Yesterday I received an email from the Office of Convocation. It’s almost time. So, with the threat and/or promise of graduation becoming a clearer and more prominent figure on the horizon, I’ve compiled a list of essential U of T experiences to have before graduation*.
* many of which are inspired by a true story … can you guess which ones?
#1: Go to a toga party and wear the same toga to a classics lecture the morning after. Feel appropriately dressed.
#2: Witness the Lady Godiva Memorial “Bnad” invade one of your first year lectures and march through, banging drums and drowning out your professor’s lecture with the same ungodly, hilarious 8 bars of music over and over until they exit through another door.
#3: High five an academic idol. Feel nerdy.
#4: Make pies on Pi Day (March 14th!) and share them with mathies. Feel nerdier.
#5: Order pizza to your second-floor balcony seat during a lecture in Con Hall.
#6: Wander through the halls of the Faculty of Music at night and listen to them practice. Let chills run down your spine for all of the particularly beautiful parts.
#7: Find a physicist and have them show you around all of the contraptions in the basement of McLennan Physical Laboratories.
#8: Find an engineer and have them show you around the roof of McLennan Physical Laboratories.
#9: While you’re at it, spend some time on a roof garden. Maybe even check out the urban agriculture projects.
#10: Take a field course. Preferably one that involves going into the sea in rubber-boot-pants.
#11: Write controversial articles in your college newspaper and/or the Varsity. Just for fun.
#12: Sing in your college/course union’s talent show. Especially if you have no vocal or theatrical talent, because in all honesty, this is probably your last chance.
#13: Dance on the front lawn of University College at night, in the rain. Get muddy shoes. Regret nothing.
#14: Have an “Iron Chef” during a late night at your residence. Make something gross, like chocolate-covered carrots.
#16: Make something cool. Robots. Solar car. Concrete canoe.
#17: Put your name in the hat for everything, even if you feel underqualified. You’re going to be given a chance far more often than you think you are.
#18: Take a course as far outside of your major as you can possibly get. Push your boundaries and grow into the space you’ve created.
#19: When the upper years in your college try to drag you out of your room in the middle of the night and make you sing outside of other college’s residences during frosh week, let them. Laugh. Sing the loudest.
#20: Start putting your hand up in class when you really want to know something. Stop putting your hand up in class when you really want to show everyone that you know something.
#21: Go on as many organized weekend trips with strangers as possible. Not a skiier? You are, now!
#22: Ask as many professors as you can to tell you the most important thing that they know. Write it down.
#23: Give up on the hope that ROSI will ever let you get through course registration without crashing. Accept fate.
#25: Go to Trinity College High Table dinners and wear an academic gown and pretend you’re Harry Potter. Act nonchalant. Know that half of the other people in the room are doing the exact same thing.
#26: Learn all of the things you want to carry with you after you graduate: how to give a speech, organize a protest, perform a scientific experiment, write convincingly, talk to strangers, use math and statistics, cook a signature dish, stand up for yourself, interview for a job, start a company, evaluate information, respect people you don’t agree with, publish findings, create meaningful relationships, say “thank you” and have it understood, and decide what you think defines a life well-lived. We’ll never have more time for it than now.
PS: Feel free to share your “essential U of T experiences” in the comments! Let me know what I’ve been missing!