My School-Year Resolutions

Back in January, in the midst of all the New Year’s hype, I made the same general resolutions I always do: Eat healthier. Exercise more. Try harder at school. I’m not ashamed to say that I usually break them within a month, and continue on with my junk-food-laden, physically inactive, sleeps-through-lecture life.

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Add a box of Oreos and this is literally me. Source: www.ssandmann.tumblr.com

Well my friends, I sleep easy because my real resolutions start at the point in the year when I feel that my life is starting its next level: the school year!

It’s a ritual I’ve practiced since I was a little kid: Every year, I give myself the first day of school pep talk and think about my school year resolutions. What are my goals? What do I want to accomplish? What do I need to improve on?

After my rollercoaster ride of a first year here at U of T, I resolved to 1) Get more involved and 2) Attend ALL my lectures and tutorials. Sweet and simple. The result was an incredible second year, with better grades, more confidence and a happier Api (if that’s even possible).

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Happier than this?????

After much contemplation, here are my school year resolutions for third year:

1) Get help as soon as I need it. I have gotten a little better at this over the last 2 years. I attended the occasional office hour, I tried to ask questions at tutorials and I even got some guidance from the Academic Success Centre. But, I realize that running to the professor or TA one week before the final about a topic from the first lecture is probably not the best choice.

2) Relax more!  I’ve had issues with anxiety and stress in the past, so I’ve decided that I want to do something fun or relaxing to let loose every so often during the school year. I want activities that will cause me zero stress, like yoga classes at the Athletic Centre, or even one of the creative classes at Hart House!

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Unfortunately there are no rocks for me to relax and wistfully gaze off over the water on in the middle of the city.

3) Watch fewer TV shows.  Okay, this one sounds like one of those generic New Year’s resolutions, but hear me out. I am not a casual TV watcher. I am a fangirling, fictional-character-loving, Netflix-binge-watching TV show enthusiast. I have spent an embarrassing number of hours catching up on the week’s shows at Robarts (yes, even during exam season) and I think it’s time I put a stop to it. So please, if you ever catch me trying to stifle my laughter while staring at my laptop in a quiet study area, remind of this post and my public declaration to stop.

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My reaction when people tell me to stop watching TV. Source: www.cokelame.tumblr.com

So tell me U of T, what are your goals or resolutions for the year? Let me know down in the comments, or tweet me @Api_UofT!

The Freshman 15

So, you’ve been accepted to UofT, you’ve planned all the courses you want to take, and you know where you’re going to live in the fall. Nothing left to worry about, right? Wrong.

You probably still have just a few questions to ask!

via: http://goo.gl/vLShaV

But one thing stands out – times 15 — you still have 15 things on your mind. One for every pound. The mythical “Freshman 15.”

via: http://goo.gl/jxHfUf

I know… Trust me, I know. Going into university in my first year, that was one of the most important things on my mind. Between classes, friends, living situations, and blah blah blah — the Freshman 15 was what stood out to me the most.

I’ve shared similar experiences. via: http://goo.gl/hddG3B

My entire life I have struggled with my weight, and until high school I was always the chubby kid. By high school, I found control — I learned how to eat healthy and exercise as much as I could (by exercise, I mean run on my elliptical while watching America’s Next Top Model). So, I found myself the healthiest I’ve ever been. It was pretty Vogue.

Me, before. via: http://goo.gl/gi9IOO

So when it came time for university, I was freaking out. How was I going to maintain control of myself when thrust into an entirely new environment — one filled with parties, buffet-styled dining halls, and brunch. Did you know it’s not socially acceptable to eat brunch after you eat breakfast and half an hour before you eat lunch? I didn’t.

Me, after. via: http://goo.gl/6eK8pd

Yeah, it didn’t go so well. But, I soon realized that didn’t matter. The Freshman 15 is not real. You will not gain 15 pounds in your first year – unless you go out of your way to do it. In fact, an Ohio State University study showed that the average student only gains 2-3 pounds in their first year. 

But I didn’t care, because you know what, all the experiences I gained far outweighed the number of pounds I actually gained. I would never trade the memories I made camping out at Strachan Hall during pierogi night with my fellow pierogi enthusiasts for the world. And I sure as heck do not regret attending those parties where I made some of my best friends at UofT, even if I stained some of my favourite animal-print button-ups with red wine. It’s all worth it.

NEVER FORGET. via: http://goo.gl/4KeMM1

The point is, do not let your fear of gaining weight in first year shape your experiences, because as cheesy as it sounds, a few extra pounds does not define you.

