“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” – Oh The Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Seuss.
Surprisingly, that quote and that video are related. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with a grand conspiracy involving John Lennon, Dr. Seuss and an impostor who acted as Paul McCartney after the real Paul died. It has to do with my days in elementary school. One grade, I forget when, my teacher opened up class by reading the Seuss book. And then later, we celebrated the retirement of a Beatles-crazy teacher by singing “Hello, Goodbye” in an assembly fit for Sergeant Pepper himself. One event marked the beginning of something, the other was part of a fitting end to a career. Here was the beginning and now, my friends, this marks the end of our blogging journey together.
When I started blogging this year, I had just finished my first year and now all of a sudden, I’m heading into my third year. I’m sure many of you are asking the same question. “Oh my! I’m graduating!” “I’m going into second year!” “I’m going into my LAST year! OMG.” “OMG YAY UNIVERSITY HERE I COME.” Chances are you are saying one of those things right now. I’d like to think that I’ve grown over this past year, and chances are I have — but it’s gone by so quickly, that it’s really hard to tell. This year, I had the chance to do so many things, from joining ASSU to stuffing myself at a barbeque to engaging in weekly religious discussions about life, to volunteering at a soup kitchen. And I discovered Diabolos and took out a book from stacks for the first time! I realized that we all fill the void in each other’s lives with our stories, that we shouldn’t necessarily define ourselves by our prospective careers and that we should carry out our discussions in an atmosphere of respect. I hope you had just as a good time reading about my journey this year as I did living it.
So here we are. No matter what stage you are at in your university career, we will still all be going somewhere. Either you will be stepping on this campus for the first time come September and remark that everything looks like Hogwarts.
And well, in my case, I don’t know whats next. But I know that opportunities are lurking around each corner on this campus, and it is up to me to go and seek them out. Up to me to ultimately get the university experience I want both inside and outside the classroom. You may be wondering whether you are doing things right, or whether you are involved enough, or whether you are too anti-social, or if you should change majors because you aren’t interested in the material. These are questions we all have to deal with during our undergraduate career. But, despite being unsure of the future, I do know what I have learned.
At U of T, there are a lot of opportunities waiting for you. This is the most accessible research university in the country, top notch professors and wide variety of courses await you. Our campus is steeped in history and breathtaking architecture. You can have coffee in the JCR, study Drosophila at the Earth Sciences Centre and have some Zumba fun at Hart House all in one day. Now, life at U of T, I admit, isn’t always a paradise. It’s hard and I’m struggling to adapt as well, still in my second year. What I’ve learned is, we should be confident in our own abilities and not fret over the accomplishments of others. This is our undergraduate career and we should take it at our own pace. Do what you can handle, there’s no need to experience all of U of T. We all have different niches on campus after all. But don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone once in a while to try something new.
And if you ever feel stressed sometimes, like I do, stop and take a breather. Focus on the little things. Your coffee from Diabolos, small concepts in your lectures, the beauty of the downtown campus on a spring day. In the hustle and bustle of student life, sometimes its just helpful to stop and take note of our surroundings.
It’s been fun blogging for you, U of T. Go out and do big things. I’ll see you later.