“So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.” – Helen Keller

Friendship and connection with other people is something we humans cannot live without. We strive to connect and make connections. It’s as important as sleeping, eating and breathing.

My family has been with SelfDesign for almost 10 Years now! I have enjoyed every minute of it! SelfDesign has given me so many amazing opportunities and experiences that I am so grateful for, but the one that stands out the most to me is the amazing gift of friendship. Over the years with SelfDesign I have met some amazing people that have incredibly inspired and supported me.

Last year I got the opportunity to be apart of SelfDesign for grades 8 and 9. I can honestly say that it’s been one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so many valuable things about friendship and what true friends are.

Grade 9 was the first time I really experienced connecting with other SelfDesign learners every week online. At first, it was a bit hard for me to get used to. Talking in a video conference with a bunch of people I was just getting to know felt a bit scary to me. After the first few weeks though, I felt quite comfortable. We played games, watched videos, shared ideas, and had very thought-provoking and meaningful discussions. In our meetings, I felt at home. The only thing that was hard was wanting to meet these amazing people in person. I thought this would be impossible since we all lived in different parts of BC, but this was very much not the case.   

In the spring of this same year an Art Intensive gathering was organized in my area (Victoria). This gathering was a week long and they needed host families to host learners that were coming from outside of Victoria. My family decided to host someone. It worked out so serendipitously that the person we got to host was a girl that I had already met online in SelfDesign. It felt so weird to “meet” her when we had already met online. It was quite incredible I found her to be quite a kindred spirit and we get along really well. I also met some other amazing people at the Art Intensive that now I go to the same dance studio with.

In the summer I got to attend Surpass youth camp. There I met, even more, people from SelfDesign and new people that I have become close friends with.

Whether it’s connecting virtually or in person, being with SelfDesign has allowed me to make those meaningful connections we all strive for as humans. I know that the friends I have met here will be friends I have for life. I have learned that true friends accept you for who you are, join in your weirdness, know your imperfections and love you more for them, and finally and most importantly when in their presence you laugh so much you cry.

Thank you very much SelfDesign for helping me learn what true friendship means. I will cherish these memories in my heart forever.