When I entered university, I was determined to take advantage of all the physical fitness resources available and undo the drastic drop in athleticism that had occurred during my teenage years. In grade six, I had found joy in doing laps at the U of T Athletic Centre pool every weekend. However, when puberty hit, and sports teams became increasingly ‘exclusive’, I grew self-conscious and made every effort to skip out on gym. Throughout high school, I only voluntarily participated in two sports: fencing (a one week long U of T summer camp) and archery.
Taking care of your mental health can be a bit of a chore if that’s not something you’re already mindful (ha ha) of. To be honest, taking care of your health in general can sometimes be a chore. I think it’s hard to self-discipline yourself when you don’t feel the immediate consequences of your actions. It just doesn’t feel like not sleeping well or not eating healthy is going to affect you right. now. and so it’s easier to just give in sometimes.
So it’s nice to have reminders every once in a while to keep yourself on track, especially during times when things are going relatively well and you think you don’t actually need those reminders.
This past Wednesday was Mindfest, a “festival to create awareness and gain appreciation for mental health.” I had missed out on Mindfest last year (check out Madelin’s blog from last year if you missed out as well), and so I was glad I had a chance to go this year.
This summer, I was enrolled in full-time classes. I would be on campus several days a week from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.. As a commuter, unwilling to burden myself with more heavy things to carry, I bought pasta every day for lunch. By September, I had twelve dollars left in my bank account.
It hadn’t taken me long into first-year to realize that I often had to choose between healthy eating and cheap eating. Loaded with extracurriculars, my days spanned twelve hours; I would subsist off snacks, water, or cave in and buy a sandwich or pasta. When I first discovered food trucks, I had been delighted — finally, a filling meal for under five dollars! But I soon realized that each poutine — however cheap, hearty, and delicious — made my body feel bloated and uncomfortable for hours afterwards.
Between classes, Orientation week, and illness, I hadn’t gotten a chance to hang out with my best friend Julie for weeks. Our lunch dates kept getting postponed, so I was pleasantly surprised when I mentioned going to the $5 Hart House lunch yesterday and her schedule lined up.
We met outside the Great Hall just after 1 p.m., and although the lunch was set to end at 2 p.m., there was still a large line-up of students and plenty of food. Both of us took the vegetarian option — Greek salad, pita, rice, and a wonderful main of baked eggplant and lentils — although the lemon-oregano chicken sounded delicious as well. The three-course meal felt so refreshing, particularly since healthy inexpensive food is so difficult to find on campus. It left me full, but not at all bloated or uncomfortable as food truck lunches usually do.
This week has been a tough week for me. A lot has happened and a lot still remains to be going on. The majority of it has simply been personal, but sometimes personal obstacles are the ones that seem the most difficult. And in my opinion, rightly so, because to me personal battles are actually opportunities to grow in disguise.
In times of personal struggles, I have found that creativity and art are two things that ground me. Writing in a journal for instance, or even doodling in sketch pad. But sometimes inspiration to be creative doesn’t come easily when faced with a mountain that needs to be overcome. In these times, I enjoy finding inspiration in the more traditional way: that is surrounding myself with art. And what better way to do this than by taking advantage of Hart House’s free monthly Art Tour?
For those of you taking Summer courses, you know ALL TOO WELL how quickly the course materials go by and before you know it finals are here (…then again, it feels like that during the Fall/Winter courses but y’all know what I mean!). One of my favourite things to do on-campus is to hit the gym, stressed or not.
Hey there! My name is Meimei and I’m excited to join this AWESOME group of Life @ U of T bloggers for the upcoming school year. I am SUPER EXCITED to blog about our awesome university and events that take place on-campus! And of course share my experiences at U of T with you! Yay! As this is my first blog post of the year, a brief introduction is in order! You can learn more about me and my fellow bloggers if you click on the Crew tab – go ahead, you won’t regret it!
As a longtime history enthusiast, I’m always curious about what used to be.
And every so often, while I’m walking across the tiled corridors of University College or peering up at the latest whimsical pattern on the ever-changing UTSU dome, I’ll stop to wonder what stood there before.
Last week, I reconciled the flashbacks of my imagination with actual old photographs from a bit of research I did about U of T buildings. I came across some very interesting tidbits of architectural history during my browsings too- which I found was such a great way to feel more connected to campus, knowing little facts that I could point out as I walked around.
So , in honour of U of T’s 189th birthday yesterday, here’s a major St. George #throwbacktuesday (if only I posted on Thursdays, sigh)
First up…..University College!
St. Michael’s College!
The magnificent Soldier’s Tower being put together:
Inside University College…
Cumberland House….aka the Centre for International Experience…
The Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory, or as we know it now, the UTSU Building
What we fondly call the ‘UTSU building’ is actually the oldest scientific institution in the country! The Observatory was built in the 1840s to facilitate a global research project on ‘fluctuations in magnetic declination.’ After the project ended in 1853, the Observatory was used by the Canadian government as the ‘country’s primary meteorological station and official timekeeper for over fifty years.’
A lost creek under Hart House Circle…..
That uneven patch of grass you cross from Hart House to get to King’s College Circle?
One hundred years ago, that used to be a pond.
The once bubbling Taddle Creek ran from what are now the winding paths in Philosopher’s Walk all the way up to Hart House Circle, where a dam emptied water into a large pond called McCaul Pond, named after the second president of U of T.
Ingrid Stefanovic, a professor at the University of Toronto, wrote about the buried pond:
“Throughout the 19th century, the creek was revered for its beauty, lending itself to the poetic renderings particularly of students, who actively interacted with Taddle Creek and McCaul’s Pond, fishing for trout, sailing toy boats, tobogganing on the creek’s banks and immersing first year colleagues into the waters as part of a hazing ritual.
“Thy classic flow,” mused one student writer in the Varsity magazine, “thy poetic surroundings, are an education in themselves!”
The pond and creek were later buried over by 1884 after concerns about public health, leaving only the curvatures of landscape to remember them by.
U of T and Amelia Earhart’s inspiration….
Not many people know this, but world-famous aviator Amelia Earhart arrived in Toronto in 1917, visiting her sister and working as a nurse’s aide to soldiers at the Spadina Military Hospital at 1 Spadina Crescent- now owned by U of T. In her free time, she attended air shows held nearby by the Canadian National Exhibition- it is said that this experience aroused her interest in aviation, a career that she would later pursue to reach global fame.
#HappyBirthdayUofT! You were fascinating then and you’re fascinating now.
Velut arbor ævo/ ‘Like a tree through the ages’
This week I stepped out of my comfort zone.
After receiving an invitation to an Arts & Science Backpack to Briefcase (b2B) event, I found myself shimmying into business casual work attire after a seven-hour school day. Having plans on a Thursday night is pretty unusual for me, considering my average Thursday night routine consists of pajamas, a couple hours of reading, tea and probably frozen pizza.
The Backpacks to Briefcase event I attended was for students interested in fields relating to the Health Sciences. If you have been following the blog for a while, you may know that I am constantly waiting to have that *Eureka!* moment where I suddenly know what I want to do with my life. I figured that maybe the b2B might show me some job opportunities I could create for myself using my degree.
The event itself was extremely educational, and it was really nice to have a reason to connect with students who, like me, were also concerned that they wouldn’t find a “dream” job with the degree they had chosen. Being a second year student, I was one of the youngest attendees — however, I think my youth might have improved the event for me because I wasn’t just learning from the alumni but also my fellow upper years. Continue reading