Hey, I’m Abdullah! Starting today, I’ll be blogging for Life @ U of T. I’m a Cell and Molecular Bio student minoring in Psychology and American Studies. I’m also from UC. I like long walks down University Ave. to Union Station. When I’m not studying like a boss in Gerstein, I’m listening to One Direction and Tupac, talking about social justice and searching the campus for legendary Pokemon. Pleased to meet you, I am.
I’m guessing that if you’re reading this blog post, you are likely a life science student starting at U of T in September and not a grown man who likes My Little Pony. The following is my epic tale of being a humble life science student. Enjoy.
When I walked on campus that fateful morning, it was with a swagger that rivals this guy’s. Life was good, I had got into UofT and was going to spend the next four years of my life studying microbiological organisms and discussing George Washington’s dreams via Freudian psychoanalysis with my intellectual peers. Yeah, life was grand, and then I entered the lecture hall and I saw 1,000 faces staring out at me. Yikes. I knew nobody and everybody looked just as nervous as I did . Not wanting to break the trend and seem like a hipster, I stayed silent. The next class, I decided to take a risk and make small talk with the dude behind me (“Hi! What’s your major? Are you in [insert college here]?” – great conversation starters.) It turned out to be worth the risk, as that dude became a pretty good friend of mine. I used the small talk tactic in my other lectures and tutorials and it worked (le gasp!). I had friends! 😀
That is my rendition of the famous Abbey Rd. picture.
University life feels pretty good, until you hit the first set of midterms. Your brain sees the low mark posted on Blackboard and your instinctive reaction is to laugh like a mad man. Luckily for me, I heard about Victoria College’s chemistry tutors and I went to see them frequently. My mark in Chemistry wasn’t dashing, but the tutors did help me grasp the content better. I am eternally grateful. Likewise, after being disappointed in my essay mark, I made an appointment with my TA to go over his comments. In my next essay, my mark improved significantly. You’re paying for an education – might as make use of all the resources freely accessible to you.
As the semester progresses and the labs and the essays and exams pile on, you will go slightly crazy. You may dislike U of T sometimes (those periods are short). To combat this, you have to balance your work with fun. I blew off steam on campus by having tea and cookies (free at the UC Union, Mon-Thurs from 2:30-3:30) like an aristocrat, by writing articles for The Varsity and watching the UTSU elections, by taking time to pray at Bahen and by getting involved with a campus group. You don’t go crazy and you meet people. It’s a win-win situation. Work hard and play hard.
That’s all for now, stay awesome U of T. may the force be with you.
P.S: My heart beats with joy every time I see a comment. Any questions, concerns, statements? Feel free to leave a comment.