The Not-so Healthy Wellness Blogger: Haley and the Simplicity of the Unhealthy

Hey Life @ U of T blog readers!

My name is Haley and I will be your Health and Wellness Blogger for this upcoming year. Now, before you say “Oh another health guru, let me just look at someone else’s post,” let me be straight up with you now: I am not your typical “health” blogger. To be frank, I am a chip eating, wine drinking, cigarette-smoking (my boss is probably horrified by this admission), anxiety-stricken queer person who has never thought of dental dams and “the bedroom” in the same sentence.

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Now you might be thinking: “But Haley! I drink wine and eat chips, and sure, I may smoke a couple cigarettes at a party, but you can still be healthy if you keep it in moderation.” Thanks friendly reader but here is the problem: moderation is not as easy as it sounds. Not to make excuses for myself but when I am stressed, which is often, I am not thinking to myself, “I really should be doing some meditation while I eat some kale.” No, I am thinking, “Pass me those Pringles so I can get me through (insert stressful essay/activity/event here).”

Eating a lot of terrible things are often “quick fixes” to terrible student problems. We all know that. But it seems impossible to get out of this mindset of reaching for the fast and often unhealthy food. Although I am making it through in public with a smile on my face, I am still struggling just as hard as I did in first year. Resorting to smoking, if anything, has made it worse because all I think about during writing an exam/essay is “when can I go outside for a cigarette?  I just can’t seem to focus without one in my hand.”

I have not actually solved the underlining problem of WHY I get so anxious. Yes medication helps, but the brain is an organ folks- it needs proper nourishment too.

It is hard, I know, but there really is no quick fix. Healthy eating and occasional exercise is something to work for, one little step at a time. I know treadmills are not my friend (fast walking for the sake of getting sweaty and tired, why?), but tap shoes are!  Cheesecake is definitely my friend but so is stem-cooked broccoli and baby carrots. Come April 2015, I want to look at health and wellness as something other than the “miracle pill” or the “lose weight on your couch” garbage that is seen on television. I do not want to see these options as “compromises” but as an additive to a better and happier lifestyle.

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That is why I want to write for y’all and that is why I need your help to take the initiative to put my body and mind first. It is not easy and if people tell you it is, they are probably trying to sell you some green “health” mush from a late-night infomercial.

Help me, fellow students! Let’s get a little bit better together.

All for now,

Haley

Denying Distraction: Turning Off Your Cellphone for Class

I am the first person to admit that I have a problem. More accurately, an addiction.

My name is Rachael and I am addicted to my cell phone. 

Not in the unhealthy “I’m going to cry if my cell phone dies in public” kind of addicted, but more along the lines of “I check instagram every 15 minutes and update my snapchat story too much to be normal.”

3 "selfie" style photos of female student sitting in a lecture hall

So you’re saying it’s not okay to take multiple selfies on Snapchat during lecture…?

So this year when I made my New School Year Resolutions, I decided to attempt something crazy. Something entirely out of my comfort zone. This year I am going to turn off my cell phone during every class and tutorial. 

I think that we’re all guilty of checking our phones during class. Especially in large lectures where it’s so easy to hide our phone behind the computer screen. It becomes a safety blanket, something we can turn to when we’re feeling bored or lonely. However once you start checking your phone it can be hard to stop, and before you know it the professor is onto an entirely new subject and you have no idea what you’ve missed.

So for this upcoming school year I’ve decided to put away my phone.

The first lecture was easy. My professor was funny and engaging, and being my first class of the year it was easy for me to pay attention. I wasn’t once tempted to check my phone. This was the same for my second class, and even for my third.

It wasn’t until my 4th day of school, in the first lecture that was more in-depth than just an introduction, that I felt the pull to check my phone. I didn’t have anything specific I wanted to do – maybe just check if I have a text message or see if there’s anything new on Instagram. But I persevered and kept my wandering attention focused on the lecture.

Computer programs like iProcrastinate can help reduce distraction on your computer if your cell phone isn't the problem! (Click here to see more about this program)

Computer programs like iProcrastinate can help reduce distraction on your computer if your cell phone isn’t the problem! (Click here to see more about this program)

So while my professor continued on about the importance of Socrates in Ancient Philosophy, I came to a profound realization. I wasn’t checking my phone because I was bored or uninterested in my class. I was checking my phone because I was scared of what I was missing when I was in class. To be stereotypical, I was experiencing FOMO. (Fear of Missing Out)

I wanted to check my phone in class because I didn’t want to feel disconnected from the rest of the world, and equally so I didn’t want others to think I was disconnected.

