Canada 150: Self-discovery, Opportunity, Joy.

It must be a big achievement for a country to be young, yet loved and respected by so many people. Looking at the stats and talking to people makes us realize how much appreciation there is for Canada out there, only proving that in the past 150 years the country has done something very right.

The longest list of ‘reasons to love Canada’ I found online during my quick and fun research was 149! It is interesting to read what others put on their lists, and I totally agree with the unbeatable value of Tim Hortons, Justin Bieber, and the fact that our Prime Minister loves pandas. But I feel like I can’t compete with such extensive lists just yet for one simple reason – I have only been here for five years (or in other words, have experienced only three per cent of the great country’s history).

I was a child when I got to visit Canada for the first time. I came to Toronto to study English and did not care much about trying to understand a place so different from what I was used to. But a few years down the road I came back and transformed from an outsider into a temporary resident. Having lived here for several years and having gone through an immigration journey that thousands of other young individuals go through, I can now better explain what Canada is to me.

Canada is self-discovery

Canada is called a land of freedom for a reason: when you compare it to other countries, you can really see the freedoms and opportunities that it can grant. Only once you come here you start understanding who you are and who you really want and can be. I believe this is applicable to any age, gender, personality type, etc.

We hear a lot about diversity that defines a Canadian society, but we rarely contemplate about its true value. For me, this value can be seen in the options that diversity brings to everyone: freedom to experiment with their own identity, appearance, interests, and hobbies while not being judged for that.

Millions of very different people and voices come together here in Canada, forming a big, powerful source of ideas that encourages you to change instead of simply adjusting to one specific standard of being. Diversity helps you understand that there is no absolute right or wrong, good or bad, black or white – many things are open for discussion. Not only does it help you discover new sides of yourself, but it also teaches you to cherish the unique aspects of what makes you you, no matter how crazy or outstanding they are.

Canada is opportunity

Canada does not only represent an opportunity: it offers opportunities that are recognized globally. Qualifications and Degrees obtained in Canada are recognized internationally, which opens students a door to any country in the world when it comes to their employment and career.

Just as valued is the Canadian work experience. Canada provides employment opportunities for the most in-demand jobs in the world, such as engineering, nursing, medical practice, accounting, sales managements, IT and software development, etc.

Last but not least, Canada broadens you networking horizons. It welcomes people from almost two hundred countries. So by talking to your friends, teachers, co-workers you are given an opportunity to build connections around the globe. One country facilitates your international presence. Amazing.

Canada is joy

Canada is one of the most positive countries in the world, and people here have a very clear understanding of what words like “fun” and “joy” stand for. It doesn’t mean that they live stress-free lives or that they don’t have problems. But they know how to differentiate between things that that worth worrying and not worth worrying about, and they always manage to find a balance between routine tasks and a real life.

It is a very strong part of the Canadian culture which, I must admit, is not the case in many other cultures. But this is definitely one of the things that a lot of newcomers pick up very gladly, including myself. It all starts with a simple thing: learning to smile more often.

So, dear Canada, with all my respect and admiration, let me wish you to stay the country you are and teach millions of other people all the amazing things you taught me. Happy #Canada150.

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