If you’re still worried, our university does offer many free resources that can help keep you active. Trust me — the list is endless. In addition to the many drop in classes available, both the Athletic Centre and Hart House have gyms available to all students. If you’re feeling a bit lazy (no judgement!) some student residences come equipped with gyms!

But, guess what? Everybody else is worrying about the Freshman 15 too. No one will be judging you! Eventually, those folks will get over that too!

Until then: keep dancing, keep eating, and keep living.

Still concerned? Let me help! Leave a comment below or tweet me at Ondiek_UofT! 

Alumni Benefits

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I’m still getting used to the idea that I am an alumna of U of T, even though I officially graduated three weeks ago. Maybe it’s because I’m spending the summer here at this magnificent blog, but I don’t feel quite ready to cut loose and never walk across Front Campus again.

Thankfully, U of T does a lot of things to help with the transition from upper-year student to successful post-graduate. This week, I investigated the ways that you can stay involved with U of T and use it for support as you move forward in your life.  You can even get discounts and free things! Who doesn’t love free things?

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My general reaction to free things. (via thefrisky.com)

Stay connected to U of T

To start, you keep your U of T email account for life, though it changes from a @mail.utoronto.ca address to a @alumni.utoronto.ca account. Any emails sent to your old address will forward to the new one for two years, giving you time to let all of your contacts know about the change.

You also get a free subscription to U of T Magazine, a great publication that highlights news on campus and the accomplishments of alumni. I’ve been reading it online during my time as a student, but I’m excited to curl up with a paper copy in a new post-grad apartment.

Keep using U of T services

If you’re experiencing separation anxiety from Robarts, you can get an Alumni card (one-time fee of $22.60) to get up into the stacks as often as you like. And if you’d like to continue to borrow books, you can get an Alumni Reading card ($70 per year).

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Some Career Centre resources. There’s lots online, too!

You can also keep up your fitness levels by obtaining an alumni membership at the Athletic Centre ($571 per year) or Hart House ($423.55 per year, for the first three years after graduation), both of which can be paid in monthly instalments. You’ll be saving a lot compared to what the general public would pay!

Graduates also get access to the Career Centre for two years after their convocation date. Make sure to stop by the Career Centre to attend workshops or get advice from a career educator. You can also still access all of the full and part-time job opportunities in the CLN!

Continue learning

While you could certainly learn a lot by slowly reading yourself through the Robarts collection, possibly the best alumni perk is being able to further your career or personal ambitions by taking a course through the School of Continuing Studies. They offer online and in-classroom courses in business, creative writing and various arts and science topics. And U of T alumni can take one using a $600 credit within the first 18 months after convocation!

The first bit of science writing I ever did involved hanging out with the ROM dinos! (via thevarsity.ca)

The first bit of science writing I ever did involved hanging out with the ROM dinos! (via thevarsity.ca)

I’m definitely looking to use this amazing opportunity next summer. I’ve got my eye on the great selection of writing/journalism courses. Like this one on freelance science writing (which conveniently is exactly what I’m considering doing with my B.Sc. after journalism school!).

Which alumni benefit are you most looking forward to using, U of T?

Library Lovin’

Last week I had my very first (and maybe last?) summer school exam and I found myself once again spending a lot of time in the library. I’ve never been one for studying much in Robarts (although the 12th floor views are a big pull for getting there earlier and snagging a table in the window section of the St. George corner) so over the last 2 years I’ve sought out smaller, more visually appealing libraries. If you read my last post you’ve already gotten to see some of my favourite (outdoor) study spaces so this one will be some of my favourite indoor spaces!

Hart House • 7:00 am – Midnight • noise level varies hh

Hart House Library is a great space because it's so central on campus. Unfortunately every other student at U of T also thinks it's a great space so all the good spots are pften taken. Never fear though, you can normally find a spot onthe benches and chairs on the landing, or at a table in the reading room.

Hart House Library is a great space because it’s so central on campus. Unfortunately every other student at U of T also thinks it’s a great space so all the good spots are often taken. Never fear though, you can normally find a spot on the benches and chairs on the landing, or at a table in the reading room.

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Chairs and benches on the landing

This is on the landing at the east end of Hart House and I've never actiually studied here because it's always occupied but one day I will.

This is on the landing at the east end of Hart House. I’ve never actiually studied here because it’s always occupied but one day, if I’m lucky, I will.

