Classes, Study, Work

Finding Happiness With Drew Barrymore

Picture of Avneet

I’m probably thinking about Katherine Hepburn. Source: Shania Perera.

Everyone who knows me well knows that almost everything I do is a reference to film and television. My decision to study excessively in high school and go to U of T? Rory Gilmore. My decision to live on campus and then in an apartment off-campus rather than commuting? Felicity Porter. My decision to purchase a vintage hunting cap at a thrift store in Kensington Market? Holden Caulfield.

Okay, so the last one was actually a book, but you get my idea. I’m very susceptible to the decisions of fictional characters, and it’s actually worked pretty well for me. During my senior year of high school, I was the person who kept a daily countdown to my first day at U of T. I was the person who cried when I got accepted into my College, which was one of the more competitive ones which required an admission essay.

What did I write for my admission essay? A monologue inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer about confidence and self-worth, of course! That was a cathartic experience for me. The thought that someone at an admissions office actually liked my creative writing was already exhilarating. Mostly, I felt happy because I wrote the monologue while I was in a dark place.

High school was a weird time for me. I was often unhappy. It wasn’t until U of T that I felt like I fit in anywhere. Here, I found a group of lovable weirdos that I can call friends, who didn’t judge me when I threw myself a Marilyn Monroe-themed birthday party where we watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and then went to a gay bar.

I do want to emphasize: I’m currently at a place in my life where I am happy. Not just because of people around me, but because of myself. People, including extended family, will often ridicule my Cinema Studies degree, but the reality is that I’m spending my time studying something I love. Last year, I had the opportunity to write an essay about Hannah and Her Sisters, one of my favourite movies of all time.

Picture of word document with text that says "The Art from the Classical in Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters"

When they told you that writing essays for university is different from writing essays for high school, they weren’t wrong.

When I’m not studying or working on papers, I’m writing for a student publication. It might be an opinion piece or a personal essay for The Varsity. It might be a humour piece for the UC Gargoyle. Or it might be a column for The Salterrae. But writing and connecting to people is another thing I love doing. It absolutely makes my day whenever someone tells me about how they related to an article I wrote.

Lately, I found an article I wrote for The Varsity that I forgot about. It was an Arts & Culture piece about how my mental health was best represented by Drew Barrymore’s character in Santa Clarita Diet. Yet again, everything I do is influenced by movies and television.

Screenshot of highlighted text that reads "Yes, I currently find myself best represented in a horror-comedy television series about an average heterosexual nuclear family whose lives change drastically when the parents become murderers in order to feed the wife, who has, for reasons unknown, become a zombie."

An excerpt from the aforementioned Varsity article. I’m a writer and I demand to be taken seriously!

At this point, you’re probably wondering why I’m rambling on about my life, the pop culture I consume, and Drew Barrymore. Consider this blog post an extended sequel to my “How to Choose Your Programs(?)” post. One of the best pieces of advice I can give to an incoming first year is this: when it comes to programs and extracurricular activities, do what you love. It’ll make your time at U of T so much better and you’ll have the opportunity to think about it more fondly.