It was then that I made a second realization; I am a student. My life, and the lives of most of my friends, is spent in class. We should be disconnected from the rest of the world while we’re there.

On top of which, it's not like your teacher doesn't notice you're distracted

On top of which, it’s not like your teacher doesn’t notice you’re distracted

I’ve had a few more classes since then, and I’m proud to say that my phone has remained turned off in the bottom of my bag. Not only do I find myself much more engaged in the lecture, but it’s made me realize how disrespectful it is to my professors and instructors. They’re giving their full attention and time to the lecture, so I should be too.

But what do you think U of T? Do you check your phone during lecture, and if you do, do you think that it’s okay? I want to hear your opinion, so leave it for me in the comments below! Until next week check out everything I’m doing (when I’m not in class) 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.

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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!

A U of T Student’s Recipe for Success

I’d like to consider myself a borderline foodie, and as a result, I refuse to let the quality of my meals slip just because of a few trivial things like ‘exams’ or ‘homework.’ I have a few go-to methods and recipes to make sure that even when heading to Robarts at 8AM for a 12 hour study session during midterms, I’ll still be able to have a healthy and preferably home-cooked meal to eat. Apparently cake pops and Frappucinos are not part of a balanced meal.

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When it looks this good, anything can be a part of a balanced meal.

I’ve come to the realization that the problems with being healthy while busy (for me at least) can be narrowed down to a few issues:

  1. Money
  2. Flavor
  3. Time

Sometimes, it may just be easier to grab a cheesy poutine from the food truck, but I still try to make myself decent food despite these issues. After many failed attempts with expensive veggies, bland food and simply just sleeping in too late to cook anything, I’ve finally figured out a system that works for me. So here is one of my favourite recipes, along with some of my useful shortcuts to go along with it!

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Couscous Salad!

Let me take a minute to express my outright love for couscous. All you have to do is add boiling water, and it cooks in 5 minutes. Even if a 5-minute cooking time isn’t short enough, this is the perfect food to make in big batches on a Sunday night, for a daily grab-and-go during the week. It’s also super customizable. So if kale or celery isn’t your thing, you can add whatever vegetables you love (or whatever vegetables are cheapest to buy!). I have a flyer app on my phone called Reebee that gets me all the grocery store flyers, so I scan it to stock up on fruits, veggies, and anything else I might need thats on sale.

Recipe: Amounts can vary depending on how much you want to make but here are the general ingredients! Enjoy!

-1 cup of cooked couscous
-1/2 cup of chopped kale
-1/2 cup of scraped carrots
-1/2 cup of scraped zucchini
-1 tomatoe, diced into small pieces
-1 small onion diced into small pieces
-1 tsp chopped ginger
-salt and pepper to taste
-lemon juice
-2-3 tbsp of olive oil

Instructions: Sauté ginger, carrots and zucchini and kale in a large pan. When cooked to your desire, add salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, mix together the tomatoes and onions with a little lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Once everything has cooled down, mix together in a large bowl and store in the fridge! This will save cooking time in the morning so you can be more relaxed. Or, you can always sleep in longer and rush out the door, but either way, you have a meal ready to go!

To make it extra special (this is where the flavor comes in), invest in some flavourful ingredients such as sriracha sauce, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil or fresh coriander (or other herbs). Most of these don’t go bad very easily and last in the pantry or fridge for a long time. It’s comforting to know that the $4 I spent on sriracha was well worth it.

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Just kidding, I never regret the sriracha.

Sometimes, even despite our best efforts, life can get too hectic to even make time for cooking (see: Finals week). If you ever need to find somewhere to eat on campus, there’s a app for iPhone and Android with the UeaT Campus Food Map! You’ll have all of the campus restaurants and cafés at your fingertips!

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Makes it easier to find Harvest Noon <3

So tell me U of T, what are your go-to healthy recipes? Let me know down below in the comments or tweet me your suggestions at @Api_UofT on Twitter!

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

 

in which we discuss the pressure to perform

As an English student, essay season always finds me suffering from stomach discomfort.

There is the sinking panic right before I hand in an essay,
and the queasy nausea right before I get back an essay.

I’m pretty sure we all know these sensations too well.
The fear of not having met the number grade expectations you’ve set for yourself, or bureaucratically required of you…

The university environment can be tough. We are all familiar with the study grind, the seemingly lost cause of staying on top of our work, and the collective experience of late nights and cram sessions at various locations all over campus. Coupled with the anxiety that peaks every time midterms or essays or finals come around, it is remarkably easy to lose motivation and interest in the learning we have come for.