Knox College Library • hours vary • quiet space

knox lib'

The perfectly inspiring place, especially when poring over history books. Look up and be transported to a bygone age of architecture. Make sure you check out the old card catalogues!

Emmanuel College Library (Victoria College) • hours vary • quiet space

This tiny library is so beautiful and only gets really full at the peak of exam season. To get here go to the third floor of Emmanuel College, in front of you will be the reading room (which I also love) and to your right is the library. There are divided desks throughout the main floor and some (but don’t quote me on this) up on the mezzanine.  DSCF2541DSCF2537DSCF2535

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The reading room opposite the stairs. People seem to sleep in here a lot.

WorldPride 2014

Everyone knows that I love living in Toronto (and if you didn’t, well, now you do!), but when asked specifically what I love about the city, I tend to get hit with a random case of amnesia. It’s kind of like being asked what your favourite band is, and for some reason you can only think of Linkin Park. Yeah — that kind of feeling.

Me being asked things. via: http://goo.gl/1oKT4d

This last week, however, I definitely didn’t have to think about why I love Toronto.

Two words: WorldPride 2014

Toronto isn’t just diverse — we celebrate our diversity. Being in my area of study (Social-Cultural Anthropology, Book & Media Studies, Women & Gender Studies, and Wikipedia), and being a minority individual, I’m so glad that I have the privilege of being able to live here.

And I’m ecstatic that mentality doesn’t stop anywhere you go downtown — especially at our university.

The very first thing I did, even before Pride Week officially started, was attend the U of T Pride Pub at Hart House with a few friends.

Hart House makes a very nice party area. Who knew?!

Hart House makes a very nice party area. Who knew?!

It was outrageous.

I mean, I’m not dumb (note: I can only attest to this by saying U of T accepted me) — I know our student body is diverse, but experiencing the Pride Pub showed me that as a university, we truly do have strength in numbers!

It was a beautiful night filled with Britney Spears music, lip-synching drag queens, Steam Whistle, and a whole lot of new faces for me to embarrass myself in front of.

This summarizes everything that happened that night. No shame, just love.

This summarizes everything that happened that night. No shame, just love.

Since the University of Toronto is a “no judgement zone,” I was able to simultaneously “dance” to C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” at the Pride Pub, while still having the pleasure of being invited to march as a part of the university group for the second year in a row!

Me passing out from the heat at last year’s Pride.

If you look up the word 'messy' in Webster's Dictionary, you will find this picture of Pride 2013.

If you look up the word ‘messy’ in Webster’s Dictionary, you will find this picture from Pride 2013.

Although it was literally boiling, having all my friends and peers around me while marching by thousands of equally happy spectators helped me not to have a heat stroke (this is scientifically proven). That, and we were walking through a military war field — if the war field was downtown Toronto, and the guns were water guns.

You can't see me because I shape-shifted into a puddle.

You can’t see me because I shape-shifted into a puddle.

It started raining for a few minutes, but then a double rainbow formed. The only thing that could've made this scene better is if Diana Ross' "I'm Coming Out" was playing at the same time.

It started raining for a few minutes, but then a double rainbow formed. The only thing that could’ve made this scene better is if Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” was playing at the same time.

I didn’t know I could be more proud than I already am to go to the University of Toronto — but I truly am. 50 metric pounds of glitter, and a community that doesn’t just accepts you, but celebrates your differences with you. That is priceless. Unless you count the glitter; It was probably purchased at Costco. So almost priceless.

UofT, what did you do for WorldPride?

Campus Getaways

I would pretty confidently call myself a city person. Ever since deciding to come to the University of Toronto I’ve wholeheartedly embraced city living and I cannot see myself living outside of a city anytime in my immediate future. That being said, I do come from a town that has a population of less than 10,000 people and is literally surrounded by farms and sometimes I really miss the quiet countryside.

What I love about U of T is that although it is right downtown there are still so many spots on campus that you can go where you can’t see (or hear in some places) any cars, or see any condos. These are some of my favourite little urban getaways on campus that I like to hang out in when I just can’t bear to see another taxi or bus.

Is your favourite getaway on here? Let me know in the comments!

I have named this the Vic Oasis, I don't know if it has a real name but I feel like Oasis is fitting. This gem is nestled between Pratt Library and Lower Burwash under a giant tree. The only downside to this spot is the people sudying in Pratt will be staring at you the entire time you're there.

