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The business of balance

Tips for student success from top curler Nathan Young

Student Life

By Denise Hooper and Dr. Erin Oldford

Students are often performing a balancing act between school, work and life.

There are great lessons to be learned from those that do it well.

Nathan Young releases a stone on the ice with a curling broom in his hand.
Memorial student and elite curler Nathan Young on the ice.
Photo: Nathan Young

One of those students is Nathan Young, a second-year joint bachelor of commerce (co-operative) and bachelor of arts (economics) student and skip of curling Team Young, currently representing Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2022 Tim Horton’s Brier.

National curling competitions

Mr. Young has been curling since the age of four. He and his teammates are in Lethbridge, Alta., from March 4-13 after winning the provincial men’s curling title on Feb. 13.

Coupled with that, on Feb. 27, Team Young won the Under 21 provincial championship title, earning them the opportunity to represent the Newfoundland and Labrador Curling Association at the 2022 New Holland Canadian Under 21 Curling Championships in Stratford, Ont., from March 25–April 1.

We chatted with Skip Young after his provincial title win to offer congratulations to the team, which also includes Sam Follett and Ben Stringer, also undergraduate students at Memorial University; Nathan Locke, a student of the College of the North Atlantic; and 15-year-old Nicholas Codner.

Mr. Young offered some personal secrets to finding balance and achieving success.

Prioritize a to-do list

Mr. Young says that it’s important to him to identify personal short- and long-term goals, as well as interests and passions, while sorting out what to prioritize.

He does this by creating a to-do list every day. The list alternates between a phone and notebook, but either way, sets priorities including time allocated for studies, curling practice, physical fitness, family and additional extracurricular involvement, including responsibilities such as sector manager for the Faculty of Business Administration’s The Fund.

“Everything is complicated if you think about it all at the same time,” he said. “You can simplify tasks when you put them on a list. When I finish something I mark it as done. I don’t delete it. I keep it so I can look back on it to see what I have accomplished.”

Support and strength from others

Mr. Young recognizes that it takes a village to accomplish all things big and small, and notes that “it’s important to connect and find support in those around you.”

He says he is energized by people in his support network and says that the more people you get to meet in each area of your life, from school, work, sport or any activity, is essential to being and feeling successful.

“In each of my areas of interest, I have great teachers, professors, coaches and mentors that help to build me up all the time.”

Team Young wears their red jackets and black pants while standing on a curling rink while holding a N.L. flag.
Team Young from left are Nathan Young, Sam Follett, Nathan Locke and Ben Stringer. Missing from photo: Nicholas Codner
Photo: Nathan Young

Learn to reset

As a business faculty dean’s list candidate and scholarship recipient, Mr. Young has learned that when you mess up, it’s important to reset.

A first-term error of forgetting to submit an assignment and losing marks provided him with an opportunity to review the mistake and ensure that it didn’t happen again.

Something in the water in Business

Mr. Young is not the business faculty’s first big time curler.

Two-time Olympic medallist Brad Gushue of Team Gushue completed an undergraduate business degree at Memorial, and other alumni over the years have made their way to the national curling stage.

Is there a link between curling and business?

“I always think that in the sport of curling there is a lot of patience and strategy, no matter what area of business you study there is strategy and patience so maybe that is the link,” said Mr. Young

Balance and support at Memorial

In our work with students, we want to remind everyone to take lessons from Mr. Young: set goals, create lists, seek balance in your life and find support around you. Reset if needed. Break big tasks into smaller ones. Watch your accomplishments accumulate.

Our Memorial community offers excellent student support services and opportunities to connect. Check out MUNUP to get started.

Sending best wishes to Team Young and to all students who have overcome two years of a pandemic and are thriving.

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