Studying for Greatness


“Women’s empowerment is a network of women supporting and lifting one another up. It’s about being a leader. It’s about rising above and showing that “you can” when others say “you can’t.” It’s about being fierce in any situation!”

~Kiah Welsh, she.lace co-founder

COMN 1310, SOSC 4040, ANTH 3370, EDUC 3592, MATH 1013, MUSI 1095.

Oh, don’t mind the odd looking combination of capitalized letters and numbers. That’s just us here at she.lace reminiscing about a VERY small sample of the curses… excuse us, courses we took while in university.

Yuuup, those were the days. When you were so intoxicated with academia that your diction could obfuscate even the most accomplished scholars. When reading a course text could easily result in 25 new words added to the lexicon. When you could become inundated with the vernacular of a remote village in the South-Pacific without ever leaving the lecture hall. When you could…. Wait, maybe we’re just describing our experiences. Let’s be truthful, the average post-secondary “adventure” is filled with turbulent up’s & downs characterized by:

  • pulling all-nighters to finish essays
  • cramming a semester’s worth of material into a day of studying for exams
  • finishing a 40% cumulative presentation 10 mins before class

Seems about right? Oh, oh….lest we forget: “The opportunity to experience life-alerting growth in all areas as you pass through the transformative stage of adolescence to adulthood, and lay the foundation for your future.” Remember that sales pitch?


Let’s reel in the cynicism because we don’t want to come across as jaded. That little blurb above (a synopsis of the benefits of college or university) is what we refer to as the “post-secondary promise”. Well, there’s an old adage about a “promise being a comfort to a fool”… so no point in having visions of grandeur based off promises. With that in mind, the student experience is what you make it… And if you’re one of the fortunate ones you would’ve realized it’s the “out of lecture” experience a.k.a. LIFE that you were really studying for. Striving to have a stellar GPA is a terrific goal… Reading material that expands your world views and perspective is enriching… Graduating on the Dean’s List (or cum laude, humble brag haha) is invigorating. BUT, when you’re a student of life you realize school is not where it begins or ends… It’s just a great method of studying for greatness.

“When I think of my post secondary experience a couple things come to mind: a) the all-nighters to complete an assignment on time, b) the stress of scoring the perfect grade, c) the amount of money that needed to be paid back (gah!) But, amongst all these things it taught me discipline. A skill that I can apply to any situation. And, that I truly do appreciate.”

Discipline, Determination, Dedication… Three guiding principles that can be made applicable to any situation to achieve success. Studying for greatness doesn’t merely require these attributes, it DEMANDS it. There’s always a “reason” to slack off as a student, and the fear of bad “grades” may not serve as a strong enough deterrent. And this is why it’s essential to understand it’s not about momentary gains or setbacks. Forget the A+, and definitely forget the C because a true student doesn’t rely on grading schematics to determine their greatness. It’s not about the place or time, it’s about how you make use of it.


Let’s address the “Lion” in the room, Roooooooar York U lion! Yes, she.lace co-founders are York alumni. A few lines above we stated, “It’s not about the place or time, it’s about how you make use of it.”

Place: York University
Time: 2012-2017

This is where three friendships (family, in actuality) turned into everlasting bonds… And some years later, those friendships furnished the mission we call: she.lace.

© Nyaomi. All rights reserved.
Photo Credit: Nyamoi (

Who knew that while we were stressing over exams and essays, all the while confiding in one another, that we were studying for greatness?! And my-oh-my were those days eventful. As Kiah states so eloquently, “York is LIVELY!” So, we couldn’t resist going back to our alma mater for a photoshoot. 

“Scott Library is where I would study like crazy with a classmate who would later become my soul mate! (who knew?) :-)”

Scott Library! It’s more than just a place you’re bound to find students in book stacks, computer labs, study rooms or map library all with a similar look/body language: “What did I sign myself up for?” It’s a social hub, a rich resource and has great architectural designs.

(Photo Credit: RTS Productions)

According to York University, the library in the centre of the Keele campus in Toronto’s north end has been known as Scott library since 1971, when it was dedicated to W.P. Scott. 5 floors containing everything from a microtext room to half a floor of archival holdings…it’s an interesting place to explore and learn about. Don’t take our word for it though one of the first librarians, Thomas F. O’Connell, wrote an “essay” in 1965 about the libraries beginnings.

What’s old, is new again! That’s the best way to describe the resurgence of the Nike Huarache. It’s like a blast from the past is propelling the sneaker world into the future (they first released in 1991, over 25 years ago)… Then again it can be argued that fashion is cyclical in nature. BUT, there’s a new element to the relaunch of this particular sneaker that peaks our interest… plenty of women exclusive colourways. This is vitally important, and Kiah explains why: “Sneakers aren’t just something you wear on your feet. Like people, each sneaker has their own individual story and I find that so intriguing. Maybe, it’s the ‘journalist’ in me. But, it’s definitely more than meets the eye!” Even though it’s more than meets the eye… Seeing is believing and we like what we see with the Huarache. When form meets function and fashion, all sneaker lovers should be able to enjoy equally. Looks like Nike has been taking notes in lecture like a good student should A+ Checkmark.

“I love that Huaraches are simple, yet so stylish. AND, they come in many different colours!” (Photo Credit: RTS Productions)

Sidenote: Have you ever thought to yourself that the Nike Huarache looks like a reinforced, and slightly elevated, fancy sandal? If so, you weren’t too far off. The actual definition of “huarache” is: a low or flat-heeled sandal having an upper made of interwoven leather strips. So why the name Huarache for this sneaker? Well, Complex explains the influence behind the name and provides a little insight into the perceived importance (and gruelling process) of naming a shoe. Also, sneakernews provides a great account of the history behind this iconic sneaker and why it almost didn’t make it to production.

Spending 4 years (okok, more like 5) of the majority of your time and energy to achieve a degree or diploma isn’t a simple task. Especially when you’re told that credential is supposed to be a launching pad for your future, and you can’t figure out how to “lift off”. Sounds familiar? It’s that “post-secondary” promise we told you about. So, what is it that pushes an individual to study for greatness? For she.lace it’s women’s empowerment, what is it for you? Think about that, and get back to us… Better yet, come meet us in the library. Students of life always studying for greatness.

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