I have named this the Vic Oasis, I don’t know if it has a real name but I feel like Oasis is fitting. This gem is nestled between Pratt Library and Lower Burwash under a giant tree. The only downside to this spot is the people studying in Pratt will be staring at you the entire time you’re there.

even if you turn around at the vic oasis you still can't really see any cars

Even if you turn around at the Vic oasis you still can’t really see any cars or many people at all.

If you get lucky and don't find Hart House quad otherwise occupied by a wedding party (I don't blame the wedding parties, I mean look at it) the tables are a great place to sit and read or just chill.

If you get lucky and don’t find Hart House quad otherwise occupied by a wedding party (I don’t blame the wedding parties, I mean look at it) the tables are a great place to sit and read or just chill.

hart house statue

I have so may memories associated with the Trinity Quad that it almost feels like my own backyard... almost. Sitting under the trees with a book is my favourite summer activity to do here. Trying not to fall as I cross the frozen tundra is my favourite winter activity here.

I have so may memories associated with the Trinity Quad that it almost feels like my own backyard… almost. Sitting under the trees with a book is my favourite summer activity to do here. Trying not to fall as I cross the frozen tundra is my favourite winter activity here.

I like the University College Quad in that it's very different from those of Trin and Hart House, it's wilder and has a lot more shade.

I like the University College Quad in that it’s very different from those of Trin and Hart House. It feels wilder and has a lot more shade and I just want to picnic here always.

Knox College is in between Kings College Circle and St. George Street. With two quads seperated by a cloister there is an abundance of options for study spots/general relax-in-the-sun spots.

Knox College is in between Kings College Circle and St. George Street. With two quads separated by a cloister there is an abundance of options for study spots/general relax-in-the-sun spots. I think I’ve speant more time here this summer than anywhere else on campus.

I really love this place.

I really love this place.

can you tell we're in the middle of the biggest city in Canada?

Can you tell we’re in the middle of the biggest city in Canada?

I take a lot of instagram pictures here (follow me @lifeatuoft)

I take a lot of instagram pictures here (follow me @lifeatuoft)

Progress

From last September until now, I’ve made progress.
I acknowledged my penchant for lying around, and I made solid goals to get myself moving. I also reached these goals and am currently in the process of reaching others. I completed two registered classes. I became a lover of both the plank and pirouette. I went to the gym and tried trampoline dodgeball. I took a few walks here and there in the good ol’city of Toronto. I was up for any challenge.

I took risks.
I became less self-conscious.
I’ve made progress.

From my first post to this very lost post, I made the leap from being inactive to active. And throughout my journey over the past eight months, I’ve learned that my body can do amazing things. I can jump, run, stretch, twirl, and lift. Becoming physically active helped me ease into the idea that it’s not about how I look, or what societal convention that I can fit into. It’s about what I can do and how I can move freely and be healthy.

There were some days when I admit I did nothing. But I also found a way to pick myself back up and get moving again. There were also days when I remembered that by being active, I will actually get more things done. I would go to a Pilates class, and then be able to focus on my studies. Productivity needs to come from some sort of activity in order to get the momentum going.

 

We made it. VIA FIREBONES.TUMBLR.COM

 

Now that this blog is ending for this semester, all I can say is that we are in the homestretch. It’s exam season, and we can conquer this! With essays/assignments and tests, it’s easy to just slip back to old habits. My books might be calling me to hole myself up in my room for days end, but I refuse to give up on my hard work. After all, being physically active isn’t a temporary goal, but a lifestyle.

Here’s what I’ll be doing for the remainder of exam season to keep my lifestyle goals in check:

1) For every half hour of studying, take a 5-10 minute break and stretch.
Keep that blood circulating!

2) Hit the gym twice a week, either before or after library visits.
Exercising is now officially the best friend of studying. It’s a win-win situation for conditioning both the mind and body.

3) Try a drop-in class one a week.
Since registered classes are finished, I plan to keep myself going by heading to the Athletic Centre and trying out a drop-in class that’s new to me each week. Adding spontaneity will help with my studying, as I will be able to break away from a monotonous routine of burying my head in the books during exam season.

4) Explore a bit of Toronto!
I need to refresh myself and get out of the campus bubble. I want to take advantage of the fact that the weather is now nice enough for average human being to not turn into an icicle. Therefore, I should start walking around the city again and go on adventure mode away from the campus.

5) Take a rest, and relax.
Treat yo’self. No explanation needed.

We all start off as beginners, but as time goes by, we change. As for me, I’m always looking for something new to try out—that’s the best habit I’ve developed this year.

