I’m a history student, a newspaper editor and a blogger. Needless to say, I do a lot of writing and although I absolutely love it, it’s often difficult to come up with unique ideas that are both relevant and interesting.
So this week, I’d like to share with you an integral part of my creative process and admittedly, something equally important in every student’s life — inspiration.
Now while I could say that I get buckets of inspiration from reading Hemingway and attending 9 a.m. tutorials, I would also be lying a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading and I love tutorials (well, as much as any other student) and I get a lot out of them, but I wouldn’t call what I get inspiration; more like perspective, or insight.
I’m part of the youth of the 21st Century and I get my inspiration on the internet, and like everything else, I want it fast and easily digestible. And for me, nothing is as inspiring as hearing people talk about the things that they love, and luckily for us, we live in an age where people’s passions spread across the world at the speed of light.
Enter TED, easily the best source of inspiration that I’ve found online. TED is a conference-based lecture series that’s hosted in cities around the world, carrying the slogan: ideas worth spreading.
And although attendance at these events is limited to a lucky few, we can all reap the benefits of their incredible speakers and their stories through TED’s website.
Watching them online has been rewarding and useful, but nothing compares to seeing these speakers in the flesh.
I was lucky enough to be selected to attend the first TED event ever on the UofT campus: TEDxHartHouse. Although the event entitled The Future of Food was not central to something that I had any real previous knowledge or interest in, I cannot express how enlightening an experience it was, and how much inspiration I was able to draw from the speakers.
Jason Qu, a UofT student and food enthusiast was my favorite speaker of the night.
If you missed TEDx Hart House, don’t worry, we’re fortunate enough to be at a university where we have the opportunity to be inspired by these types of speakers all year round!
Have a look at the Departure Gate, hosted at Northrop Frye Hall on October 29th. The all-day conference — designed specifically to inspire and impassion students and young professionals — features four speakers, three of whom shared their ideas at this year’s inaugural TEDxToronto, and one of whom I had the pleasure of seeing last year at Woodsworth’s Annual Leadership Conference, Drew Dudley.
And last but not least, the University of Toronto Space Program hosts Drew Feustel on October 24th, a NASA astronaut, in an event with an infinitely inspiring title, My Path to Space: How One Earth Scientist Became a NASA Mission Specialist.
I cannot emphasize enough how much I’ve taken from speakers such as these and how important they have been to my education at this university, equally important in my opinion as attending regular classes. I implore you: don’t miss out on the opportunity to be inspired!
PS: Feel free to share any other inspiring speakers who you’ve seen, or upcoming lectures that you can’t wait to see.