In a setting where achievement is so heavily emphasized, how are we to deal with the pressure to perform?

Firstly, remember that a GPA is not an indicator of your abilities.

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deep truth we should all internalize.

We each possess a different combination of skills and talents, and these are not all quantifiable in the same way.Extra-curricular involvement showed me a whole set of skills I did not know I possessed that marks would not have highlighted.

Recognize your strengths and your weaknesses.
A healthy dose of self-knowledge helps combat the self-doubt in times of high pressure.

Practically speaking though…our GPAs do impact us in school.
So what then? 

Keep sight of your greater trajectory of learning.

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the stairway of learning….sometimes takes me back into bed.

Learning takes time. Learning takes effort. Learning takes practice.
Building on past effort is much more important and practical than any isolated attempt at success.

Every year, my only game plan is to raise my marks per essay, per class with each try. If I successfully do that, I’ve learned a little more. I read the comments of each essay I get back, take note of what is being critiqued, and carry that with me into all the other essays I write after that.
Each class requires slight adjustments, and so does each term, each year.

Taking a more holistic look at your overall academic achievement helps you be more pragmatic and clear about setting personal goals.

Set those goals.

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start simple. don’t be too ambitious.

  • Write goals down on post-its.
  • Remind yourself of said goals.
  • Attempt those goals.
  • Celebrate successes.
  • Throw get-over-failure parties.
  • Consult others for help: Professors, T.A.s, Alumni, Peers, Writing Centers, Libraries.

Through the process of goal-setting and goal-attempting, I guarantee that you will learn something. You may learn how to approach academia better, how skilled exactly you are at procrastination, how much you can cram into an hour, or just how hard some things are for you.

Whatever it is, you will be in a better place for having tried, than not having tried at all.

Lastly, wake up every day, look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are awesome….and that in a few weeks it will be Christmas break.

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um guys i have no fingers… some help here?

In which we talk about how failure is okay

In first year I arrived at Victoria College, determined to study Classics and Literature, and get into Concurrent Education to become a teacher. Enrolled in the Vic One Frye (Humanities) stream, I was thrown headlong into exactly what I had asked for.

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Vic really could be the backdrop for any number of novels

I encountered the greats in my Intro English classes, hungrily read my Classical Mythology textbook cover-to-cover and enrolled in PSY100.

Soon, however, I discovered that what I had asked for was not what I wanted.

I often felt disengaged and unable to contribute due to a serious lack of knowledge. My essay marks were sub-par, my class participation trivial and I felt on edge all the time.

I remember the exact moment in a seminar when I thought to myself,
“I don’t understand or care about any of this! What am I doing here?”

Furthermore, my international status meant uncomfortable get-to-know-you conversations with classmates. My general knowledge, interests and lifestyle were so different that every conversation only highlighted this difference.

I hated how I sounded in my head:
“Well where I’m from…” or “I listen to so and so, no you don’t know?”
“Yes. Where I’m from we all speak English.” “No, Singapore is not in Japan, or a part of China. It’s its own country. But I live in Hong Kong now.”IMG_1679Hong Kong is 12 hours forward in time zone.

Somewhere in the middle of it all, I panicked.

Did I make the wrong decision to fly thousands of miles to this city to study something I couldn’t see myself in, with peers I couldn’t communicate with?

I crashed my way through that year.
I read, I wrote and I hoped.

When the time came to pick subject POSts, I applied for English and compulsively opted for an East Asian Studies minor instead of Classics.
I was accepted into the Con-Ed program, thereby sealing my academic timeline for the next four years.

Try again, Jasmine.

Second year I diversified my literature classes and began East Asian Studies. I sat in class, reluctant to participate, just absorbing. From ailing essays to coherent presentations and everything in between, I had them all.

Third year I scrutinized my learning experiences, and began agreeing and disagreeing with lecture points. My learning curve settled from crazy spikes and dips into a gentler slope. I worked my thoughts into papers, and made friends in and out of class.

Fourth year I disagreed with a professor in class and sought him during office hours to continue the discussion. I became more sure-footed in my knowledge, and more ambitious in my writing.

I went to OISE for a professional semester and did my seven-week teaching practicum.

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Manipulate time? All in a day’s work.

At the end of last year, I decided I‘d complete my degrees, but also admitted that I didn’t want to be a teacher anymore.

Four years later, it feels like I’ve come full circle: what I asked for is not what I want.

