It’s hard to believe we’re at the end of the year. I feel like I say this every end of April, but school went by so fast; scarily fast. It seems like just last week I was putting on boots and trudging through the snow– oh wait, that was last week! Jokes aside (though Canadian weather is not a joke sometimes), I wanted to squeeze out one last blog post for the wonderful folks who read my work all year. This blog post will be my advice to you consisting of the 4 most important lessons I’ve learned in my third year at this wonderful university.
For students new to it, learning how to lead can be hard, not to mention intimidating. Even for students with some experience, leading is a concept that isn’t the most intuitive. Are you supposed to just take charge in every group assignment? Make sure your voice is the loudest? Delegate responsibility until all that’s left is you as supreme overlord of the Sith and—ok, maybe not that last point. The truth is, leadership is something so dynamic and diverse that there isn’t a single way to learn it. That was one of the main guiding principles behind this conference I attended last Saturday called UConnect, a leadership conference based in University College.
I think it’s safe to say I was at the point in midterm season, or huge-influx-of-essays-due-in-one-week season where my mind was frayed.
It was the kind of fraying where I just comfortably threw my clothes on my chair when I got home. I comfortably began ‘forgetting’ to put away the snacks I had on my nightstand. I comfortably hadn’t made my bed in who knows how long. I comfortably stopped using my table as a study space and instead used it as a storage for all the books and articles I had to read.
It was like when Frank Ocean sang “a tornado flew around my room before you came”, only my situation was a lot less poetic and probably wouldn’t win any awards. I’m just going to come out and say it – my room was a mess.
Who knew procrastination would not only be the reason for it but also the resolution of it?
As the photoblogger on this team, meaning the person who blogs and also manages the Instagram, part of my job is to see the pretty cool things on or around campus. If you’ve been following along with my eyes and perspectives on the ‘Gram, you would notice that a huge portion of my photos are of landscapes and sometimes people. As midterm season rolls in with the dropping temperatures of autumn, I’ve decided to share my top four favourite places to visit on or around campus for destressing, procrastinating, fire Instagram photos, or sipping tea while you Snapchat.
With August comes the stark realization that summer is almost over.
Alright, there. I’ve said it. There’s no turning back now. How did it breeze by so fast?
Whenever I finish course selection, there is always a period of time where my thoughts drift to my future in terms of a career. It’s like an imposing deadline that inches closer when you least expect it, and as a humanities / social sciences student studying Political Science, Cinema Studies, and History, this deadline can appear menacing. Now, as a student in Political Science, Cinema Studies and History interested in a career with media production and photography, this deadline appears monstrous.
I’ve learned from various trips to professors’ office hours, the Career Centre, and long, thoughtful conversations with friends that succeeding after school, especially with my aspirations, that marketing yourself in today’s job industry is essential. Marketing, in my mind, automatically correlates with entrepreneurship – something I don’t have the space in my packed school schedule (curse you, 5 hour film blocks!) to learn from classes. However, when I struck up a chat with my friend Tsukasa (or Tsuki) who’s a third year Rotman student working as a student entrepreneur for the new U of T student founded course organizing program, Semesterly , I learned a lot about what it’s like to be a student entrepreneur.
I guess you could say I’m a chronic procrastinator.
It was a fine Tuesday morning when I woke up after a splendid night out with friends, my hollow stomach rumbling for some greasy, filling food to fuel it. Leaving the house, I headed to the closest diner in Kensington Market (Our Spot), ordered myself a plate of food, and upon checkout, handed the cashier my debit card.
And then it happened. In one of the most dreadful moments of my life, I held the card machine in my hand staring at one word, in big block letters: DECLINED.