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Building resilience

Student says Make Midterm Matter 'more than mattered' this semester

Student Life

By Leisha Toory

Make Midterm Matter at Memorial University takes place during the midterm break every semester when students give back to the community and reflect on their experience.

Make Midterm Matter is unique. While the conventional midterm break ideally restores slump with spur, to “make midterm matter” is to recharge our batteries with purpose and optimism. It creates a sense of fulfilment by being part of something that is bigger than ourselves.

Midterm more than mattered

For the spring 2021 midterm break, I wanted to honour my family’s incredible support from my home country of Mauritius, which provided me with resilience during these uncertain times.

Their consistent and kind messages established reassurance, hope, calmness and strong familial unity. Hence, I decided to make kindness cards to help build that sense of unity across the St. John’s community, one not-for-profit organization at a time.

A woman with long black hair wearing a white shirt and jeans holding a cloth embroidered bag stands next to a woman with a blonde bob and wearing a striped shirt and black pants. Both are wearing masks and holding handmade cards.
From left are Leisha Toory and Leanne Lewis of the Pottle Centre.
Photo: Submitted

I distributed my handmade kindness cards at the Pottle Centre, which is a lively, inviting and healthy environment that promotes wellness and personal recovery through activities and outings for adults living with addictions and mental health issues.

The Pottle Centre team’s warm welcome and appreciation gifted me with a feeling of fulfilment and achievement that I will always cherish.

That day, Leanne Lewis, executive director at the Pottle Centre, also gifted me cute paper to continue making my kindness cards and suggested that I name my project.

Her kind words and act of encouragement certainly did wonders. Her heartwarming support not only delivered hope, confidence and an optimistic perspective on my little cards, but also refuelled my self-esteem. I trusted that I would accomplish my kindness project and to make a difference.

‘How you made them feel’

My favorite quote by Maya Angelou goes: “… people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This phrase accurately captures my passion for volunteering.

I volunteer to spread kindness.

Yet, this midterm break, while I volunteered to give back to the Pottle Centre community, it was the Pottle Centre community that gave me the prosperity and kindness.

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