 

A dance of celebration. VIA GIF-DATABASE.TUMBLR.COM



I’m getting the hang of this. I can totally do this.

Are you ready exam season?

-Amanda

To Prospective MoveU’ers

Right now, many high school students are looking at their offers of acceptance and making big decisions. Part of that decision is considering what a university has to offer, lifestyle-wise (hey, university is more than just academics).

Staying active is crucial to your university experience. So to any of you prospective student readers out there, let me share with you some of the best aspects of U of T St. George campus.

The Athletic Centre
Ah, the good ol’AC. If you’re looking for a gym to work out in, or to take drop-in and registered classes that range from Parkour to Pilates, you’re covered. This place is legitimate — there is a dance studio (which I am currently taking ballet classes in), a 50-feet Olympic pool, field house, spinning room, weight room and various other rooms filled with brand new, and top of the art exercise equipment, you can spend days exploring this behemoth of a building.

Lo and behold, the Athletic Centre. VIA PHYSICAL.UTORONTO.CA

The Athletic Centre is also near another behemoth — the concrete peacock library of our time, Robarts. Need a break from studying to go work out, or vice versa? The buildings are about three minutes away from each other. How convenient to your academic and athletic career in university!

Does it not look like a peacock though? VIA SCE.LIBRARY.UTORONTO.CA

Hart House
Personally, the fact that you can be able to say to people that the gym you go to is in a castle-like building adds more cred to what Hart House is. People call this building Hogwarts for a reason: tons of stairs and arched windows. Although this gym isn’t as spacious as the Athletic Centre, it’s a gem on the U of T campus. I love the coziness of the small weight room, and the fact that the running track is just above the gymnasium, where many drop-in and registered classes take place. Most of all, it’s located at the heart of the U of T campus, and which makes it easy to travel to.

Ye olde Hart House. VIA HARTHOUSE.CA

MoveU Passport/Co-Curricular Record

The University of Toronto has introduced the co-curricular record, which is a transcript that keeps track of your activity and participation on campus. How can I build my CCR, you ask? Participate in extra-curriculars, work in jobs on campus, and take part of CCR-recognized events and programs, such as the MoveU Passport. The MoveU Passport, as I explained in my previous post, is an initiative where taking part in weekly MoveU events and getting active will count toward your CCR. Past events held by the MoveU Passport include Dance Conditioning, Table Tennis, and many more in this drop-in schedule! I don’t know about you, but having a flawless CCR is another reason worth going to the gym for!

The best part about all of these places and programs?
You’ll be able to meet people and make new friends through being healthy and active on campus.

Cheesy, but it’s true!

If you prospective students want to ask any questions about MoveU, feel free to ask away in the comment section!

—Amanda

 

On A Magic Bus

One of the great things about university is the endless opportunity to experience, learn, and engage with new perspectives and worldviews. Last Saturday I went on a Multi-Faith Centre hosted event, a Bus Tour of Houses of Worship in Toronto and the GTA. I saw a poster for it at Hart House a week ago. The tour visited a Sikh Gurdwara, an Islamic Mosque, and a Christian Presbyterian Church.

The bus tour left from Hart House at 10 am. Everyone had to register before hand, and as we boarded the bus, the organizer checked our names from the list. We were given name tags and encouraged to speak with the people sitting in front and behind us. The bus was packed.

I talked with an exchange student from Paris, France, who had been a little undecided whether to come to Canada or the United States for her term abroad, but she said she was enjoying her decision very much. She registered for the bus tour because it allowed her to explore Toronto and Canada in a safe and comfortable way and experience the variety of communities and cultures that live here.

We arrived at the Sikh Gurdwara first. The building reminded me of a library mixed with a gymnasium. It was very quiet and clean, and we had to remove our shoes and don shawls to cover our heads. Our Sikh guides, a young woman and an older man, gave us a tour of the different prayer rooms, and eventually led us to the cafeteria where they were offering lungar, a free meal to which all are welcome. On the floor, we ate vegetarian curry and naan bread and vegetables tossed in a special batter. It was delicious! The Sikh religion believes in inclusivity, equality, and good will to all of humanity.

We got back on the bus and drove a short ways and arrived at the Islamic Mosque. Welcomed by a very cheerful and entertaining volunteer, we discovered that the building was also a community outreach centre, a registered private school, and a place of worship. Inside the prayer room, I was surprised by the lack of symbols and images. The room was plain and undecorated. Our host explained that individual prayer is integral to Islam, and so they don’t have intermediary symbols and signs. The religion is largely about how to be a good person.

