So this is Goodbye

As I sit and write my last Student Life blog in my lil’ corner (which is a random but pleasant mess of paper, documents, books, and of course half-empty tea and coffee cups), I can’t help but feel rather sad. The Office of Student Life is a gem, U of T. I’ve had the chance to work with an amazing and dedicated team of people who are passionate about making our experience here as fantastic as possible. Oh I know the heady mix of lectures, exams, labs, and extra-curriculars can seem daunting at times, but trust - there’s a lot of big love here for you and me. Highlights of my summer? Wow, there have been so many that I don’t know where to start. But if I can gather them all together and come up with a unifying theme, I’d say it would be seeing and recounting all of your stories. I’m lookin’ at you, U of T. From your tweets and Facebook/blog comments, to learning from the great Lee Maracle at First Nations House, to spending an afternoon with B.E.E.S, to getting to know the Community Crew, to delving into Sustainability at U of T - your stories and doings make up U of T and all that this place is. We're at an institution of higher learning, and I've learned a lot here, as a blogger and as a student. So as I head into my last year as a Master's student at U of T, I've been thinking a lot about what I've learned during my time here: You get from the world what you give to the world It’s amazing how my energy on a given day influences how my day turns out. When I am in a great mood, the world responds in kind. And when I’m grumpy, well, the world is just as much of an Oscar the Grouch as I am. Apparently, I can choose how I want to approach the world. Who knew? (By ‘world’ I mean my assignments, the people around me, the tasks I undertake, and all those myriad moments between morning and night.) Source:       Things take time Do they ever. You and I each have our own pace. After a lot of time spent comparing myself to others, I finally realized that I have to respect my own pace. Own your journey, U of T! Keeping things vulnerable and awkward is where it’s at. A few months ago, a friend of mine forwarded me a TED Talk by Brene Brown which I found immensely insightful. The theme? Vulnerability. Turns out that being real about my weaknesses and my vulnerabilities is a way of finding belonging, personal fulfilment, and of reaching my goals. “…Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy - the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” -Brene Brown Be relentless in pursuing what matters to you. The best part? You get to decide what that is. Maybe it’s creating fancy mustache cakes. Not sure what does matter to you? Sit with yourself for a while and try to figure out what draws you in. When you’ve figured it out, go for it, fear, hesitation, wonder, excitement and all. I have an inkling that you’ll be absolutely amazed by what comes your way. All the very best for your every success, U of T! The pleasure has been all mine. -Aziza

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