Friends from my Residence

Housing Experience: Living Off-Campus

I never imagined living off-campus right from the beginning of first year. At first, I was scared about something that turned out to be the best decision of my life.

Photo of Yashvit and a friend posing and smiling at an HOEM networking event.
Me and a friend at one of HOEM's networking events

In 2022, when U of T resumed all in-person lectures post-COVID-19 virtual learning, there was a high influx of students wanting to live on campus. Even though I wasn't offered a place on one of the on-campus residences, I was shifted to HOEM on Jarvis, a student housing residence building off-campus catering to students studying across the Greater Toronto Area that the University of Toronto has parterned with. This meant staying with students not only from U of T, but from Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD), and more. Initially, I felt out of place, but I ended my first day here by meeting more than seven people and the numbers kept increasing each day. They say look for great things in your tough situations, and networking with students from all across the academic institutions in Toronto was my great thing!

Photo of a group of 15 students outside in the snow.
A glimpse of the Winter Retreat at Muskoka organised by HOEM

With more than 593 students living in this building, there are more than 20 events organized every month just for students. Why? Because at HOEM, they believe in creating wonderful communities for students.

Some of things I learned while staying here included cooking my own meals, boosting my confidence to speak to people and lastly, punctuality. I moved in on September 3rd, 2023 and was offered a part-time position as a Service and Experience Assistant, looking after the building and student support operations. There was a consistent growth and a sense of belonging that I could feel in myself.

Photo of Yashvit petting a small dog
A glimpse from the therapy dogs session at HOEM

This year, I will continue living here as a Community Assistant/Residence Advisor/Don and will now have the responsibility of helping students meet each other and creating a fun, comfortable, and safe environment for all students at HOEM.

All in all, living off-campus is immensely helpful, challenging, fun, and interesting.

– Yashvit

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