It’s me. I’m the 4th year. I have one more week left of classes and then I’m done. Oh and exams, but then I’m done. I will be graduating this June. I cannot believe it. I am not ready to leave but at the same time, I can’t wait to leave. My personal feelings aside, here are a few things I have learned along the way:
U of T is BIG. Make the most of it. Ask for things.
If you don’t ask, no one will give. Your experience anywhere is what you make of it. My only regret is the fact that I didn’t get involved as much as I wanted to. I didn’t go to places, events, clubs, and explore as much as I would have loved to. I didn’t network as much as I should have. I didn’t go to office hours as much as I could have. I didn’t make friends in all 40 courses I took (maybe 13/40). It’s my last few days here and there is still so much I want to do.
We suddenly have all these responsibilities thrown at us – finances being one of them. Depending on your circumstances, you may have to work, pay rent, have commuting fares, food expenses, a pricey social life, expensive fashion taste, and so on. If proper budgeting isn’t practiced, soon enough we can find ourselves eating instant noodles every day and cancelling plans with friends. Unless you’re financially set, the broke student life can become depressing. It doesn’t have to be that way if you just prioritise and think more rationally before giving Zara all your money.
Take care of yourself first.
I mean this in all aspects. Take care of your health. Do not become addicted to coffee. DRINK WATER. Do not ruin your back by sitting all day with a bad posture. Manage your weight before you dramatically lose/gain it because of stress. It is not worth it. Learn to say no to things – parties, other people’s ‘editing’ work, whatever it is that you don’t really want to do.
Chances are, most people next to you are also just faking it until they make it – not just in the behind the scene assignments you might be submitting but be confident in the way you walk and talk (not in a totally obnoxious way but you get what I mean). Once you learn to be more comfortable with who you are and what you want, everything starts making more sense, things go more smoothly, and doors keep opening.
Your GPA is a very small part of your life ahead
Grades are not everything. That one bad mark is not the end of the world. This doesn’t mean strive for the best you can, it just means that failure is okay. Accept it, be okay with it, move forward. Do better next time. Take it as a lesson not as a downfall. In most careers, your transcript is looked at maybe for the first job or so, after that, no one really cares.
Education is more than our fancy ‘U of T’ degree
It’s more than the numbers at the end of each semester. It’s an experience. It’s learning and accepting new perspectives and new knowledge. It’s learning the basics in life (like taxes? I still don’t know how to do those). It’s character development, it’s growing as a person, not just ticking the life check-marks.
It will all be okay. Things will always sort themselves out.