“’Cause little by little, we gave you everything you ever dreamed of
Little by little, the wheels of your life have slowly fallen off
Little by little, you have to give it all in all your life” – ‘Little by Little’, by Oasis
These past eight months have been a whirlwind. Sitting here now, on the precipice of bringing my freshman year of university to a close, it’s amazing to look back and see how much has changed since I first touched down in Toronto, and since I first began writing for the site.
Since beginning my time on the blog, I’ve made a few periodic reflections on my experiences. This has proven a positive exercise, as I’ve been able to look back on what I’ve done, and could’ve done better. In September, I distinctly recall a sense of cautious optimism about kickstarting my post-secondary career. In the days and weeks that followed, it’s difficult to deny that engineering did its best to dampen those aspirations with a rigorous curriculum. The level of academic intensity in the faculty was one that I had yet to personally experience, and it took a while for things to settle in.
Once the rigmarole was established, I was quick to set aside time for unwinding. In hindsight, it’s one of the decisions that’s enabled me to get this far in one piece. Having that ability to de-stress and refocus proved critical at times. Finding time to enjoy hobbies and spend days with friends has thus far consistently been a welcome change of pace from the studying and assignment-fretting that comes with the Engineering faculty. Being in an urban hub such as Toronto, there’s always an opportunity for a photo, and that’s something for which I’m truly grateful. I had never really become so passionate about photography until I first began meeting and speaking with fellow urban photographers in the area. Their varying styles and constant searches for the next shot, have played major roles in sparking my own development.
Another aspect of the year I’ve come to appreciate has been the plethora of support from the community here. Be it in the form of near-instant replies to questions in the various student-run Facebook groups, or the myriad events organized to take our minds off of stress-inducing thoughts, there’s been no shortage of goodwill. The engineering events in particular have seemed a little more, for lack of better word, ‘exciting’ at times, but that’s likely due to the never-ending stream of work we face. I can’t speak to the other faculties, but I’m sure there have been more than enough things going on in any given week, for one to enjoy and meet fellow students.
Throughout the rollercoaster of the Engineering academic calendar, having the privilege of relaying my first year in Toronto through this medium has been an honour that I’ll always treasure. Surrounded by one of the most talented groups of people that I’ve ever worked with, I’ve grown leaps and bounds as a writer as well as a person; it seems folly to leave without wishing each of them the best of luck in their future endeavours. It’s been quite the introduction to Life at U of T; when all is said and done at the end of the month, I’ll be able to look back on a completed year, well-equipped to handle the years to come. Then, I’ll be able to head back home, knowing full well that in spite of the times I’ve had here, West Coast is still best coast 🙂
“I followed the stars and I sailed to the sun
I held it in my fingers” – ‘Ballad of the Mighty I’, by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds