the environments that we stay in. So why am I the way I am? I am a mix of all of these components, and with one big breath as I move forward each day, I am me. Each day I strive to make myself the person I want to be. I believe that kindness, compassion, empathy, positivity, kindness, community, and laughter are at the very core of my being. And it is with these core values that I will become who and what I want to be. I am going to a future that I will be proud of—one where our education system is different, teaching the truths of the world; one where we can decolonize our systems and our minds and move forward in a multiplicity of ways; one where we try to conserve what is left of our Earth for the limited amount of generations ahead; one where the world can thrive. This is the world I dream of. This is the world I want to be in. This is the world I will devote my life to help change into.
However, self-care is number one. I can’t take care of others until I help myself. So I spend my free time doing things I love: writing poetry, proclamations, or letters, reading books and poetry that will educate my mind and my soul, playing music because I think there is a song out there for every mood that I feel, paint therapy, playing lacrosse because my team is my family and sometimes I have to get out my aggressions in a healthy way, and most importantly traveling. Traveling is the way I understand the world.
If there’s one piece of advice I could give to every person I’ll ever meet, it’s this: the platinum rule. The golden rule is wonderful—treat others as you would want to be treated. But the platinum rule governs my life: treat others as they want to be treated.
Let’s have a great year. If you ever need a smile, I’ll be wearing one. If you ever need resources or support, I am here for you Vanier Community.