Introduction

Are we in a new year, or are we only halfway through?

Are we in a new year, or are we only halfway through?

Welcome back, U of T!

I’d wish you a happy New Year, but in my head, the year begins in September, one
day after Labour Day. January doesn’t feel like a fresh start for me — it feels like I’ve
got four more months to go until I’m done my full-year courses and can begin my
real holiday.

[Harumph.  A “new year”…yet the same assignments carried over from September 2013’s syllabi.]

Despite my lack of enthusiasm, there are things about January semesters at U of T that make me appreciate — even if only for a second — the feeling that only a brand new year can bring.

Second Semester OSAP Installment
If you receive OSAP, you know this feeling: you log into your online banking service
to see how far into the negatives your account balance is and find $3000 that has
seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Sure, you eventually realize that
it’s a student loan that will not buy you a new MacBook, but that first couple of minutes when you think you’re rich is probably the best thing there is about student loans (besides getting an education).

  • Tip: Why not apply to some of the scholarships and bursaries that are available through your Faculty or college and get some free money? The Arts & Science Student Union, for one, has got a ton of scholarships and bursaries waiting to be won.

Reading Week
Right when you’re all burned out and ready to give up on being a university graduate, reading week rolls around — nine consecutive days of FREEDOM. Use this time to catch up on assignments or readings, but don’t feel bad if you twiddle your thumbs all week. Please, twiddle away, you deserve it!

  • Tip: Or, you can travel! Check in with your college or clubs on campus to see if there are any reading week trips being planned. They’re often heavily subsidized and give you something to do for the week. UTSU and other campus groups often host Montreal trips. This year, the Black Students’ Association is going to New York!

All right, so for the most part, January is scary for me — it marks the halfway point to the end of the school year, which means a barrage of essays, assignments, midterms, and final exams (remember y’all, it’s mostly full year courses for me). I’m going to spend the first couple of months applying for free money and going on a trip (or two) during reading week…things are looking up.

It really is nice to be back home at U of T. I missed it, and I’m looking forward to the rest of this year!

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