Our final destination was the Christian Presbyterian Church. I went to church when I was younger, and I recognized the smell of old wood, the dim light of stain glass windows, the Bibles on the backs of the pews. But I know very little about Christianity. For instance, I thought the Gospel was a song. Nope. The Church employee cleared that up, explaining that the Gospel is the triumph over evil, and that Church is the celebration of the Gospel. She also told us that the church is involved with local Toronto charities, offering Out of the Cold and ESL programs.

All in all, the Bus Tour of Houses of Worship brought to my attention the vastness of my own ignorance. But in a good way. I realized that the opportunity for understanding, and the potential to explore and learn is open to me, and to every student, here at U of T. We have such an unbelievably magnificent invitation to open our eyes and see the world beyond our own life-styles, beliefs, and understandings. It was a great day. Plus I got a free lunch!

‘Til next time, U of T, stay diamond.

- Stephen.

Cooking for yourself: A delicious adventure

We were greeted at the door by the server who was also the chef at the restaurant. He sat us down on the couch and told us to feel at home while he cooked our meal. On his way to the open concept kitchen, he told us we were also welcome to use the TV and the wireless internet.

The restaurant prides itself on dishes characterized by speed, taste, large quantities and value. The main entrees on the menu included mac n’ cheese with a side option of canned tuna, instant noodles and pizza pockets. Dessert offerings ranged from a spoonful of Nutella, instant pudding or a granola bar.

By the time the food arrived, we had already pulled out our laptops and were typing away our papers at the coffee table. We dined by the light of our monitors as we romanced our studies.

As time and money are limited resources for students, and so many would rather eat out cheaply or cook instant meals instead, this is what I would envision the dining experience to be like if traditional student cuisine was served in restaurants: instant meals in front of your work.

I often hear students talk about time spent on grocery shopping, cooking and eating as a waste. But I feel differently and I hope this article will change this popular opinion and perhaps instill in the reader a larger sense of appreciation for the experience of cooking for oneself.

Source: https://24.media.tumblr.com/af1e08fe9bfb326af011330ffd9a1346/tumblr_mtm5rxlGiE1ro9rq7o1_400.gif

Source: https://24.media.tumblr.com/af1e08fe9bfb326af011330ffd9a1346/tumblr_mtm5rxlGiE1ro9rq7o1_400.gif

Rather than being a waste of time and energy, think of  the time spent on grocery shopping, cooking and eating not only as a break from the books but also as an adventurous process whereby you’re gathering nutrients to fuel your body and  mind, combining them in interesting ways, and then enjoying your efforts on your own, or with a few friends.

Personally, I find cooking to be highly therapeutic. It teases the senses.  My sense of smell is  transformed by  odours of ingredients: the raw, fresh smell of a red pepper that turns fragrant and sweet when warmed. It stimulates touch: the roughness of a broccoli, the smooth and soft surface of a tomato. Visually, the colours of the ingredients can be so enticing. And, aurally: the knife rhythmically hitting the chopping board accompanied by the melody of a sizzling pan.

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Cooking isn’t just a means to an end; it is so much more than that. For example, it is an outlet for creative expression, a venue for learning outside of the classroom and an opportunity for socializing. Cooking lets me combine and experiment with different flavours and ingredients from around the world. It has taught me patience (the 45 minutes it takes to bake a chicken turns into decades when I’m hungry and  can smell it from my bedroom) and perseverance (those eggs will stop getting stuck to the pan at some point!). I have also learnt a lot about nutrition through cooking my own food and choosing interesting recipes. Through cooking, my curiosity has been piqued and I make it a habit to read food labels and I challenge myself to  eat as healthy as possible most days.  Cooking has also allowed me to form special connections with my friends when we cook for one another, or sometimes even together.

So I urge you, however reluctant you are, to try and spend more time shopping and cooking instead of eating out. When you combine whole grains, colourful vegetables and fruits, and your favourite meat, fish or legumes, with an attitude of adventure, it’s can be an incredible process that nourishes your body and your mind. Give it a try!

If you aren’t too familiar with cooking yet, follow these nutritious and tasty recipes. If you’d like some company and engaging discussions while you cook, check out the Community Kitchens Program at Hart House!

What are your feelings on cooking? Do you know how to cook?  Who taught you? What’s your favourite dish to cook?

Gloria