This past week saw a couple of events hit Nathan Phillips Square that provided me with perfect opportunities to better immerse myself in Toronto culture. Wednesday, October 21st, was the Light the Night walk. It was a poignant occasion to honour both survivors and those who had lost their fights to blood cancer, and yet was full of enthusiasm and energy as people from all over the city gathered to raise money for blood cancer research. It allowed me to represent friends who had overcome blood cancer, and be there to show support for all those who had lost loved ones to the disease.
On a lighter note, the weekend saw Nathan Phillips transform into a scene out of George Lucas’ universe, as a lightsaber battle went down Saturday evening. The weather cooperated, and hundreds of fans joined together for what ended up being a great way to step back from studying for a physics midterm. Mini-Darth Vaders dashed about, engaging in skirmishes with adult Jedi, some of whom pulled out all the stops with their costumes. While the hosts had lightsabers available for purchase, some of the more enthusiastic members of the crowd brought their own double-sided collector’s items.
The battle was a little bit of a throwback for me, as my grad class did something similar on our field last year, so it’ll definitely be a topic of conversation when I head back for the winter break. It’s still a little surreal to think we’re already halfway through our first semester – freshman year really does fly by! Really though, it’s events such as these that have made my year memorable. Having been far more of an introverted member of the community back in Vancouver, I told myself that I would go to any events that I could find the time for in an effort to make Toronto home, and so far there’s been no shortage of good times.
If anything, these last few days have only further emphasized the importance of making a concerted effort to set time aside for yourself. Amidst the churning sea of assignments and midterms, I knew I’d lose my sanity if I didn’t go for a breath of fresh air, so I asked around and discovered these events. Freshman year here at U of T has already allowed me to grow so much as a person, and I’m always looking forward to see what tomorrow will bring.