That’s what friendship means to me. Camaraderie. Ride or die. Through thick and thin. I would not have survived the last two years without the friends I have made at UofT. I used to think that true friendship was impossible in a highly competitive university environment. If I had a nickel for every time somebody has used me to get to my notes, I wouldn’t have to work all summer for tuition. Or for every time somebody refused to respond to my smile in fear of me befriending them for selfish purposes. Why do we perceive university as a zero-sum game where our classmates can only be our competitors? I tried that mindset for a whole two weeks in first year but I quickly realized that I’m just not built for the Hunger Games. I’d rather spend my energies getting to know the diverse multitude of personalities inhabiting our campus.
They say U of T sucks souls – but want to meet living-proof of a beautiful soul at UofT who has changed my life through the power of friendship? Meet Jessica, my soul sister and one of my closest friends. She was my mentee and I was her Assistant Peer Mentor in 2nd year, and then in 3rd she became my Assistant Peer Mentor for FLC Philosophy. We bonded over our anxious hand tremors, our care for the human condition and our infatuation with mysticism. Also, over the fact that we are the ultimate photo-bombers. Through the good and the bad, she has always been there for me. I learn from her and she learns from me. We’ve grown so much together like sisters.
I believe that the essence of a human being can be found through storytelling showcasing their use of deeds and speech. Random text messages letting me know she’s always here for me. A super sentimental present with a card filled with thoughts I will keep forever. The most genuine and sincere compliments paired with extremely insightful wisdom. Always there to vent to. She’s just beautiful.
And I wouldn’t have met her without U of T. I feel like university is this magical place where over time you are drawn to souls which complement yours. It’s the perfect environment for the union of kindred spirits. You come to be found. Somehow the more you learn about yourself, the more these souls reveal themselves to you.
How do you place yourself in a position to be found? Know thyself. Do some good ol’ soul-searching. Attend random clubs events, respond to calls that excite your spirit and dissolve the otherness in your world.
I hope that in your time at U of T, in finding yourself, you find a Jessica of your own somewhere along the way.