Getting Theatrical on Campus

I’m a pretty big theatre fan so this weekend I caught not one, but two shows on campus. The first one, on Friday night, was the Trinity College Dramatic Society’s production of A Midsummer Nights Dream and the second was Hart House Theatre’s The Importance of Being Earnest. 

I took a few pictures during the pre-show and show of Midsummer, and a couple of the Hart House Space but couldn’t take any of The Importance of Being Earnest itself. If you want to see pictures from that production you can go to the Hart House Theatre website here.  Keep scrolling for the pictures I took at the shows this weekend!

The TCDS performs “Shakespeare in the Quad” every fall and this year the production jumped out of the quad and made use of three spaces throughout Trinity College: Seeley Hall, the Chapel, and of course the Quad.  Midsummer is probably my favourite Shakespeare play so I was very excited to check this production out (plus my roommate was playing Peaseblossom so obviously I had to go and see her flounce around all fairy-like), and it did not disappoint — it was probably the best Shakespeare show I’ve ever seen! Instead of being in the traditional format, this show had the characters moving around Trinity with action happening in various spots simultaneously so the audience had to physically follow the action around the college, and it worked so well! The acting was of course superb and I was really impressed overall!

a girl dressed as a fairy looking confused into middle distance below the camera. Slightly blurry and out of focus because she is moving.

During the Pre-show all the characters walked around interacting with the audience in Seeley Hall. Here a fairy is very confused and intrigued by my bright orange umbrella. Also it was kind of dim in Seeley and everyone was moving fast so the pictures are all a little blurry – sorry.

a girl dressed as a fairy looks confusedly at a plastic bag in her hands. The bag is a blur because she is moving it.

Plastic bags are confusing

two actors dressed as fairies (The Changeling and Titania from a midsummer night's dream) take a selfie. They both have sparkes and lots of makeup on their faces.

All the fairies were really intrigued by my camera, here The Changeling and Titania took it and took a selfie with it.

a picture of the Trinity College chapel. The pews are filled with spectators watching people dressed as mimes/clowns acting out a play at the front.

Moving to the Trinity College Chapel to see the mechanicals rehearsing one of their plays.

a girl partly hidden in shadows holding up a cut out paper puppet of a monster in front of a light source so it's shadow falls on a sheet.

Inside the Fairy Bower the fairies tell the story of Puck and Titania with shadow puppets. There were also games in the bower which was really fun.

an actor dressed in a pale blue suit acts as if he is sleaping below a tree. Spectators watch from a distace.

Lysander sleeping beneath a tree before Puck comes to mess things up.

The second show I saw was on Saturday, when I went to Hart House Theatre to see the closing day matinee of The Importance of Being Earnest. I’d never seen this show before but I’d heard it was hilarious so I was eager to see it. Hart House Theatre is a really nice space and there isn’t a bad seat in the house. The show itself was really good: the sets, the costumes, and the acting were all top notch.

photo showing the poster for the importance of being earnest outside of hart house theatre. The poster has the name, a picture, and the show dates.

the hallway going into Hart House Theatre. the walls have shadowboxes with theatre posters. at the end of the hall is an arch.

such a beautiful space!

a hand holding out the programme for the 2014-2015 hart house theatre season

These two shows have unfortunately already closed, but there are still lots of upcoming shows at U of T this year, some of the ones that I know are happening are:

  • The Tempest (Hart House)
  • Jesus Christ Superstar (Hart House) 
  • This is for you Anna (Hart House) 
  • Fiddler on the Roof (SMC)
  • The Third Story (Trin)
  • 12 Angry Jurors (Men) Trin
  • Company (Vic)

You can check out what will be put on this year through the U of T tickets website.

What other shows are happening at U of T this year that you think I should see? Let me know in the comments below!

Let’s get downward, dog: Enlightenment at Hart House Yoga

*Credits to that one random poster at UTSC for the title. I wish I were that creative with my puns.

If the title wasn’t a dead giveaway, this week I had my first yoga class at Hart House and it was AMAZING! I’ve done yoga for a few years now, but it’s usually in beginner classes, and not regularly. I knew I wanted to try to be more physically active this year, but I needed something more than just running on the treadmill.

How did I end up with yoga?

Let me just start with one simple aspect of my personality: I like to take on a lot. It sounds like the cliché answer you might give when you get asked, “what’s your biggest weakness,” at a job interview, but for me, it’s the truth. I like to keep busy, because otherwise I just kind of …don’t do anything.

Api with concerned look on her face.

Not impressed brain. Not impressed.

It’s system that works pretty well for me, with time management and all that jazz. “But Api, I don’t see the problem,” you might ask.

Well my friends, after a very packed first month back, I realize that yes, I am able to handle a lot but that doesn’t eliminate the stress that comes along with it.

