Connections, General, Get involved, People, Student Life

Speckles of Stars: A Reflection

Every personality starts off as an open midnight blue sky with a single star. However, with each newfound lesson or realization learned throughout life comes the emergence of a new star. Eventually, the stars become a complex constellation—richer, more intricate, and brighter than ever.

Speckles of blue stars making up the Pleiades constellation.

Anyone else aspire to look like the Pleiades?

Many new stars have come into existence after my first year of university—and a big part of this is due to my position as the Academic Success and Equity blogger.

When I first saw the U of T blogger position on CLN, I hesitated to apply because I was afraid I wasn’t cut out for it. I read the previous Crew’s profiles and held this belief that all U of T bloggers must be talented, outgoing, and confident. Their photos and writing seemed to exude charisma. I didn’t think I fit that image; I was a little shy, a little awkward, and severely introverted.

Yet I loved the idea of being a blogger. I wanted to discover U of T, and I wanted to have the opportunity to expand my creative writing into non-fiction. So I decided to take a leap and apply for the position, which was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

As a blogger, I had to push myself far out of my comfort zone. My introversion and shyness made it difficult for me to interview strangers and go to events alone. However, after challenging myself to conquer my fears and repeating this process a few times, I can certainly say I’ve emerged as a more confident person than before.

Writing, too, challenged me and required a certain degree of confidence. I had to consolidate my information, experience, and reflections into a single post, and I had to be confident that I was sharing the most important and interesting info with the student community. Often I integrated interviews and extra research into the post as well. Moreover, when I was dealing with sensitive topics, I had to ensure my post was respectful and informative. As such, the ability to draw from different sources and condense them into a post was a challenge that I eventually overcame after making a few mistakes and learning from them.

Not only has blogging been a fun challenge for me, but it has also given me the opportunity to learn about the various student and academic services available around campus. Before I arrived at U of T, I heard horror stories about how big and daunting the university was and how I would be nothing but a number there. False. False, false, false. There are so many services, clubs, and groups at U of T for students; it just takes a bit of looking to find the right support system for you. I, myself, would have never learned about many of them had I not explored the campus for the blog.

Trinity College on a foggy day.

It looks both daunting and majestic at the same time!

I also wouldn’t have been able to meet the talented individuals who make up the Community Crew. At first, I was still blinded by my pre-conceived notion that they were all extroverts who only hung out with other extroverts. But I was wrong. They were incredibly open and friendly. All of us came from vastly different disciplines, from an Engineering student to an Ethics, Society, and Law student, yet we all shared two loves: of U of T and of writing. We were all supportive of each other’s works, and during meetings, members would pipe up and offer praise to other members for their brilliant posts. So if you’re thinking about applying for a blogger position and you’re worried you won’t fit in with the rest of the Community Crew, I guarantee you will. I am honoured to have been apart of such a supportive and talented group of students.

Ultimately, I came into the position as a blogger planning to take on the challenge and risk of experiencing life on campus, and I came out with that, new experiences, and new connections.

So go out and expand your constellation!

Explore U of T, if you haven’t already. The university has so much to offer that it’s sometimes overwhelming, but keep your eyes and ears open, and you might find a hidden gem of an activity, event, or group. Try something new next year! Challenge yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone. You’ll get to explore a new part of yourself, learn countless new things, and grow as a person.

I hope you all have learned about U of T student life through this blog as much as I have reading the other bloggers’ posts.

Good luck on your exams, and enjoy your summer—you all deserve a long and restful break; congrats on making it to the end of the year!