People often ask me, “Isn’t it a waste? Why close those career doors, Jasmine? You worked so hard for so long.  The implications of changing are more serious now than in first year.”

No it is not a waste.
I have hated and loved my experiences.
I have developed close friendships with all kinds of people.
I have nurtured a deep love for the Arts and Humanities and will pursue them.

More importantly, I go through each year strongly aware of how far I’ve come, because I keep that first year close to me.
I have discovered more about what I can achieve and how to persevere.

Failure teaches us these things more succinctly than success ever will.

If you feel like your decisions or lack thereof have dug you into a hole you can’t see out of, take heart.

It is okay to drop what is not working for you.
It is okay to persevere at what seems to keep beating you down.

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What To Do, What To Do . . . Events at U of T

I had to return to Cambridge this weekend to help my dad bring in and stack firewood. It’s a yearly chore and it’s fine, because I love woodstove fires in the winter when I visit home. So I left on Thursday, which means I missed a few events at U of T that I would have otherwise gladly attended. (#eventsUofT what events are you planning to attend?)

UofTevents

The thing about events at U of T, and events in my life more broadly, is that they have the habit of falling on the same day. I cannot count the number of times that for weeks I have no real plans, and then all at once I am invited to four different events, all of which are happening on Saturday!

But I can’t really get upset. It’s just one of those little oddities of life! Instead, I have to make a choice. I have to decide what is most important.

One of the events that conspired against me this week was Field to Fork, a festival for locally farmed food prepared by campus Chefs and accompanied by live musicians!

Source:http://ueat.utoronto.ca/event/field-fork-2013/

Source:http://ueat.utoronto.ca/event/field-fork-2013/

From what I heard, they were serving a variety of entrees and desserts, and each plate was $3—for 10 bucks you were more than full! The food enthusiasts at Ueat are responsible for this awesome festival. I wish I had been there. I bet it was delicious, and nutritious!

The second event was the opening of Victoria College’s annual Book Sale, also on Thursday. Luckily, the book sale continues until Tuesday Sept. 24, but the first day is always the most fun and exciting!

Source: http://holygrailofgifs.tumblr.com

Source: http://holygrailofgifs.tumblr.com

I was fortunate enough to get a preview of the Book Sale this year, and the team of volunteers have done a great job organizing and arranging hundreds, if not thousands, of donated books. It’s really quite a feat when you think of it, and I tip my hat to them.

Source: http://library.vicu.utoronto.ca/friends/blog/

Source: http://library.vicu.utoronto.ca/friends/blog/

The event offers two floors of books in the Old Vic building, with a special room for older, rarer, collector’s books and antiques. Also, for the first time they are offering a selection of vinyl records!

On the first day, there was a $3 admission fee, except for TCard holders, who got in free. For the rest of the weekend the event is open to everyone! The books are priced separately, ranging from $1 to over $300 for the really old ones.

Source: http://propaganda-for-life.tumblr.com/post/14742424350/lol

Source: http://propaganda-for-life.tumblr.com/post/14742424350/lol

All the proceeds go to Victoria College Library and help pay for bursaries. I’ll be back this weekend sometime, so maybe I’ll see you there!

First, I have to stack firewood. I decided that helping my dad was the most important event on my map this week.

In second year, The Toronto Spec-Fic Colloquium was hosted at Hart House on the same Saturday as a friend’s Halloween party. I decided it was more important to go to the colloquium than to have “early drinks” with my friends, and now I work for a publishing house because of the connections that I made at the event.

There is a lot to do at U of T, and a lot you may miss. But don’t beat yourself up. Most things happen every year. Do what feels right, and do what feels important to you.

 

Stay diamond, U of T

-Stephen

 

Oh, here are some upcoming events!

Trinity College Book Sale

University College Book Sale

Word on the Street Toronto

The Inner GPS

It’s August 21st today, which means that in a few weeks, I’ll be sitting in class again, shifting gears from summer to September, from full-time work to full-time school. Where did my summer go??

Ah, change. The thing that both scares and exhilarates me at the same time.

Over the years people, places, and events in my life have helped me cobble together random pieces of advice that help me navigate change and transition in my day-to-day.

I picture this concoction as a patchy pouch of sorts, filled with ideas and tips in the shape of colourful scarves that I draw out when I need to. I thought I’d share some of these with you, U of T. It’s a bit of a hectic world out there, so here are a few things that have allowed me to get back on track and keep my balance.

