I’d like to think of myself as pretty “internationally-minded” (whatever that means) and I suspect a lot of Torontonians would too, seeing as we live in such a diverse and multicultural city. Apart from that, I lived in a few countries growing up and am still sometimes in conflict with my own cultural identity and what or how I choose to identify myself to others. For me, the question of “Where are you from?” can evoke different responses depending on the situation (and how interested I think the other person is in hearing my entire life story).
Since I chose not to pursue a major that deals directly with issues of multiculturalism I’m always looking for ways to learn about intercultural topics in more formal settings, especially as I’m equally fascinated by the theory part of all this as well.
As a campus tour guide, I receive a lot of questions surrounding student life and whether a school-life balance is something one can expect to manage at the renowned U of T.
Seeing everyone’s defeated, exhausted expressions on campus, I thought it’d be a good time to share some of my tips and tricks of the trade that have helped me to juggle three jobs, three sports and a full-time course load.
1. Sometimes you need to downsize. Sure, juggling five balls looks really cool but if you’re exhausted and you’re about to see them all fall to the floor, consider whether you might be able to take one out of the equation. I know it’s hard, we’re very ambitious students and we prefer to be able to persevere and to succeed without giving anything up, but I encourage everyone to critically evaluate whether the cost is worth what you’re gaining.
If someone asked me the name of my favourite teacher from kindergarten to high school, it would be easy to answer. Personally, I have been to seven schools in five different countries, my experience varying from year to year due to the knowledge I learned throughout the years. The setting in which I learn and really does matter, and for this reason, my high school teachers and my new university professors are not the same. I believe that the main focus of high school teachers is to make sure that the student is learning, preparing them for their higher education. However, university professors are different, they are there to help me in different ways; in this new setting making sure that I am learning is my job. After all, I am an adult now, right?