My Visit to the Sexual Education Centre

Happy February!

In my last post, I wrote about all the super resources we have on campus that can help you lead a healthy student life. This week, I decided to investigate another great resource on campus – the Sexual Education Centre (SEC)!  The SEC is located at the Sussex Clubhouse and if you didn’t already know, is famous for its nearly infinite supply of free condoms.

The door to the SEC office is open to all students on campus, undergrad and graduate!

This was essentially the sole fact I knew about SEC before I visited. What I found was that while the office did indeed boast of an incredible quantity and variety of condoms (see the “menu”), it also contained a wide array of resources and supports for all things related to sex, sexuality, and relationships.

I quote directly one of the centre’s volunteers: “For 50cents of your annual student fees you can get an infinite amount of condoms.”

My welcome to the centre was quite positive. I was greeted by a number of smiling faces when I walked in, supplied with a wealth of information during my visit, and seen off with a “grab bag” filled with safer-sex products. The centre is open Monday – Friday, 10 am – 7pm, during the Fall/Winter semesters, and everyone is welcome.

Confession: There’s a New Library in My Life

There are 44 UofT libraries, spanning UofT’s three campuses. There are libraries of all shapes and sizes, all styles and atmospheres. You would think this would be enough for me. You would be wrong.

Recently, I have been cheating on UofT. Maybe I took #TryItUofT too far; you be the judge. Consider this my confession:

Dear Robarts,

We have had a long and beautiful love affair. Just over three and a half years ago, I first decided to overlook your imposing and intimidating exterior and give you a chance. I grew to love you.

We have had some wonderful times together, haven’t we? Do you remember meeting my friends? We used to hang out and study together all the time. They grew to love you, too. We presented a united front during many a finals season. I came to see your beauty more and more as I got to know you better and better—your blossoming cherry trees in the summer, your amazing Toronto views, your Rare Book Library. I will never forget all that you have given me; you were always there to provide me with research materials and unlimited free WiFi. You have been my rock. I regret nothing. Please remember that.

We had our good times, yes, but after three and a half years of dogged commitment on my part, I have become more sensitive to your stone-hearted habits. Three and a half years of endless Starbucks lines, freezing my hands off in study rooms, and red-walled cages—I mean, elevators. I’m tired, Robarts. I can’t do it anymore. Things have changed.

I know you don’t want to hear this, but I’m seeing someone else.

A Drake-themed guide to Robarts during exam season

Exams are upon us, U of T. Time to buckle down, catch up with readings, and hit up the nearest campus library for some serious studying. Robarts is the natural go-to choice for many students. Exams may make you miserable, but at least being around other people who are stressing out as much as you are is somewhat comforting. Also comforting is knowing that you’re making Drake proud by acing that calc exam. And always remember that if Aubrey Graham could go from a teeny-bopper D-list actor on Degrassi to a bonafide rap legend, then you can certainly power through these final weeks of the first semester.

Drake leaning against a large storage container and a stereo, using the stereo as a desk to write lyrics on a piece of paper.
Even Drake’s gotta constantly put in werk (Source: Instagram @champagnepapi)

Library Da[y]ze

As a student who ‘double-dips’ in both the arts and sciences here at U of T, I can tell you that sometimes a full library day is something you can’t avoid. My kitchen table is where I do the majority of my school work, but occasionally I need the focus and academic-y aesthetic a library provides. The many reasons students end up at the library vary, but I’m sure we all have one thing in common: we don’t really want to be there.

A picture of my kitchen table littered with notebooks, textbooks and my MacBook.
A typical Madeline-at-home work space.

I once made made a trip out to Queen’s University to visit some friends who studied there. It was during the impromptu library tour (it didn’t take long, they only have seven) that I was told if you were going to get anything done there, you must get a desk with an outlet not for your computer charger, but for the mini kettle that would apparently provide enough sustenance to read for hours on end with instant coffee and Mr. Noodles. And while I have never seen a person with a kettle at Robarts, I still think of this every time I pack up my bag for a full day of studying.

First Years – Unplugging on Campus

The start of the ’gap’ between midterms and finals is definitely a good time to find more opportunities to de-stress where possible. As I’ve been emphasizing the importance I’ve placed on striking a balance between work and play, I’ve decided to find out where my fellow first-years have been going to relax on campus. Specifically, I’ve been looking for places to ‘unplug’ and unwind without keeping a constant eye on my phone.