Getting to know people – all kinds of people. We live in a city with folks who boast origins from all over the world. And who are doing so many cool things every day. This is truly a gem. When I got back from living abroad in Spain, I realized what a treasure it is to be able to immerse myself in these different strokes. Other cities hunger for the sheer openness that we can create here.

So, after getting used toToronto again, I decided that I would just go ahead and strike up conversations with people who I felt were open to saying hello back. It worked! And whole worlds opened up. In a good way.

Paying close attention to the things that draw me in– or what I gravitate to naturally, as I go about work and life. I find that I have a lot of different interests – I’m sure you do too. A while back, I read a quote by Rumi that goes something like this:

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”

It’s one of my favourites.

Where to? http://mrspal.org/files/2012/03/dr.-seuss-here-to-there-195t75v.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listening to that inner GPS. Ah, the hard part. Sometimes the cacophony of this world is overwhelming. Things to do, jobs to work, people to see, assignments to submit, and other people’s dreams and wishes which sound so great that I want to live them too.

When I feel as though my head is full of signposts which all seem to lead to great places, I try to sit rather silently and listen to what I really feel is the best for me. It’s not always what I want to hear, either – but hey, your inner GPS is pretty accurate. Most of the time :).

Precious Wisdom from The Gos. Source: http://www.peasandcrayons.com/2012/02/and-now-message-from-ryan.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there you have it, a few things that keep me going. And of course, the regular – enough food, sleep, and meaningful work to keep life rolling. T-18 days till school, U of T. Be yourself, heed your inner GPS, and make your year wonderful!

-Aziza

A Part Time Job: Pros and Cons

Last Saturday I went to Hart House to work on a cover letter. A haven for the studious and the sleepy. When I discovered Hart House library in the second week of first year, I knew I was home. (#startUofT Have you ever slept in Hart House?)

Anyway, come September I will no longer be a groundsman at Victoria College. Yep, all things come to an end. But then new things come along, too. At least when I look in the mirror I won’t see this guy anymore:

Source: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/mrs.%20norris?language=tr_TR

Now, once again, I must enter the proverbial job hunt!

In first year I was fortunate enough not to need a job. Oh, those were the days! But come second year I was in a much different boat. It was an uncertain decision whether to work while in school. What if a job affects my grades? What if I like the job, get promoted and start making real money, then what’s the point of university?

So I weighed the pros and cons. I made a list. Like this:

Pro: Pocket Money

I am always hungry. If I have gained one thing, definitively, since coming to university it is an insatiable hunger. I’ll eat anything!

Source: http://www.reactiongifs.com/tag/hungry/

Having a few extra dollars in my wallet can be a blessing. When I’m studying on campus and my stomach starts to whine and complain, I can quickly pop out for a slice of pizza. When I’m writing an essay and too busy to cook dinner, I can order Chinese food. A few extra dollars often means a few extra minutes, a convenience that money literarily can buy.

Con: Time Commitment

Unfortunately, the equation works both ways. To get that pocket money you have to exchange your free time. This point should not be overlooked. In first year I was unemployed because fitting a job into my schedule was impossible.

Source: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/busy-gif

For some of you the idea of even fitting in social time seems impossible. It’s a matter of priorities. I got a job because I had to pay rent. What do you have to do?

Pro: Time Management

I worked as a waiter in second year, mostly evenings and weekends. And I found having a job actually improved my time management. If I had a paper due on Thursday, but I worked Wednesday night, then I was forced to write the paper on Tuesday. There were a few assignments left to the last minute, to be sure. But most of the time I completed things early. I had to.

Con: Terrible Bosses

Not really. But I have come across a lot of job postings from people who seem more than willing to take advantage of eager, hard-working (starving) students. It’s a matter of discretion. It took me a while, but I now know what my time’s worth, and I won’t commit to a job that’s wasting it.

Pro: 

Source: http://www.1to1media.com/weblog/experience%20leaders.jpg

The #1 asset that employers want is experience. I doubt we even need names anymore, just a list of our previous jobs and internships. Who remembers names anyway? Employers remember only that this applicant has two years of related experience, while this other person has five. The cover letter that I wrote at Hart House was just a jazzed up list of my experience. But I realize now that all my part-time jobs have been investments, even if they were unrelated to my career. All work is experience:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNXwKGZHmDc

Also, if cover letters and resumes make you anxious or confused, I’d recommend INI300H1 Strategic Writing, it really it helped! Also, there is the U of T Career Centre!

‘Til next time U of T. Stay Diamond!

 

-Stephen