What we talk about when we talk about realizing things

40 things Life at U of T blogger Avneet realized PLUS advice for fellow students.

One of the greatest philosophers of our time, Kylie Jenner, said (roughly), “This is the year of realizing stuff. We’re all just realizing things.” Ever since I first heard these resonant words, it became a mantra that I hold on to dearly.

Q: What are you doing? A: I’m realizing things.

Q: What are you learning at school? A: I’m learning about realizing things.

Q: Why are you lying in your unmade bed at 4pm eating those spicy Cheetos that taste good but make your insides feel like Mount Vesuvius? A: Leave me alone! I’m realizing things.

For many of us, this past year has been especially hectic. Between Trump’s inauguration and the Walt Disney Corporation’s acquirement of 20th Century Fox, it may seem like everything is off balance. But the truth is, 2017 was just a prime time to realize things. Personally, it is an understatement to say that I realized many things this year. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate if I compiled a list of all of the things I realized and give advice to my fellow U of T students about academia, personal life, coming-of-age, etc.

  1. If you’re sick of eating popcorn for every meal in a day, just sprinkle some cajun seasoning on it and it’ll taste like new!
  2. Eat something other than popcorn once in a while.
  3. Even if you don’t feel like you’re at your best, it’s better to attend lecture than try to make sense of notes later.
  4. Outline your papers before you start writing them. That way you have a skeleton to follow.
    Picture of Avneet posing with a prop skeleton
    I love spending time with my boyfriend, the skeleton I found at Trinity College.
  5. If you’re down, bored, or frustrated, do an impromptu photo shoot with a skeleton. You will feel much better afterwards.
  6. Use humour to cope with obstacles. They’ll seem much less scarier that way.
  7. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
  8. There are so many publications on campus that aren’t The Varsity (but still contribute to The Varsity though).
  9. People who spend time talking about how busy their life is (with school, clubs, activities, etc.) aren’t actually busier than the next person; they’re just looking for validation.
  10. Seriously, I’ve talked to people who always say they are busy with stuff and, as a result, I felt as though I didn’t do enough. The truth is that we don’t all use our busyness as a topic of conversation at parties.
  11. Coffee drinking, while enjoyable, is not a personality trait.
    Picture of Avneet with Gilmore Girls mug.
    Loving Gilmore Girls, however, is a personality trait.
  12. Nothing is as important as it may seem when you’re in your 20s.
  13. “Don’t go for second best, baby. Put your love to the test.” - Madonna
  14. No one wants to see someone fail. If you find yourself falling behind in a class, talk to your professor, TA, registrar, etc. More often than not, they’ll do their best to accommodate you and provide as much support as possible.
  15. Do your best. If someone has a problem with that, at least you did all that you could.
  16. That being said, do your actual best, not your hypothetical idea of what the best could be.
  17. “Don’t try to impress someone. Find someone who’s impressed by you.” - Trixie Mattel
  18. Likewise, don’t go out of your way to try and impress your professors (for those good academic references). Chances are, you’ll eventually find a professor that is just naturally impressed by your work. The same logic worked for high school teachers.
  19. Boundless memes will make you feel more proud about being part of the U of T community.
  20. Walking through the front campus field on a wet day will not be faster than just going around.
  21. Just because someone has displayed interest in you doesn’t mean you have to like them.
  22. Be honest with people. Lying will only make situations worse.
  23. Surround yourself with people with whom you can be your authentic self with. That’s the only way you’re going to have fulfilling friendships.
  24. Spending a night in bed with a book is never a bad idea.
    Picture of Avneet in a tuxedo and sunglasses reading The Catcher in the Rye.
    I wanted to get dressed up but I also wanted to read The Catcher in the Rye.
  25. Be realistic about your abilities. You’re not going to (successfully) write a ten page paper in four hours, Brenda!
  26. Sometimes it’s better to accept the 2-3% late penalty on a paper than try to rush it. Sure, you lose that small amount of percentage, but you’ve given yourself more time to edit and perfect your paper.
  27. Edit.
  28. Seriously, edit.
  29. There is nothing worse than submitting a paper without even looking over it once.
  30. I realize that you might be tired at that point, but even a quick skim through your paper is good enough to catch some embarrassing typos. Plus, it would only take five minutes. You can totally afford to take those five minutes.
  31. If you want to effectively glue down your eyebrows for drag makeup, apply the first layer of glue in circular motions. It will loosen up your eyebrow hairs and make them easier to comb down for the next few layers.
  32. We’re all just supporting characters in everyone else’s stories.
  33. That being said, we’re also the main character in our own stories. University is an extremely formative time and it’s actually important to be a little selfish right now.
  34. You did not peak in high school.
  35. University isn’t your peak, either. Give yourself something to look forward to, Brenda.
  36. Advice is funnier and easier to deliver if you pretend you’re giving it to a woman named Brenda. I don’t know how and why; just that it works.
  37. If you have writer’s block, listicles are the way to go.
  38. If you’re trying to wish a friend well but don’t know what to specifically say, just yell, “Don’t get lice!” Because hey, no one wants their friends to get lice, right?
  39. If you’re still reading this, just know that I appreciate your dedication immensely.
  40. Happy New Year!

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