Since I seem to work best when I’m busy, I knew the solution to being stressed out wasn’t cutting things out, it was adding something I liked doing. So, I decided to replace one of my weekly workout hours (which I, coincidentally, haven’t actually started yet) with an hour of yoga at Hart House!

Photo of banner saying "Hart House Fitness Centre" with and arrow pointing down the hall.

I was really intimidated when I first stepped into the class, because I had only done introductory yoga and I was pretty out of practice. I wasn’t even sure if I could still touch my toes.

 

Mirror reflection pIcture of Api sitting down and reaching for toes with toes just out of reach.

I could. (Just barely though).

But our first class consisted of covering some of the basic moves and learning how to do them properly, so that we don’t strain ourselves and we got the most benefit from them.

The class went pretty well, and I’m glad I have something separate from school, extracurricular activities and work, that I can use as Api time!

There are lots of yoga options on campus, if you can’t commit to a weekly class, Hart House and the Athletic Centre has drop-in classes. The Multi-Faith Centre also has options for meditation and yoga!  So you have plenty of options to get your tree pose on!

Picture of api doing tree pose with one leg bent and resting against her shin.

#YogaSelfie trending in Toronto ~~

Hopefully by the end of the semester, I’ll be able to do that pose without losing my balance and falling over. Baby steps.

Getting Artsy: The Hart House Film Board Fall Screening Party

In one of my many writers block moments this summer I was scrolling the #UofT hashtag on twitter in search of some inspiration. Hidden between messages about course selection and Orientation week was a post by Hart House.

Tweet from User: Hart House on August 13th stating: The Hart House Film Board and the University of Toronto Film Festival are accepting short videos with a link connecting to the Hart House website for more information

I was originally intrigued on behalf of a friend of mine who’s an aspiring filmographer. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for him to showcase his amazing work to a crowd of film enthusiasts as well as up-and-coming artists such as himself. After suggesting/forcing him to apply, I did some more research into the Hart House Film Board.

I had never heard of the organization before, and after speaking the Program Advisor Rick Palidwor, I learned that it’s one of “U of T’s best kept secrets.” The Hart House Film Board has been dedicated to assisting aspiring artists since 1975. Not only do they offer inexpensive equipment rentals and workshops, they also provide extensive support to the U of T film community at large.

Picture outdoors at night time. There is a screen in the background with a movie playing on it (the details are not visible). Behind the screen where the movie is playing you can see the light shining through old gothic style windows that look into the building'd auditorium.

The Outdoor Screening!

The film screening showcases the eclectic work of U of T students and alumni. The annual screening is held in the picturesque Hart House Quad, with a lit cocktail tent and make-shift outdoor theatre.

Having a personal connection to one of the filmmakers, David Bedford the creator of Film II, I expected to go into the screening with a bit of a bias. However once the first film began to play I was immediately amazed and captivated. The films were a variety of lengths and styles, and covered a variety of subject matter. Everything was showcased from documentaries, to comedies, to experimental films.

Four individual images collaged together showcasing four of the movies shown. From top left to bottom right there is a picture of a young girl standing on a balcony at night with a wineglass in her hand, the skyline of Toronto is visible in the background. Next is a picture of a middle aged man with brown hair speaking onto a cell phone looking concerned. Next there is a picture of a tennis court at dusk in a suburban setting with a young man off to the far right holding a tennis racket. Finally there is a picture of a family, all wearing tie-dye, holding hands and walking outside in a wooded area.

Four of the films that premiered.
Photos provided by the Hart House Film Board.

The Hart House Film Board hosts an even larger screening party, as a part of the U of T Film Festival, each year in March. They bring in outside judges to critique the film submissions and choose a select few to be shown at a large gala style screening. This event, as well as the one I attended, is completely free to attend and even offers free food and a cash bar.

As someone who is enthusiastic about film, but not a content creator themselves, I loved getting to attend such a unique event. Not only did I get to witness some amazing art, but I also got to experience an entire other world that exists within U of T.

Two young students, a male on the left and a female on the right, posing in a hallway. The architecture of the hallway is gothic with dim lighting, cement floors and large archways.

Myself and my friend David after his film premiered!

If you’re an artist yourself, check out www.harthouse.ca/classes. Upcoming classes include 100% Hands-on Film Exercises for Absolute Beginners and Digital Video Editing with Adobe Premiere.

However if you’re like me and lack a single creative bone in your body, but do have an enthusiasm for film and art, check out the Hart House calendar. There are hundreds of unique and free events featuring student made film, photography, and theatre production.

So congratulations to all the amazing teams that put together the films showcased, and to the Hart House Film Board for hosting such a great event. If you go to any events at Hart House, or see any other great opportunities you think I should check out, leave them in the comments below or share them with me over on twitter at @Rachael_UofT.

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.

photo 3

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).

photo 1

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!

photo 4

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.

photo 2

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

croppedmagazine

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?

clone-dance-party1

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).

2014-07-08 13.41.22

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.

HH3

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

DSCF2528

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